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HP Memories from Greece

Posted by Nick Karagiaouroglou on 23 Jan 2002, 3:22 p.m.

The first HP calculator I ever saw, was not a calculator at all. It was the HP01 in 1978 and I was dreaming of having one, standing in front of the jewellery that was selling it in Greece. At that time I was 14, so it is useless to say that this was completely impossible. The same shop start also selling HP calculators a couple of months later. Comparing them with the calculator of my dad, I wondered what these HPs might be capable of, if they had so many more keys. In 1981, a couple of money saving years later, I dared ask what they cost. (They never put any price labels on the exposed calculators for obvious reasons.) You must imagine my sudden face color change, when I realized that I couldn't buy even half a calculator with the amount I had saved. Depressed I went to an electronics shop and bought a simpler calculator, but still I had the dream. In 1989, again a couple of years later, I was studying chemistry in Duisburg, Germany. A good friend of mine borrowed me his HP41 and I was amazed of this fantastic machine. So the story "save money to buy one" started again. But just at the time, when I thought I had saved enough, I saw a commercial about the HP48SX. With an integral on its big display. I was amazed and devastated! I just had the money for buying the flag ship, but it was no more the flag ship! But I was lucky. The university offered some good jobs and I got one, which helped me improve my economy in a couple of months. Then I bought the HP48SX and felt like the king of the university. It could give you results of trigonometric functions with complex arguments on a single key press. And could do symbolic math. And many kinds of plots. And it had the command KILL which somehow gave me the feeling of having a big computer in my hands. I remember running behind people, to show them what was possible with this machine. They would hardly believe it! I did the whole work for my diploma with it. From measured data storage to fitting, from calculating theoretical values to plots, simply everything. Since that time I was lucky enough to be able to buy many other models. But when it comes to memory magic the HP48SX is a real treasure.


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