HP Calculator History


This interview with Tom Osborne was posted recently on an Electronics Design website:


Interesting perspectives from someone who was there at the start!


Yup. Scroll down the page a little and you will find this discussion:




Thanks for noticing the interview. Please note that EDN definitely does not and never did stand for "Electronics Design." There's a story there, but it's not an HP sort of story.

Steve Leibson


As a subscriber to the print edition of EDN, I must ask: what does it stand for? I (incorrectly it seems) assumed it stood for "Electronic Design News".


EDN was started in 1956 as "Electrical Design News." The magazine "Electronic Design" was started a couple of years earlier and Rogers Publications wanted to avoid a lawsuit when it named the magazine. Around 1960, the magazine's Texas sales rep was trying to sell ad space to Texas Instruments, one of the leading up-and-coming vendors of that new, space-age device: the transistor. The ad buyer behind the desk at TI leaned back, took a puff of his cigar, and said "Hell. TI don't advertise in no 'lectrical book." End of "Electrical Design News." Start of EDN.

Edited: 28 Feb 2008, 5:59 p.m.


Steve, I started getting the magazine about 20 years ago, and wish I had kept one issue from every second year or so. I would be very interested in seeing a few issues from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Are there any scanned and put online we could look up?

wilsonmineszdslextremezcom (replace the z's with @ and . )


Back when I actually worked for EDN in Boston, we had bound copies of back issues all the way back to 1956. Unfortunately, I think those may have been since discarded. The Martin Luther King Library archive room in downtown San Jose has back issues to 1974, which includes early microprocessor coverage. The archives also include Electronics Magazine going way, way back to the 1930s. Many other big town public libraries will also have bound archived volumes of EDN as will big university libraries. At one point, when I was editor in chief, I shot 35mm slides of all EDN magazine covers from 1956 to 1996, but I've never digitized them. I got EDN back issues onto the Web in 1995 as a skunkworks project (and caught hell from upper management at the time) but we only went back to 1989 in that project because there wasn't any real funding. I don't think they've gone back further in time since then and I don't expect they will. EDN did a 50th annoversary issue a couple of years ago in September. You might enjoy that.

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