|Re: [HP 15C LE] Prophecy on bug fix?|
Message #92 Posted by Lincoln R. on 3 Dec 2011, 9:13 a.m.,
in response to message #91 by Alexander Oestert
Your car mechanic isn't an employee of GM or Toyota or whoever who needs their proprietary information to replace a worn out brake pad. You're paying the mechanic to fix your car using parts and service procedures which are available to the public. HP is paying Tim, Cyrille, or whoever it is who is tasked with fixing this bug to fix their calculator firmware using HP intellectual property.
In the US, companies are *very* paranoid about IP, and understandably so: For many American companies, IP is the only thing of any value they have, and this is almost certainly the case with the HP calculator division. They own no manufacturing facilities, choosing to contract out all manufacturing. As such, the most valuable asset (other than people) they have is the design of their calculators, whether that be firmware code, PCB schematics, industrial design (Although the 15C's layout and look probably aren't covered under any design patents anymore if they ever were, an HP 15C looks like an HP 15C, and has HP badging on it that someone else can't just knock off), mechanical design of things like keyswitches, etc.
I agree that a timeframe would be nice to know, however if HP's employee agreements are anything like the ones I've had to sign to get a job in the past, Tim could easily be fired for sharing that information because it's a liability to a company to have anyone other than official PR types release that kind of information (For instance, if Tim said "Oh, yeah, we'll have a fix for that by January 1" and no fix came out, there's a slight chance that people could actually sue HP for making false statements.) This is the reason that nobody would admit to the existence of the 15C LE until they were actually rolling off assembly lines, because until that pint, it's entirely possible HP could have cut the project.