Hewlett packard 9100a computer: the pioneer of personal computing

In the fast-paced world of technology, Hewlett Packard has always been at the forefront of innovation. One of their groundbreaking creations was the Hewlett Packard 9100A computer, which played a significant role in shaping the modern technology landscape. In this article, we will explore the history and features of the HP 9100A computer and its impact on the industry.

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When was HP 9100A invented?

The HP 9100A computer was invented in the 1960s, a time when computers were still in their infancy. In fact, the term personal computer was first documented in a 1968 Science magazine ad for the HP 9100A. This was eight years before the term was officially recognized in the Oxford English Dictionary.

hewlett packard 9100 computer - When was HP 9100A invented

The HP 9100A was not your typical personal computer by today's standards. It was a desktop scientific calculator that weighed a hefty 40 pounds. Despite its size and weight, it was a powerful computing device that was ahead of its time.

The Powerful Computing Genie

The HP 9100A was marketed as the powerful computing genie in the aforementioned Science magazine ad. The ad boasted about the device's capabilities, which were impressive for its time. It could perform complex mathematical functions such as logarithms, trigonometry, hyperbolics, coordinate transformations, and even regression analysis. Additionally, it could solve fifth-degree polynomials, Bessel functions, elliptic integrals, and more. All of this was available at the touch of a key.

Hewlett packard: excellence and innovation in technology

Despite its capabilities, the HP 9100A was not targeted towards the average consumer. The ad highlighted its ability to relieve users of waiting to use larger computers, indicating that it was primarily intended for scientific and professional use. With a price tag of $4,900 (USD), it was a significant investment.

You Say Calculator, I Say Computer

Interestingly, the HP 9100A was marketed as a calculator rather than a computer. According to the HP corporate archivist, the decision was made because the perception at the time was that a computer had to be large to be accepted by the market. Calculators, on the other hand, were more likely to be purchased by organizations without requiring top management participation. This allowed HP to sell the 9100A to a wider audience.

One of HP's co-founders, Bill Hewlett, also had a strategic reason for marketing the 9100A as a calculator. He believed that if they had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by their customers' computer experts because it didn't resemble an IBM computer. By labeling it as a calculator, HP was able to overcome this perception and gain acceptance in the market.

The HP 9100A computer was a trailblazer in the world of personal computing. It not only introduced powerful computing capabilities but also challenged the traditional perception of what a computer should look like. HP's decision to market it as a calculator was a strategic move that allowed them to penetrate the market and set the stage for future advancements in personal computing.

The Hewlett Packard 9100A computer played a pivotal role in the history of personal computing. Its introduction in the 1960s paved the way for the development of smaller, more accessible computers that we are familiar with today. Although marketed as a calculator, the HP 9100A showcased the power and potential of personal computing, setting the stage for the technological revolution that would follow.

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