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Calculator Wars at your School
06-23-2021, 08:42 AM
Post: #21
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-20-2021 07:47 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  My memory of secondary (high) school (ages 11–18) in the UK, late 70s -- early 80s, was of a Casio monopoly, non-programmable, fx-81 etc. I don't recall anyone having a calc from another manufacturer.

I was a little before that, in the mid-70s and also in the UK, and while Casios were gaining the upper hand, TI and Commodore were common enough choices. Sharp became a contender just a little later. Sinclair calculators were very nearly a valid choice - I saw one or two. They had only 4 or 5 digit accuracy on transcendental functions. (See https://righto.com/sinclair )

But I didn't see an HP until the mid 80s, at work.

As I recall, the rules about calculators and exams were still being formulated - I really can't remember if they were allowed in my case. I do know we were taught how to use log and trig tables, and copies of those were available. I'd seen a slide rule but not seen anyone use one in anger.
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06-23-2021, 10:42 AM (This post was last modified: 06-23-2021 10:43 AM by johanw.)
Post: #22
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-23-2021 08:42 AM)EdS2 Wrote:  As I recall, the rules about calculators and exams were still being formulated
I started university in 1988 and was in the same situation. The general rule seemed to be that if the calculator looked simple enough it was permitted. So my brand new Casio FX8000G was usually forbidden (although I could use it a few times on exams), but a HP15C or 42s would probably have been permitted.
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06-25-2021, 09:28 AM
Post: #23
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-19-2021 02:07 PM)cesarb94 Wrote:  I'm interested in knowing what were the groups that fought each other arguing which had the best calculator at your school and also at which time frame.
There were no calculators at school. In 1973, when I finished school, I scarcely have heard about calculators. We had logarithmic tables and slide rules. The slide rule brand was "Aristo". And there were no wars about nothing, not even about fountain pens - but the best of them were Pelikan, then and now. Nowadays, I own about 30 calculators, 25 slide rules and a hundred fountain pens, mostly Pelikan, of course.

Hans
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06-25-2021, 05:33 PM
Post: #24
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
In high school, my « rich » friends had HP-33 calculators, while I had to settle for a TI-57.

I now have about 15 HP calculators and they have none. Sweet revenge.
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06-25-2021, 05:58 PM
Post: #25
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
In my high school years many math enthusiasts wanted the HP-67 but it was too expensive, so most went for a TI58C or TI59.
With the HP-41C everyone dreamed about this calculator but hardly anyone had enough money for it.

My calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP11C, HP28S - current: HP48G(+), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
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06-25-2021, 08:25 PM
Post: #26
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-25-2021 05:33 PM)Francois Lanciault Wrote:  In high school, my « rich » friends had HP-33 calculators, while I had to settle for a TI-57.

I now have about 15 HP calculators and they have none. Sweet revenge.

Excellent!! Smile

Perspective is everything! Big Grin

--Bob Prosperi
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06-28-2021, 08:58 AM
Post: #27
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-25-2021 09:28 AM)Hans S. Wrote:  not even about fountain pens - but the best of them were Pelikan, then and now.
That's the first time I hear about that. I never learned to write properly with a fountain pen, I press too hard on a pen so a fountain pen splits open when I use it for some time. Probably because we started with cheap ball points at primary school.
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06-28-2021, 10:41 AM
Post: #28
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-25-2021 09:28 AM)Hans S. Wrote:  And there were no wars about nothing, not even about fountain pens - but the best of them were Pelikan, then and now.

A few years ago there was a report in the German magazine "Der Spiegel" about the "Geha vs Pelikan" schoolyard war in the 1970s. Geha won because it was more advanced and used by the cool kids. I had a Montblanc Carrera at the time.

My calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP11C, HP28S - current: HP48G(+), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
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06-28-2021, 11:18 AM
Post: #29
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
Hello!

(06-28-2021 10:41 AM)Peet Wrote:  A few years ago there was a report in the German magazine "Der Spiegel" about the "Geha vs Pelikan" schoolyard war in the 1970s. Geha won because it was more advanced and used by the cool kids. I had a Montblanc Carrera at the time.

The Carrera was the "HP" among fountain pens... the one nobody could afford. I had mostly Pelikan pens but I remember seeing some Gehas around as well. There was no competition or "war" about fountain pens.
I went to school in Italy but I cannot remember ever seeing anybody use an Italian brand fountain pen.

I have used mostly fountain pens througout my life because I hate the mess that pallpoint pens make with the paper one writes on (and the three or four sheets of paper below it). Also my handwriting is much neater when I use a fountain pen. Shortly after school I got an all metal fountain pen from PaperMate which I have been using for about 40 years now. I bought two identical spares on eBay just in case it ever breaks - which it shouldn't because it has "life long warranty".

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Max
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06-28-2021, 12:44 PM
Post: #30
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-28-2021 11:18 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  I went to school in Italy but I cannot remember ever seeing anybody use an Italian brand fountain pen.

Nobody with an Aurora, then? Strange.

