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My first HP experience

Posted by Antonio Maschio (Italy) on 15 May 2006, 11:47 a.m.

I think it happened during summer '96. I was finishing my first year as a 'junior' civil engineer in a private office in my hometown, and my boss, a senior civil engineer using HP calculators since Seventies, after seeing me calculating with a Sharp PC-E500 (I had bought some months before), told me: "Why don't you use a HP calculator? It's much better; and faster".
I shook my head, 1) because I had just bought that powerful machine to substitute an old Sharp PC-1401, and I was very proud of it; 2) because I knew his kind of calculator (a HP-11C) had a weird input system; he called it R-P-N, and I couldn't figure out how it worked.
Of course my answer went like: "I'm too used to mine to change now!"

After a couple of years (end of '98) I discovered that the keyboard of my Sharp PC-E500 - made of awful rubber - was beginning to fail (I had to press some keys twice, or a single pressure returned values twice and so on)(*); I looked around for another calculator, then.
At that times, the HP-32SII - brown type - was still on the market. I don't know why I made up my mind: maybe I remembered what my boss used to tell me. The fact is I bought it, and in a couple of days, after devouring the manual, it seemed to me I had always used RPN. Actually, everything was faster and easier; and programming in RPN was even better (even with not much available memory) than Sharp's BASIC.

Now I' m a proud owner of a 1983 HP-15C, a 1988 HP-11C, two 2001 and 2005 HP-12C (CR2032 batteries), a 1998 HP-32SII, a 2005 HP-33S, a 2005 HP-49g+, a HP-35S, a HP-50G and other HP, Casio and Sharp models and even some rarity of other brands; my favorite is the 15C.

Maybe I'm an 'expert' user of RPN calculators today, who knows. But I remember those days with some nostalgia.


* The awful keyboard of the Sharp PC-E500 has nothing to do with the pleasant plastic (and still working) keyboard of my older Sharp PC-1401 I tried to substitute with the E500!

Edited: 15 Jan 2009, 12:12 p.m.


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