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Humor amid the HP testimony

If you want entertainment, listen to a witness' cross-examination. If you want to know their major in college, pay attention to the questions from their own side.

WILMINGTON, Del.--John McFadden, 68, sticks out among the throngs of corporate lawyers, Wall Street traders, reporters and Hewlett-Packard bigwigs attending the trial here. The HP retiree is rooting for Walter Hewlett.

See special coverage: A Fight to the Finish McFadden, who sat in the front row of the Wilmington courthouse Tuesday and in the back row Wednesday, said he is against the merger and is "disappointed that HP is not going in another direction."

He admits the dissident director has not offered much of a plan for HP if the merger fails, but he still thinks the company isn't what it used to be.

McFadden retired in 1999 from HP's chemical-measurement business in Delaware (now part of HP spinoff Agilent Technologies). McFadden said Agilent is more like HP should be because it is focusing on biotechnology and emerging markets such as measuring DNA.

Wayman's humorous side
As HP's moneyman, Chief Financial Officer Bob Wayman isn't exactly known for his sense of humor, but he got a lot of laughs Wednesday. When Hewlett attorney Stephen Neal mixed "million" with "billion" in one of his questions, Wayman had a ready answer: "I can't do that. I'll lose my job." When Neal referred to a March 15 e-mail but said Feb. 15, Wayman also chided him: "You can't remember numbers or dates. Uh-oh."

"I'm not a funny guy but you make it easy," he added.

The AV Club
HP might be a tech titan, but that doesn't mean its team is adept at handling microphones. HP attorney Steven Schatz' opening arguments Tuesday were largely inaudible. Schatz often strayed from the microphone at a podium and was told repeatedly that it was hard to hear him.

HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina's first foray on the stand wasn't much better. She leaned away from the microphone and later said it was obstructed by a computer screen. The pesky screen was then removed.

What's your major?
If you want entertainment, listen to a witness' cross-examination. If you want to know their major in college, pay attention to the questions from their own side.

In between her battles with Neal, Fiorina got a few soft lobs from HP attorney Boris Feldman. How soft? "Could you tell the chancellor about your educational background?" Feldman asked. Fiorina went on to tell about her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in philosophy and medieval history. Fiorina also has an MBA from the University of Maryland and an MA degree from MIT in business administration. She also said she dropped out of law school but "that's a whole different story."