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HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
03-11-2018, 12:28 PM
Post: #1
HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
The HP 9100A was announced on March 11, 1968: 50 years ago ! It was - and it is still today - a wonderful machine - from the technological and scientific point of view. I wonder how many were produced and how many are still running today. Please find the link in the Measure journal:

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfa...pdf#page=2

Happy Birthday HP 9100A calculator !
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03-11-2018, 05:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-11-2018 12:28 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  The HP 9100A was announced on March 11, 1968: 50 years ago ! It was - and it is still today - a wonderful machine - from the technological and scientific point of view. I wonder how many were produced and how many are still running today. Please find the link in the Measure journal:

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfa...pdf#page=2

Happy Birthday HP 9100A calculator !

Great article! Thanks for the link. I have a fully operational HP 9810A in almost perfect cosmetic condition but it just doesn't have appeal of the 9800A or B. From the case design to the slanted green digits, those older calculators just seem more like computers to me.

Tom L

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03-11-2018, 05:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
It was announced on March 11, 1968 but actually introduced in the September, 1968, Hewlett-Packard Journal. So I think it's still a bit early to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

However, I fully agree that it is a fantastic machine and I know at least of one that is still running :-)
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03-11-2018, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2018 08:11 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #4
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
Do you know any source that shows interesting results that people did with the help of this calculator? (Maybe someone did something nice even way later, but still using the 9100 series)

I also tried to search stories involving the loci 2, that is a pretty impressive system for that time (see http://www.oldcalculatormuseum.com/wangloci.html ) that predates the 9100A or the wang 300 series (that could be "clustered" , see http://www.oldcalculatormuseum.com/wang360.html ), but with no great success.

Update.
For interesting use I mean something like Dr. Van Allen relied on an HP 9100A and its optional plotter to study the feasibility of using a gravity slingshot around Jupiter to allow Pioneer 11 to intercept Saturn. Pioneer 11 was retasked and arrived at Saturn before Voyager 1.

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03-11-2018, 07:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-11-2018 05:39 PM)Jurgen Keller Wrote:  It was announced on March 11, 1968 but actually introduced in the September, 1968, Hewlett-Packard Journal. So I think it's still a bit early to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

However, I fully agree that it is a fantastic machine and I know at least of one that is still running :-)

Thanks indeed for your reply: you are right but the first HP 9100A calculators were produced in April 1968 according to serial number 816-0XYZT (16th week of the year - mid April 1968). Anyway it is of course not so important and I am glad that your calculator is still running :-) I use a very nice HP 9100B simulator only for fun but I miss the green light of the electron beam glowing on the oscilloscope-type screen and of course all the discrete diodes, transistors, capacitors, which make an a so artistic network... definitively a Legendary calculator.
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03-15-2018, 12:31 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
Thanks to this thread I checked again the hp journal and I found some more issues about calculators that I did not read before. Especially about the 9100.

The hp journal is pretty nice.

One thing that captured my attention (journal 1969-09) was the following picture and explanation.

https://i.imgur.com/oyhIGN5.png
[Image: oyhIGN5l.png]

[Image: vVgvqbP.png]

I was like "woah". I am pretty sure that some advanced computer system in 1969 could draw that picture (otherwise, well, it wouldn't be there). But was it done with 9100 with the plotter? Wow!

I am quite sure that the 9100 could compute the points of the function, but with so smooth curves? In other words, with such a resolution? (a lot of points computed, to achieve a very smooth curve on paper)

Furthermore, unless they let the 9100 process the values and then process them later with another system - and that would falsify the cover description - they even computed the 3D to 2D transformation that such surface would produce? (the isometric projection)

Would be someone able to replicate the 9100 program to get that picture or an approximation of it? (If not the 9100, a RPN calculator close to that model) It seems not that trivial.

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03-16-2018, 12:04 AM
Post: #7
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-11-2018 07:27 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  
(03-11-2018 05:39 PM)Jurgen Keller Wrote:  It was announced on March 11, 1968 but actually introduced in the September, 1968, Hewlett-Packard Journal. So I think it's still a bit early to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

However, I fully agree that it is a fantastic machine and I know at least of one that is still running :-)
.. you are right but the first HP 9100A calculators were produced in April 1968 according to serial number 816-0XYZT (16th week of the year - mid April 1968) ...

