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HP Memories

Posted by Fred Stone on 25 Oct 2001, 1:57 p.m.

About 1971 I was part of the evaluation group planning to purchase a time sharing system for Tuskegee University (Institute then). The sales rep came around with the HP35 and part of his method to show it was to take it out of his pocket, and in the process of handing it to you, drop it and while trying to pick it up, kick it, bouncing it off the wall or whatever it hit. Then retrieving it, allowed us to get our hands on it and smile while we drooled.

One of the students working in the center had forgotten his TI calculator and asked to borrow my HP35. He insisted he could use the calculator - NO PROBLEM - on an exam. I warned him it was RPN. NO PROBLEM! Well, he flunked the exam, cursed his TI and purchased an HP.

I still have the HP35 and many others - HP27, HP71, HP75, HP12C, 15C, 16C, 92, Portable Plus, 95LX still in use, 100LX (damaged display), 200LX used by wife today, 620LX still used.

On a training event, I was in Corvallas and took the plant tour. In the manufacturing area, they had the HP Museum of calculators that had been sent back for repair. One story stands out -

A person working in a zoo used his HP calculator to compute the proper food mix for the hippopotamus. While in the hippopotamus cage, he was shoveling the food and his calculator fell out of his pocket. Before he could retrieve it, the calculator had been consumed. There was a theory that it took about 41 - 43 days for food to work it's way through the digestion process, but nothing definite. 42 days later, out popped the calculator. A few nicks and bruises. It was washed off and it worked.

12/76 I went to work for HP. Retired 5/00.


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