Hewlett-Packard co-founder, William Hewlett died peacefully in his sleep last Friday at his Californian home.

He founded the company with friend David Packard over 60 years ago in a garage at Packard's home.

The San Francisco Chronicle records statements from Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. He said: "I first met Bill Hewlett when he answered his home phone and generously spoke to a 12-year old kid looking for spare electronic components to build a frequency counter. The year was 1967, and the kid was me. Bill gave me the components, and he gave me a summer job at HP. It changed my life forever."

Jobs also revealed that what he learned working there that summer was "the blueprint" used for Apple Computer. The Chronicle says: "Hewlett and Packard's spirit lives on in every company in Silicon Valley."

Tributes to the man came flooding in from every corner of the IT industry. Industry attitudes are best summed up by the following statement from Paul Saffo, a director of the Institute for The Future, he said: "There would be no Silicon Valley without Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard."

Both Hewlett and Packard are widely regarded as two of the most influential founding fathers of information technology and Silicon Valley. William Hewlett was 87.