Past and Present

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A Visit in the Present, with a Friend from the Past


I recently hosted a visitor from my past life as an HP Field Engineer, which resulted in some noteworthy information worth posting here.

A visit from my good friend Bruno Dewavrin.

Bruno and I both joined the HP France Instrument Group at the same time in 1977, and in the same place, the Paris-Nord office. This office was the first of a long list of HP France offices which were created, one after the other, in every large town in the French nation during the 1980s and 1990s. This was a key part of HP's global business policy to provide essential measurement and computation technologies to the European community.

From that start, for my personal style, I chose to follow an uncommon path in my HP career, with multiple specialties for me through the years, until I retired in 1999. Conversely, the path followed by Bruno was a straight line in Applications. The only thoughtful decision Bruno, like many others, had to take in 2001 was to choose between HP or Agilent? After a 24 years passion for HP instruments, needless to say, Bruno didn't need to toss a coin to choose between instruments or computers/printers/etc.

So, Bruno is now at Agilent, an Application Engineer, and a microwave product specialist for all the French electronic industry market. And so, like Hewlett Packard did before, Agilent now has developed their massive line of innovative measurement instruments. And, because of their innovations, the customers often have to be educated in the newer processes of the new measurement techniques, exploited by the newest Agilent products. This is Bruno's job today, and he loves it.

Today's Microwave Dream Lab



Our meeting was facilitated by the fact that Bruno was on a Roadshow demonstrating the latest generation of Agilent microwave products. Fortunately, Biarritz was a perfect stage on the path of Bruno's roadshow.

Among the many contributions Bruno has already made for the HP Memory Project, he is trying to keep the project curator informed of the last technology advances, which is not the easiest task.

But he brought along a stack of instruments to capture my curiosity and admiration, so this time the chore quickly turn to a pleasant game of reliving my past amazement at the wonders of microwave advances.

From top to bottom:

  • MSO9404A Infiniium Mixed Signal Oscilloscope
    4 GHz Bandwith - 20 Gigasamples/s
  • N9030A PXA Signal Analyzer
    3 Hz to 26.5 GHz
  • E8267D PSG Vector Signal Generator
    250kHz to 20 GHz


After Bruno's demo, and a lot of performance verification on the previous generation of instruments available in today's HP Memory Project Lab, we could not resist the pleasure of setting up a commemorative scene and to take some pictures of the contrast of my past and Bruno's future.



The Set-up

Having recently worked on a reconstruction of the HP 1948 general catalog for display on this website, most of the oldest showpieces of the collection were just returned to their storage shelves. It was an easy game to build the scene, and to make the following pictures.


Agilent Technologies MSO9404A Infiniium Mixed Signal Oscilloscope (Top)
Agilent Technologies PXA N9030A Signal Analyzer (Middle)
Agilent Technologies PSG E8267D Vector Signal Generator (Bottom)



The Result, Past and Present

The resulting picture, which would be difficult to realize elsewhere in the world (without Photoshop™) , shows 70 years of measurement technology evolution on one scene. Every instrument in the rack was included in the 1948 catalog. The oldest of them, a HP 200B with rounded top-corners, (second from the left in the upper row), was built in 1941.


Seventy Years of Technology Evolution


Bruno Dewavrin in his 34th year career at HP/Agilent
(We did not check his vintage!)



For more information on the Agilent Technologies equipment, Click Here

For a detailed description of the HP Vintage instruments shown above, Click Here


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