The HP-10C and the Edsel



#2

September 4th marked the 50th anniversary of the 1957 introduction of Ford Motor Company's ill-fated line of cars named "Edsel", in honor of the late father of FoMoCo's then-president Henry Ford II. Its original 1958 models featured an unorthodox vertical grille that someone dubbed, "Oldsmobile sucking a lemon". An interesting article was prepared by Washington Post writer Peter Carlson, which has been published in newspapers across the US. Here's the link to the source, with an insightful excerpt:

Full text of Edsel article

Quote:

The idea for the Edsel came from Ford executives who were thinking about market niches when they should have been thinking about cars.

The Edsel line was a large undertaking that became synonymous with commercial failure on a grand scale; the Edsel cost FoMoCo US$250 million in losses, or about $2 billion at today's valuation.

A few parallels can be drawn with a much more modest and obscure unsuccessful product release -- namely, Hewlett-Packard's HP-10C calculator, manufactured for only 18 months between September 1982 and March 1984. It was a member of the Voyager-series line that debuted in 1981, all of whose other models were produced until at least 1989. Here are the parallels between the HP-10C and the Edsel line:

  1. Both products were designed to fill marketing niches, instead of a specific need or capability.
  2. Both products were respectable in content, but flawed in execution.
  3. Both products were pricier than comparable alternatives.
  4. Both products were manufactured for only about two years, terminated after disappointing (or perhaps cannibalistic) sales.
  5. Due to scarcity, both products now command premium prices on the collector's market.

The main difference between the Edsel line and the HP-10C is the following: The Edsel was intended to fill an upscale niche of an economical product line, while the HP-10C was intended to fill the price-leader niche of an affordable, but still premium product line.

The Edsel was saddled with an uncharismatic name, distinctive-but-undistinguished styling, and a higher price without being clearly "better" than the alternatives, including other Fords. The HP-10C offered a crummy programming paradigm and fewer useful functions than the HP-11C and HP-15C, yet was still costly (US$80 in 1982) -- notably more so than non-HP's having comparable capabilities.

These were recipes for commercial failure -- case studies that illustrate the pitfalls caused by emphasis of marketing objectives instead of best engineering judgement for product development.

Here's a link to my discussions of the HP-10C:

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv016.cgi?read=92143#92143

The above is not intended to assert that the HP-10C was a bad calculator (e.g., today's Le World models) any more than Edsels were bad cars (e.g, the Yugo). However, both designs were based on some questionable judgement, and the consequences followed (albeit of vastly differing severity).

-- KS


Edited: 8 Sept 2007, 8:34 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#3

Without actual sales figures, how do you know that the 10C was a commercial failure? The fact that HP canceled it after two years isn't really enough to infer that; products can be canceled for many reasons. Large corporations have been known to cancel products or shut down entire divisions that were profitable but not profitable *enough*.

Quote:
The HP-10C offered a crummy programming paradigm

I dispute that the programming paradigm was "crummy". While it is clearly not as good as an 11C or 15C, it wasn't supposed to be. It was intended as a low-end scientific calculator with limited programmability, and it did that admirably. Far better than e.g. the TI-55 II or TI-57 LCD.

Quote:
and fewer useful functions than the HP-11C and HP-15C,

So you're saying that if you were the designer of the 10C, you
would have included all of the useful functions of the 11C and 15C? If so, how would you have differentiated it from the 11C and 15C?

Quote:
yet was still costly (US$80 in 1982) -- notably more so than non-HP's having comparable capabilities.

There weren't any non-HPs having "comparable capabilities", in that there were no non-HP RPN programmable calculators at the time. (I'm not 100% certain of that, but I think NS had dropped theirs before the 10C was introduced.) If someone didn't care about RPN, then they weren't likely to buy a 10C; the market opportunity for HP wasn't to say "look, you can get the same thing for twice the price", but rather "look, you can get the superior RPN, if you spend more money on an HP" (not to mention a mechanically superior keyboard, and better build quality in every other measurable way). Of course, they had to try to convince those people that RPN was worthwhile, but clearly the focus was NOT on offering the SAME feature set at a higher price point.

