|Re: HP-25 Fans|
Message #9 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 20 Oct 2003, 4:58 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Patrick
I couldn't agree more, Patrick. I'm also a very great fan of the HP-25, which was my first HP. It had that incredible physical quality lost ever since (the 34C couldn't compare at all), was eminently affordable (unlike the 65 and 55), and it was amazing what you could do in just 49 steps, I guess even its very creators couldn't anticipate just how much some people would put in it.
Newer generations of HP fans are somewhat 'spoilt' with models having far greater RAM, but at the time (1976), the mere fact that you could compute elliptic integrals on a handheld calculator was nothing sort of miraculous on engineering clasees. Not to mention doing things that could barely be attacked on our faculty computer, using FORTRAN and a batch of perforated cards (the least intereactive kind of programming you could imagine), such as root finding and even solving differential equations using 3rd and 4th-order Runge-Kutta. That could be done with an HP-25, single-handedly, on the spot. People were astonished to the most.
There were programs you could fit on a 49-step HP-25 that wouldn't on a 100-step HP-65, not to mention the HP-55. I wrote dozens of programs for it at the time, and even though they were of increasing complexity, I don't think I really reached the limits of ingenuity for 25's programming.
There are still cleverer programs that could be written for it.
Anyway, I fully doubt that any person not having experienced this first hand would be able to ever grasp the feeling, but for those of us who did, nothing compares, be it 34C or 41CX or 42S or 49G+. The HP-25 was an amazing feat of engineering, the like of which the calculator world would never experience again.
Best regards from V.