Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins, Colorado, 30th Anniversary

One of many trip reports by Alan Silverstein.
Last update: April 9, 2008

This is an excerpt from email I sent to the local newspaper about the HP Fort Collins site (now Agilent => Avago too) 30th anniversary. They didn't find time to run a story on it though...


I was hired by HP in June 1977. Prior to that, CPD (Calculator Products Division) in Loveland had branched off "Division X" to work on the HP250 small business computer. The new division was renamed FCD (Fort Collins Division) before I arrived, but it still lived in a rented warehouse near Mulberry and I25.

Building 1 on the HP Fort Collins site was completed, and we moved in on Friday, April 7, 1978. Back in those days the janitors, security, and cafeteria people were all HP employees. We rented trucks and moved our own furniture! I remember helping roll it off at the loading dock, and taking it upstairs on the elevator.

Originally building 1 had linoleum floors (now carpeted), there were no raised floors in the machine rooms, and there were no cubicle walls for a while either.

At about 1:30 pm, I rolled one of our HP250s into the "glass cage" (machine room) in 1U southeast, plugged it in, and booted to see how it had survived transport. Of course, HP being big on hardware quality, it woke right up. Years later I confirmed that it was the first HP computer ever booted on this site. (Any computers used for facility support back then were not made by HP.)

Not long after FCD occupied a fraction of Building 1, CPD, now renamed DCD (Desktop Computer Division), moved from Loveland into the rest of the building. FCD was decommissioned a few years later, and its product line went to California.

I was laid off from HP in 2002. Contracted for them for two years, 2004-2006. As of April 2008, I'm contracting for Avago, which now owns the west end of the site. My cubicle today is right next to that same glass cage in "1 Upper"... Life is strange.

By the way, ten years earlier in 1998, I reminded the HP public relations people that the site's 20th anniversary was pending. They considered it and said, "we'll celebrate at 25 years." Well in the meantime, Agilent, Carly, 9/11, and a recession happened, so the celebration in 2003 did not.