|Re: HP owners actually use them?|
Message #28 Posted by brianh on 7 Mar 2010, 8:41 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dimitri Simitas
Who still uses them?
Well, I work in the Planning & Engineering Department of the world's busiest airport.
HP 11Cs and 15Cs are still fairly common on the desks of the engineering staff. We have one engineering consultant that still pulls out his 41CX. One of our oldest engineering staff members has an HP 45 on his desk, and it still works and he uses it every day. The battery pack is shot and he keeps it plugged in all the time, but the LEDs still glow!
There are at least two HP 50s at work in my office (one of them mine)
My desk sports an fully functional HP 97. I fire it up now and again for show or if I'm doing a calculation for which I want a paper trail.
However, my day-to-day go-to calculator is a new HP 35S. If I just need to crunch a few numbers it fits the bill fine. I used it just the other day to compute some coordinate system adjustments. There is still a place for a good RPN scientific calculator with basic functions available at the primary or secondary key level.
Sadly, my sense is that new engineering students get no introduction to calculator-level RPN. Most newly minted engineers (and we get our share of Ga. Tech grads) don't know anything about RPN-based calculators. I put it down to lack of choices and, of course, the rise of PC-based software tools to handle most of the basic calculations that engineers used to tackle with handheld calculators just a few years ago.
There is a clear generational dividing line. "Older" staff - say those over 45, will frequently be seen using HP calculators. Most of them old, beat up 10-series models. "Newer" staff, those that entered the job market after the desktop PC became the engineering tool of choice, more frequently grab any old algebraic calculator to punch numbers.