|RPN is an addiction|
Message #1 Posted by Peter Klein on 11 Feb 2009, 3:01 a.m.
Unlike most of you, I'm not an engineer or a programmer. I'm just a humanities guy cleverly disguised as a computer and network support person for economic purposes. And my mathematical needs are modest.
But I'm a confirmed RPN addict. I started back in 1976 with a simple National Semiconductor RPN calculator, soon replaced with an HP-25.
I taught myself some math and programming on the "25." I wrote a simple program using the HMS<->H functions to add up timings for classical music recordings when I worked in public radio. I wrote a program to calibrate the bandspread dial of an old Hallicrafters shortwave radio for the international broadcast bands, so I could find stations without hunting. Trivial stuff, but useful.
Eventually I got my beloved 11C, which I still use, albeit mostly to balance my checkbook. There are only two things I wish were different about the 11C:
- I wish it did hex/octal/binary math.
- I have big hands, so I wish the spaces between the number buttons were bigger. I need about 4mm or more of space between the left side of the "1" button and the right side of the "3" button to be comfortable "touch keying."
Recently, I pulled out my old HP-25, and discovered that the program memory, registers and Last X no longer hold any values. And I though, "Uh-oh, what if the 11C bites the dust?" So I began searching, and found out about the new 35s. But I read about the keyboard issues, the virtually unusable hex entry, and the shifted "STO" function, and I thought, "No, I probably wouldn't be happy with this."
So they don't make what I want. I'm kind of stuck. Algebraic calculators just don't cut it for me. The big graphing calculators are overkill for my needs. I wish HP still made something like the 32s or 42s, which would probably be fine for me. But even those are getting old these days, and cost plenty.
And here I am, longing for the proverbial Good Old Days. Those old HP calculators are an addiction, that's for sure.