Even discounting the value of RPN, I'm not clear on which calculator of "comparable capabilities" you want to compare to the 10C.

The 10C was basically a replacement for the 31E and 32E, with simple programmability added. Are you going to make the same claims about the 31E and 32E that you've made about the 10C? If not, why?

I knew several people who bought the 10C, and I don't recall any of them complaining about it. Several later bought the 41CX.

It's possible that the 10C lost money for HP, but if so, it was clearly not for the same reasons as the Edsel.


#4

Quote:
I knew several people who bought the 10C, and I don't recall any of them complaining about it. Several later bought the 41CX

I bought an HP-10C when I was in college, *after* I bought my 41CX... I wanted something that would be more convenient for manual computation, with trig functions etc. accessible without having to press Shift all the time; an uncluttered keyboard and enough programmability that I could program a function and evaluate it repeatedly, or even use a simple Simpson's Rule integrator. Oh, and something that you can take to a college exam without fear that a proctor is going to disallow it!


The HP-10C fit that bill perfectly. I was very happy with it! Eventually, the HP-42S rendered it obsolete for me (another calculator with an uncluttered keyboard and unshifted trigs & logs etc.!), but I sure wish I hadn't given it away.

I guess Eric is probably right; hard to imagine HP losing money on the 10C, but they were probably making a lot more on the 11C and 12C, so the 10C got sacrificed to the gods of maximum profit. I imagine the story of the HP-27 is not much different, or the HP-19C/29C for that matter -- terrific calculators with disturbingly short production runs.

- Thomas

#5

Hi, Eric --

My post that started this thread linked an archived post that linked two more archived posts. One of those was part of a thread that contained this same debate between you and me. I'm not going to re-hash the previous posts, but I will make a few comments:

No, I don't have actual sales figures, but there was some anecdotal evidence of poor sales in one of the aforementioned threads -- like "jeff b" from 8 May 2006:

Quote:

About the time they were discontinued a local HP retailer had a few dozen of the HP10C's on closeout. Several months went by and they were not selling. I wanted to make an offer on the lot but couldn't see far enough into the future...

You are free to dispute my description of "crumminess", but any programming paradigm that lacks insert/delete editing within a program is a pain to use. The HP-55 that introduced it didn't last long either. The financial HP-12C shares the paradigm, but it is intended for users who don't typically develop their own programs, relying instead on Solutions Book applications.

As I've stated before, a non-programmable HP-10C with more of the missing mathematical functions (e.g., hyperbolics, delta-%, and gamma) and backarrow would have been a more-useful and worthy entry-level product that might have sold well enough to survive in the product line.

Differentiation between the HP-10C and the upscale HP-11C and HP-15C? Programmability and advanced functions. Recall also that the HP-11C was basically eclipsed by the HP-15C, leaving the HP-11C no particular niche other than to occupy a price slot, particularly in the foreign market, where retail prices were higher. Once the HP-10C was gone, the HP-11C became the low-end model by default, even though it looked pretty much the same as the HP-15C.

Quote:
Even discounting the value of RPN, I'm not clear on which calculator of "comparable capabilities" you want to compare to the 10C.

How about the $35 Casio fx-3600P of 1981? 10-digit-plus-exponent 7-segment LCD, 38 steps of programmability (without editing, though), statistics and linear regression. Plus: Hyperbolics, fraction arithmetic, and Simpson's Rule numerical integration. No, it wasn't RPN and the build quality wasn't comparable, but it provided a hugely better feature/price ratio than the HP-10C. Sharp made a similar model at the time. If it was HP's goal to sway low-end buyers from those competitors, I doubt that the HP-10C succeeded at it.

This is not to say that the HP-10C was an "Edsel" literally or colloquially -- just that there were many parallels of "marketing over engineering", with disappointing results.

