Q: Where was HHC 2008?
A: At the HP facility in Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is not only the home of the Oregon State University, it is also the Valhalla of HP calculators. The late great Australian PPC member John McGechie even called it “Corvalhalla” in his delightful HP Calculator newsletters. Back when all HP calculators said “Made in USA,” they came from one huge HP calculator factory in Corvallis which made the entire product, even the integrated circuits! Employing over 1000 people, the Calculator Division was one of the largest employers in Corvallis.
Corvallis was the location of the HHC conferences in 1981, 1988, and 1991. Those conferences were held at the university, and HP gave us memorable tours of the Calculator Division facility. For a while, the assembly lines were operated by HP-71B calculators, via HP-IL! A highlight of the tour was a reverent pilgimage to the Wall of Fame: a long hallway lined with framed tributes to each of the calculator models produced in Corvallis, as well as the earlier models. It was literally the very definition of Valhalla: “the hall into which the souls of heroes who have died bravely are received.”
This year, by special arrangement, the conference will take place not at the university, but in a meeting room in the HP facility itself! This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It certainly warms the hearts of all us HP calculator old-timers.
Due to its long involvement with HP, many of the “big names” in HP Calculator History still live in Corvallis. We hope to meet many of them at HHC 2008, and hear their stories of “The HP Way” back in the day.
• “Traveling from Eugene to Corvallis” by Richard Nelson
• “Traveling from Portland to Corvallis” by Richard Nelson