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Your First Handheld? - Printable Version

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Your First Handheld? - John W Kercheval - 05-07-2014 06:34 PM

What was it? Mine was a TI-59.

Others? Anyone use a Timex? Altair?

RE: Your First Handheld? - John R. Graham - 05-07-2014 07:30 PM

Log Log Duplex Decitrig. Wink

- John

RE: Your First Handheld? - Steve Simpkin - 05-07-2014 07:50 PM

My "first" electronic hand held calculator was a APF Mark25/Memory four-function model purchased in the spring of 1975, when I was 13, for around $30. I had wanted an electronic calculator since I discovered they existed around 1973 but it took me 2 years to convince my mother that buying a calculator would not ruin my ability to perform math by hand!.

My second (and my first scientific model) was a Commodore SR4148R around December of 1976 for $65 (Sears). This model had 48 keys! I had already learned about HP calculators by this time and was lusting after the HP-25, but I could not afford it.

My next (and my first RPN calculator) was a Novus Mathematician I was given (free) in early 1977. Although it gave me my first taste of RPN, the three level stack, lack of scientific notation and missing instruction book was a big obstacle to using it. It just teased me more about getting the HP-25 I wanted so badly.

Somewhere around this time I bought and assembled a Sinclair Wrist Calculator (not a watch). Although it worked, it had mechanical problems and went through six expensive watch batteries quickly.

Finally on June 12, 1977, I purchased my HP-25 for $116.00 (plus tax) from a "Calculator Store". The rest is history, as they say. I have owned many calculators since then but only use HP's for work or for "serious" playSmile

RE: Your First Handheld? - walter b - 05-07-2014 08:04 PM

My story is printed on p. 242 in the WP 34S Owner's Manual so there's no need to repeat it here.


BTW, John, you're a "Member" now - no more "Junior". Congrats!

RE: Your First Handheld? - Garth Wilson - 05-07-2014 08:07 PM

First calculating device of my own (1974): Picket N902-ES simplex trig metal slide rule

First electronic calculator (1976?): Cannon--I don't remember the model number, but it was only slightly beyond a four-function, definitely not a scientific, let alone a programmable. Its display was fluorescent, green (not blue-green, although it might have been because of the filter over it). It was a gift. I would not have gotten it myself.

First programmable of my own: TI-58c (Dec '81) later replaced with the 59 plus printer plus several modules and applications books. The HP-41cx came a few years later (1986), specifically to control instrumentation on the workbench.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Brad Barton - 05-07-2014 08:33 PM

Mine was a Texas Instruments SR-10. It was on sale for $60.00 and I talked my dad into buying if for me. Must've been 1973 or so. The next week it was down to $40 and a few weeks later discontinued. Ah the march of technology. My dad's face when he saw the price dropping --> D: It's long gone, but I picked up another example a few years back.

I had a few more TI's and Casio's until I broke my 3rd TI-55 in college and got sick of buying more crappy calculators. My buddy had a 41C, so I looked around and picked up a used 41CV about 1982 or so off a policeman who was using it to calculate speeds for drivers. He'd time them between two points, put it into the CV, and decide whether or not to give them a ticket.

Unfortunately for him the 41CV was too much voodoo for the court system at the time, and his tickets kept getting thrown out. He was forced to sell it, and his loss was my gain. I still have it after all these years, and it works flawlessly. Eat that TI!

RE: Your First Handheld? - Dave Britten - 05-07-2014 08:46 PM

Hmm... A Casio Digital Diary - SF-3500 I think - when I was in the first grade. I was a weird kid. I'm no less weird now.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Maximilian Hohmann - 05-07-2014 08:48 PM

Privileg 883 D-ESR-E, maybe 1977. Non-programmable scientific with green display and no shift key, even inverse trig functions had their own key. Still works, but has key bounce issues.

Later came a Ti59 (in 1979) and that was the last pocket calculator that I really used for it's purpose. After that, it was Lotus 123, Excel, the mobile phone and the iPad. All my other 998 or so calculators, including all the HPs are really only collection items.

RE: Your First Handheld? - aurelio - 05-07-2014 09:00 PM

Mine a HP25c in the end of 1978, or beginning of 1979, I must check better in my father's documents, I was a student at that time, such a present Smile

RE: Your First Handheld? - Craig Thomas - 05-07-2014 09:30 PM

The excellent HP-21!!!!

Wish I had one today.

RE: Your First Handheld? - MNH - 05-07-2014 09:54 PM


RE: Your First Handheld? - Gene - 05-07-2014 10:14 PM

An SR-16-II for Christmas.

Dad had brought home an SR-11 at one point to show me and a Berkey 2030, but the first I had that was "mine" was an SR-16-II. About 10 months later I bought an SR-51A, which was much more capable.

Then an SR-52 (used), a TI-58C... right when the HP 41C was announced...causing me to return the TI thing. :-)

I got an HP 41C and never looked back.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Gerson W. Barbosa - 05-07-2014 11:39 PM

These were my first, second and third (for those who can read it :-) real handhelds. The previous TI-51-III and TI-59 definitely don't count! Smile

[Image: 15c_xxx_xxx.png]

RE: Your First Handheld? - bhtooefr - 05-07-2014 11:39 PM

I think it was a Casio FX-300MS.

Went from that to a TI-83+, then a 50g (having learned about RPN, I played with a third-party 4-level implementation for the 83+, and decided I liked it. Then, when it came time to get an RPN calc, I couldn't justify a 48-series machine against the 50g, couldn't justify the 33s, and couldn't justify any of the older 4-level machines for the price), then everything since has been 4-level machines.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Thomas Klemm - 05-08-2014 12:04 AM


RE: Your First Handheld? - lemontea - 05-08-2014 12:17 AM


Still have it.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Sylvain Cote - 05-08-2014 12:32 AM

My first handheld calculators were ...
[1: Lloyd's Accumatic 322] [2: HP-33E] [3: TI-58C] [4: HP-41CV] [...]

My first handheld computers were ...
[1: PC-1211] [2: PC-1500] [3: HP-75C] [4: HP-71B] [...]


RE: Your First Handheld? - Steve Keeley - 05-08-2014 01:02 AM

In 1970, as a junior in HS, I used a Sterling 684 slide rule.

During my years in the Navy I did any calculations I needed to do by hand.

In 1977, when I started college as an engineering student with limited funds, I used a TI-30. After a year the keyboard started acting up. I upgraded to a TI-58.

Two years later the keyboard on that one started to go too, and I was strongly considering a TI-59 and printer cradle, but the alphanumeric capabilities of the
HP-41C won me over. It's been HP ever since.

RE: Your First Handheld? - Dan B - 05-08-2014 01:31 AM


RE: Your First Handheld? - Paul Berger (Canada) - 05-08-2014 01:46 AM

Commodore PR-100 and 37 years later it is still going though I don't use it much these days and the case is in pretty rough shape.