-- KS

Edited: 10 Sept 2007, 2:15 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#6

Quote:
there was some anecdotal evidence of poor sales

The example you cite is so anecdotal as to be completely irrelevant. I saw multiple stores that had many HP-33C, HP-34C, and HP-38C units in stock for YEARS after those were discontinued, but I certainly don't conclude that those models didn't sell well.

Quote:
The financial HP-12C shares the paradigm, but it is intended for users who don't typically develop their own programs

The 10C was also likely aimed at people who mostly don't write their own programs. Clearly anyone that does much programming wouldn't have wanted a 10C, TI 57, or Casio fx-3600P. Therefore I still don't think there was anything wrong with a low-end model having limited programming features.

Quote:
Differentiation between the HP-10C and the upscale HP-11C and HP-15C?
Programmability and advanced functions.

Now you're trying to have it both ways. On the one hand you complain that the 10C should have had the programming and features of the 11C and 15C, and on the other you seem to be conceding that the product differentiation should be the programmability and functions, nor do I see any way in which having NO programming features (which you seem to advocate) would be better than having limited programming features.

It really sounds like you wanted an 11C for the price of the 10C, and are complaining because you have to pay more to get the 11C. Sorry, that's just the way the world works, and HP was in no way unique in doing that.

Even though the manufacturing cost of the 10C was likely identical to that of the 11C, making the 10C significantly better would have cut into 11C sales, and reduced HP's overall profit and revenues from calculators. No matter how much you'd like it to be otherwise, it does not make business sense to do such a thing.

Quote:
there were many parallels of "marketing over engineering"

Not really. Ford didn't seem to have a clue as to what their market was, or how to address it. They made the car that one of the executives wanted, without regard to what the public wanted, and it sold poorly. It was NOT designed the way it was for product positioning purposes to fill a gap in their product line. There were lots of criticisms of the design of the Edsel; I've never heard any legitimate criticisms of the 10C that aren't related to deliberate product positioning. It appears to me that HP's marketing people knew EXACTLY what they were doing.


#7

Quote:
The example you cite is so anecdotal as to be completely irrelevant.

What the heck does that mean?? An anecdote is the true story of one particular experience. No claim can be made of its representing the whole truth, or even what is generally true, but it's one piece of evidence -- it is what it is.

Quote:
I saw multiple stores that had many HP-33C, HP-34C, and HP-38C units in stock for YEARS after those were discontinued, but I certainly don't conclude that those models didn't sell well.

Here's another anecdote: In late 1983, I visited the college bookstore with the specific intent to purchase an HP-34C, which I had seen several years prior, but had been discontinued in January. The young salesman instead steered me toward the HP-15C, which had been out for a year, but was new to me. I tested both side-by-side, and bought the HP-15C.

So, this bookstore kept discontinued models in stock even after the newer, better replacements with modern technology (read: charger-free LCD) were available. If the old stock didn't sell well, there was a reason for that.

Obsolescence was not the issue with the HP-10C; its fancier siblings remained in production for five years or more after it was discontinued.

Quote:
On the one hand you complain that the 10C should have had the programming and features of the 11C and 15C, and on the other you seem to be conceding that the product differentiation should be the programmability and functions, nor do I see any way in which having NO programming features (which you seem to advocate) would be better than having limited programming features.

It really sounds like you wanted an 11C for the price of the 10C, and are complaining because you have to pay more to get the 11C. Sorry, that's just the way the world works, and HP was in no way unique in doing that.


Please don't put inconsistent nonsense and claptrap in my mouth when my statements were clear and unwavering, over time on several occasions: The HP-10C would have been better as a non-programmable with the missing transcedental math and data-entry functions restored (hyperbolics, delta-%, gamma, backarrow, and roll-up). Non-programmability would provide clear differentiation in functionality, especially against the HP-15C and its advanced functions. (I wonder how many buyers opted for the cheaper HP-10C instead of the HP-11C/15C, because they were told that it was "programmable".)

I make no claim that my version of the HP-10C would have sold well enough and not cannibalized HP-11C/15C sales to stay in the product line. Perhaps, although the idea was reasonable -- a "low-end" quality-made Voyager scientific -- it was destined not to succeed because its competitors were so much cheaper, and its target market less discerning. Still, I believe that my concept would have been more sound: a functionally-complete nonprogrammable instead of a pidgin programmable that lacked a few important basics.

Quote:
Ford didn't seem to have a clue as to what their market was, or how to address it. They made the car that one of the executives wanted, without regard to what the public wanted, and it sold poorly. It was NOT designed the way it was for product positioning purposes to fill a gap in their product line.

Is this what you inferred from the article? It's not what I understood. The Edsel was the brainchild of which executive? All I saw was a reference to the naming suggestion by Ernest Breech, Ford's chairman of the board.

From the article:



The idea for the Edsel came from Ford executives who were thinking about market niches when they should have been thinking about cars.

They were worried that Ford owners who prospered in the postwar boom were trading in their cheap Fords for pricier Pontiacs and Buicks. They figured Ford needed a new line of medium-price cars..


There you have it.

It seems to me that the Edsel line would have been more successful (or at least less unsuccessful) if it had been designed with more emphasis on engineering and manufacturing, and less marketing hype and styling gimmicks, and, of course, a more-pleasing name. If Ford set out to claim the mid-range market, they should simply have made a better mid-range Ford. Execution, not concept, was the problem.

Quote:
I've never heard any legitimate criticisms of the 10C that aren't related to deliberate product positioning. It appears to me that HP's marketing people knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

I can't believe that the plan was to go to the trouble of creating a new model, then kill it after only 18 months. Once again, my criticisms of the HP-10C were of execution, not of concept and product placement.

-- KS


#8

I wrote:

Quote:
On the one hand you complain that the 10C should have had the programming and features of the 11C and 15C, and on the other you seem to be conceding that the product differentiation should be the programmability and functions,

You replied:

Quote:
Please don't put inconsistent nonsense and claptrap in my mouth when my statements were clear and unwavering,

I did no such thing.

Earlier in this thread, you wrote:

Quote:
The HP-10C offered a crummy programming paradigm and fewer useful functions than the HP-11C and HP-15C

Later, when I asked what you thought *should* have differentiated the 10C from the 11C and 15C, you wrote:

Quote:
Programmability and advanced functions.

It's plain from those exact quotes that you first complain that the 10C doesn't have the advanced functions of the 11C and 15C, then state that the differentiation SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED the advanced functions. How could it both have the advanced functions to make you happy, and omit them to serve as product differentiation?


#9

Here are the two sentences I wrote which immediately followed my "claptrap" sentence to which you objected, which should have cleared up any confusion that may have existed beforehand:

Quote:
"The HP-10C would have been better as a non-programmable with the missing transcedental math and data-entry functions restored (hyperbolics, delta-%, gamma, backarrow, and roll-up). Non-programmability would provide clear differentiation in functionality, especially against the HP-15C and its advanced functions."

So, the "useful functions" I'd mentioned earlier referred to the five listed transcedental math and data-entry functions that were missing from the HP-10C.

The "advanced functions" of the HP-15C (need I list them?) are numerical rootfinding (SOLVE), numerical integration (INTEG), complex number mathematics, and matrix functions.

If you didn't know exactly what I meant by "useful functions", then you shouldn't have jumped to conclusions by alleging that I was "trying to have it both ways", among other things. That was based on your own mistaken inferences of what I said. I do not like being publicly taken to task for things I never explicitly stated.

I don't believe that this argumentative endeavor serves any purpose.

-- KS



Edited: 9 Sept 2007, 11:37 p.m.


