Videos add a lot of life to the museum. Videos provide a record of real movement, sound and action from the time they were produced. The oldest video held at the museum is from 1972; it is film footage of the 2100A minicomputer in use with various HP peripherals. The best clip from this video is on the 2767A printer page. The museum also has over 40 HP TV commercials from the 1980s and 1990s; the oldest of these was filmed in 1981. Please be sure to visit our TV Commercials page to see snippets from some of these classic advertisements.
In addition to TV commercials, HP produced videos for product training, product promotion, event promotion, company visions, company history and many other purposes. A few of those videos are described here.
From the late 1980s through the mid 1990s, HP Australia employed a promotions company to run events and assist in promotions. This company, Epic Events was run by Janet and David Schloeffel. Among it’s many works, Epic Events produced some very creative videos (especially when measured against typical HP standards of the day). These videos were very entertaining and often drew parallels between HP products and historical figures, events and works of art. To many of the uninitiated, it was not always intuitive how the HP LaserJet 5L was like…….Vincent Van Gogh!
A Note on Archiving Old Video Tapes:
Do it now! Like old magnetic computer tapes, old video tapes degrade over time. Some formats are much worse than others:
Betacam - These half-inch cartridge video tapes were used from the early 1980s into the current century. They produce excellent quality output. However, they are also the least stable of the older video tape formats. It is common for tapes older than fifteen years to be unreadable. It is uncommon for tapes older than twenty years to be readable. Frequent head cleaning of the playback machine is often required to obtain an acceptable archive result from an old Betacam tape.
One Inch Reel-To-Reel (Type C) Tapes - Like Betacam, these old tape reels produce outstanding output quality. They were used from the mid-1970s through the 1990s. Unlike Betacam, these old tapes are generally fairly stable. We have found that even thrity year old tapes are usually readable. But, the older a tape is, the more likely it is to cause clogging problem on playback heads, so don't wait too long to convert these tapes to digital format.
Umatic - These 3/4" catridge tapes were used throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These tapes produce much better output than VHS tapes, but not nearly as good as Betacam or Type C tapes. Umatic tapes are also fairly reliable. Thirty year old tapes are usually readable, but tapes older than 35 years can be problematic.
VHS - These common half inch cartridge tapes are fairly robust. This format was commonly used from the late 1970s well into the current century. Most tapes are readable, regardless of age. The output quality of these tapes is fairly mediocre compared to the other formats. Original professional productions were never filmed in this format. Rather, it was used as a low cost playback format.
History and Vision Videos
“1995” was HP’s vision for computing six years from the date of production. This 17-minute video follows the working lives of a few people and highlights how computer technology greatly enhances their productivity. Particularly strong themes are remote teleconferencing, voice recognition and the ease of communication between the computers of different companies. It was also an ad for New Wave. All technologies showcased were currently available in 1989. Like all “vision” videos, this one was very optimistic. As of 2013, the only commonly used technologies highlighted in the video are flat-panel screens, video teleconferencing (Skype) and frequent frowning at high telecom bills.
“HP 50th Birthday”. This 10-minute Australian video is a collection of historic still photos set to music.
“World Class”. This Epic Events video was produced for HP Australia employees. It featured HPA’s new managing director, Bill Hilliard as well as Adrian Wiess, Greg Kershaw and Joanne McKeller. The topic of the 13-minute video was what it meant to be world class and what it took to get there.
“A Look At Selling Tomorrow”. This very-professional HP-corporate video looks like a slick end-user promotion. It is very much a “vision” video, but was produced for HP employees. It highlights how the instant availability of information will affect how customers buy and how much more detailed and refined customer information will affect how companies will sell. Despite HP’s enormous strength in printers at the time, the video (incorrectly) predicted the end of paper in many applications. This 8-minute video used the same laptops and some of the other images that were used in “1995”.
“Synergies”. This HP-corporate video is more commonly remembered as the “Earthquake” video. “Synergies” is a wonderful production that illustrates how computers would assist emergency services workers in the event of a disaster, in this case a Los Angeles earthquake. The most interesting device was a PDA that featured a built in camera, voice recognition, handwriting recognition, video telecommunication and wireless network connection. Run time: 14 minutes.
“Creating The Future”. This 23-minute video was narrated by Joel Birnbaum, head of HP Labs. He discusses HP’s leadership in the evolving measurement, computation and communication world. HP is one of only 3 companies in the world to do all 3 (Siemens and Hitachi being the others). Includes illustrations from previous “vision” videos.
“Magellan”. The museum is looking to acquire a copy of this video. It is a “story illustration” of the measurement, computation and communication theme. Three years later, HP divested the measurement business (Agilent).
“Networked Systems Solutions”. HP networking leadership through measurement, computation and communication. This 9-minute video features Rick Beluzzo, Duane Zitzner, Carolyn Ticknor, Dick Watts and Ann Livermore.
“Creating The Future” was the profile video for HP Australia. It includes video shots of many HPA employees. This 8-minute video was produced by Epic Events. Click here for a 19-second clip featuring HPA employees (6.6 Mb). Click here for a 15-second clip showing Centari Systems (5.6 Mb).
