|Re: Question for HP collectors|
Message #3 Posted by Howard Owen on 16 Apr 2006, 6:32 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Han
I think the distinction between a handheld calculator and some other device is an interesting topic, full of subtleties, and rife with propenents of this or that point of view. I enjoy chewing over this sort of thing as much as the next guy. But when it comes to defining my collecting goals, it's nearly irrelevant. I collect machines that interest me. I define those interests by the amount of pleasure I get playing with the machines I collect. Currently, the machines that are pleasing me the most are my HP-85B and new Integral PC. These aren't handhelds, no matter how you try to stretch the term. However, the 85B may be a "calculator" depending on who you talk to.
My point is, have fun discussing what people believe "handheld calculator" means. But follow your heart in your collecting. You'll enjoy it more.
Having said that, there are at least two definitions of "handheld calculator" that make sense to me. First, there's the common-sense definition of a machine that can be held in your hand, and is capable of doing math with a calculator style keyboard. Your 95LX, with its numeric pad, certainly qualifies under that definition. My Zaurus systems, running Linux, do not. They run calculator simulations like Nonpareil just fine, for instance, but their keyboards are pure QWERTY. Under this definition, the 71B is a handheld calculator, and the 75C/D is a small computer. The 75 is bigger than a handheld, and lacks the numeric keypad. (Digression: I don't count the overlay of a number grid on the typewriter keys as qualifying the 75C as a calculator. It is interesting that technique was used on the 75, though. It's in use on many laptops today. Does anyone know if it originated with the 75?)
Second, a narrower definition more appropriate to this site might combine the first, and add the proviso that the machine be one of the products produced by Hewlett Packard's calculator division, or "portable computer" division, in Corvallis, or its successors in Singapore and Australia. Your 95LX qualifies under that definition as well.
You can see the family resemblance. The keyboard on the 95LX is reminiscent of the calculators we all love. There's a business calculator program on board as well, that can be switched into RPN mode. All in all, I think these sweet little computers belong in the family of collectible HP handheld calculators.