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My HP41CV Passed Away Today
Posted by Karin Seritis on 5 Apr 2007, 7:12 p.m.
I own/have owned only three 'classics' that I would mourn losing, and I am in mourning today. I lost my 1986 VW Jetta GLI a little over a year ago, and had more than a rough time letting that little baby go. Today is not quite that bad, but my irreplacable HP 41CV finally bit the dust for good this morning.
I bought my 41CV in 1983 for $215, after going through 2 TI-55's that each lasted precisely 6 months before the data entries went haywire. One of my study partners (engineering) went with me in order to watch me 'waste all that money' on a calculator. Ha! I could tell right away that the quality of the CV was so far above any other calculator I'd played with as to not even be in the same league. The firm click of the keypads, the solid and heavy feel of the entire unit, and the raciness of the design (OK, OK - I need a little excitement thrown in there) all gave me the impression that this little piece was going to last way more than the 6-month lifetime that I was becoming accustomed to. And I wasn't disappointed. Over the last 24 years, I have taken that calculator everywhere I go. I take it to work every day; I take it with me when I run errands and on long drives; I've even taken it to Europe nearly a dozen times on trips that have lasted up to three months. I use it for engineering calcs, taxes, estimating - you name it. I am also absolutely hooked on RP data entry. I spent 15 minutes practicing data entry with this system when I first brought it home, and have been unable to use standard entry on any other type of calculator since. I flounder if I even try.
Anyway, my CV started dying a few days ago, and this morning I couldn't even get it to show '0.0000'. In desperation, I bought an HP 12c Platinum financial calculator an hour ago for two reasons: 1) the graphing calculators are MUCH too big to carry around on a daily basis (HP Corporation - are you reading this?), and 2) in all honesty, I rarely used any of the engineering functions after I graduated. But I already miss my 41VC's looks, portability and - most importantly - capability. RIP, my faithful little companion.
Well, at least I still have my 1983 18-speed Trek 520 (see first paragraph, on 'classics'). Sigh...
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