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Your First Handheld?
05-09-2014, 01:20 PM
Post: #41
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-07-2014 06:34 PM)John W Kercheval Wrote:  What was it? Mine was a TI-59.

Others? Anyone use a Timex? Altair?

I the first one I remember was a Casio back in the late 80s (1989? 1988? - when I was in Middle School). It was similar to today's fx-250 but it was not solar and had a foldable case.

The second one was the TI-30 STAT.

My first HP didn't come until 2000, in which it was an HP 48GX.
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05-09-2014, 04:30 PM
Post: #42
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-07-2014 06:34 PM)John W Kercheval Wrote:  What was it?

This is my trek to the first HP that I actually owned:

1969 - Dietzgen N1725 Slide Rule ($35, equivalent to $225 in 2014)
1972 - Bomar 901B Four-Function ($140, equivalent to $790 in 2014)
1974 - Texas Instruments SR-50 Scientific ($150, equivalent to $720 in 2014)
1977 - Hewlett-Packard HP-67 Scientific Programmable ($450, equivalent to $1750 in 2014)

The various accessories that I bought for the HP-67 added another $200. The total was more than a month of my before-taxes pay as a US Navy lieutenant(jg).
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05-09-2014, 04:46 PM
Post: #43
RE: Your First Handheld?
I had a TI 30 of some variety for a short time in the early 90s, but got a 41cv from my dad which was much better (the keys were the biggest upgrade). I got a 32SII after that, and the first purchased HP 48GX shipped to Texas
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05-09-2014, 11:38 PM
Post: #44
RE: Your First Handheld?
TI-57
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05-10-2014, 01:06 AM
Post: #45
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-07-2014 06:34 PM)John W Kercheval Wrote:  What was it? Mine was a TI-59.

Others? Anyone use a Timex? Altair?

First genuine handheld was a Sinclair Cambridge (HS 1973). Graduated to Sinclair Oxford 300 a couple of years later when needing trig, and 35 years after that acquired a Sinclair Scientific (Oxford form factor) RPN 24 step programmable off TAS for about $25. Still works but it's suboptimal on SO many levels...!
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05-10-2014, 02:27 AM
Post: #46
RE: Your First Handheld?
If memory serves, Mom gave me a Post Versatrig 1450 when I was in high school. In college (1965), I started with a Versalog 1460 and then a Versalog II 1460 and a pocket Versalog II 1461. Then there were Pickett and K&E and Dietzgen and Acu-Math as I started teaching slide rule. Calculators were desktop mechanical machines by Monroe and Friedan, and the electronic Wang.

The HP-35 changed my world.

Then the 25, 29c, 19c, 12c, 11c ... 41c, 41cv ... and several of the 48s and a 49, which I didn't use much, the 41 were more mind-friendly. A 42s in a thrift store got me to collecting, which I keep trying not to do.
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05-10-2014, 03:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2014 03:58 AM by Matt Agajanian.)
Post: #47
RE: Your First Handheld?
Since I was a math wiz at six years old, my first one was a TI-2500. I had several others after that including a few scientifics. When I was 11, grandpa got me an SR-56 (my first programmable).
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05-10-2014, 12:26 PM
Post: #48
RE: Your First Handheld?
Started on the dark side with a ti58c because my father told me that the hp had an inverse notation and it was too difficult for a 13 years old boy.

Then my first other calc, a lot of years later, was a hp28s. Finally rpn was not so difficult to learn.

Thanks

Giancarlo
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05-10-2014, 03:28 PM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2014 03:34 PM by jebem.)
Post: #49
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-07-2014 06:34 PM)John W Kercheval Wrote:  What was it? Mine was a TI-59.
Others? Anyone use a Timex? Altair?

1974: My first "handheld" was a fantastic Faber-Castell 57/87 slide ruler (date code 774 - July/1974), able to do Logarithms and Trigonometry.
I still have it: http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/attachment.php?aid=467

1975: My real first electronic calculator was a nice Casio FX-39 Scientific Calculator, made in Japan! I've kept it as well.

1977: I've acquired several models, including one HP-25, one HP-67 and one HP-55, and later in 1980 one HP-25C (I was working to the HP official distributor in Mozambique at that time.... Smile ).
I've sold all of them in TAS except the original HP-25 that is working fine after replacing the original batteries with new ones. With the money I have acquired a number of vintage transistor radios to my collection.

Jose Mesquita
RadioMuseum.org member

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05-10-2014, 07:05 PM
Post: #50
RE: Your First Handheld?
Here is the story of my first contact with a handheld calculator:

The calc that always gave PI as the result

It was mine for a single day but I was infected by the "I must have a calculator" disease. The first one I could afford was a TI SR-51A, followed by an SR-56. At university the SR-56 was replaced by a TI-59 with PC-100A printer.

