The museum is managed by Jon Johnston. I had my first experience with HP computers at Stanford University in 1980. We used brand new HP-85 computers in thermodynamics lab. A lot of my colleagues also bought HP-41 calculators when they first came out. Wow, talk about an unfair advantage! I could only afford a second hand TI-51.
My first real job out of college was with HP in San Diego in 1983 (I had worked as a gemstone cutter during the summers while in college). I was a regional support engineer (factory-based) for parts of the US and Asia Pacific. I got the job through my college dorm mate - Todd Sullivan. He had gotten his job through another dorm mate – Suzanne Tylka. At various stages, we each ended up working for my college fraternity residence assistant – Mick O’Rourke. We all had a terrific time working for HP. The environment was challenging and rewarding; the San Diego Division was very successful (SDD made pen plotters).
I moved with HP to Australia in 1989 as the market development manager for the Peripherals Group. This job was also a lot of fun and I worked with a great group of people. I started my own HP integration business in 1992 (Centari Systems) based in Melbourne. Over the next six years, Todd, Mick and Suzanne joined as partners in the business, each managing a different state. Our company became the largest HP commercial dealer in Australia by the end of the 1990s. HP was a great company to do business with. The company treated its business partners as ethically as it treated its customers and employees.
I started collecting old HP computers in the mid-1990s. These machines came from my customers who were retiring them. It seemed like such a shame to throw away this old equipment, even though it had no commercial value. I also began acquiring items from HP employees, ex-HP employees and on the internet. We sold our business in 2002, and I began developing the museum.
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