What’s with the name HOBO?

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What’s with the name HOBO?

We have been asked this MANY times. Even the "newbies" here at Onset ask the question, "What’s with the name HOBO?"

The most common thought is that it’s an acronym, and the answer to that is "no, but yes!"  One of our veteran employees, Operations Analyst Gregg Daly explains:

The early 'Honest Observer' newsletter

“HOBO is not an acronym…at least it didn’t start out that way. The owners of our company had an affinity for all things train related, so many of our early products had railroad themes: StowAway, Greenline, BoxCar, HandCar, and HOBO! The hobos of old survived by traveling from place to place in boxcars so they could find odd jobs to do for folks across the country. They stayed hidden…in the background, but did the jobs they were asked to do, and did them well, as their lives depended on it! This was the idea behind naming our logger a HOBO. It works silently in the background, 24 hours a day, doing a job folks need to get done, but which they couldn’t easily or practically do by themselves.

"Years later, we published a newsletter called Honest Observer. Someone came up with the idea: ‘Honest Observer By Onset’ as a HOBO acronym. Cute, but not the true origin.

"Today the HOBO name is to data loggers what Kleenex is to facial tissues. We’ve become an industry standard. The railroad themes are no longer in our product names…except HOBO, which will live on as long as we can help it!”

So, as our CTO (another veteran employee here at Onset - 31 years and counting!) says, the name "HOBO" is actually a "backronym."

For more information on Onset, including our history and timeline of our HOBO products since 1981, check out our company pages.

To check out all of our HOBO data loggers for monitoring indoor, outdoor, and underwater environments, click here.