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 Post subject: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 12:15 am 
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Location: Florida
I just bought a new calculator. It's a full scientific model with all the arithmetic functions, trig functions, logarithms, exponentials, statistics, memory, etc., and can compute in octal or hex. It cost $1 at Dollar tree.

I remember when you could tell your engineering prof just got a calculator by the sudden increase in the number of decimal places in handouts.

How many remember the HP ones that used RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)?

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 12:23 am 
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Retired Radio Man wrote:
How many remember the HP ones that used RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)?

I still have an HP-35, HP-45, and HP-65, though I haven't used them in several days.

I bought the HP-35 when it was introduced.
HP was not accustomed to dealing with consumers.
When you ordered the HP-35, they sent it to you along with a NET 30 invoice.

- Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 12:36 am 
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I remember when a calculator like that cost hundreds of dollars. I saw that calculator at Dollar Tree but since I didn't need all those functions, I opted for the the jumbo basic calculator. Works great.


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 1:26 am 
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I really miss RPN.....we all had HP calculators at work....until the company stopped paying for them....

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 1:33 am 
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Location: Lincoln City, OR
Greetings to RRM and the Forum:

I have three HP-35's... one in the ham shack, one in the garage on the electronics bench and one spare. I also have an HP-16C.... the "Computer Scientist".... this one does arithmetic in binary, octal, decimal and hex and converts between any of them with one key stroke.

For my part, RPN is the ONLY way to fly. I cannot chain calculations on an algebraic calculator. If I am using an algebraic calculator (like a TI for example) I have to have a pencil and paper at hand to write down intermediate results.... a clumsy way to work. I know it is possible, but one has to key in the entire equation before one can see any sort of answer... and if that answer needs to be an input to another equation, get out the pencil and paper. I like to see intermediate results as I go along, so I know I didn't make a keystroke error along the way. If I did, it is easy to clear the X register and recover... something that is difficult to do with algebraic notation.

I am so used to RPN that I am crippled when trying to use any other calculator. I need to get a graphing calculator for calculus.... and I hope that I can get used to the thing. The application is sufficiently different that algebraic entry shouldn't be that much of a problem (I hope) but for ordinary engineering problems, RPN is the only way to go.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 1:48 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
I was given this HP RPN calculator by a coworker.

Mark, do you have a use for it?

-Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 1:53 am 
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Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
Retired Radio Man wrote:
I just bought a new calculator. It's a full scientific model with all the arithmetic functions, trig functions, logarithms, exponentials, statistics, memory, etc., and can compute in octal or hex. It cost $1 at Dollar tree.

I remember when you could tell your engineering prof just got a calculator by the sudden increase in the number of decimal places in handouts.

How many remember the HP ones that used RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)?

RRM

I worked for HP back then ... and had the opportunity to get one w/employee discount.
They were quite expensive then.

They were in great demand too.

Yes.. RPN made perfect sense

28 enter, seven divide, =4

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 3:22 am 
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Pbpix wrote:
28 enter, seven divide, =4
Except...

There's no "=" key on an RPN calculator.

- Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 3:28 am 
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Leigh wrote:
Pbpix wrote:
28 enter, seven divide, =4
Except...

There's no "=" key on an RPN calculator.

- Leigh

yeah... that's right

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 3:38 am 
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I'm clearly the "baby" here (only 59), because when I was in college, the HP-41C was all the rage. I didn't own one, but it was the calculator owned by most of the engineering students. Though, I am quite familiar with RPN, since at work, we were programming in Forth, which diddles a lot with the stack. A lot more than most high level languages.

I bought some of those bargain basement $1 scientific calculators. You're getting what you paid for. They work just fine for about a month or two. Then the keys start failing. The most used keys, will fail first, and that will basically render the device useless.

The calculator app on my smart phone, works jut fine. Of course, I had to download a scientific version, since it wasn't included on my now ancient Galaxy S3. I think the original iPhones displayed a simple "4-function", or scientific, depending how you held the display (portrait = 4-function; landscape = scientific). All algebraic.

