Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slide rules and trade books at OSU bookstore R.I.P.

Newspaper article on new store for Beavers

PHOTO: newspaper article about the demise of the old OSU Bookstore deciding to stop the sales of trade books and moving to a new Beaver Store location to concentrate on selling OSU logo merchandise next to the college football stadium. (See for "OSU Beaver Store Grand Opening Sat. Sept. 21, 2013 8AM to 5PM" accessed Sept. 16, 2013 and OSU Beaver store hours and "A store for Beavers, OSU's traditional bookstore is no more; here's why students fans and faculty can regard that as good news," online version "A store for Beavers celebrates its new location," posted Sep. 21, 2013, p. A1, A6)

Here is my letter to the editor commenting on the article:

Calibrated slide-rules, previously required for science and engineering students, were missing from the list of products no longer being sold in what was formerly known as the OSU Bookstore, in addition to the trade books and typewriters mentioned by OSU Beaver Store manager Steve Eckrich. (Saturday, Sept. 21 article, "A store for Beavers,")

College bookstores -- including the one at OSU -- were the first stores where Hewlett-Packard sold their revolutionary handheld computers and calculators, instead of only via dedicated traveling salesmen, because in 1972 HP had no experience selling products through retail stores.

A 1954 OSU electrical engineering graduate and the first non-founder president of HP, John Young, led the transformation of HP from designing electronic instruments to selling retail computers and printers worldwide.

In 1976, Young scolded me for asking if his allegiance to OSU played in the decision to build the HP Corvallis Division because he viewed moving near an engineering college only as a practical business decision to benefit from university research and to recruit engineering graduates.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: OSU bookstore among pioneers to carry new HP technology in '70s," Gazette-Times, Sep. 24, 2013)

UPDATE Sept. 30, 2013: I noticed the editor added em dashes to my letter instead of using parentheses. His edit is fine with me, but I had wondered why he was using em dashes so much until I read his editorial: Mike McInally, "Think Too Much :-) There's power in punctuation," Gazette-Times, Sun. Sept. 29, 2013, p. A8 -- the editor grumbles about the default settings of Microsoft Word automatically changing hyphen-hyphen to em dashes and :-) to smiley faces. I agree! I recall the column by James Kilpatrick years ago had some good advice on how to use em dashes as a "that is" type of thought break.

See previous posts: