HHC2008 HP Handheld Conference in September


Hi All,

As Joe Horn puts it in comp.sys.hp48:


This year's Annual International Conference of HP Handheld Users (HHC 2008) will be held in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, on the weekend of September 27-28. Corvallis is where most of the "classic" HP
calculators were made, and is still the home of many of the "big
names" in HP history. We're expecting an exceptionally large turnout this year. It'll be during a busy time if the year (Corvallis is the home of the state university) so register early before the hotel fills up.

Further details appear on the ever-expanding official HHC 2008




The HHC2007 Commemorative Calendar lists HHC2008 on the weekend before this one, but due to unforeseen circumstances at the time, it had to move to the weekend after.

Jake Schwartz


First time in my life I'll be over Oregon this year, but weeks earlier . Sorry, no chance :(


If at all possible I will be there!

Cheers, Geoff

Edited: 28 May 2008, 5:53 p.m.


In San Jose, there was a trip to the HP garage.
Can we make a pilgrimage to Hillsboro and the HP museum?
BYOB of course.

This year will be very convenient for Dave, since there is not yet a no-drive list.


Well, it is just a house in the real world. It looks much more museum-like on the web. ;-) Only some of the calculators are on display at any moment in the house so you would probably be disappointed. That's not to say that a few people couldn't visit but I wouldn't want a busload of people with high expectations.


. . . I wouldn't want a busload of people with high expectations.

What about a van-load of people with expectations of getting high?

(Ooops! Wrong era.)


Correct state however. Gives "Roll Up" an entirely different meaning.

Edited: 30 May 2008, 4:12 p.m.


Can we make a pilgrimage to Hillsboro and the HP museum?

Heck, I LIVE in Hillsboro and still haven't seen Dave's collection! :-) Actually, Dave's reply is consistent with what he told me.. the collection is kind of spread around in different locations. Remember those crates in the warehouse at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie? Yep, that's right.. Dave's HP calculators. ;-)

Corvallis is a great location for me. Nice ride down on the motorcycle (80 miles) at the end of summer to see good friends at HP's facilities where most of our most beloved calcs were born.. Sounds perfect!


Edited: 30 May 2008, 2:25 p.m.


Well Matt, just between you and me: the secret plan is that by plying him with enough microbrews (and whatever Paul brings along) - we can get Dave to light off one of his BIG rockets. With all these geniuses around here, someone ought to be able to hit the local T.I. warehouse.


we can get Dave to light off one of his BIG rockets.

Does Homeland Security know about THAT!


Hi Dave,

Since Dave Hicks' twin from the evil parallel universe has been released (and it's been a while since that happened), maybe homeland is focusing it's energy at bigger fish in the evil parallel universe.

A special trip to Hicks' pad Saturday night would be a nice pilgrimage to the curator of our most beloved virtual museum.



Is this conference going to include another of those sessions with HP that require signing an NDA?


More than likely. Most people who attend these conferences want to hear things directly from the source.

That requires an NDA. My own company won't discuss things that haven't been made public yet without requiring an Non-disclosure-agreement. HP is no different.

So, Wayne, you have four choices that I see...

1) Don't come to the conference again because of this...

2) Come to the conference, but pitch a fit when the attendees are asked to sign the NDA and cause grief and stress to the attendees who are more than willing to sign the agreement for a chance to hear what is going on and ask detailed questions and receive (sometimes) detailed answers.

3) Come to the conference and leave the room / facility during the NDA related material presentation.

4) Come to the conference, sign the agreement like the 80 attendees did last year in San Diego, and enjoy yourself.

Personally... I really hope it is #4. Be good to see you.


I'll take choice #1.


Then we all lose.

You lose because you don't get a chance to meet the current HP team, ask your questions and find out things you'll end up reading about months later.

We lose because we don't get to meet you and know you personally.



All I'll be sorry to miss is the opportunity to meet some of the people I've gotten to know here and on comp.sys.hp48, and the chance to see and discuss some of the old HP calcs in person. It's unlikely that anything the current HP team has to say would interest me.

The key issue is that I refuse to meet with official HP representatives in any venue that allows them to set conditions or exert control over the proceedings in any way.


It seems to me the only control/conditions HP requires is that any thing said by them in the meeting won't be divulged to non attendees. I dont don't get your point.