“The HP Way”. This 19-minute video was produced for HP employees early into the Lew Platt era. The video was intended to reinforce the meaning of The HP Way and it’s continuing application at a time when HP beginning to outsource more functions, particularly manufacturing.
“First Global”. This 8-minute video tells the story about how a financial service services company redesigned it’s internal computer system to enable information anywhere to be available to anyone who needed it (unlike most system of then….or now). “First Global” emphasizes one-to-one marketing.
“Self Made in California”. This 22-minute video is an outstanding history of the company. It includes many historic still photos and video. It also includes interviews with industry and other luminaries, including Steve Jobs and Condoleeza Rice.
“Cool Town” is HP lab’s 8-minute vision of the use of computing in the future world. It places great emphasis on the web and the interconnectivity of just about everything to the web. Illustrated applications include: car maintenance, business presentation, education and emergency medical response. Very slick and entertaining.
“Origins” is a 24-minute history of HP, similar to “Self Made in California”. It includes some wonderful old footage of Bill and Dave and of the company. Very well done.
The museum’s collection of product videos is very limited. Many terrific promotional videos were made in the 1980s and 1990s, but we only have a few of them. Please contact us if you know where we might be able to obtain more of these old stories.
9500 test system including 2116 computer. This fifteen minute promotional video describes the use of an HP 9500 test system used in support of operational deployment of Saab Viggen fighter jets. The video includes images of numerous HP rack-mounted instruments as well as a 2116 computer, 2748 paper tape reader and a Teletype machine (however, the disc drive used in the system is not HP). Part number 90030-799. Click here for a 20 second sample. This video was donated by the AEF Historical Arboga Electronics Society.
MasterPlan introduction and training videos. This series of videos is for training users on how computers work as well as training users on MasterPlan software produced by The Australian Software Operation.
HPToday introduction and training videos. These videos introduce HPToday and provide a product demonstration. HPToday was software produced by The Australian Software Operation.
PaintJet Product Training Video – 30 min.
LaserJet IID Hardware Service Training Video – 1 hr 05 min.
LaserJet III promotional video; it includes an introduction to Resolution Enhancement Technology – 8:07 min.
Selling the 48SX Calculator - 9:10 min.
Multi-vendor printer support training video (90365T) - 30:00 min.
Demonstration of JetStream by the Australian Software Operation.
3000 - Mainframe 101: Mainframe Environment. This video is an unscripted presentation by HP 3000 product manager Robert Winter to HP sales people on the positioning of HP 3000 computers against IBM - 1:51:00.
HP 6000 Series Disk Storage Service Training (5960-0157). This video covers products C2200A through C2204A from the soon-to-be jettisoned division - 0:56:00 min.
HP Network (Novell) mass storage system hardware training video (5960-0184) - 55:00 min.
Multi-vendor PC support (90357T). This program was developed by the UK response center - 65:00 min.
Cabling capabilities overview (5124+49A-80003 - 8:00 min.
PaintJet XL300 product introduction video – 9:28 min.
Predictive Support XL (90421TS). This video covers HP 3000 predictive support software - 1:18:00.
LaserJet IIP/IIIP Hardware Service Training Video – 27:00 min.
9000 Series 362/382 Service Training Video (90464T) – 85:00 min.
Selling the LaserJet IIIP, featuring Bill McGlynn, marketing manager of the Boise Printer Division – 24:50 min.
100VG Networking promotional video – 10:10 min.
HP 9000/700i-700rt promotional video - 10:00 min.
HP LaserJet Basic Hardware Training Course (II, IID, III, IIID, IIP) - 50:00 min.
"Driven for Success". USA video promoting the introduction of the LaserJet 4/4M - 13:36 min.
Selling inkjet supplies. This very professional video shows HP lab and manufacturing facilities. It also shows an animated graphic portrayal of how inkjet printheads work - 14:30 min.
DeskJet 1200C product introduction video – 6:20.
LaserJet 4/4M Hardware Service Training Video - 30:30.
Omnibook 300 promotional video (2 guys in a plane) – 6:35.
LaserJet 4P/4MP promotional video. This is an entertaining story of a man who goes into a computer dealer to buy a printer and gets transported into the new HP laser printer – 13:20.
“We’ll Be Right Back”. A very creative promotional video for the LaserJet 4+ amd 4M+. This video incorporates spoofs of TV programs and feature films (including “Terminator II”) – 8:50.
Color LaserJet Hardware Service Training Video – 1 hr 14 min.
LaserJet 4+ and 4M+ Product Introduction Video Video – 14 min.
LaserJet 4V Hardware Service Training Video – 26:30 min.
HP DesignJet Print Quality (DesignJet 750C) – 9:10.
Users stories of DeskJet Portable 310/320 printers - 19:00 min.
The Big Choice. The HP DesignJet 755CM – 5:25 min.
"Behind the Scenes". A very funny introduction video for the DeskJet 400 - 7:40 min.
OmniGo 700LX promotional video – 2:03 min.
