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Introduction and Thankyou - Printable Version

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RE: Introduction and Thankyou - bshoring - 07-23-2017 03:18 AM

(07-18-2017 11:56 AM)Zac Bruce Wrote:  Hi all,

I've been lurking around this site for quite some time and thought it was about time to sign up, not because I have anything particularly to add to the discussions but more to say thank you to everyone for the discussions had here, and the wealth of knowledge about HP calculators.

I'm currently enrolled in as an undergrad in accounting, and I stumbled upon HP calculators almost completely by chance. When looking for a calculator that would suit for my finance subjects the 12c often came up in discussions. The idea of RPN interested me, and so off to ebay I went. Now I've absolutely fallen in love with RPN and the 12c, and own a couple. Also I bought a HP Prime, which I don't really need but I was using it to check my answers during a statistics course I was taking (during breaks at work, no computers). It's a beautiful calculator but well beyond anything I need. Now I've really caught the bug- I just bid a whole dollar on a slightly damage 19Bii that I look likely to win, and I'm already thinking about trying to collect all the business/financial models, or at least the RPN ones.

I've also developed a general interest in the history and development of HP calculators, and have become determined to learn all the capabilities of RPN and the 12c in particular. Surprisingly the 12c is allowed in our exams, and I believe is the only programmable calculator to be allowed (the 10c also, but good luck to anyone trying to buy one here I suppose). I'm submitting an application to the university to have other RPN HP calculators added to the list.

You would think that being enrolled in accounting that I would have found some kind of kindred spirit in my love for calculators and RPN, but alas, nobody seems to care much at all. Today I was reading about calculating mark ups from required margins, nice simple stuff and was having much too much fun playing around with the calculator. The fact that I actively think about what is happening in various calculations and how the stack is operating etc. means that the information is sticking much more than if I just had to memorize how to do the calculations.

Anyway, enough from me. I'll probably just go back to lurking. No doubt as I get further through my degree I'm going to think of ways to write programs that will help with calculations in exams and so I'll come back and share anything I come up with. I think most of it would have already been done by someone else at this point though!

Kind regards,

Hi Zac,

Thanks for your introduction. It is very heartening to me to see a young person, my grandson's age, interested in HP calculators and RPN. I've tried to introduce RPN to a few people your age, but they didn't seem too interested. I really appreciate your interest and excitement.

You've no doubt heard a little about the HP-35, which was the little marvel that started all of this in 1972, although there was a big desktop calculator/computer by HP in 1968 that inspired the HP-35. I was already working in the insurance field when the HP-35 came out, and at $395 it cost 4 months rent, so I didn't buy it then, but have one now. I head some college guys actually sold their cars so they could get one of these magic machines. A year after the HP-35 came out, HP introduced the first financial calculator, the HP-80 and the HP-12C is a direct descendant of that, but with many improvements. In 1973 memory was super expensive, so the HP-80 had to do all the financial calculations with just the 4 register stack, plus one storage register (exactly the same amount of memory as the HP-35). But it must have seemed a super computer when it came out. In between the HP-80 and the HP-12C, there were 7 more financial models (HP-70, HP-22, HP-27, HP-92, HP-37E, HP-38E and HP-38C). My personal favorite is the HP-38C, which the HP-12C is based on. It works almost the same as the 12C, but has a vertical format, LED display, and doesn't have built in bonds or depreciation. The 12C has a big advantage, though, as its batteries last for decades, whereas with the Spice Series 38C, the battery only lasts a few hours on one charge. If you are curious, there is a wonderful iPhone simulator for the 38C, called RPN-38 CX.

Love hearing from you. I hope you can inspire some other younger folks to get into RPN.

RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Zac Bruce - 07-23-2017 04:15 AM


Thanks for the reply. I've been trying to get other students interested in the joys of RPN but to no avail. The 12c is the only RPN calculator currently allowed by my university for exams. I imagine that when I take one of my finance subjects new trimester I might find other people interested in the calculator; the other choices being the 10bii and the TI BA. I'm currently making submissions to have other RPN calculators approved for use, but may run in to road blocks around the later models being "too advanced", and some being able to store text etc. I could only hope I might be able to get the 17bii approved, or maybe the 30b; which I have found still being sold new.

I've been lucky enough to just buy an original 12c very cheaply, and a near perfect 19bii (with pouch and the manual) from the same seller. I noticed that he had just recently sold a 28c and a 620lx, and so thought I would get in touch with him and ask about the history of the calculators. I'm not sure whether he is on this site, but anyhow it turns out that he was a service technician for Sample Electronics, who was acquired by HP in 1967 to start their Australian operations, so he continued to work for HP, eventually working in medical electronics (which he managed) then he left HP in the 1980's. He returned to HP in the late 1990's to start up a computer services/sales operation, then he left again in the 2000's.

This led me to searching through scans of 'Depth' and 'Inform' magazines and finding out much more about HP Australasia that I knew before. John Warmington, who was the first managing director of HP Australia, was the general manager of Sample Electronics at the time that HP acquired the distributorship and as such became the managing director of HP Australia, and remained in that position until 1981. Also looking through the magazines I found more than one photo of the fellow who is now selling off his collection of HP calculators; two of which I have now bought.

It's really quite interesting to hear a bit of the history and to then buy a small piece of it; the 12c was the calculator he evidently carried around day to day. He was fortunate enough to have met all the managing directors from Bill and Dave through to Carly. He said in the early days they were an amazing company to work for and "like a big family". I'm going to watching his listings very carefully over the next few months to see what other treasures he's holding. He said he had 8 of the clamshell models, two of which have broken battery doors but the others are all in good condition. I'm sort of hoping he doesn't have any 95/100/150lx because I'm already wanting one and I don't think my wife is going to be impressed with the money I'm spending on old electronics. When my wife saw the second platinum she remarked, "Don't you already have enough calculators?"

Thanks again for the comment,


RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Guenter Schink - 07-23-2017 09:25 PM

(07-23-2017 04:15 AM)Zac Bruce Wrote:  When my wife saw the second platinum she remarked, "Don't you already have enough calculators?"

When my wife once asked me this silly question, my answer simply was:" I don't need it at all. But I definitely must have it" That settled it for "eternity" Smile At least for the following 30 years, and still continued....


RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Dave Britten - 07-24-2017 05:42 PM

(07-23-2017 04:15 AM)Zac Bruce Wrote:  I'm sort of hoping he doesn't have any 95/100/150lx because I'm already wanting one and I don't think my wife is going to be impressed with the money I'm spending on old electronics.

The good news is that the 95LX is generally very affordable (make sure you get a 1 MB model), and even looks to be a bit cheaper than the 19BII. It also works with the same serial cable as a 48SX/GX, which is a little easier/cheaper to get ahold of than the 100LX/200LX cable (a 49G cable will NOT work, despite the ports being nearly identical mechanically). If you're only worried about having Lotus, the HP Calc application, and some light text editing or DOS software, then there's no need to go to the much higher prices of the 100LX and 200LX.

RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Zac Bruce - 07-27-2017 05:15 AM


Thanks for this info. If I see a 95LX at a decent price I'm quite sure I'll pick one up. Seems But where to hide all this stuff from my wife?

The other problem now is either needing patience to see one turn up on the Australian eBay, or being impatient and paying postage from the USA.


RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Gamo - 07-27-2017 07:18 AM

I got the HP OmniGo 100 together with User Manual and wanted to trade with HP Prime.

RE: Introduction and Thankyou - Eddie W. Shore - 07-28-2017 10:29 PM

Welcome Zac, glad you joined us! Smile