Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Puters

"June, 1956: Co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, Bill Hewlett, writes to then-Provost at Stanford and the man widely considered to be one of the "Fathers of Silicon Valley," Fred Terman, "I have no personal knowledge of computers nor does anyone in our organization have any appreciable knowledge."

Terman was a member of the US Army Signal Corps' advisory board at the time, and when asked by the army how best to acquire a computer for research purposes, he naturally turned to Hewlett — one of his former students — for assistance. Unfortunately, HP were then immersed in the world of electronic test equipment and, as such, had very little knowledge of a product from which they would eventually make huge profits; hence this reply. 10 years later, they introduced one of the world's first 16-bit minicomputers: the HP-2116A."



Transcript
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY
June 13, 1956

Dr. F. E. Terman
Office of the Provost
Stanford University
Stanford, California

Dear Fred:

I have no personal knowledge of computers nor does anyone in our organization have any appreciable knowledge.

Sorry we can't help you out in this regard.

Sincerely yours,

(Signed, 'Bill')

William R. Hewlett

WRH/ma

4 comments:

  1. A prediction by the Rand Corporation in 1950 of what a home computer would look like in the year 2000:

    This was a minitiarization from the room-size computers of the time that needed a team to operate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.anasrifai.com/computers/future-computer-of-the-past/

    ReplyDelete
  3. For some reason that URL didn't come through in the first Myah.

    ReplyDelete

The divine PB&J in me, salutes the divine PB&J in you.