HP Caving Computer Press Release

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Phil Ingham

Jan 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM1/23/97

From the Internet, a press release from an automatic system I receive.
There's no problem over copyright as it's a press release from HP.


HP Laptop Makes Light Work of Cave Survey

(NEWSdesk) -- 14th January 1997 -- Solar energy, an HP OmniBook 600CT
laptop PC, together with a global positioning system combined to make a
significant contribution to the success of a recent caving expedition
high in the Julian Alps straddling the borders of Slovenia, Italy and
Austria. Twenty students from the caving club of Imperial College,
London, joined the third expedition the club has mounted to explore and
discover new parts of the Migovic cave system. This was from a base
camp 1800m up on the Slovenian side of the alps.

Every day, different parties would survey the cave system, writing down
all their survey data whilst underground and transfer it to the HP
OmniBook 600CT notebook computer back at the base camp. Using a
'skeleton' 3D software called SurvEx, distances, inclines and directions
of passageways and shafts were input and as a result the party was able
to calculate the likely places where two cave systems might join. Using
the 3D projections, this ultimately proved to be the case.

With a three hour hike from the nearest road and any form of habitation,
the use of a conventional power generator and fuel were out of the
question. Instead, a solar panel just half a metre square was taken.
When connected to the HP OmniBook's batteries, this generated enough
power to keep them regularly charged throughout the six weeks of the

Earlier in the year other cavers from the club had surveyed the area
when it was covered with snow. What are known as 'blowing holes' -
where snow is blown out of a cave mouth by draughts of air - indicated
the location of a number of unexplored potential cave systems. Using a
global positioning system the locations of the caves' mouths were
logged. It is easier to do this in the winter, because when the snow
has melted the caves' mouths can easily be obscured by foliage or simply
blend into the mountainside. When the expedition arrived in the summer
some of the new caves were explored to see if they were part of a
system. Those that looked promising were also logged on the HP OmniBook
600CT to see how they related to others in the area.

With weight a major consideration, the HP OmniBook's 1.7 kilos (3.8lbs.)
in no way hindered the party at any time. With its pre-installed
software the students were able to keep a diary of events, personal
observations and other survey information for future expeditions.

In the UK, Hewlett-Packard Limited has 5,000 employees and had a
turnover of GBP1.7 billion in 1995. Winners of the 1995 Queen's award
for Export Achievement, HP's five UK R&D and manufacturing divisions
exported GBP700 million worth of telecommunications and microwave test
products and systems, information storage products and fibre optic
components in 1994, making it the UK's 39th largest exporter. In
addition, over one-third of Hewlett-Packard Company's long-range global
research is performed at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Bristol.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global manufacturer of computing,
communications and measurement products and services recognised for
excellence in quality and support. HP has 112,000 employees and had
revenue of $38.4 billion in its 1996 fiscal year.

Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web
at http://www.hp.com.

Please send readers' enquiries to: or telephone enquiries to:

Customer Information Centre Customer Information Centre
Hewlett-Packard Limited 0990 474747
Cain Road
Bracknell Quote PR ref: 6966
Berks RG12 1HN


All this information and more is available online via NEWSdesk.
NEWSdesk's Internet URL is http://www.newsdesk.com, or call the NEWSdesk
team on + 44 115 9405300 for details.

Editorial Contacts:

Andrew Forsyth, HP Notebook Computers Mktg Mgr, 01344 365463
Martin Hurren, HP PR Manager, 01344 365381
Jim Evans Tel. 01734 875 123 Ext.7576
Mark Evans Tel. 0181 870 0792
Pamela Smith/Christie Tang, PA Consulting Group, 0171 730 9000
Phil Ingham

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