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HP Founder Dies at 87

By Seumas in News
Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 01:02:59 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

This story, on Yahoo!, reports on the death of William Hewlett -- a founder of Hewlett-Packard. He died at the age of 87, in his sleep and surrounded by his family. A lot of good people in this field have died in the last three years; not all having the chance to live such a full life and even fewer lucky enough to have the presence of family. Condolences to his family and friends.


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HP Founder Dies at 87 | 31 comments (16 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
HP Funeral? (2.00 / 36) (#2)
by Signal 11 on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 11:22:54 PM EST

Well, if his funeral and burial is anything like how hewlett-packard was run by him...
  • Everyone will have to wait in line to get in to see the casket for about two hours. When asked, they'll reply that there are not enough agents "available to escort you in, but the next available one will be with you shortly."
  • He'll be buried in a casket which is 8 feet long and 4 inches wide - a non-standard and proprietary case-ket.
  • You can't place flowers - you must have a certified funeral parlor agent do it for you, and it'll cost $84.
  • You MUST accept the terms of the Funeral EULA before entering the lobby. If you don't, you can't see the body or attend the funeral.
  • You can't use the flowers you brought in, they're incompatible with the funeral parlor .
  • ...

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
More to Hewlett than HP, though. (4.63 / 11) (#4)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 11:51:01 PM EST

There was more to Hewlett than HP, though. He was an innovator of the time who was not only a prolific philanthropist, but one of the people who changed the tide in management styles (known as the "walk around" method, where you keep in touch with your employees). In fact, HP was one of the first to bring us employee profit-sharing.

In a time when managers were the elite who were seperated from their employees, like royalty from the peasants, Hewlett practiced a style of building relationships with his employees and given them greater roles and input within the company. This isn't a big thing anymore, but it was back then.

For example:

He created one of the first successful radar-jamming systems.

He co-founded (with his wife and sun) the Hewlett Foundation which focuses on "promoting the well-being of mankind" by supporting charitable organizations in education, the environment, performing arts, population and lots of other stuff.

Invented the audio oscillator. This was important enough for the government to employ and for Disney to put to immediate use (heard of Fantasia?).

He helped "launch" Silicon Valley. The garage where he began his company is even a state landmark.

He helped found the Palo Alto - Standord Hospital.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Audio Oscillator (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by Blarney on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 03:04:09 PM EST

He didn't invent the audio oscillator, those were around for a long time before him.

He did, however, invent a reasonably priced, extremely low distortion sine wave oscillator, far superior to anything else.

[ Parent ]
Heh.. (3.00 / 7) (#5)
by CyberQuog on Fri Jan 12, 2001 at 11:52:43 PM EST

I'm almost feel bad for laughing at that :)

[ Parent ]
Bill Hewlett on the "HP Way" (3.77 / 9) (#10)
by gblues on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 01:17:24 AM EST

This is quoted from an official HP pamphlet entitled "The HP Way":

"What is the HP Way? I feel that in general terms it is the policies and actions that flow from the belief that men and women want to do a good job, a creative job, and that if they are provided the proper environment they will do so."

Bill Hewlett, 1982

This attitude in management is a significant part of what has made HP very successful.


... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
Business ethics? Bah. (1.35 / 17) (#17)
by Jin the Wicked on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:01:25 AM EST

Am I supposed to be moved by this? I found out two days ago that the Pavillion I bought is totally incompatible with Linux; that my hard drive has got some intentional geography glitch that with Win98 makes it impossible to partition. I can't install Linux because of something to do with recognizing my monitor, also a specifically HP issue. Oh, and my modem and sound card are both M$ specific. So I'm stuck with Win98 and random freezing all the time, and my mp3s sounding like crap (yeah, it makes them sound like Thomas Edison's original recording of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for some reason). And after having the computer for only 2 months the hard drive crashed and had to be replaced. This is the second one, and it's starting to sound funny, too. It's a 6 month old hard drive. Thanks ALOT, HP.

So the guy died, now we're all supposed to feel bad just because? He had family with him. Good for him, I don't want to hear about it, nor do I care. I wonder if everyone will pretend to be sad like this when Bill Gates dies.

Excuse me, but (4.50 / 6) (#20)
by rednecktek on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:56:55 AM EST

if you didn't do the research on what you were buying before you bought it, that's your problem.

Is it HP's fault your box doesn't run linux? No, they designed it to run WinXX and that's what it runs. If you're having a problem with the OS it was designed to run take it up with the manufacturer or reseller. And next time, do some research before you come here to whine about something you bought.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
[ Parent ]

No, excuse ME...! (1.42 / 7) (#21)
by Jin the Wicked on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 12:21:10 PM EST

I wouldn't be trying to install Linux if they had sold me a hard drive that could run Windows98 without crashing and freezing all the time. I can't fix the problem THEY stuck me with because they also made it impossible to run any other OS. I DID research this thing before I bought it, and HP was supposed to make quality hard drives. Apparently not.

[ Parent ]
HP, drives (3.25 / 4) (#22)
by trhurler on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 06:11:09 PM EST

HP doesn't even make their own drives, you pathetic skidmark. They buy them. You bought a cheap piece of shit that everyone knows is a cheap piece of shit(HP reps even admit their PC business is crap, and that their real business is Unix workstations and printers and so on.) You then complain because it is a cheap piece of shit. That's stupid.

