HP 300

The HP 300 ("Amigo") computer was produced by Hewlett-Packard, circa 1978. Pictures taken in 2000.

Among other innovations, the HP 300 was apparently the genesis of HP's patent on screen-labelled function keys, which has reported generated some income for HP over the years.

Click on any photo to see a larger version.

These photos (DSCN0337.JPG, DSCN0338.JPG, DSCN0339.JPG, DSCN0340.JPG, DSCN0341.JPG, DSCN0342.JPG, DSCN0343.JPG, DSCN0346.JPG, DSCN0345.JPG and their thumbnail versions (same name with "thumb_" prefix)) are Copyright (c) 2000 Stan Sieler. Copyleft: this work of art is free, you can redistribute it and/or modify it according to terms of the Free Art license. You will find a specimen of this license on the site Copyleft Attitude http://artlibre.org as well as on other sites.

Ramblings about the HP 300 ("Amigo")...

It had a number of interesting features, some of which we still don't have in modern computers (e.g., spelling corrector for user entered commands) ... but it was a marketing failure.

The HP 300 competed with the HP 250, released at about the same time from another division of HP. The HP 300 marketing people gave little thought to the question of data backup, unlike the HP 250 people. The result was a weak recommendation of "buy another disk drive and copy your data onto it". The performance was also verrrry slow.

The computer was quite easy to use. I encountered one at HP in June of 1979 ... it was sitting alone, unused and unwanted, in a hallway in building 47 of HP Cupertino. With no manuals and no assistance, I figured out how to start it, create a small BASIC program, compile it, and run it ... it was very easy, but I remember that the compilation and running of the BASIC program was excruciatingly slow.

I was lucky enough to acquire most of an HP 300, although not in operating condition, and still hope to find an operating HP 300.

Note: the HP 9000/300 (sometimes called the "HP 300 series") has no relationship to the HP 300. Also, the "HP 300" printer (sigh, thanks, HP) has no relationship to the HP 300 other than a callous reusing of the model number.