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My first calculator

Posted by David Chong on 23 Apr 2002, 1:20 a.m.

I received my first electronic calculator back in 1975. It was a HP-21. I read the user's manual from cover to cover many times over, enjoying the many practical examples given there and fell in love with RPN. I especially enjoyed sitting in the front row during physics or chemistry lessons with my HP-21 and waiting for the lecturers to take the bait. Every now and then they would conveniently pick up my calculator and try to solve some equations on the board and I just love the look on their faces as they try to search for the equal sign. Exasperated, they would eventually turn away to look for some other calculator from one of the other students.

One day my HP-21 dropped from my motorcycle and as I went back to look for it I saw it being run over by a car. My heart sank as I heard the sick sound of "thump-thump" as it was being run over twice, first by the front and then by the back wheel of a car. To my surprise it was still working fine when I picked it up. The calculator (and the manual) is still with me today and functioning well. I had to remove the NiCd batteries though beacuse they started to leak but they continue to work well with normal dry cells.


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