Personally I had to use a fountain pen early in junior school. I only started using another one when in University.

Greetings,
    Massimo

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06-28-2021, 03:07 PM
Post: #31
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
Hello!

(06-28-2021 12:44 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Nobody with an Aurora, then? Strange.

On some special occasion ("cresima" maybe) I got a ballpoint pen from Aurora as a present (one like these - I still have it, never thought it was so expensive: https://www.aurorapen.it/prodotto/030-penna-a-sfera/). But these were sold in jeweller's shops rather than the stationary shops around the corner. I am pretty sure that the stationary shop in our village only had Pelikan fountain pens.
I had a quick look around the Aurora website and didn't find a pen for less than 100 Euros - not something "normal people" would buy their children for school - for comparaison, a "Pelikano" school pen costs around 10 Euros.

Very similar to HP <> Ti/Casio/Sharp/...

Saluti
Max
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06-28-2021, 05:03 PM
Post: #32
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-28-2021 03:07 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

(06-28-2021 12:44 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Nobody with an Aurora, then? Strange.

On some special occasion ("cresima" maybe) I got a ballpoint pen from Aurora as a present (one like these - I still have it, never thought it was so expensive: https://www.aurorapen.it/prodotto/030-penna-a-sfera/). But these were sold in jeweller's shops rather than the stationary shops around the corner. I am pretty sure that the stationary shop in our village only had Pelikan fountain pens.
I had a quick look around the Aurora website and didn't find a pen for less than 100 Euros - not something "normal people" would buy their children for school - for comparaison, a "Pelikano" school pen costs around 10 Euros.

Very similar to HP <> Ti/Casio/Sharp/...

Saluti
Max

I had an Aurora set (ballpoint + fountain pen) for my Comunione/Cresima, surely not so expensive! At least back in May '68.

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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06-28-2021, 11:42 PM
Post: #33
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-28-2021 05:03 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(06-28-2021 03:07 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!


On some special occasion ("cresima" maybe) I got a ballpoint pen from Aurora as a present (one like these - I still have it, never thought it was so expensive: https://www.aurorapen.it/prodotto/030-penna-a-sfera/). But these were sold in jeweller's shops rather than the stationary shops around the corner. I am pretty sure that the stationary shop in our village only had Pelikan fountain pens.
I had a quick look around the Aurora website and didn't find a pen for less than 100 Euros - not something "normal people" would buy their children for school - for comparaison, a "Pelikano" school pen costs around 10 Euros.

Very similar to HP <> Ti/Casio/Sharp/...

Saluti
Max

I had an Aurora set (ballpoint + fountain pen) for my Comunione/Cresima, surely not so expensive! At least back in May '68.

Reading all of this I was very surprised to learn that fountain pens were still in use. Going through the U.S. School system in California from 1967 to 1980 and then 4 years of collage, I only used a fountain pen once for an art class project. In school we mostly used #2 wooden pencils which were required for the "Scantron" machine-readable answer cards we often used during multiple-choice tests. Ball point pens were occasionally required for certain assignments but pencils were the main writing instrument. Since I discovered mechanical pencils in the early 1980's, I have used them exclusively except for the rare time when I need to sign something with a ball point pen. For the past few decades I haven't used either that often (other than for taking notes) as most of the writing I do now is on a computer.
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06-29-2021, 01:09 AM
Post: #34
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
We're getting off topic, but I'll bite. I grew up in another country, and starting in 2nd grade, kids were required to use fountain pens in the public schools. Neatness was emphasized to the extreme, and I guess they also figured that pencils, which could be erased, encouraged sloppiness rather than extreme care. A friend gave me a fountain pen as gift for 8th-grade graduation, and then we came back to the States in 1974. Unfortunately the ink cartridges available here which fit it were harder to puncture, and the little needle in the pen was damaged. But while it worked, I used it in 9th grade, and I accidentally left it behind in a class, and when someone returned it to me, others had emptied the ink and made an inky mess of it.

It is my understanding that in the early days of ball-point pens, you could use a blob of silly putty to transfer a signature; so only fountain pens were safe to use for certain things. I do remember ball-point pens also skipping.

Today I use mechanical pencils for everything except signing checks and documents. My wife uses the regular pencils that go in the pencil sharpener; but she lets them get super dull. I don't know how she can stand it.

If you look up "fountain pen" on eBay, you'll find lots and lots of different brands.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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06-29-2021, 12:34 PM
Post: #35
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
Hello!

I like these thread drifts because they show that even in a massively globalised world and within the same cultural environtment little differences continue to exist :-)

(06-29-2021 01:09 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  Today I use mechanical pencils for everything except signing checks and documents. My wife uses the regular pencils that go in the pencil sharpener; but she lets them get super dull.

My wife also uses regular (wooden) pencils a lot because she teaches art classes at high school so these belong to the tools of her trade. Myself I always carry a mechanical pencil with me together with my fountain pen, but I only use it to take notes for myself, draw (technical) sketches or do calculations. One would never hand something written in pencil to anybody else around here.
And the last time I either signed or accepted a check must be over thirty years ago. I am not sure if one still can get check forms from the bank. And back when they were still common, banks were discouraging their use by charging hefty fees on them.

Coming back to calculators at school/university: we were allowed to use any kind of calculator, programmable or not. In some university exams "pre-programmable" were not allowed. To ensure this, we had to take the battery out of the calculator and place it on the desk next to the calculator before the exam started. In the early 1980ies there existed no calculators yet which didn't lose all their memory contents that way. And card readers were noisy enough to reveal themselves.
Anyway our teachers and professors quickly adapted to the use of calculators by changing the way exams were graded. For the correct numerical result one would get one point out of ten, the other nine you got for finding a good solution for the problem given. That way, even without a calulator - or with flat batteries which happened frequently enough - one could still score almost full points.

Regards
Max
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07-01-2021, 10:03 AM
Post: #36
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-28-2021 10:41 AM)Peet Wrote:  A few years ago there was a report in the German magazine "Der Spiegel" about the "Geha vs Pelikan" schoolyard war in the 1970s. Geha won because it was more advanced and used by the cool kids.
Pete,

As usual, Der Spiegel was wrong. Normally, Geha was the underdog's choise - cheaper than Pelikan, ugly green colour and incompatible ink cartriges. What could be advanced with a school boy's pen?
In my classes, we simply had no time for pen wars. We had to fight our teachers.

Hans
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07-01-2021, 10:19 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2021 10:20 AM by floppy.)
Post: #37
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
In my school "Lycee", nobody cares about pens and calculator.
Stories about girls which were met the week-end were one of the interesting subject (I know, in other schools that was terrible about clothes tagging etc. I had luck).
2 wheelers were a subject too: Peugeot 50ccm or others and few tuning possibilities.

So, sorry, but in some parts of europe, there were quiet places for boys and girls (not a big town).
Only sometime young ones (>20) drinking too much the week-end (thats not good).

We had everything: communist, socialist and were respectful because we did not speak about it in a wide maneer. Politics and religion were like your sex: you dont show it in public but we know and accept you use it in discrete privat maneer and at the end nobody cares because nobody come in an offensive maneer with it to you.
It looks like in the time for now, people are becoming exhibitionist and force me to see all their weird things.
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07-05-2021, 12:16 AM
Post: #38
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
(06-25-2021 09:28 AM)Hans S. Wrote:  
(06-19-2021 02:07 PM)cesarb94 Wrote:  I'm interested in knowing what were the groups that fought each other arguing which had the best calculator at your school and also at which time frame.
There were no calculators at school. In 1973, when I finished school, I scarcely have heard about calculators. We had logarithmic tables and slide rules. The slide rule brand was "Aristo". And there were no wars about nothing, not even about fountain pens - but the best of them were Pelikan, then and now. Nowadays, I own about 30 calculators, 25 slide rules and a hundred fountain pens, mostly Pelikan, of course.

Hans

I was in high school in Scotland from 1973-1977 before moving to the US for college. We only had slide rules at the beginning of HS, but I was one of the first in my class to obtain a Sinclair Cambridge four-banger. But we had to learn to use log tables and slide rules and significant figures -- the math was what we needed to learn, the arithmetic was its tool. At uni, when calculus and statistics became more important in my major field of study, I was able to get a TI58, though in retrospect a 58C or 59 (more expensive!) would have been ideal. I graduated to RPN and HP -- several of them -- when I started earning money.... never looked back.... As for fountain pens, I was probably the only person in my college class who ever used one, and am still a collector of them, I have several Parkers, but my favorite is a LAMY palladium finished model with an italic nib, which I received as a parting gift as a result of a whip-around from my colleagues. So much nicer than a ballpoint, and a great contrast to the HP Prime sitting on the left of my home office standing desk!
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07-07-2021, 06:19 AM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2021 06:20 AM by OlidaBel.)
Post: #39
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
Fountain pen ... enjoying LAMY for years. I never liked ballpoint pens. I also own a white gold Mont Blanc.

Pencils... Faber Castell 9000, with a sharpener.

Knives... Laguiole, "Canif suisse" Victorinox (very usefull during scouting years), Opinel.

Calculators... HP off course. SwissMicros as well since recently (DM42, DM15L).

---
HP 48GX, Prime G2, 50G. A long time ago : 11C, 15C, 28C, 28S. SwissMicros DM42, DM15L
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07-14-2021, 04:38 AM
Post: #40
RE: Calculator Wars at your School
I got my first calculator in high school in 2010, and at that point everyone was getting TI-84s because that was what the teacher had and he told us he wouldn't be able to help if we needed his help on anything that wasn't a TI-84. One guy had a Casio, and another had a TI-89, but that was it. In undergrad and grad school I've seen a few people with TI Nspires, but mostly people in my classes are still using their TI-84 from high school. I only upgraded to a Prime (and have a DM42 on the way) after getting into time trouble on an exam from TI's sluggish pretty print system.
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