Charlie O. - gettin' older n stupider


I really don't want to get into a big discussion over this; I've made my position plain in past years and don't want to keep repeating it. All I wanted was a simple answer to a simple question. But, as succinctly as I can put it:

I believe HP is guilty of a massive betrayal of its customers (and not just its calculator customers, either) over a period of years. Unless/until they issue a formal public apology for, essentially, doing nearly everything wrong for the past decade or so, I don't want to attend any meeting where they're received as "honored guests." Their attitude should be, "Please, we know we don't deserve to be here, but we're begging you, please let us attend." And the answer should be, "OK, you're invited, but you'd better be on your best behavior; and at the first sign of anything other than total and unconditional cooperation, we're throwing you out!"

Personally, I'd prefer HP simply was banned from attending at all, under any circumstances, until the aforementioned public apology was offered.


Since they are a publicly traded company and as such, their first responsibility is to their shareholders, just how did they perpetrate a "massive betrayal of its customers"?


Their first responsiblity -- the only important one, as far as I'm concerned -- is to the legacy and memory of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.

As for the betrayal of that responsibility, here are the top examples (in my opinion):

(1) Abandoning the "HP Way" management style of Bill & Dave

(2) Kicking Walter Hewlett off the BoD

(3) Pretty much every calculator they introduced after the HP48GX

(4) Discontinuing the HP3000 minicomputer series (an especially egregious betrayal)

and many others.


1) The BoD wanted to change the culture, they got Carly. I was told by an ex-HP'er she took down Bill and Daves portaits on Page Mill road and hung up hers. Yes, she changed the culture. For awhile. Then it was ding dong, the witch is gone. Some HP'ers openly wept with joy, some much so that someone drew a full goatee on her portrait when her departure was announced. The board learned their lesson. Enter Mr. Hurd, who is walking around and learning. Checked their stock price lately?

2) That's politics.

3) Tough market with razor thin margins. Not what interests HP in general. See #4.

4) Bill and Dave would have been the first in line to kill any product that didn't make good margins. A dinosaur is dinosaur any way you look at it. The market for minis evaporated. Poof. It's gone. No matter what you do, you cannot create market share for a product, no matter how good, when there is no market for that class of products.

Perhaps you should smash up all your HP calculators, buy a TI and move on? Seems logical to me with what you've said.


I said I didn't want to get into a big discussion on this, and yet I've let myself get drawn into one. I shouldn't have taken the bait from Gene's reply to my original question. So this will be my last word on the subject:

In the '80s, Hewlett-Packard was widely criticized by business analysts and marketing specialists for being run more like an engineer's playground than like a serious business. That's the time (and the reason) I fell in love with HP. If they ever again have (and merit) such a reputation, I'll be ready to give them another chance. Until then, I want nothing more to do with them (other than continuing to use their older products, made back when they knew what they were doing).


Wayne, it seems that you're thinking of HP like it's a single person. I don't think anyone who comes to HHC from HP had anything at all to do with any of the things you listed. I don't even think some of them worked there then. HHC is a fun geek-fest where you can learn stuff like the square root of i and how to blow up a power station with a 5 ohm squirrel. All the NDA does it let some HP guys reveal a few future plans to their fellow geeks. The NDA does not require honoring people and the HP people have always behaved themselves to my knowledge. ;-)


Wayne, all I can offer is the perspective of a person who attended last year's event for the first time. It was a joy to meet many of the folks face-to-face whom I have only "met" electronically through this forum. What a great bunch of geeks! From the informal discussions in the hotel lobby, to the presentations, to the programming contest (which kept many of us up until 3 AM, I'm sure), it was a class act all the way. And HP's support for this event was second to none, in my experience. Those who attended saw firsthand that HP is committed to making their products meet (at least some of) the needs of geeks like us. I am really pleased with their offerings of the past year (especially the 35s and updated 17bii+), and I am looking forward to even greater things from them in the future.

I guess I can understand why some may yearn for the HP quality of old, and I do too. But the way to influence future products is to participate. People like Richard and Jake and Gene worked extremely hard to organize and facilitate last year's event, and it showed. Thanks to them, and to HP. Signing the NDA was a very small price to pay compared to what we learned last year.


Obviously you're entitled to your opinion, but as much as you may dislike actions HP has taken in recent years, they don't owe you or the public any apology, and by expecting one and refusing to participate in the HHC conferences if you don't get it, you are only hurting yourself.

When you don't like the way a company treats you as a customer, and you can't get them to correct the issue to your satisfaction, the answer is to vote with your wallet. If you have a problem with HP, whether with their products or their business practices, buy a different brand instead. Expecting a public apology is just tilting at windmills.


Hi Wayne,

I have some sympathy with your position but there is a big difference between an apology and humiliation. The HP team acknowledged their mistakes long ago under Fred Valdez - it was one of the first things he did when in charge.

