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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Hewlett Packard  HP-9830 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Tuesday 11th January 2011
Jalaluddin Morris (PJ, Selangor, Malaysia)

I worked at the Bureau of Ag. Economics, Canberra and an HP salesman tried to sell us one but unfortunately we never did. He told me that a Brisbane accountant bought one and programmed some accounting work on it, then there was the 1974 flood and his beloved computer was buried under about 20 feet of mud and water. He rang up the salesman and the two of them took it to the accountant''s home, opened it up, flushed out the mud with the garden hose, dried it with the account''s wife''s hair dryer, put it back together and it worked perfectly.

He also told me that some of the calculations to get Apollo13 back safely were done on a 9830 series, but since Apollo 13 began 1970/4/11 and the 9830 came out December 1972 I assume this must have been a NASA "special" prototype.

Sunday 24th April 2016
Glenn Boswell (USA)

My first paid programming job was on a HP9830B with 15k memory and 5MB removable HD platter. I talked the boss to buy this over an IBM 5100 with cartridge tapes only. It was fun with only 36/72 character visual display. Loved it then moved to a Service Bureau with IBM 360 20/50s and RPGII .. :-( Been a fun ride and as I write this on a MBP 16GB 1TB I''m glad I started on a HP9830B :-)

Friday 4th September 2015
Alvin Ginsburg (United States)

I bought one of these at IBM in order to get funding for the IBM 5100. The management didn''t believe you could actually put a computer on a disk, and lo and behold, without a raised floor. So, I bought the HP 9830, a Wang 2200 and an MCM/70. When Dave Slattery a vice president of development told me you couldn''t put a Basic compiler into less than 128k I wheeled one of these machines into his office. I got the funding, a story for another day about politics and bureaucracy.

Thursday 6th January 2011

I want this for Christmas!!!(2011) please with a f***''n cherry on top!

Monday 13rd December 2010
Jim D.

I used this in high school in 1978 or 1979. It was in the dean''s office and was not available for use by the general student population. I felt so special to be able to program it to do silly things like print banners on the thermal printer 9866.

One thing I''m wondering: it had a hard drive next to it which was about 3''x3''x3'' and creaked and groaned whenever it was accessed. Supposedly it had a capacity of 5MB! Anyone know what it might have been?

Sunday 19th September 2010
Kit Richer (Australia)

I first ran across this wonderful unit in 1972 when a group of us engineers tried to get one purchased to replace our only Oliveti Programmer 101. We wern''t allowed access to the mainframe as it was a "Finance" machine not to be contaminated by engineers. We did some great experimentation including using an IBM typwriter to get letter quality output but never bought one for our division (quoted price 5000AUD base unit) but another division bought a few that they kept using until at least early 90s.

Sunday 28th August 2005
R.T.Dickinson (UK)

From around 1975 to 1985 the British company I worked for provided online geological and data monitoring services on ofshore oil rigs using initially HP9821's but moving to HP9830's. Two 9830's were used in each offshore laboratory. One for real time data acquistion and display of of drilling and engineering parameters and the other for running geological and engineering programs offline.

Monday 7th March 2005
E.S. Prins (Canada)

HP-9830: I used this computer in college in 1977-8, and on my first job. I ended up buying one when my company switched to an IBM System/34, a predecessor to the AS/400 (now iSeries), and still have it, though I haven't fired it up for 10 years or so. I remember that the 32-character screen scrolled up to 80 characters of text, and that it could be hooked up to a plotter. At one point, I wrote programs that sorted sales data requiring 8 tapes to be inserted one after another, then 7 tapes, then 6, until all data was sorted. I remember creating a program in 1982 that let me type in running race results, and then print out lists sorted by time, within various age groups. It had an incredibly high-quality keyboard. I remember that the quickest was to store and access programs or files on tape was to create little 'dummy' files inbetween during the cassette tape formatting.

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