DesignJet 330/350C product training – 22:00.
Production, Event and Other Videos
"Stockless Production". Doug McCord narates a video explaining HP Greeley Division's new "pull" manufacturing process (29 minutes).
"Power 90" teleconfernece. This USA teleconference was filmed in late 1989. It announced to the field new HP system product introductions including: 9000/832S, 9000/845S, 9000/645SV, 9000/870, 3000 systems, 6000 mass storage system, 6400 DAT drive, NewWave and other software. Speakers include: Bill Murphy, Bernard Guidon, Al Schallop, Rich Sevik, Bill Walker, Steve Simpson, Gary Lemke and Janice Chaffin.
Vectra PC Manufacturing Quality Documentary. This video illustrates all of the torture tests suffered by Vectra PCs – 2:00. Click here for a 12-second clip showing Vectra burn-in. (4.3 Mb).
“Great Connections”. This HP Europe video promotes the benefits of dealing with a single vendor. It compares the approaches of two MIS managers – Mr Smith and Mr Jones.
"Galaxy". Australian video event promoting Vectra 486, Networking, New Wave, DraftMaster plotters, electrostatic plotters and LaserJet III - 31:00 min.
"Evolution Revolution". Australia production promoting Vectra 486, DraftMaster MX, StarLAN 10, LaserJet IIp and III. Includes Little Johny's New Wave project - 32:00min.
“Blast Ahead in ‘91”. This Australian production was an introduction of opportunity to the upcoming HP fiscal year which was starting during the worst economic downturn since the great depression. Duration 14:20. Click here for a 14-second clip featuring network management. (4.9 Mb).
"A Step-By-Step Guide To Trouble-Free Computing". This video was produced by HP’s PCG Europe and promotes HP PC’s quality, ease of set up, etc – 2:30.
EDI training video (90465T) - 29:00.
"Dreaming of How a Network Could Be". This Australian production shows how HP products can solve all your networking problems. It was produced in conjunction with two 30-second TV ads (for DeskJet 500C and HP networking). Duration 19:20. Click here for an 11-second clip featuring the LaserJet IIIsi. (4.0 Mb). Click here for a 21-second clip featuring New Wave. (7.5 Mb). Click here for a 15-second clip featuring Vectra 486. (5.2 Mb).
“Drug Testing At The 1992 Olympic Games”. This video is primarily a promotion for HP’s chemical analysis business. The video shows controllers for these systems including 300 Series computers – 3:20.
"Step Closer to the Future". Australian production featuring Jamie the robot - 39:00 min.
"The 4th Dimension". Australia production promoting Vectra 486N, 486ST, LaserJet IIIP, DeskJet 550C, DeskJet Portable and LaserJet 4 - 24:00 min.
“Symphony of Printers”. This Australian promotion is an Epic Events creation showcasing the current range of HP printers to a classical music theme. Products featured: ScanJet IICx, LaserJet 4P/4/4Si, DeskJet Portable/500/500C/550C and PaintJet XL300. Run time 13:30. Click here for a 15-second clip featuring the ScanJet IICx. (5.3 Mb).
“Great Impressions” was an Australian traveling road show with HP and six software partners to promote combined solutions. This video is a pitch to HP dealers to get their customers to come along to the seminars. It is hosted by John Bieske, HP’s General Manager of the Computer Products Organisation. Duration 12:00. Click here for a 15-second clip featuring the ScanJet IICx. (5.3 Mb).
“History, The Final Chapter”. This Epic Events creation is a murder mystery (new product introduction event) featuring a number of famous Australian actors and comedians. The new products include: DeskJet 520/560C, Advancestack, Omnibook 430, 100LX, Vectra XP/VL2 and NetServer LF/LM – 11:00. Click here for a 24-second clip featuring the Omnibook 430 and 95LX. (8.4 Mb).
“Movie Show”. Australian movie critic Bill Collins introduces new HP products interspersed with wisecrack clips from classic movies – 10:00. Click here for an 18-second clip featuring Vectra VE and VL. (6.2 Mb).
“The Simple Art of Computing”. This Epic Events production introduces a large range of new HP products drawing comparisons to classic works of art. “Whistler’s Mother” would have had a lot more get-up-and-go with an HP Omnibook. Run time 31:17. Click here for a 12-second clip. (4.2 Mb).
“HP Leading the Way” introduces a wide range of new products, drawing comparisons to sporting events. HP scanners are like basketball players. Duration 20:00. Click here for a 17-second clip featuring HP LaserJets. (5.9 Mb).
Workgroup Computing Solutions - Leading the Field. Australian production - 22:00 min.
Clips from Australian and New Zealand videos are shown with the permission of Hewlett Packard Australia Ltd or Epic Events Pty. Ltd.
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The museum's web site is sponsored by TMG Australia, test and measurement equipment sales, repair and calibration. The HP Computer Museum and Wordsong Communications P/L are not affiliated with the Hewlett Packard Company or with Hewlett Packard Australia Ltd. Hewlett Packard and the HP logo are trademarks of the Hewlett Packard company. This website is intended solely for research and education purposes.