How HP Got Its First Calculators: Video Interview with Tom Osborne

Hello all, I got the opportunity to interview Tom Osborne last week. He's the man who is behind HP's first two calculators, the HP 9100 and the HP 35. The video interview is up on my blog.

Hope you enjoy it.



I just finished watching the entire interview. It was time well spent. Thanks so much for it as I've been waiting for it since you told us about it a few months ago. I always get such a blast listening to the pioneers in this industry.

And by the way, I love your blog. I read yours, Brian Dipert's and Paul Rako's blogs at least 2-3 times a week. Keep up the great work!


What do you click on to get the video? I don't have any trouble with video on any other website on my computer, but the above-referenced page looks like an html-only page to me-- maybe because I have pop-ups blocked? Doesn't seem likely. There's no "sub-screen" with a "play" button to click, no "play video now", or anything like that.


I have the same comment. There's nothing at the referenced URL that (obviously) leads to the video. Maybe it's limited to paid subscribers, but if so that should be indicated on the html page.


I had the same problem in Firefox, but when I copied the link into IE - the video controls suddenly appeared.


It doesn't work on my Internet Explorer. I've never run across a similar case of "hidden video" while using IE.


The blog entry is seriously broken. Doesn't work in FF or IE 7 with medium security.

Just go directly to Viddler and you can view the video. Direct link here

Edited: 22 Feb 2008, 7:14 p.m.


Thanks for the comments. I've edited the blog entry and posted the direct URL of the video at Viddler. I'm afraid I'm not enough of an HTML maven to troubleshoot all the plug-in problems people are having with the Viddler player. All I can say is, it works fine for my settings in IE 7.



I couldn't agree more. The story of the 9100 would even make a griping film. Excellent work!



I think it is interesting to see that Ham Radio comes up in the first couple minutes! (There are a *lot* of Hams in this calculator hobby too!)

Edited: 23 Feb 2008, 6:00 p.m.


The direct link worked fine. Great interview!


I tried to listen, but could not make out the words for the echoes. I tried it again on earphones, same comment. Possibly I am the only one to find it impossible to understand, but I think you could do better with the sound. Sam


I just finished listening to the entire interview. As an ex-marine engineer with a few too many hours around rotating machinery resulting in some hearing impairment, I had NO difficulty with the sound quality of this interview.

I suggest the problem is with your computer's sound system/card.

Best regards,

Jeff Kearns


I'm sensitive to echoes too, and felt that the Dave Cochran interview had too much room reverberation. It was a function of the room. However, the Tom Osborne interview plays on my machine with virtually no echo. Are you sure you're not playing two copies of the video at the same time a little out of sync? It is possible for this to happen with multiple windows open.


Hello all,

It seems to be a very interesting interview.

But as english is not my primary language, I read better than I listen to it.

Do you have a script of the interview ?


Sorry, there is no transcription of the interview, nor is one planned.

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