HP Handheld Users
Conference 2001

HHC 2001 logo

15-16 September 2001
Chicago, Illinois
Four Points Sheraton Hotel
near O’Hare Airport (ORD)

by Richard Nelson

REVISED: 26 September 2001


What was HHC 2001?

HHC 2001 was the 25th international HP Handheld Conference of users of handheld computers and programmable calculators, especially those made by Hewlett Packard.  The HHC conferences are two-day marathons that are organized by, attended by, funded by, and produced by enthusiasts of handheld programming (“couch hacking”), and are independent of Hewlett Packard and all other companies. Tips, tricks, routines and software are freely shared by all. The Proceedings not only contain the text of the well-prepared talks, but also many other goodies collected during the preceding year.

“Goodies” for all attendees included various door prizes, a CD packed with programs and documents for HP programmable calculators, and many other surprises. One lucky winner went home with the GRAND PRIZE!

What was the Theme of “HHC 2001: A Handheld Odyssey”?

The title of the conference is, of course, a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s landmark film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The time span of the film ranges from pre-history to the near future, with hints of the far future. 

In the same way, the scope of “HHC 2001: A Handheld Odyssey” ranges from early calculation devices, through the history of HP Handheld Calculators, and into the future of handheld computational devices. Papers and presentations were given regarding many things within this rather broad scope. 

Most of the attendees have a long history of working with HP’s programmable RPN calculators.  Some of the people involved in the development of these devices attended and shared their insights and stories. Since many of us have now used HP calculators for more than 25 years, nostalgia for the good old days was the main topic. 

But what of the future? Recent HP calculators have been intended for the educational market, rather than the traditional technical professional market. Should we just stock up in case our favorite machine is discontinued?  Might something new be developed that would appeal to the traditional market? 

The HP49G is the current flagship of the HP calculator line. What is its status? What interesting things have users been doing with it?  How have the ROM upgrades worked out? 

And what about Xpander? This ambitious project was apparently canceled. But the software, which could run on certain Windows CE machines, was made available for a free download. There was an actual Xpander prototype at the conference.

Does ACO really now stand for the Appliance and Calculator Operation? If so, what sort of appliances is HP thinking about?  If memory serves, at the fabled conference in Corvallis in 1981, an HP designer remarked that not many people would not travel across the country to learn more about their toaster. Will we travel to a conference about future HP appliances?

Table of all “HHC” conferences and mini-conferences so far.

Where was HHC 2001?

In Chicago, Illinois, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel near Chicago’s O’Hare Interational Airport (ORD).

When was HHC 2001?


How much did it cost to attend HHC 2001?

Conference & Proceedings: $50 per person at the door.

Four Points Sheraton Hotel: Single or double: $89 per night (Fri-Sun) plus 11.5% tax.

Who was at HHC 2001?

Table of all attendees.

HHC 2001 Organizing Committee
Name City Responsible for
Paul Hubbert Chicago IL Facilities; Finances
Ron Johnson Chicago IL Registration;
Chicago Contact Man
Richard J. Nelson Valencia CA Speakers; Proceedings
Jake Schwartz Cherry Hill NJ Videotaping