#10

Come on, folks. IMHO, this thread is a textbook example for raising heat in discussion (thus contributing to global warming ;). We all know that a few members of this honorable forum (guess < 2^((sin(12.34))^2 + (cos(12.34))^2)) love to refer to their previous posts. So, sometimes strange starting points (like old cars) seem to be welcome to construct a tower of thoughts on top of it. Nevertheless, I think this contributes to making this forum a fun place to visit, though some of these thoughts may be (and have been) disputable. However, instead of bashing on each other repeatedly, you could agree to disagree and leave it standing this way. Just a proposal, of course... ;)

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the dog for the idea of global warming brought into this thread. Thanks to Karl for a lot of deep thoughts about the 15C and its inferior siblings (BTW: the 15C was your first HP - the 25C was mine; I admire the 25C...). Thanks to Eric for his many different projects and achievements. I sign off sincerely hoping not to have forgotten any important points ;)


#11

You are correct, I tell you... Post something informative, and quite often there is minimal response. Post something silly, on the other hand, and a vertitable beehive of ulimately insignificant discussion ensues.

We should remember that the Forum postings get archived by MoHPC, and are subseqently included in sales of CD/DVD sets. It's best to keep the Forum a forum, not a banal chatroom.

Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, never mind, one of those do as I say but not as I do kind of things, I should just lighten up.

Edited: 10 Sept 2007, 1:24 p.m.

#12

I very much doubt that adding those five instructions would have sold any significant number of additional 10C units. In fact, I think making it non-programmable would have reduced unit sales by a substantially larger percentage than adding those five functions could have increased unit sales. However, since you obviously disagree, it would be very interesting to hear other people's opinions on the relative merits of the five functions you want vs. "crummy" programmability.

Leaving the "advanced functions" of the 15C out of the 10C didn't help AT ALL to differentiate the 10C from the 11C. If you're trying to suggest that HP might have seriously considered putting those functions into the 10C, I suspect you are mistaken. Those functions use a substantial amount of ROM and RAM in the 15C, such that it had to include a second R2D2 chip, increasing the manufacturing cost. The 10C ROM probably had some leftover space, perhaps on the order of 2K words, but that would not have been enough room for the advanced functions, so a second R2D2 chip would have been necessary to add them. It is unlikely that HP would have considered any feature set that would have resulted in the 10C having a higher manufacturing cost than the 11C.

Quote:
I don't believe that this argumentative endeavor serves any purpose.

Apparently not. It's unclear to me why you brought it up again; the comparison to the Edsel seems too fundamentally flawed to lend any additional credibility to your repeated claims that the 10C was a failure, or the reasons for that alleged failure.


#13

Quote:
Leaving the "advanced functions" of the 15C out of the 10C didn't help AT ALL to differentiate the 10C from the 11C.

Your first paragraph made some rhetorical sense, but this second one baffles me. It does not follow AT ALL from what I previously stated -- a complete non sequitur. Seriously, I wonder if you're carefully reading or comprehending my statements.

Non-programmability, not lack of the features expounded in the HP-15C Advanced Functions Handbook, would clearly differentiate the HP-10C fom the HP-11C.

Quote:
If you're trying to suggest that HP might have seriously considered putting those functions into the 10C, I suspect you are mistaken...

What?? No, I'm not "trying to suggest that". SOLVE and INTEG are not very serviceable with poor programmability (i.e., no LBL, no GSB). And why would the most sophisticated features be put into what was intended to be the low-end model? You may shelve those suspicions of mistakenness...


Here's another possibility: The HP-10C was only a marketing experiment, and HP didn't really care whether it succeeded or failed. It was difficult to bridge the gap between the HP-11C/15C and competition such as the Casio fx-3600P or Sharp equivalent without creating a product that might steal significant sales from the pricier HP-11C/15C. A large segment of the target market could have been existing HP customers looking for an economical, quality-made unit to supplement their HP-11C, HP-15C, or HP-41. Or, one to give to a high-school son without risking too much from theft, loss, or damage. A non-programmable with all the transcedental math functions would have "fit the bill" and passed muster with teachers who forbade programmable calc's in exams. It also would not have directly competed with the HP-11C/15C. And, maybe it wouldn't have survived anyway...

