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Your First Handheld?
11-20-2015, 06:27 PM (This post was last modified: 11-20-2015 06:28 PM by ColinJDenman.)
Post: #141
RE: Your First Handheld?
(11-20-2015 06:15 PM)TASP Wrote:  We had one of these bad boys before the TI.

It could be carried around, but it wasn't really 'hand held'. My sis and I were fascinated with the thing.

Might be in my basement somewhere. No batteries or cords, seems like there was a ribbon in it.

Gods teeth. I used to play with one of these in the office on my dad's ship, back in 1967. Either the same or a very similar model -- the circular operator control stick thing at the top right was especially fun. Kept me occupied for hours. Endless yards of printout.

My first encounter with proper hand-helds was a HP-21 (?) in the 70s. Got my dad's hand-me-down 5 function PYE-640 in 1975, a Nat-Semi 4525 RPN Programmer in 76 and a HP-41C in 80/1, then a HP-16C in 83. Still got 'em all. Did buy a Prime a couple of years ago, bu that's hardly in the same pedigree as the older HPs.
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11-20-2015, 10:33 PM
Post: #142
RE: Your First Handheld?
... oh, and we had a few of these in a cupboard at school in the late 60s:
http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/odhner.html

We could play with them at the end of maths class, if we completed our exercises early and had them checked by the teacher as being all correct. Sadly, I rarely got to play with them :-(
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11-21-2015, 12:49 AM
Post: #143
RE: Your First Handheld?
(11-20-2015 06:15 PM)TASP Wrote:  We had one of these bad boys before the TI.

That's an Olivetti Summa Prima 20. I have a similar motorized version, the Summa Quanta 20. It omits the odd joystick input however.

[Image: summaquanta20.jpg]
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11-21-2015, 02:15 AM (This post was last modified: 11-21-2015 02:17 AM by Adam Vaughn.)
Post: #144
RE: Your First Handheld?
Hmmm, this is complicated...

First calculator ever: No idea who made it, but it was a little kid's calculator which my parents gave me in the early '90s. Best I can recall, it had a light blue plastic case, and a flap over the LCD which looked like a cartoon cat or something. Moving the flap up turned on the calculator. The keys were in the shape of their number/function.

First scientific calculator: A TI-30Xa Solar, which I was given while in middle school in the mid '90s. Sadly, it took a tumble off of my desk when I was in high school, and the LCD shattered. It was replaced with a standard TI-30Xa (no solar, more rounded-shape case/buttons than the Solar version), which I still have somewhere.

First LED calculator: An original TI-30, which I bought at a radio swapmeet in the early 2000s for $5 or so. The seller had several of them, along with other vintage calculators. I went through several of them to figure out which one had the least amount of key-bounce.

First programmable calculator: A TI-55, which I found at a yard sale for $3. Came with a power supply and a battery pack, which was toast. I replaced the oddball connector going to the BP-7 battery pack with a standard 9V snap connector so I could use a regular 9V battery, then eventually rebuilt said BP-7, retrofitting it with a 9V snap connector (which the molded case had provisions for) so it would still work with the TI-55.

First HP calculator: A HP-11C, which I found at a radio swapmeet (from the same vendor I'd gotten the TI-30s from!) for $35. A bit of background: until I started working at Staples in late 2007, I had no idea that HP even made calculators until I spotted the 12C they had on display (the lone HP calculator they carried in-store, AFAIK). At first I noticed that the chunky little piece of plastic/metal looked rather out-of-place with the cheesy TI handhelds they carried, and cost nearly as much as the graphing calculators! Little did I know that, a few years later, I would pay a bit more than that for one of the limited edition HP-15Cs... Big Grin

Anyway, I spotted the HP-11C on the vendor's table a few months after I started working at Staples, and didn't know quite what to make of it. I knew nothing about HP's overall calculator line, noticed that the 11C looked similar to the 12C, and had no idea whether or not it was any different. In spite of this (and the fact that the battery cover was missing), I plunked down $35, and it was mine. At either the same show or a different one, I spotted a HP-41C which I could've had for a similar price, but again had no idea exactly what it was, and didn't know how to deal with the rechargeable pack included with it, so I passed. As you can imagine, I'm kicking myself about that now... Sad
-Adam
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12-02-2015, 06:19 AM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2015 07:59 PM by guzmanrt.)
Post: #145
RE: Your First Handheld?
Had generic calculators growing up as a kid. The first one where I specifically recall the brand was one of the TI 30 models when I was in high school in the early to mid 80s. If my memory is correct, it was the TI-30 solar; I remember the key colors and configuration. Other students in high school had similar models I think. TI was generally the brand for students. I don't remember anybody with an HP, but there may have been a few with Casio. Some of the students at my school discovered a weird thing you could do with one of those early TI's. I don't remember the exact model, but I remember for sure it was one of the models with an LCD display; if you pushed 3 buttons simultaneously, the upper left, lower left, and lower right keys (not sure of the exact keys though) and it wasn't the off button, it put the calculator into this weird mode where nothing worked at all, the screen just went blank. You had to turn the calculator off and then back on again to resume using it. I don't know which one of my friends discovered this, but during lunch period we would show other kids the trick. OK, now time for all of you to try this with all the early 80's TI's and see which one it was; who knows, maybe others did this.
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12-02-2015, 10:51 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2015 10:52 AM by david sanz.)
Post: #146
RE: Your First Handheld?
My first calculator was a Toshiba HB-101 that my parents bought when I entered highschool in 1983. I still have it, but it does not work any more.

