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those were the days ...

Posted by Glenn Becker on 29 May 2009, 8:54 a.m.

Once my math brains had revved up back in high school, I found myself in Algebra II with a great (and eccentric) teacher who for some reason seemed obsessed with these ... calculator thingumbobs. So obsessed was he that he eventually had the back portion of his classroom sectioned off to act as a home for ... a computer of some kind!

What kind of a machine it was I cannot for the life of me recall (this would have been 1977 or thereabouts), but I remember there was paper tape involved. We learned some sort of assembler language on it. I don't recall doing terribly well in the class, unfortunately.

This shades into an "HP memory" because Mr. R had us all purchase some sort of calculator that was to an extent programmable to use in the course. I remember slavering over the HPs, but since they were pricy I wound up with a Novus (National Semiconductor) ... which may still exist in my parents' house somewhere, tucked into the old slipper case I kept it in.

If I could travel in time, of course, I'd go back and give my young self the cash to get the HP. Mr. R preferred them. They didn't have the "mushy keys" like the TI calculators he endlessly derided (I can still hear him saying "mushy keys") or the Novus I wound up with ...

Even today I find myself wishing I had the cash to be a true collector of these wonderful machines. Perhaps some wealthy me from the future will come a-calling soon ... ;^)


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