For all I know, HP's marching orders and budget for development of the HP-10C were minimalist: "Do it as expediently as possible -- just re-use a legacy ROM if you can." I don't think it was their best possible effort, even for the limited role it was created to fill.

-- KS

Edited: 10 Sept 2007, 11:30 p.m.


#14

You wrote:

Quote:
Differentiation between the HP-10C and the upscale HP-11C and HP-15C? Programmability and advanced functions.

I wrote:

Quote:
Leaving the "advanced functions" of the 15C out of the 10C didn't help AT ALL to differentiate the 10C from the 11C.

You wrote:

Quote:
It does not follow AT ALL from what I previously stated

It doesn't?

Anyhow, my point is that if you're going to make some feature choices for product differentiation, in that process you're not likely to consider omitting features that had never even been under consideration for inclusion (for cost reasons). If Ford decided to introduce a new car and position it at a lower point than the Focus, they're not going to spend time trying to decide whether to leave out a GPS navigation system as a means of differentiation, since that's not even an option on the Focus.

#15

Quote:
You are free to dispute my description of "crumminess", but any programming paradigm that lacks insert/delete editing within a program is a pain to use. The HP-55 that introduced it didn't last long either. The financial HP-12C shares the paradigm, but it is intended for users who don't typically develop their own programs, relying instead on Solutions Book applications.

The HP-25 and -25C also lack insert/delete editing, and have only the crude NOP function to help make up for this limitation. These two calculators rank as very successful products, often employed by folks who were deeply interested in programming. It must have been some other characteristic that doomed the HP-10C.

Regards,
Mike


#16

Quote:
The HP-25 and -25C also lack insert/delete editing, and have only the crude NOP function to help make up for this limitation. These two calculators rank as very successful products, often employed by folks who were deeply interested in programming. It must have been some other characteristic that doomed the HP-10C.

Thank you, Mike, for a thoughtful, non-argumentative, and non-sarcastic response to my statement. There's been a real shortage of those in this thread.

I'd surmise that affordability of this programmable was a prime factor. Its mid-1970's MSRP was about $200, far less than those of the HP-65, HP-67, and HP-55. This made programmability attainable to many users for the first time. The Continuous Memory feature of the -25C was a huge convenience and engineering breakthrough. Also, these models had a crisp, clean, and compact form factor that was aesthetically pleasing to many (including the Curator).

By contrast for the HP-10C, affordable and much-better alternatives were readily available, particularly within HP's line.

Regards,

-- KS


#17

Karl, if you're going to post controversial claims and strained comparisons in public forums, and only want "non-argumentative" responses, you'd best get used to disappointment.

#18

Hewlett Packard really screwed up.

Think about this. You seem to indicate that the HP-10C was the worst thing created in the history of man on this planet. Let's go with that premise (which I personally do not subscribe to, but I like to argue.)

In order to build 10C's Hewlett Packard or their subcontractors had to likely build some extra molds, an extra production line, etc. etc. etc. Doing all that probably took at least a little electricity from coal fired power plants. Even if the utility was 100% nuclear or hydroelectric, available potential power was displaced from places with coal fired plants as Oregon and other areas are connected into large grids.

When you burn coal, it generates greenhouse gases.

Not only was the HP-10C the most terrible thing that ever hit the Earth since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, but it has also helped make hurricanes stronger.

As a protest, you and anyone else that may own 10C's should smash them to bits.

Edited: 8 Sept 2007, 10:20 a.m.


#19

Sounds like you chewed your own HP-10C. Well that what you get for eating junk food!!

:-)


#20

Well, I was hungry one night, and all I had in the house were calculators, and my car had a flat, and it was late, and I always wondered what a voyager series tasted like, but I needed the programming capability of my 15C, so the 10C became my necessary entree....


#21

I ate my HP-10C many years ago ... with French fries. tasted very good. It did mess my mind up a bit (especially when solving equations that have minus signs) so I had to resort to the services of the surgeons at Intel. I am as good new new now!