Incidentally, I remember a girl at highschool who kept borrowing my calculator almost everyday. I was shocked the day we took the first exam, when she showed up carrying a bulky LED display scientific (probably some TI model)

At the time neither my parents nor me were aware of trigonometric functions or logarithms. So next year back we went to the shop to buy a Texas Instruments 30 Galaxy, wich I chose mainly because I though the landscape layout was cool Smile

A few years later I needed to do linear regresions, so I swapped my TI for a Casio fx100c from a relative of mine.

Finally, the following year I had to buy a Casio fx850p. I had to buy it because everybody in the class seemed to have one, and because apparently professors felt it was okay to cheat in exams using data stored in the calculator memory. So you had to buy it if you did not want to find you in a dissadvantage.
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12-02-2015, 11:32 AM
Post: #147
RE: Your First Handheld?
1983: Texas TI-57 (LED)
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02-17-2016, 02:08 PM (This post was last modified: 02-17-2016 02:15 PM by NEOHGuy.)
Post: #148
RE: Your First Handheld?
A used K&E Decilon sliderule bought from another college student when he upgraded to a TI-10.

Calculator wise, a used HP-45. Bought it from another college student whose mother worked for HP. He upgraded to the HP-65. I still have the HP-45, although the battery pack is long dead. I can power it up using the AC adapter however. I also have a few solution books from that era.

Along the way, I can also recall (somewhat fuzzy though), an HP-19C, HP-27C, HP-32ii, HP-34C, HP-12c, and my original HP-41C. Also, some knock off of the TI-55 or so, a Sinclair I believe?

Last, I have obtained several HP-12s, through TAS, some to give away, and one for myself (old school ones, not latest generations). Also through TAS at great expense an HP-41CX, math/stats module, financial module, Advantage module, and the PPC ROM. The modules I had previously with my original HP-41C for nostalgia's sake. Back then I also had the Stress and Mechanics modules as well. Sadly, all were lost when I junked the calculator due to the corrosion on the connectors.
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02-24-2016, 02:19 PM
Post: #149
RE: Your First Handheld?
My first calculator was the TI-108 in elementary school, then the Math Explorer in junior high. When everyone else got their TI-83/84+'s, I got a TI-89 Titanium and used that throughout high school and freshman year of college.

Got my first HP calculator in 2012 - the HP35s, since I was planning on taking the FE exam during my senior year, and this is the best calculator allowed (and the only programmable). Thus, I've been using this as my daily driver, relegating the overkill TI-89 to my desk drawer to be used when checking MATLAB results or solving systems of equations.

My dad is a huge fan of HP calculators, though, and I heard about them through him first (12C diehard). I also got a 15C LE in 2012.

First LED calculator was the HP 32E, in not-so-great condition...a friend repaired it for me somewhat but it's still not too reliable. Recently I got a 32S off TAS for about $50, but I still am more used to the 35s and so I'm sticking to that for now, until I finally take the FE.
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02-24-2016, 02:33 PM
Post: #150
RE: Your First Handheld?
(11-21-2015 12:49 AM)Accutron Wrote:  
(11-20-2015 06:15 PM)TASP Wrote:  We had one of these bad boys before the TI.

That's an Olivetti Summa Prima 20. I have a similar motorized version, the Summa Quanta 20. It omits the odd joystick input however.

[Image: summaquanta20.jpg]

Imagine the HP41 battery pack wired to a motor geared down enough to operate that beast!

IOW, I'm noting the improvement in efficiency from Babbage's Differential Engine which, I believe, was steam powered, (LOL!) to today's pocket miracles that run on button cells, and a single button cell would have insufficient power to do even one addition on a mechanical 1960s adding machine.

Imagine the power requirements of a WP34s simulacrum implemented with gears and sprockets and cogs and cams and clutches!

[shudder]

2speed HP41CX,int2XMEM+ZEN, HPIL+DEVEL, HPIL+X/IO, I/R, 82143, 82163, 82162 -25,35,45,55,65,67,70,80
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02-25-2016, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 02-26-2016 09:20 AM by Dieter.)
Post: #151
RE: Your First Handheld?
(05-07-2014 06:34 PM)John W Kercheval Wrote:  What was it? Mine was a TI-59.

I see this thread is still active, so let me add my 2 cents – and a calculator that most of the users of this forum probably have never heard of. ;-)

In 1977 my school decided to order a substantical quantity of calculators so that students could buy these for very a good price. As far as I remember it came down to the choice between a TI-30 and another calculator sold by Quelle, a large German mail order store, under their "Privileg" brand. Finally the latter was chosen, so I got one of these. Recently I found it on the net, and so I think it must have been a model 585 D-E-NC as shown on thimet.de.

Please note the dedicated ARC key for the inverse trig functions – just like the HP35. ;-)

This calculator had two special, err... "features". The first one was its characteristic key click. Which actually was much more than a "click" – I remember that during math tests the room was filled with this loud clicking sound. The other feature may shed some light on the processor used in this device: Although the calculator usually worked with 8 significant digits, most transcendental functions (log, exp, trig) returned only 5-digit results. So lg 2 was simply 0,30103 – how needed more digits anyway ?-)

But there also was an advantage over the TI-30 (which might have been a major reason for choosing this model): the Privileg had a rechargeable battery pack (3x AA) which was more convenient (and also much cheaper) than the 9V Alkaline battery used by the TI-30. The charger actually was a simple AC-adapter with a standard 3,5 mm jack plug.

Three years later I acquired my first HP, a 34C. It was like entering a completely different world. Not just because of RPN.

Dieter
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