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It all started at a pawn shop...
11-19-2015, 01:09 AM (This post was last modified: 11-19-2015 02:55 PM by Jeff_Kearns.)
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RE: It all started at a pawn shop...

Thanks for sharing your story. I am now 50 years old... In the 1970's I remember being wow'ed by the ads for HP calculators in magazines like Popular Science. I think the first ad I can remember was for the HP-45 in the April 1974 issue.

My first calculator (gift from my parents) was the TI-30 with the crappy buttons that gave you three of any number you pressed... The first HP calculator I ever saw in person was one that the grade 10 physics teacher would bring to class every once in a while. I am pretty sure it was a HP-35. They were so expensive! There was this one fellow in high school (his mother taught math) who had a HP-41C circa 1981 that he didn't even know to use. I later bought a TI-55 out of a Sears catalog in my last year of high school and that served me for the next couple of years but I, like you, would drool at the latest models on display at electronics stores and know that they were just too expensive.

Then, in 1985, at the beginning of my third year in mechanical engineering, one of the professors announced that he had a calculator for sale... a pristine HP-15C for $100CDN. He said he had no further use for it because he had 'an IBM-compatible' with Basic and no longer needed it!?! I scooped it up and devoured the Owner's Handbook. That is still my favourite calculator and it was very much appreciated for the advanced courses we had to take. I made extensive use of the Matrix capability and wrote several routines for use with the solver. I wish this forum had been around back then and I could have learned so much more about the calculator from posts by the likes of Valentin Albillo and Karl Schneider.

One of the 'best' little routines I have come across for the 15C is Karl Schneider's SOLVE & INTEG for RPN Calculators article WITH "MISO" USER FUNCTIONS. I ported a 40 line TVM program from the software library originally written for the HP-42S (improved by Thomas Klemm and Dieter) using that feature, so now I can solve for any of the 5 TVM variables with the same program. Very fast (and extremely accurate) on the HP-15C LE.

Over the next few years, I bought an HP-32sii circa 1994 - mistakenly thinking it was superior to the 15C, which I nonetheless used daily for more than decade and still really like it, and then an HP-49g+. Then a friend gave me his old HP-33E in 2005 that he was going to throw away! That is what got me 'really' interested in acquiring more of these gems. By that time, I was frequenting the forum regularly and learning a lot from the museum site.

Now I have over 30 different models and haven't added to the collection in a couple of years (I am content). No interest (yet) in a Prime. What I want to do next is convert a HP-41C to a CL, and get the latest DM-15L from SwissMicros.

By the way, I also like the 48SX as a calculator and solver/integrator but just cannot get into programming in RPL. Not my cup o' tea.

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RE: It all started at a pawn shop... - Jeff_Kearns - 11-19-2015 01:09 AM

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