#22

Did you eat the HP-10C while you were sitting in an Edsel by any chance?


#23

Noooooooo .. that can't be!! you where there???????!!!!

:-)


#24

Yes! I was at the car collector show two cars over, but all I had on me was a TI-30 to nibble on... I was sick all that night!

#25

If this is an example of your best satirical comedic writing, don't quit your day job.


#26

Karl,

Who says Mad Dog and I are being funny? Don't let the text fool you. We may well be practicing cryptographic writing in which the "silly" text is nothing but a front to some series information.

Any decoders out there???? Show me what you can do!!

:-)

#27

Karl, I am trying to help you gain perspective...

Really, it is just a calculator. It is not something to be used to predict the downfall of American industry.

But it could be worse. At least you are not writing poetry about rpn calculators....

Look at the poem that Hudendai actually put up on his unmentionable auction website "About Me" page


Here is the link... Scroll down a little... It is called "Ode to my First HP"

Edited: 8 Sept 2007, 4:20 p.m.


#28

Quote:
Karl, I am trying to help you gain perspective...

Really, it is just a calculator. It is not something to be used to predict the downfall of American industry.


Oh, ppppttttthhh.

Neither I nor anyone else needs any help from one self-monikered "Mad Dog ebaycalcnut" to "gain perspective", insight or or wisdom regarding calculators or anything else, as evidenced by the following archived thread:

HP 10C on ebay -- "MadDog ebayCalcnut"

It certainly seems to me that you have mistakenly ascribed some profound meaning to my post, which really was just a comparison of two historical American examples of misbegotten product development -- one famously major and one relatively minor -- to illustrate the consequences of allowing marketing objectives to take precedence over sound engineering. That's all it was -- nothing else.

I hope that some readers will find the Edsel article both interesting and entertaining, although many or most of us were not alive at the time, and I suspect that our European friends wouldn't be able to relate very well.

Quote:
Look at the poem that Hudendai actually put up on his unmentionable auction website "About Me" page

Yes, we're aware of your preoccupation with Hudendai and other eBay sellers of HP's and their business practices. Complaints about those practices, and stupid stuff such as your replies to this thread (the worst one was deleted by someone) is pretty much all you have ever posted here.

-- KS

Edited: 8 Sept 2007, 5:33 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#29

Whatever. Maybe I will go try out what a spice calculator tastes like. Anyone got a spare 31E for me to sautee?

Edited: 8 Sept 2007, 5:57 p.m.

#30

Hi Karl.

Quote:
[...] I hope that some readers will find the Edsel article both interesting and entertaining [...]



Oh, yes, I did! And in fact I've just forwarded the link to my boss, asking him to guess how many "Edsels" we already experienced in our company!

Thank you for your interesting insight.

Best regards.

Giancarlo

#31

Hi, Giancarlo --

Thank you. It's pleasing to see that someone out there -- whose native language is not English, no less -- grasped the true, intended tone of my post. It was part comparison, and part simile.

I rode in an Edsel in the 1990's. It felt like the irresistible force versus the immovable object, which was quite typical of huge American cars in the late 1950's -- nothing like my dad's light, compact 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super.

Here's a link to a photo and brief humorous description of a 1958 Edsel with the um, distinctive grille.

1958 Ford Edsel - TIME

The HP-10C, of course, was certainly much more handsome...

Best regards,

-- KS


Edited: 11 Sept 2007, 11:47 p.m.


#32

Hi Karl.

Thank you for the link to the full Time list of the worst 50 cars of all time :-)

It was very interesting to go through the list, and find the italian unutterable "Fiat Multipla" there!

I fully agree with Time's appraisal: a car that is almost as functional as ugly (I must say that the latest restylings made an almost decent job ;-)

Best regards.

Giancarlo

#33

That poem is actually not too bad. It isn't art, but this HP calculator nut found it mildly entertaining.

Regards,

Howard


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