August 19, 2006
BILL & DAVE’S EXCELLENT (SILICON VALLEY) ADVENTURE:
IMAGE OF HP FOUNDERS TOURS BAY AREA BUT IS REBUFFED AT ‘HOME’
Nicole C. Wong
San Jose Mercury News
A life-size cutout of Bill Hewlett and David Packard is popping in to Silicon Valley homes and offices these days, but they’ve had trouble getting in the door at one place — Hewlett-Packard headquarters.
The painted cutout of HP’s co-founders, created as part of the weeklong ZeroOne art/technology festival, have been picked up, dropped off and photographed in locations all over the Bay Area, from Foothill College to the Willow Glen Coffee Roasting Company and, now, to Sun Microsystems.
The goal of artist Julie Newdoll: to see if people would help the “hitchhikers” get home — and watch what adventures they encountered along the way.
It hasn’t quite worked out for Hewlett and Packard, who were headed to the lobby of HP’s Palo Alto headquarters.
The duo’s journey started in a San Jose strip-mall parking lot Aug. 5. With Packard’s thumb pointed toward the sky, the pair caught the eye and imagination of passerby Jim Maurer, who drove them in his PT Cruiser to the Computer History Museum.
The cutout has GPS cell phones strapped to the figures’ backs that relay their real-time locations, which are plotted on a Google map at www.ylem.org/Hitchhikers/HandP.html.
Photos on that site suggest that the duo have been enjoying themselves. Before arriving at Sun, they roamed from the University of California-Santa Cruz to Lick Observatory, finding time to barbecue burgers and battle with “Star Wars” light sabers along the way.
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Photos courtesy of Sun Microsystems.
Mike Cassidy, the San Jose Mercury News veteran business columnist, offered these amusing thoughts on my front-page article: