|Re: HP & RPN|
Message #4 Posted by Gordon Dyer on 11 Nov 2002, 5:51 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Larry Corrado
I have a copy of the book "Algorithms for RPN Calculators" by John A. Ball, Wiley Interscience, 1978, ISBN 0-471-03070-8.
He starts with a history of RPN and I quote:
" In their advertisements and also in a letter to me, Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), the best known manufacturer of RPN calculators, says that RPN is based on a suggestion by Jan Lukasiewicz (1878-1956), and that RPN was invented and is patented by HP. Aside from the apparent contadiction in these two statements, I do not think that either of them is quite true. My first experience with RPN involved a nice old Friden EC-130 desktop electronic calculator, circa 1964. The EC-130 has RPN with a push-down stack of four registers, all visible simultaneously on a cathode ray tube display. Furthermore, they are shown upside down, that is, the last-in-first-out register is at the bottom. The same orientation is used in instruction books for HP calculators, perhaps by coincidence."
" Around 1966, the Monroe Epic calculator offered RPN with a stack of four, a printer, and either 14 or 42 step programmability. The instruction booklets with these two calculators make no mention of RPN or Jan Lukasiewicz."
" Hewlett-Packard Company is to be commended for the beautiful design of the original HP-35 calulator (c.1972). They avoided many of the pitfalls that lesser minds would have become mired in. HP provided many features in a truly concinnate way. But ignoring the foundations on which this accomplishment was built serves no purpose. In my view, the RPN calculator owes about as much to the venerable mechanical calculator, and to a number of anonymous designers, some of whom worked for Friden, as it does to Jan Lukasiewicz."
I hope you find this enlightening...