Hewlett-Packard Co. (Cupertino, Calif.)

HP is one of the world’s leading producers of microcomputers, but it missed its first opportunity. Steve Wozniak was an HP employee when he and Steve Jobs developed the Apple I. Wozniak asked HP if it would like to sell the Apple I. The company declined and did not produce its own micro until 1979 with the 80 series. (HP produced the 9800 series of desktop calculators starting in 1971 that had micro-like features, but were not true micros.)

The 80 series systems were favorites of engineers. In mid-1983, B versions of the HP-85 and HP-86 were introduced. The HP-85B had an improved operating system, more memory, solid state storage (HP called it an “electronic disk”), and integrated ROMs. The HP-86B also offered an “electronic disk,” plus a 12-inch monitor and 3.5-inch floppy disk drive as standard. In terms of value, look for systems with working tape drives and printers, and the more working ROM cartridges, the better.

The HP-87XM replaced the HP-87 shortly after the latter was introduced. It added an IEEE-488 port and greater memory capacity.

The HP-125 is a larger version of the HP-120. Both could be configured as data terminals. One of the Z80As serves as the CPU, and the other handles video functions. HP later offered a 12-inch monitor option.

The Series 200 Model 16 was the first 16-bit microcomputer that HP produced. CP/M-68K did not become available for the Model 16 until July 1983.

HP received a great deal of attention for the HP 150, which was the first microcomputer to use a touchscreen. To make this possible, HP engineers had to develop innovative ways to reduce the cost and size of the technology. The touchscreen had ease-of-use advantages, but required software to be adapted for it. Relatively few applications were, which limited the appeal of the HP 150.

The HP 150’s form factor was a bit unusual as well. The small (for a desktop) CRT display was only 9 inches and held the main processor board. It sat atop the disk drive unit. HP’s reasoning for the design was that it minimized the footprint the system occupied on the desk. They traded screen size for higher resolution.

A PC-compatible offering from HP was inevitable, and the company’s Vectra line was above average in terms of quality and performance. HP eventually offered the Vectra with a 12MHz 80286.

HP made a couple of interesting portable computers. The Integral Personal Computer had a built-in Thinkjet printer and was often used for instrument control and data acquisition applications. Its operating system was a Unix variant–an uncommon choice for a portable computer. HP’s code-name for the Integral during development was ‘Pisces.’

Although HP’s earlier portables were well-received by engineers and other technical users, the company did not have broad success with portables until it introduced the HP 110 laptop. It offered good performance in a small but practical package. Some Hewlett-Packard literature referred to the 110 as simply The Portable. In 1985, a Plus version of the 110 was introduced with greater RAM and ROM capacity and improved graphics resolution.

Hewlett-Packard HP-83 (1979, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $2,250
Base Configuration: custom CPU, 16K RAM (32K max), integral 5-inch monochrome CRT, integral keyboard/keypad
Video: 16-line x 32-column text, 256 x 192 graphics

Hewlett-Packard HP-85/HP-85A (desktop)
Original Retail Price: $3,250 (HP-85)
Base Configuration: custom CPU, four ROM drawers, 16K RAM (80K max), 32K ROM, magnetic tape drive, integral 5-inch monochrome CRT, integral keyboard/keypad, integral printer
Video: 16-line x 32-column text, 256 x 192 graphics
Size/Weight: 6.3 x 16.5 x 17.8 inches, 37 lbs.
Important Options: RS-232C, parallel, GPIO, HP-IL, BCD, and HP-IB interfaces

Hewlett-Packard HP-86/HP86A (July 1982, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $1,795
Base Configuration: custom CPU, four ROM drawers, 64K RAM (576K max), 48K ROM, integral keyboard/keypad, HP BASIC
Video: 24-line x 80-column text, 544 x 240 graphics
Size/Weight: 5 x 16.5 x 17.8 inches, 31 lbs.
Important Options: CP/M; 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; 9-inch HP 82912A or 12-inch HP 82913A monochrome monitor; RS-232C, parallel, GP-IO, and BCD interfaces; HP 82905B printer; HP 7470 plotter, modem

Hewlett-Packard HP-87 (March 1982, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $2,995
Base Configuration: custom CPU, four ROM drawers, 32K RAM (640K max), 48K ROM, integral monochrome CRT, integral keyboard/keypad, HP-IB port, HP BASIC
Video: 24-line x 80-column text, 544 x 240 graphics
Size/Weight: 7.7 x 16.5 x 17.8 inches, 39 lbs.
Important Options: CP/M; external dual 5.25-inch floppy disk drives; HP 9135 hard/floppy disk drive subsystem; 9- or 13-inch monochrome monitor; RS-232C, parallel, GP-IO, and BCD interfaces; HP 82905B printer; HP 7470 plotter, modem

