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Woodstocks rule

Posted by Hal on 15 Jan 2006, 3:49 a.m.

My first exposure to RPN was in college in 1976. I bought a National Semiconductor Novus from the bookstore. It was cheap, and had lots of colorful buttons that looked like they did lots of stuff. After the reading the RPN tutorial and working with some simple problems for 15 minutes, I was fully converted to RPN. A few months later, my new room-mate saw me working with my Novus, and after laughing in my face, handed me his HP25 and said "here, try out a real calculator". The compact, sculpted, bathtub case (no center seam!), and snappy, hinged keys instantly clued me in that this machine was something special...and I had to have one. By the time I had scraped up enough to get me in the ballpark financially, the 29C had come out. Holy moly...this new 29C was literally dynamite in a small package! (And even today it holds it own in many respects with new machines...for's 30 data registers are more than an HP67, or even the new 33s has!) And the continuous memory was absolutely cosmic! My lab partner always made fun of HP's and their RPN logic, refering to them as "Heap Piles". I remember his TI55 having so many keys you had to "stand on" to make them register, he had adopted the tecnique of standing on them all, eliciting all manor of creaks and groans from the case of this poor tortured machine during use. One semester, in preparation for an upcoming circuit analysis exam, I had written a program for my HP29 to solve a 3 x 3 matrix. Upon seeing this, my TI toting buddy's criticism suddenly ceased. In fact, he borrowed a 25 from somebody, and ask me to put my program into it for the test (as the 25's memory was volital, I wrote the program out on paper for him to key in just before the test, and that worked fine for him). I still have that 29c with it's fur lined case, and it still works perfectly. I've recently started collecting early HP's and have added a 34C, 41C, 41CX, and most recently a 15C to my little collection. I'm still looking for a 67...must have a 67........ hal :)


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