It's time to forgive and move on. Please come to the conference.


Meeting friends is a good reason to attend any conference.

But why would consumers spend money and time for this

...find out things you'll end up reading about months later.


Isn't it completely irrelevant at what time and date I learn about facts that I can not change? Am I just not geek enough to understand?


If you ask the question, then you may not be the true calculator geek some of the rest of the group is.

Why do some Apple people fly out to San Francisco for MacWorld to see products moments after they are announced and walk through convention halls full of product exhibits? Have these people never heard of Frys or Best Buy or the internet? :-)

Of course they have, but there is a certain joy about seeing things first hand, there is a certain joy to many calculator nuts in hearing about things that might require an NDA.

After all, I would have loved to have heard about the HP 41c 6 months early and to this day, I envy Richard Nelson because he had a 41c for months before I did.

That aspect of these HHC gatherings is not the primary reason to attend, but it is another reason and motivator for many people.

Hope to see everyone there.

And, I for one would really like to meet George Bailey from Bedford Falls! :-)


If you ask the question, then you may not be the true calculator geek some of the rest of the group is.

Sorry to say: you're absolutely right. If I could walk down a few blocks and it was for free...I'd come! Nevertheless, I wish you all the fun that you long for!!!

And, I for one would really like to meet George Bailey from Bedford Falls! :-)

Maybe if Clarence could fly me over... ;-) But I constantly need to look after the guys at the Savings & Loan...


And, to make sure... I really should have put a big :-) after that quote about "true calculator geek".

George, you're one of us... honest!


Of course they have, but there is a certain joy about seeing things first hand, there is a certain joy to many calculator nuts in hearing about things that might require an NDA.

Plus you get to react to their future plans at a time when that reaction has a better chance of being heard. (All other things being equal.)

For example, it seems to me that the suggestions presented by Richard and Wlodek at HHC 2006 were listened to in the design of the 35s. They haven't brought back the 42s yet, so it appears they didn't listen quite as closely to me - go figure. :)



What's wrong with option 3? You'd get all of the benefits of the conference other than learning secret stuff under NDA. That's what I'd do if I had a conflict of interest that prevented me from signing the NDA, or some other reason I didn't want to sign it.


Please see my reply to Charles Oxford above. I think it answers your question.



It's a free country ... we certainly would love to welcome each and all members/visitors of this web site to the HHC conferences. If you can attend, great! If not, you miss out big time on the an unmatchable fellowship. My wife calls the HHC meetings (in a loving way) Geek Fest. She said where we (mostly) guys come together and play with our toys. This fun that I have mingling with the attendees is a match to none.

The NDA is a small measure where HP can share with us without the competition getting wind of what HP is doing. This is especially critical now that HP has limited resources for the calculators division and seems to give this division another chance. We want to see the HP Calculators division flourish again and maybe, just maybe, have enough resources to bring back one or two old vintage models. This will NOT happen if we open our big mouths and share left and right about upcoming projects.


Edited: 29 May 2008, 4:41 p.m.


I back up Wayne Brown; to me it's all nostalgy. Today's HP calc whatever is a joke vide the HP35S...


I'm thinking of going. I've never been to an HHC before and it sounds like a great way to put some faces to the names I see here. If my wife signs off on it, I'll be there.

Question: I went to your link and under "How ...do I register to attend?" it says it's under construction. When will you be open for business?

I'm all excited!



I went to your link and under "How ...do I register to attend?" it says it's under construction. When will you be open for business?

Oops! That was a rather embarrassing oversight. <blush>

It's properly uploaded now. Thanks for catching that!



Thanks Joe.

I have made my Holiday Inn reservation and registered for the conference.


See you all there in September.




Thanks for the announcement. I just booked my flight, car rental, AND hotel for the HHC2008.

See you all there!!!


Edited: 29 May 2008, 1:40 p.m.


Hi Namir,

Which airport (of the several small ones shown on Google Maps) is the "proper" airport?

I ask because Joe's site lacks this minor detail so far and he could cut and paste your answer. :-)


Hi Bruce,

I am flying to Portland since I was able to use Delta Skymiles to reach Portland. I decided that renting a car gives me more control over traveling between Portland and Corvallis, and the ability to easily move between the hotel and HP's office as well as various restaurants and other points of interest.



Wonderful! I had such a good time last year, I'll be sure to attend this year as well!


Just booked my flight to Portland, OR.
Wonderful to see you guys again!
Hope to demo some new TI toys ;-))




That will be a hoot to see you show new TI calculators, I am definitely sitting next to you.


Edited: 7 June 2008, 6:12 p.m.

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