Hewlett-Packard HP 120/HP 125 (Nov. 1982 [HP 120]/1981 [HP 125], desktop)
Original Retail Price: $2,775 (HP 120)/$2,790 (HP 125)
Base Configuration: two 3.68MHz Z80A CPUs, CP/M, 64K RAM, 32K ROM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 9-inch monochrome monitor, keyboard/keypad, two RS-232C and one IEEE-488 port, three-volume manual set
Video: 24-line x 80-column text
Size/Weight: 15 x 18.7 x 17.3 inches, 39 lbs. (HP 125)
Important Options: second 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 5.25- or 8-inch floppy disk drive, 5MB hard disk drive, HP 2602A or HP 7470A plotter, integral thermal printer (HP 125)

Hewlett-Packard Series 200 Model 16 (Nov. 1982, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $3,650
Base Configuration: 8MHz 68000 CPU, 128K RAM (768K max), 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 9-inch monochrome monitor, keyboard with integral trackball, RS-232C and HP-IB ports, HP Enhanced BASIC
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, 400 x 300 graphics
Important Options: Unix or CP/M-68K; second 3.5-inch floppy disk drive; 4.6MB hard disk drive; BASIC, Pascal, or HPL

Hewlett-Packard HP 150 (1983, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,995
Base Configuration: 8MHz 8088 CPU, MS-DOS 2.0, 256K RAM (640K max), 160K ROM, two 3.5-inch floppy disk drives, 9-inch HPTouch monochrome monitor, keyboard/keypad, two RS-232C and one HP-IB port, Personal Application Manager, BASIC86
Video: 27-line x 80-column text, 512 x 390 graphics
Important Options: 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, 5- or 15MB hard disk drive, integral thermal printer, external printer, plotter, 3270 terminal emulator

Hewlett-Packard Touchscreen II Personal Computer (1985, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,545 to $5,570
Base Configuration: 8MHz 8088 CPU; MS-DOS 2.11 with Personal Applications Manager; 256K RAM (640K max), 160K ROM; two 3.5-inch floppy disk drives; 12-inch monochrome monitor; RS-232C, RS-232C/422, parallel, and HP-HIL ports; HP 2623 terminal emulation
Video: 27-line x 80-column text
Important Options: 10- or 20MB hard disk drive, touchscreen monitor, mouse, graphics tablet, VT100 or 3276/3278 terminal emulation

Hewlett-Packard Vectra PC (1985, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,199 to $3,599
Base Configuration: 8MHz 80286 CPU; MS-DOS 3.1; seven ISA slots; 256K RAM (640K max); 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; keyboard/keypad; serial, parallel, and HP-IL slots
Video: CGA Size/Weight: 16.7 x 15.4 x 6.3 inches
Important Options: second 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 20- or 40MB hard disk drive, monochrome or color monitor, composite or EGA card

Hewlett-Packard HP Portable Vectra CS Personal Computer (transportable PC)
Base Configuration: 7.16MHz 8086 CPU, MS-DOS 3.2, four expansion slots, 640K RAM (6MB max), 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, monitor port, 12-inch monochrome LCD, integral keyboard/keypad, Personal Application Manager, battery pack, AC adapter, charger
Video: 80-column text
Size/Weight: 16.5 x 13.9 x 3.5 inches, 17.6 lbs.
Important Options: second 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 20MB hard disk drive

Hewlett-Packard Integral Personal Computer (March 1985, transportable PC)
Original Retail Price: $4,995
Base Configuration: 8MHz 68000 CPU, HP-UX/RO in ROM, 512K RAM (1.5MB max), 256K ROM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 9-inch monochrome ELD, keyboard/keypad, two HP-IB and two HP-HIL ports, HP Windows, integral Thinkjet printer
Video: 80-column text, 512 x 255 graphics
Size/Weight: 7 x 13 x 16, 25 lbs.
Important Options: 55MB hard disk drive; mouse; RS-232C, BCD, and GPIO interfaces; carrying case, modem

Hewlett-Packard HP 110 “The Portable” (May 1984, laptop PC)
Original Retail Price: $2,995
Base Configuration: 5.44MHz 80C86, MS-DOS 2.01, 272K RAM, 384K ROM, monochrome LCD, integral keyboard, RS-232C and HP-IL ports, Lotus 1-2-3 and MemoMaker in ROM, carrying case, internal modem, owner’s and software manuals, AC adapter, lead-acid batteries, battery charger
Video: 16-line x 80-column text, 480 x 128 graphics
Size/Weight: 13 x 10 x 3 inches, 9 lbs.
Important Options: HP 911A 3.5-inch external floppy disk drive, HP 2225B printer, leather carrying case

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: