HP Management Idiots Make *Another* Bad Decision...


Jean-Yves Avenard is one of the principal authors of MetaKernel for the HP48GX and the operating system of the HP49G. While he worked for HP's ACO division he helped supply the official updates to the flash ROM that were available from HP's web site. Since HP closed down ACO (which means JYA lost his job) and stopped releasing upgrades for the 49G, JYA has been providing FREE support for the 49G, including ROM upgrades, from his personal web site. He posted this article today in comp.sys.hp48:

Dear all.

For the past few weeks I've received several inquiries for why my web site
was not accessible anymore.

Well believe it or not my university closed my account due to copyright
infringements after they received a request from HP to close my web site
(they didn't like that I used their logo and distribute the 1.19-5 ROM).

Thank you very much HP for closing what I believe is a very useful source of
information for your own customers...


It's clear that HP management is not only malicious, but stupid as well. This sort of thing is only going to cost them more sales. I, for one, will not buy anything HP has to offer. I don't care if they finally release that "dream calculator" we've all been waiting for. No matter how good their promised new calculators are, I will not buy them and I will encourage everyone I know to avoid buying them (or any other HP product).

If even I, who don't especially *like* the 49G, feel this strongly about the matter, imagine how the fans of the 49G will feel about this betrayal...


As I understand it if you make no attempt to protect your trademarks then you risk loosing them.

I heard some grumblings from a number of HP engineers about a year or two ago about his lack of concern for HP's IP and the legal/business issues that can cause. (Note that all of these people were hired long before Carly - you can't blame her for everything :-)) This was brought up in connection with HP denying some of my more recent requests to use their IP. The general feeling I got was that HP wanted to help people but had issues with some people redistributing things without asking, and other people assuming that if they saw someone doing it on the Internet, then it must be OK and assuming that if it was OK to redistribute "that", then it must be OK to redistribute "this" etc. All of this had caused them to become much more conservative about IP than they had been just a few years earlier.

From that perspective, it seems to me that HP moved slowly on this. It would not surprise me to learn that HP tried to work out something with him before going to the university.

Of course I have no way of knowing and I'm reporting 2nd hand info from people who may have their own axes to grind etc. etc. It sounds to me like it was a "difficult marriage" and a "difficult divorce" so we may never get a single explanation.


How does Greek row fit into all this?

During our college years, weren't the Enron and HP blue-suits the same yahoo's who drank their beer from large aluminum alloy pressurized kegs and majored in business?

I think they had it in for engineers, because engineers were smart enough to use their mind to hold formulas, instead of their stomachs to hold beer.

Some of this is demonstrated in the movies "Revenge of the Nerds".

Except the Nerds won in the movie, which is not the case in real life. In real life the business majors all make $8 million bucks a year and they get to pay the engineers $49,000 a year. Then they discontinue all the engineer's calculator products so that engineer's can't get their work done.... and also, blow up the engineer's work (i.e. 2 out of 5 space shuttles)



Hi Norm,

It is all about being close to the money. We (engineers) are far from the money.

Apparently, it really is that simple.

I also think that many engineers like what they do, and so tend to under-charge....

Oh well, better to live a wise and happy life, rather than a sad and ignorant one.


As I understand it if you make no attempt to protect your trademarks then you risk loosing them.

Kleenex - Xerox have to work very hard at this for obvious reasons.

Maybe HP is coming out with a new unit and they don't want the old 49 to keep them from selling the new unit. I know it sounds like a pipe dream, but it could be another reason why HP did that.


I am beginning to think one of the reasons that calcs aren't as popular anymore is because you can't lock up the software like say a palm unit. No one including HP can make money from software if they can't lock it up.

I think we all know that hardware is a very small amount of the cost of machines these days. Software and services is were the big money is. Look at Microsoft as an example.



that most collectors on this site, forget that HP is running a business and makes decisions based on a business model and not what's best for the few collectors (compared to all the users in the world).

Clearly, he should not have been distributing any ROM data using HP logo or trademark, if he doesn't have HP's permission.

One thing you do not understand about trademark rights. It is incumbent that holders of trademarks, to be vigilent in enforcing the trademark. If HP knew of an infringement and didn't do something about it, they could lose their trademark.

What's so hard to understand about that?

Edited: 14 June 2003, 1:11 a.m.

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