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 3:58 am 
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Location: Westford, MA USA
I own several HP calculators, from the original 35 all the way up to the 15C reissue from several years back. I have yet to fully master RPN, but I love how solidly-built they are. Here are a few examples:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
(Okay, not really a calculator, but it's similarly rugged, and can solve math problems in BASIC... :mrgreen:)
-Adam

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 4:27 am 
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Joined: Apr Mon 27, 2015 1:31 am
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Location: Wamego, Kansas
When I was a senior in engineering in 1974-1975, one of my buddies was fortunate enough to have parents willing to pay out $400 for an HP-35. Myself, my dad bought me a Texas Instruments SR-50, which was a relative bargain at $150. Still have the TI, although the ni-cad battery pack is long dead. Currently using an HP-11 RPC entry scientific calculator on a daily basis. Also have a Texas Instruments SR-10, which was a basic 4 function calculator, in it's original box, with the price tag of $125 still on it. I doubt if engineering students have carried calculators for eons. We carried our with in their leatherette pouches on our belts. And yeah when I started to college, up to my senior year, we were still using the prehistoric slide rule!


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 5:34 am 
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I graduated from college in 1980 (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Wash. U. in St. Louis). My brother (masters in structural engineering at Wash. U.) and I did carry the TI SR51 we owned jointly in the pouch hanging from the belt fob. That machine died one day several years ago when I reached for it and a static spark jumped from my haND to it. My recently, I bought another example, but the switch is flaky, so I need to clean it.

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 6:35 am 
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I worked in land surveying in the mid-70's to early-80's and we all used HP calculators. I had a 25C, which I still have. Around 1980, my boss's wife surprised him on his birthday with a new HP calculator. Unfortunately, she had traded in his favorite old HP-35 for it. Not one of his happier birthdays.

By the way, RPN actually means "we don't need no stinkin' equal key" 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 7:36 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7146
Location: Portland Oregon
I mis RPN. I was given an HP-35 by my brother in law that worked for HP in Paulo Alto in the early 70's. It was a left over prototype out of his engineering department. I was almost complete save for lack of a serial number and a clock/ stopwatch function they wanted to incorporate in the 35 but I don't think it happened until the 45 came out. I got it just in time because I was getting into some heavy calculations in my crystallography labs and it sure was better than a slide rule. We couldn't use them during tests though because of the unfair advantage.
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
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Location: Peekskill, NY
HP-15C is my go-to these days, at work and in my home shop.

Funny how all the young studs get all confused when you ask them to do
do figurin' in the lab.

1) go to a computer and pull up the calculator

1) pull out their phone and try to figure out caculator mode.

Bonus question: how come you never see A, or B versions of those HP-xxC
calculators? What the heck is the "C" doing there?


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Ed Jacobs wrote:
I mis RPN. I was given an HP-35 by my brother in law that worked for HP in Paulo Alto in the early 70's. It was a left over prototype out of his engineering department. I was almost complete save for lack of a serial number and a clock/ stopwatch function they wanted to incorporate in the 35 but I don't think it happened until the 45 came out. I got it just in time because I was getting into some heavy calculations in my crystallography labs and it sure was better than a slide rule. We couldn't use them during tests though because of the unfair advantage.
Ed

The timer function was hidden in the 45--it took a special keystroke sequence to activate it. My 55 had the feature "for real".

In the early phases of this, we had an engineer that would crank out the calculations on his HP, and then check the answers on his slide rule. I kid you not.

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 7:24 pm 
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jim rozen wrote:
Bonus question: how come you never see A, or B versions of those HP-xxC
calculators? What the heck is the "C" doing there?

The 'C' stands for "Constant Memory." :) The models available at the time that constant memory was introduced which didn't use it had the 'E' suffix (and earlier models which didn't have a suffix, like the 35 and 80, were post-suffixed to 'A', though few people outside of HP bothered with it). Later on, after constant memory became commonplace, they switched to using 'B' for financial, and 'S' for scientific. They did use conventional A/B/C version suffixes for their computer line, like the HP-85A pictured above.
-Adam

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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Location: Portland Oregon
pixellany wrote: The timer function was hidden in the 45--it took a special keystroke sequence to activate it. My 55 had the feature "for real".

In the early phases of this, we had an engineer that would crank out the calculations on his HP, and then check the answers on his slide rule. I kid you not.


I did that too, I just couldn't trust them new fangled gadgets, I had been using slide rules for a long time and they were more right than wrong unless you needed more decimals than my trusty K and E could give me.
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Expensive New Calculator
PostPosted: Feb Sat 03, 2018 7:53 pm 
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I still use a HP-33S and I bought my daughter a HP Prime a couple of years ago. I prefer RPN.

Rodger WQ9E


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