My calculator disease was cured later by an EACA Video Genie. The latter somehow started my professional career as a software developer.

Marcus von Cube
Wehrheim, Germany
http://www.mvcsys.de
http://wp34s.sf.net
http://mvcsys.de/doc/basic-compare.html
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05-10-2014, 07:22 PM
Post: #51
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-08-2014 10:21 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I'm finding that for non-connected PIM functions, the 200LX just can't be beat even after 20 years.

An HP 200LX was my first PIM device which I carried with me for several years. I replaced it by a Psion netBook (yes, the original netBook which is a 5mx on steroids). It wasn't really pocketable but I still like its keyboard and PIM applications. For PIM functions modern devices have taken over (iPad mini with SIM card, Android phone).

Marcus von Cube
Wehrheim, Germany
http://www.mvcsys.de
http://wp34s.sf.net
http://mvcsys.de/doc/basic-compare.html
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05-10-2014, 08:33 PM
Post: #52
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-10-2014 07:05 PM)Marcus von Cube Wrote:  Here is the story of my first contact with a handheld calculator:

The calc that always gave PI as the result

It was mine for a single day but I was infected by the "I must have a calculator" disease. The first one I could afford was a TI SR-51A, followed by an SR-56. At university the SR-56 was replaced by a TI-59 with PC-100A printer.

My calculator disease was cured later by an EACA Video Genie. The latter somehow started my professional career as a software developer.

Be honoured to have such a rewarding disease!! Besides, if it wasn't for us nerds, smartphones, Skype, DVRs and all the other fun stuff we have wouldn't be around.

GEEKS UNITE!!
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05-10-2014, 11:22 PM
Post: #53
RE: Your First Handheld?
N1010-ES Picket slide rule to start. Bought at the local community college (a new concept then) bookstore. I was the only one still using a slide rule for the first test in senior year high school physics. I was also the only one who finished the test -- yes, I was that fast, using folded scales, etc.

First family calculator: TI SR-10. Still have it, in original box, still works, had to replace the NiCd batteries in it. The charger got dropped a lot and is held together with a large wrap of electrical tape, still works.

My first calculator: HP-25, $195 in December 1975 S/N 1512A23310. I HAD to have an HP after my brother showed me an HP-45 in the green hard case that he borrowed. I still have my 25. It is the standard by which all others shall be judged. I had to replace some internals after I tried to power it with the batteries backwards once, but it works again. (I picked up two non-working units on eBuy, and with the three I had enough good parts to make two functional.) Still have the books, accessories sheet, etc., but the user coding pages from the Programming manual (and the page on how to calculate days between two dates) are long gone!

Dad had a TI SR-50 for work -- that was a sweet looking machine, and I never did like the black-and-gold style of the later TI calculators (SR-51A, TI-59) etc. as much as the blue/silver theme of the original SR-50. I recently got dad a used SR-50 in good shape on eBuy.

I was issued a TI-59 for work and used it a lot. A senior instrument engineer shared with me a whole slew of programs (which I put on cards and printed out) for control valve sizing, relief valve sizing, flow measurement orifice plate sizing, etc., etc. Very nice. Had to leave it behind when they let us go in the big RIF. Bummer.

After that? Radio Shack Color Computer with OS-9, 386 laptop, etc.
Dale
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05-11-2014, 04:35 AM
Post: #54
RE: Your First Handheld?
My dad had a TI SR-50 when I was young. I would see him using it and wouldn't think too much of it. One day I was sick, and he gave me the calculator to play with in the hope that it would take my mind off things. It did. Shortly afterward, I built my own "calculator" out of construction paper, dutifully copying all the keys on the SR-50 even though I had scant idea what most of them were for. ("Dad, what does cos mean?") My folks got me a TI Dataman around this time. I still have it.

My first non-toy calculator was an HP-11C. It served me well until one day when I left it at the bottom of an overloaded book bag, and cracked the crystal. I replaced it with an HP-42S, which is still my daily-use calculator.

John
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05-11-2014, 08:09 PM
Post: #55
RE: Your First Handheld?
My first handheld was a TI-30 from 1977 - a gift from my parents as I was entering high school. In the mid to late seventies I really became aware of HP calculators from ads in magazines like Popular Science and Scientific American and always longed to own one. A couple of years later I saved up and purchased a TI-55 as HP's were simply cost prohibitive. They remained so until...

In third year Mech Eng at RMC (circa 1985), I bought a slightly used HP-15C from a professor who said he didn't need it any longer now that he had a 'computer' with BASIC. That 15C is still my favourite and I took it all over the world while in the navy and on business trips. I followed that up with a 32sii in 1994 which I used daily until I got the bug more than a decade later to start adding to the collection. I now have thirty odd HPs (including some duplicates) which I try to use in rotation.

Jeff
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05-11-2014, 08:41 PM
Post: #56
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-10-2014 11:22 PM)Dale Reed Wrote:  Dad had a TI SR-50 for work -- that was a sweet looking machine, and I never did like the black-and-gold style of the later TI calculators (SR-51A, TI-59) etc. as much as the blue/silver theme of the original SR-50.

That's exactly what I thought. After buying a SR-50 in 1974, I bought a SR-51A a year later. That was a much more versatile machine, but I hated the clunky color scheme and other aspects of TI's industrial design for the SR-51A and all later TI machines. I suspect that some of that gang must have gone over to HP by the mid-1980's, judging from how terrible the industrial design of the HP 28C/S, -38G, -48all, and Pioneers were, not least the colors chosen for case and keyboard, and that awful awful clamshell design.
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05-11-2014, 10:53 PM
Post: #57
RE: Your First Handheld?
I purchased a Picket in 1970. My dad excitedly opened the package that arrived one June day in 1973 while I was home from college...an HP 35! I have it on my desk in mint condition along with it' big plastic case that has room for calculator, charger, spare batteries, and instruction book where it states that HP wanted you to have something like James Bond, Walter Mitty, or Dick Tracy were supposed to own. Next to it is my best college slide rule, the Faber-Castell Mathema 2/84 N. My 1st calculator was the TI SR-50 followed by an HP 25C that I programmed with a simple formula to calculate the SWEAT weather index that is used to forecast the potential of severe thunderstorms (I'm a meteorologist). Took the big plunge for an HP 67 in 1977. My best program on it utilizing the black magnetic cards was playing out the entire 1970 American League baseball season (each team had it's players on a card). I've enjoyed a lot of HP's since those days up to the Prime, HP 39gii of today. Also, of course, the WP 34S.
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05-12-2014, 05:11 PM
Post: #58
RE: Your First Handheld?
I was too young to have one in the 70's... What a pity for me...

First was a TI57-lcd and after a HP 15C in 1986.
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05-13-2014, 12:15 AM
Post: #59
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-11-2014 08:41 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  
(05-10-2014 11:22 PM)Dale Reed Wrote:  Dad had a TI SR-50 for work -- that was a sweet looking machine, and I never did like the black-and-gold style of the later TI calculators (SR-51A, TI-59) etc. as much as the blue/silver theme of the original SR-50.

That's exactly what I thought. After buying a SR-50 in 1974, I bought a SR-51A a year later. That was a much more versatile machine, but I hated the clunky color scheme and other aspects of TI's industrial design for the SR-51A and all later TI machines. I suspect that some of that gang must have gone over to HP by the mid-1980's, judging from how terrible the industrial design of the HP 28C/S, -38G, -48all, and Pioneers were, not least the colors chosen for case and keyboard, and that awful awful clamshell design.


Having both 28s (no pun intended) (C and S), my pet peeve of bad design is/was the battery compartment. It did and does lead to some very frustrating battery changing routines, not to mention the awkward choice of N cell necessity. PS-NEVER, NEVER make the mistake of putting in A23/23A sized cells in--thus another reason I find the battery choice for this clamshell lineage a bad move from HP.
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05-13-2014, 12:34 AM
Post: #60
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-13-2014 12:15 AM)Matt Agajanian Wrote:  Having both 28s (no pun intended) (C and S), my pet peeve of bad design is/was the battery compartment. It did and does lead to some very frustrating battery changing routines, not to mention the awkward choice of N cell necessity. PS-NEVER, NEVER make the mistake of putting in A23/23A sized cells in--thus another reason I find the battery choice for this clamshell lineage a bad move from HP.

I find the nearly useless amount of memory in the 28C to be the biggest problem among the clamshell line. You literally cannot write any programs of substance, as the RPL interpreter won't have enough memory to compile it and save over the old version.

But for the 28S and 19BII, those are all extremely valid criticisms. Fortunately in both cases, you can just get an entirely better machine, and it's usually the cheaper option! A 48S is normally cheaper than a good condition 28S, and ditto for a 95LX vs. a 19BII. You lose out on 82240 printer compatibility with the 95LX I think, but gain a ton of other stuff.

But my goodness was that ever a horrible battery compartment design on those clamshells.
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