Post: #143
 Adam Vaughn Junior Member Posts: 26 Joined: Jan 2014
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... 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...
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