# HP Forums

Full Version: hp 16c Functions !!??
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
i am thinking about getting hp-16c from eBay
according to hp 16c photos, among the normal functions the calculator has 1/x and square root bottoms.
i know this is not supposed to be a scientific calculator but rather a programmers machine, but i was wondering whether it has the base-2-logarithm and 2^x (or better Y^x) functions as i usually use these two functions a lot when i am working with binary numbers or any other-base computations.
it seems that the hp 16c doesn't contain these two functions but that doesn't make sense to me.

anyone with experience on hp 16c ??
Consider my ad in the classifieds section for a nice HP16C
i am thinking about getting hp-16c from eBay
according to hp 16c photos, among the normal functions the calculator has 1/x and square root bottoms.
i know this is not supposed to be a scientific calculator but rather a programmers machine, but i was wondering whether it has the base-2-logarithm and 2^x (or better Y^x) functions as i usually use these two functions a lot when i am working with binary numbers or any other-base computations.
it seems that the hp 16c doesn't contain these two functions but that doesn't make sense to me.

anyone with experience on hp 16c ??

To actually answer your question: No, it does not have these functions. You might be able to emulate them by using the shifting functions.

other than that:
note that working with floating point numbers on the 16c is awkward as it is a dedicated mode, and the integer/floating conversion is made automatically when switching between integer and floating point mode, but in a hp-16c special way and not in an ieee compatible way (this idea is so bad that it is even mentioned in the manual). also, this resets the word size to 56 bit which screws up the memory registers: the designers of the 16c had the (honestly great) idea of making the storage registers follow the main wordsize. therefore you could store two 4-bit numbers in two adjacent storage registers, and after changing the word size to 8 bits, you could recall them as a single 8 bit number. that is nice, but that means that after switching the word size all storage register numbers have to be shifted accordingly. if you stored 3 8-bit numbers in R1, R2, R3, switched then to floating point and stored a (56 bit) floating point number in R1, you would overwrite R2 and R3 in integer mode. this and other quirks make the calculator inferiour in anything which has to do with floating point math.
Still, it is a GREAT calculator for integer math, the flags make sense, the possible operations are mostly useful, and it is the only voyager that has an F key (and an F label) for a sixth program. it does not have a user mode though like the 11c for example does have.

i use the 16c on a daily basis, alongside a 41c for floating point stuff. i really love it and do not want to miss it. you might want to think about a different, second device though. the 11c or the 15c might be a good addon.
Hi damaltor,

Several years ago I had a grandson in a university computer science program, and before giving him a 16C I asked the department chairman if it would be of use to him. He said it would not.

Now, seeing that you use a 16C routinely, I wonder why the chairman dismissed it. What tasks make it useful to you?

And is anyone else out there using the 16C at work?
(05-04-2018 03:17 PM)telemachos Wrote: [ -> ]Now, seeing that you use a 16C routinely, I wonder why the chairman dismissed it. What tasks make it useful to you?

Did the chairman in question fully understand what the HP-16C is and does?

(05-04-2018 03:17 PM)telemachos Wrote: [ -> ]And is anyone else out there using the 16C at work?

* grsbanks raises hand.

I could probably test theories I come up with in C or C# but it's often just as easy to write something in RPN and SST through it on a 16C (or a DM16L depending on what I have on me that day).
The HP-16C is great for low level programming and debugging at assembly level. It is also useful when doing tricks with 2-complement numbers in C or other languages. It is also a great tool when implementing programming languages. In such situations the HP-16C is very useful, but in general it has little to do with what you do in a computer science class.

I do these kind of things quite often and I have use for an HP-16C in my daily work. However, I have switched to using the Ladybug module which I developed for the HP-41C, which gives the HP-41C the same abilities and I prefer that solution over the HP-16C.

Håkan
(05-04-2018 04:11 PM)grsbanks Wrote: [ -> ]Did the chairman in question fully understand what the HP-16C is and does

That would have been my first response too ... he probably saw ‘a calculator’.... that’s before he noticed the lack of an = button

Quote:* raises hand

Zaphod also raises hand.

I bought one new back in the day , in preference to the scientific model (I think mainly cos I already had a 34c or the 41c (or both) at the time.

Indeed I still have that old 16c , a bit battered and bruised

Which is why I snapped up one of several BNIB 16c’s that were offered on eBay a couple of years ago.(by an ex-dealer who’d stashed their remaining stock after closing)
It’s a brilliant machine for various aspects of low-level coding
i really like to use it to check up assembler code. i do software development for PC (not that useful) and for microcontrollers (fairly useful) and also for the connection between the two (really useful) - like, an USB interface for a device and i have to develop a communication protocol and such. i can then e.g. calculate checksums "the way the microcontroller would do it" and test if i get overflows in extreme values. as an example, i have a 16 bit controller at the moment, and i programmed a PID controller for it. i then copied over part of the assembly code to the 16c and can now easily test it for overflows by entering the numbers and SSTing through the code.

also you might build a CRC routine on the calculator and easily check if the data was transfered successful. or quickanddirty find the checksum for a iHex file by setting the word size to 8 and subtracting all numbers in the line. stuff like that

i simply dont like using calculators on the pc, i kind of have to have the physical device in front of me. also, the voyager fits perfectly between me and the keyboard due to the landscape format.
Reference URL's
• HP Forums: https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/index.php
• :