Besides, the man is dead. No, I'm not personally upset by this, but I do wish his family the best, and I empathize with them. I'll say the same thing the day your good buddy Bill Gates dies. You may be too young and/or stupid to realize it, but these are human beings, just like you and your friends and family.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Let me get this striaght (4.00 / 3) (#24)
by ScottW on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:27:10 PM EST

You were having hard drive problems that were serious enough to cause chashes under Windows. Instaed of running a diagionostic, you put Linux on it, and, not surprisingly, ran into the same problems.

Is it too much of a streach for you to relize that maybe, just maybe, your hard drive is failing? Oh, and maybe, just maybe, you should contact the store you bought it from, and have them fix it (or, if you're suffiecently skilled and don't care about the waranty, replace the failing part yourself)?

Bad hardware will cause you problems no matter what you run, or where you got the system (or the parts) from. Weather it's a hard drive that's growing bad sectors, a mainboard with an intermittant short that causes your system to randomly freaze, or some other defective part; linux, windows, or whatever, your computer will still keep crashing untill it's fixed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Down you go, troll...

[ Parent ]

It strikes me as odd... (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by regeya on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 08:04:16 PM EST

...that you know the definition of "pensive" yet don't know to have warranty work done on your machine. Odd, indeed.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Misdirected antagonism (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by xdroop on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 07:39:36 PM EST

I'm sure that Mr. Hewet personally designed your Pavilion so that you would have these problems, just like he is personally responsible for the fact that my 18-month-old J5000 still kicks all my other kit (except for the brand-brand-brand new U220R that arrived this week).
xhost +
[ Parent ]
Bill Hewlett deserves a little more respect. (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by gnomer on Sun Jan 14, 2001 at 03:33:40 PM EST

First of all, Bill Hewlett retired from actively managing HP more than 20 years ago. So blaming him for your Pavilion problems is like blaming Alexander Graham Bell because your cell phone ran out of batteries.

Secondly, (off topic), what kind of idiot do you have to be to buy a Pavilion if you wanted to hack it up and install linux? Maybe you should research whether the components have linux support before you buy a system. Paviliions are not designed to be tinkered with. They are designed for Joe Shmoe mass-consumer who uses it for AOL and MS Word. Besides, if you've got a bum hard-drive, installing linux isn't gonna fix it.

Lastly, why don't you give Bill Hewlett a little bit of credit. He was a visionary engineer who helped create and shape the high-tech industry. He was a great philanthropist. Most importantly, he was a wonderful person. I'd say he was one of the original (and one of the best) geeks. He will be dearly missed.

[ Parent ]
The guy's dead... (2.00 / 8) (#18)
by sl4ck0ff on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:12:45 AM EST

Stop being so insensitive, he meant something to a lot of people. And he's fucking dead, so lay off. ;)
/me has returned to slacking
Re: The guy's dead... (2.00 / 2) (#19)
by Jin the Wicked on Sat Jan 13, 2001 at 11:45:40 AM EST

Being dead does not excuse the fact that his company took it up the backside from M$ and wasted 600$ of my hard-earned money purely for the sake of profit. That is almost a month of pay for me. That means I spent 160 hours of my life for this machine which does not even work properly. I refuse to ignore that kind of behaviour, regardless.

[ Parent ]
Clueless. (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by Jack In The Green on Mon Jan 15, 2001 at 09:04:34 AM EST

You really are clueless, aren't you? You're attitude is typical of the kind of sarcastic uninformed crap that was posted on /. about Bill Hewlett.

What part of Bill Hewlett has been retired for 20 years do you not understand? He has nothing to do with your misfortunes with your Pavillion (which sound like a bad hard drive coupled with your thick-headedness).

Bill deserves respect. Do you work fluxtime? You can thank Bill & Dave for that one. Do you work in an environment where you don't have to wear a stuffy suit and answer "yes sir, no sir" to your boss? Again, thank Bill & Dave. In a world dominated by stuffy IBM management, the HP Way redefined everything and paved the way for a much more relaxed environment that most of us enjoy in the high-tech world. Bill & Dave were true innovators, a real success story. In fact, they showed you can be a success in high-tech WITHOUT claiming an evil monopoly (unlike Microsoft).

So you don't like HP's new alliances with Microsoft, then? Why not do some research on that...you'll find that HP's weird decisions with respect to NT (including the ill-fated statement that they were going to "drop HPUX in favour of NT") all originate with one person: Rick Belluzzo. Does that name ring any bells? It should...he's the same guy that almost destroyed SGI with his "pro-NT, pro-Microsoft" policies, who then JUMPED SHIP from a dying SGI to join Microsoft.

Any company can have a bad exec or two. That's no reason to paint the entire company as evil. HP took a bath with their NT/Itanium gambit, and they are paying for it. That doesn't affect the works of Bill and Dave, who started the company and revolutionized the industry. As someone who once worked for HP, I can honestly say that HP set the standard for what I expect in a workplace...mutual respect, laid back atmosphere, patience and real incentives to do a good job. HP treats their employees very well, all these decades after the "HP Way" was first coined.

Rest in peace, Bill & Dave. Those of use that remember thank you for what you have done.

[ Parent ]

HP Founder Dies at 87 | 31 comments (16 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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