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35 to 15C

Posted by michael thornton on 26 Oct 2006, 7:10 a.m.

When i was in junior high my Dad bought the first HP35 (and first HP) in South Africa, from a store that took a chance and decided to import HP. I didn't know anything about calculators but it sure licked log books. So my first experience with calculators was RPN. Seemed real natural to me, worked the way your brain would do it. (from the inside out). Could never understand why newbies were 'stupid'.

I took the HP35 to school to show the teachers, and see if I could use it instead of the damn log book. I figured everyone would start using them, and the teachers were going to be real happy with my find. You can imagine my disappointment when I saw a tool that rivaled the light bulb, being ignored. 'There will be a calculator on every desk...'. I didn't realize the HP35 cost a king's ransom back then.

TI was the first 'contender' to come along as I recall. I felt like a klutz trying to do simple algorithms. The algebraic calculator never found it's way into my possession and as long as my 15C keeps going it never will.

Along the way some of the models included a 29C, 65, HP01, 97. Even though the models changed, the build quality was always superb, and I have never come across a keypad was the same magic feel. I always turn to my 15C rather than the PC, which is like pulling teeth.

HP got it right with the first model ! The 'Golden Age of Technology'. Imagine if the IBM PC had even been close. We would still have all the PCs we owned because they would still do a great job.

My Dad still has never used a PC, his 15C is always on the desk.

Talk about Golden. I am interested in photography and one area I find fascinating is the Golden Ratio Phi. I created a template for my digital camera out of a transparency with a Golden Rectangle/Lines/Points/Triangle mapped on it. I took a shot of my 15C and it looked as if it made a Golden Rectangle, length = width * 1.618. I got out my rule and sure enough, 128mm x 79mm.

Engineers make good artists, Engineers Rule!

Edited: 7 Dec 2006, 8:34 a.m.


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