May 4th is recognized as “Star Wars Day,” an unofficial celebration for fans of the science fiction movie franchise. (Say “May the Fourth be with you” out loud and you’ll understand.)
“Star Wars” was revolutionary as a summer movie blockbuster. But it was also revolutionary for the many technologies it pioneered behind the scenes. In the early 1980s, Agilent did not exist yet as an independent company. Nevertheless, many test and measurement technologies from our predecessor company, Hewlett-Packard, were used in the making of the original movie trilogy.
HP’s employee magazine, Measure, highlighted some examples in a 1983 issue. “An HP 64000 logic development system probed the inner workings of motion picture cameras, optical printers and motion-control systems in [director George] Lucas’ R&D department.”
The HP 64000 also helped test the electronic controller in the state-of-the-art sound camera. And an HP 9826 desktop computer and HP LEDs were also used behind the scenes.
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