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Nov 7 – Happy Anniversary HP Computing

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Fifty years ago, November 7 thru 10, 1966, at the JCC in San Francisco, HP introduced its first computer, the 2116A, although David Packard preferred to call it an instrumentation controller deferring the term “computer” to IBM.  Management was initially adverse to the computer business going so far as to cancel a time-sharing sale to Holiday Inn.

The design team was lead by Kay Magleby who building to HP’s standards produced a very reliable product.  It was the second computer designed in Silicon Valley.

The product was not immediately successful at least in part due to challenges in getting an instrument oriented salesforce to sell computers; in its first year at most five units were sold out outside HP.   Sales took off following marketing and sales changes under the leadership of Tom Perkins

By 1976 revenue from HPs computer products was $340 million, matching all historic instrument’s revenue.  HP was a computer company.

In November 2015 HPs computer business emerged as a $55 billion/year independent company, HP Enterprise.

HP Enterprise declined our committee’s offer to mark this its 50th anniversary.

 

Additonal material:

The HP Phenomenon-Innovation and Business Transformation, House and Price, Stanford University Press, (c) 2009

Oral History of Thomas J. Perkins, Computer History Museum, July 22, 2011

Oral History of Kay Magleby, Computer History Museum, November 20, 2009

Rescheduling – High-Power Microwave Tube Development at Stanford and SLAC

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Time & Date: To be determined

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Venue: KeyPoint Credit Union
2805 Bowers Ave (just off Central Expressway)
Santa Clara, CA 95051

Park in lot adjacent to building on Bowers Ave.

Our Thanks To KeyPoint Credit Union

IEEE SV Tech History committee is extremely grateful to KeyPoint Credit Union for use of their auditorium as our prime venue. Many thanks to Doron Noyman of KeyPoint for his support in making that happen.
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Abstract:
The SF Bay Area has been a hotbed to technology development since the beginning of the 20th century. In this interview panel meeting, you’ll hear how Sigurd and Russell Varian came up with the plans for the klystron at Stanford in the late ’30’s, with critical theoretical contributions from Bill Hansen, physics professor. With a focus on Hansen, we’ll see how the theory and practice of microwave tubes developed locally during and after WW II, resulting in small linear accelerators, and eventually into the 2-mile-long Stanford Linear Accelerator, out behind the campus. The klystron and linear accelerator technology is still in use today around the world, as the prime radiation treatment for cancer.

Dave Leeson is in the final stages of a two-volume book on the life and career of Bill Hansen; he’ll give us ‘inside information’ about those early days, and how this breakthrough happened. Following Dave’s discussions, Dr. Burton Richter will tell of the early days of SLAC, and stories of how it was constructed and used. he’ll conclude with some of the physics experiments leading up to his Nobel Prize in 1976.

Join us for an interview of Profs. David Leeson and Burton Richter, as Paul Wesling, IEEE Life Fellow, explores this Silicon Valley technology

Panelists:

Prof. David Leeson, consulting professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford.
Prof. Leeson is finishing a book on Bill Hansen’s career and contributions.

Prof. Burton Richter (tentative), Physical Sciences, Stanford, and Director Emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
Prof. Richter began post-doc work at Stanford in 1956, becoming a professor in 1967, and designed the Stanford Positron-Electron Accelerating Ring (SPEAR). He succeeded Wolfgang “Pief” Panofsky as director of SLAC in 1984.  He shared the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the particle that has been dubbed J/psi.

Paul Wesling will moderate this meeting.

2014 Year End Review + More Info on Stanford’s Silicon Valley Archives

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The IEEE SV Tech History committee fulfilled its mandate by holding four technical meetings in 2014.  It was a close call as three of those meetings occured in the last three months of the year.

Our committee’s charter is to have at least four technical meetings per year that will educate, inform and raise the level of awareness of technology history indigenous to greater silicon valley.  In addition, we are open and receptive to holding joint meetings with other IEEE Societies, groups, committees as well as other tech non profit organizations.   Our website complements our meetings and provides information on IEEE Milestones as well as upcoming tech history meetings in silicon valley.

Note that we are not a musuem.  We don’t collect anything and we don’t do oral histories.  Those are both done by the Computer History Museum and the Stanford Silicon Valley Archives (see Oct 2014 and Dec 2014 meetings below).

All of our meetings since inception are listed below, in reverse chronological order:

Dec 2: Perspective of Stanford Archives & Process & Methodology for SV Tech History Research

Panelists: ​Leslie Berlin, Historian of Silicon Valley & author of biography of Bob Noyce​  & Henry Lowood, Curator at Stanford University; Manager-Silicon Genesis Project​​

Moderator: Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Sr Life Member

The link to the Silicon Genesis oral histories is here. In addition, a very small fraction of their holdings is listed here.

Invitation: tech artifacts/data-books/notebooks related to SV tech history may be donated to the Stanford SV Archives. Contact: lowood@stanford.edu

Video of this outstanding event is here.

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Nov 5:  Early History of Silicon Valley​ (4 time periods covered)

Panelists:  Ted Hoff, PhD (x-Intel) & Norm Pond (“Tube Guys”)​

Moderator: Paul Wesling, IEEE SF Bay Area Council​

->97 attendees were treated to a spectacular program!​

Video and snippets/segments are here

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 Oct 9:  History & Origins of Computer History Museum (CHM), Current Status & Future Directions

Panelists:  Len Shustek, CHM Chairman & John Hollar, CHM CEO/President​

Moderator:  Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Sr Life Member

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April  28: History of Wired LAN Competition
Moderator:  Geoff Thompson, former Chair of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet WG; long time contributor to IEEE ComSoc & IEEE member discussion group
Panelists:
  • Joe Skorupa (Gartner) – various “Route 128″ MA networking companies
  • Tom Slykhouse (SurveyMonkey)- FDDI advocate of the period
  • Dan Pitt – (Open Networking Foundation) Token Ring advocate of the period
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2013 Meetings (the committee was officially formed in Sept 2013):

Nov 2013:  Thin Film Memories (joint meeting with IEEE Magnetics)
Moderator:  Tom Coughlin, IEEE Region 6 Director Elect

Opening Remarks & Committee Objectives: Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Sr Life Member

Video is here

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Oct 2013  Intel’s Transition from Semiconductor Memory to Microprocessor Company (Hosted by IEEE CNSV thanks to Brian Berg!)
Panelists: Ted Hoff, PhD & Dave House, MSEE – Intel icons
Moderator: Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Sr Life Member
A standing room only crowd of ~85 people attended after the venue was changed the day of the event.
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If you’d like to volunteer for the committee, or have any comments, suggestions, or feedback on past or future meetings please contact: aweissberger@sbcglobal.net
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If you’d like to be added to our email list, please contact: brianberg@gmail.com
Have a wonderful holiday season; a happy, healthy & prosperous new year!
All best
Alan

IEEE History Committees; IT & Computer History Resources

Sunday, December 8th, 2013
Please note that there are two IEEE History  committees with similar names:
1.  IEEE History Committee- which approves worldwide milestones….  http://www.ieee.org/about/history_center/history_committee.html
2.  IEEE SV Technology History Committee- which reports to IEEE SCV Excom and features panel discussions related to history of a specific technology
Prior to the approval of this committee, an unofficial event on the History of Intel was held on Oct 1, 2013.  It was graciously sponsored by IEEE CNSV.    Intel’s Transition to Success: From Memory to the Microprocessor
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Here are a few IT history related websites and on-line resources:
http://www.computerhistory.org/
http://ithistory.org/
http://sigcis.org/
http://steveblank.com/secret-history/
http://openbookproject.net/courses/intro2ict/history/history.html
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/AZ/ITHistoryOutline.htm
http://www.old-computers.com/news/default.asp
http://www.computersciencelab.com/ComputerHistory/History.htm
http://oldcomputers.net/