The Museum of HP Calculators

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Full Name (family, given): Platt, Bill
Account Name: bill platt
Contact: bill platt
Location: New England and the Mid Atlantic --a mass in motion
Entered: 8 July 2005, 11:04 p.m.

Now that I have written this I think I should move it to "Memories" so perhaps it will disappear and go over there.....

I 1st Saw an HP when I was about 10 or 12--that would be 1976 or 78. It was owned by a friend of my father--an engineer somewhere in connecticut. I remember it being like the TI SR?? my father had in its general "form factor" except that it was so much sturdier and impressive. It had a magnetic strip reader, and the "moon lander" game was on it--and I played it with great fascination. (I guess it was a 65 or a 67).

The stage is now set.

1982, my father bought me an 11c for me at the end of the summer. It was one of those magical moments--I still remember the smell of the package, and the University of Pennsylvania bookstore where we got it---wow! When we got home I devoured the manual--and even as a high school student I could feel the utter quality of that manual. My younger brother also learned how to use it that night--even though he did not get his own HP for over a decade, he always knew how to use one--right from that day.

And I could play the lunar lander game!! (It was in [one of] the 11c manual[s]).

Perspective changes with age--now I see that many have fond memories of using their old TI, but the truth of the HP superiority is so plain to see now--they have outlasted all the others. And it is fun to be able to use a 25 or 30 year old electronic device in this age of rapid obsolescence.

I calculate all sorts of things on my HP. In real life I am a design engineer. Software is great (I personally own about $5000 worth of design software--in 1995 dollars!) but there is still something so good about figuring out stuff by hand--and the calculator can go anywhere and so is a true companion for the insufferable number-cruncher.

When I am not figuring out how strong something should be or what its drag coefficient is, I am exploring the structure of music--for which the calculator is useful again (just another excuse to use it!).

If I am not busy figuring something out, then I am riding a bike, or birding, or swimming, or sailing, or cross-country skiing, or playing music badly--or skating or exercizing in some way--and all usually with the children along side now.


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