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The Barcode Wall

This is the "barcode wall" outside the front entrance of the HP (formerly Compaq formerly DEC) software engineering facility in Nashua, NH. (site code ZKO). Each group of 7 bars is an ASCII character, black bars for 1, white bars for 0.

When initially erected in 1980, it had a red-orange background and read:


At some time in the 1990s, when DEC changed the color of manual binders from red-orange to gray, the background was changed to gray and the bars rearranged to spell


or at least that's what it was supposed to say. However, two bars got swapped so that two of the characters on the bottom row are incorrect. Nobody has bothered to fix it.

P.S. Since I first posted this, HP sold the site to a local real estate developer and moved all its employees out. However, employee continuity exists for many in Intel's Nashua Compiler Lab, carved out of Compaq in 2001. Some ex-DECcies also work at Dell (EqualLogic) and SkillSoft, two other firms with offices at the site.

Submitted by Steve Lionel