The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 11

 Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #1 Posted by Jeremy on 20 Mar 2003, 6:26 p.m. Me? about a week of constant daily use. When I first came here, I saw all the posts cracking on algebraic and thought: "Wow, these guys are kind of racist." Now that I have been using RPN/RPL for a while, algebraic seems awkward. Now I have to actually THINK for a second to remember how to do algebraic calculations. Let's hear your 'transfer to the dark side' stories. ;) -Jeremy

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #2 Posted by Chan Tran on 20 Mar 2003, 7:22 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy The HP25 was the first calculator I had so that doesn't apply.

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #3 Posted by Bill Platt on 20 Mar 2003, 8:28 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy Got my 11-C in 10th grade, and was very excited about it---Read the manual (what a cool manual that was!) with my 8th grade brother looking over my shoulder. My first calculator, but had used my fathers TI SR-71? much previously. The concept of the stack was such an natural and obvious advantage that I remember it being an epiphany of sorts. Perhaps more telling was that my brother played with the calculator that one day, and then, having never used it again, borrowed it from me one day many months later, and he had no problem. RPN had "stuck" to him like glue. He bought a 12-C when he got to college and has used it ever since. (Normally, my calculator had very little "borrowing" demand since classmates would always be saying "where's the *^&\$ sign!)

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #4 Posted by Karl Schneider on 20 Mar 2003, 11:18 p.m.,in response to message #3 by Bill Platt "My first calculator, but had used my fathers TI SR-71? much previously." I remember being enthralled by a TI SR-51-II in the late '70s (similar to TI-59?). Being formerly in the USAF, I can assert with confidence that the SR-71 is a high-performance reconnaissance/spy aircraft that set speed and altitude records which still might stand today. I don't find it difficult to go back and forth between AOS and RPN, having used AOS calc's from 1978 until getting a HP-15C in late 1983 after experimenting with the HP-41C in 1981. I've bought the 28C, 48G, and 49G in the past year, and am still only semi-competent with RPL.

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #5 Posted by Larry Corrado, USA (WI) on 20 Mar 2003, 8:34 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy It was easy for me. In 1966, I went right from a slide rule to a Friden EC-132, a gigantic desktop which used RPN, and in fact had the whole stack visible right on the oscilloscope-sized CRT screen. It was nice: you could see exactly what was going on when you performed an operation. When I got my HP-21 at work in '76, it was no problem.

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #6 Posted by GS Leong on 20 Mar 2003, 9:03 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy I was 15 when I got my hp21, it took me about a week I used the excellent examples in the users manual.

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #7 Posted by Richard Garner on 20 Mar 2003, 10:57 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy My first HP was the 41CX in college 1982, late in the semester close to finals. It took me about a week to get the basics down and during finals I was bouncing between it and a TI-59 that I had picked up on clearance from an Ardans department store that was going out of business. From that point on I very rearly use that other type, and when I do, I have to really think about how to use them. I love RPN and will never give it up.

 Re: Poll - How long did it take you to gel with RPN/RPL?Message #8 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 21 Mar 2003, 12:06 a.m.,in response to message #1 by Jeremy Hi; I had a TI57 in 1978 as my first calculator and it took me a couple of days to "master" the basics of AOS. I remember I tried an HP21 at that time and I found it awkward to use. Later I bought an HP41C with a memory module. I had seen many TI machines at that time - TI58, TI59 - but I also saw an LCD-type calculator and felt amazed with that. So HP offers the HP41: alphanumeric and LCD display type. It took me less than a week to undertand and use RPN efficiently, but it took me longer to program it with the same efficiency. I could repeat and enhance the examples, but I wasn't able to write a program from scratch. I remember that ISG and DSE were the "last barrier", together with the flags' concept. I cannot remember my first efficient program, but I remember it took me so much to "master" RPN programming that I was too tired to celebrate. I wrote a lot of user-requested programs for the HP's, but I felt myself comfortable with direct access resources. I wrote a few programs for my own, and they remind internal functions: no interactive input, no labeled output. Like when you compute SIN, or LN, or y^x... Wow! It's been a long time ago... Cheers. Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil