|Voyagers rule ! [LONG]|
Message #5 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 3 June 2003, 1:00 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil)
Luiz's right, I've always loved Voyager series calculators since I was presented with a beautiful HP-11C by my good friend Fernando del Rey (hi, Fernando !) some 22 years ago.
I was the proud owner of a fully fledged HP-41C at the time, yet was impressed with the sheer quality of that early, USA model 11C. I found it utterly amazing, elegant, stylish, cool, it transpired overall quality, so much so that I took it with me for a year in the military, out there in the desertic sands of some African region.
It withstood incredibly hot weather, dust, everything, always working and looking perfectly. I wrote several programs for it during my stay, and everyone there (not the most knowledgeable people on calculator matters, to be sure, though they were amenable) was most impressed with it, to the point that I had to *very politely* decline the request of a certain top brass who wanted to purchase it from me. It still is with me, looking mint and working flawlessly, with its recently installed third set of batteries.
Now, if the HP-11C is amazing, the HP-15C is simply unbelievable, the best pure calculator in the world, hands down. It has everything the HP-11C has, and much, much more. Would you believe it has more than 150 different STO (store) instructions, for instance ? Even though the Voyager series were released as a stopgap series while work on the HP-71B continued, to the point of not having any internal codename, the HP-15C was much more powerful than the mighty HP-41 in many ways.
For instance, its batteries would last forever, no NiCd's to
corrode contacts. It was better built, its display was
much more readable. It had more memory for programs or
data than the basic HP-41C, and further most of the
instructions took only 1 byte. It had a tremendous instruction set, including all 12 conditional tests and recall arithmetic, hyperbolics, gamma, random numbers,
linear regression, 7 levels of subroutines. And to top it all, it had fast, microcode matrix operations, including system solving, full support of complex numbers including a parallel RPN stack and all arithmetic and trascendental functions, and last but certainly not least, Solve and Integrate.
In a word, I could do things with it that would be impossible to do in a basic HP-41C, and would requiere lengthy programming to achieve and a lot of money for extra RAM (no HP-41CV/CX then, no Quad RAM module, no Advantage ROM) to try and
achieve them somehow, even if by means of slow and lengthy user code programs. It's no wonder that I would admire and treasure the HP-15C, then. Further, everything was so well thought in its design that you would normally find several ways to do the same difficult thing with it. You felt there were no arbitrary limitations at all. If some combination would make sense, most probably it was available. All features were integrated and complemented each other perfectly, most served for several apparently unrelated purposes.
There's never been anything like the HP-15C, there never was before, and there never will be in the future, as long as replicators do not enter the scene. I've said it before and I'll repeat it once more: get yourself one before the prices are impossible. Now, they're just very expensive. Soon, they will be unaffordable. And time is *not* on your side.