816 would indeed mean they started production in April. Where did you get this serial no. from?
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03-16-2018, 08:17 AM
Post: #8
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-16-2018 12:04 AM)Jurgen Keller Wrote:  
(03-11-2018 07:27 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  .. you are right but the first HP 9100A calculators were produced in April 1968 according to serial number 816-0XYZT (16th week of the year - mid April 1968) ...

816 would indeed mean they started production in April. Where did you get this serial no. from?
From the both the MoHPC site (http://www.hpmuseum.org/collect.htm#series) and from the 9100A that are sold on the TAS (lowest serial number that I saw 816-00253).
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03-16-2018, 09:34 AM
Post: #9
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-15-2018 12:31 PM)pier4r Wrote:  I was like "woah". I am pretty sure that some advanced computer system in 1969 could draw that picture (otherwise, well, it wouldn't be there). But was it done with 9100 with the plotter? Wow!

Agreed, that's pretty cool.
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03-16-2018, 06:19 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-16-2018 08:17 AM)Cosmo Wrote:  
(03-16-2018 12:04 AM)Jurgen Keller Wrote:  816 would indeed mean they started production in April. Where did you get this serial no. from?

From the both the MoHPC site (http://www.hpmuseum.org/collect.htm#series) and from the 9100A that are sold on the TAS (lowest serial number that I saw 816-00253).

Thank you for the TAS hint, I've found that auction. If the 9100 really use the serial number scheme as documented on MoHPC, then mine was built in April 68, too. Holy cow, how could I have missed that fact?


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03-31-2018, 08:49 AM
Post: #11
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-15-2018 12:31 PM)pier4r Wrote:  I was like "woah". I am pretty sure that some advanced computer system in 1969 could draw that picture (otherwise, well, it wouldn't be there). But was it done with 9100 with the plotter? Wow!

I am quite sure that the 9100 could compute the points of the function, but with so smooth curves? In other words, with such a resolution? (a lot of points computed, to achieve a very smooth curve on paper)

Furthermore, unless they let the 9100 process the values and then process them later with another system - and that would falsify the cover description - they even computed the 3D to 2D transformation that such surface would produce? (the isometric projection)

Would be someone able to replicate the 9100 program to get that picture or an approximation of it? (If not the 9100, a RPN calculator close to that model) It seems not that trivial.

I couldn't replicate the 3D image as I don't have the math, but it appears to be some sort of Bessel function.

I plotted a 2D slice of it though with the 9100B and plotter simulator using a file from the Model9125A Plotter Programs manual - Plot of Y = f(x), Part No. 09100-70027

It took about 50 seconds to plot.

cheers

Tony


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03-31-2018, 10:08 AM
Post: #12
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
Thanks for the contribution! (and I expect 50seconds on a modern computer, not on the real thing)

What is impressive from that function is - if HP did not lie - that the plotter plotted the function in 3d .

I mean if you have the slices of the function, it is already a lot of work, but doable. Doing an isometric projection requires an entire additional program to do it. Doing that in the early versions of RPN would be quite a lot of work (well in general with RPN would be a lot of work).

For this I asked if someone could replicate it. Maybe someone knows math functions that would ease the task that I am not yet aware of.

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03-31-2018, 11:10 AM
Post: #13
RE: HP 9100A 50th Anniversary
(03-31-2018 10:08 AM)pier4r Wrote:  Thanks for the contribution! (and I expect 50seconds on a modern computer, not on the real thing)

Only for info :-)

The simulator is slowed down to an average of instruction times.

The plot took 184 iterations to complete, with one SIN(x) per loop, so the simulator is running a little bit fast.

A lot of instruction execution times for the HP-9100 are in the 45 - 350uS range and complex math (SIN, hyper arc TAN etc) in the 100's of mS range.

Depending on (x)
the HP-9100 SIN(x) max processing time is 350mS
the HP-45 SIN(x) takes about 2200 instructions which is around 600mS.

For its day, the 9100 wasn't all that bad at its processing :-)

cheers

Tony
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