Cover Girl HP-65
03-23-2014, 01:04 AM
Post: #1
 Frozen North Junior Member Posts: 18 Joined: Mar 2014
Cover Girl HP-65
Like some of you folks, I've been around awhile and I was a subscriber to Scientific American back in March 1976 when the HP-65 was the cover girl for the magazine:

The corresponding well written and very informative article titled The Small Electronic Calculator was authored by Eugene W. McWhorter, an engineer at Texas Instruments. And although I haven't seen the text in thirty-eight years, I can still remember it as my introduction to BCD arithmetic.

The article text is for sale at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...alculator/

If you were a reader of the magazine in those days, you might recall the calculator advertising war between HP and TI with each company placing single or double page ads every month. Three months before the above issue appeared, I had seen enough to switch from my TI SR-50 to an HP-25. I would've gotten an HP-65 at US$795, but I was a just an undergrad with little money and the US$195 HP-25 hit my budget limit.
03-23-2014, 04:30 PM
Post: #2
 Jake Schwartz Senior Member Posts: 330 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
Quote:back in March 1976 when the HP-65 was the cover girl for the magazine

...and only four months later on 7/1/76, the HP67 would be released. It was a fast-moving whirlwind of a time.

Jake
03-24-2014, 12:39 AM
Post: #3
 Katie Wasserman Super Moderator Posts: 637 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
It was HP's advertising in Scientific American that prompted me to buy the HP-35 when it was first released. IIRC they were also giving away a free T1-3/4 red LED if you asked! I took them up on that too as LED's were pretty exotic back then.

I haven't read SciAm in a long time but back in the day it was a fantastic source of information and entertainment (Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games column, of course). I was just 13 when I first subscribed to it and leaned a lot of science and math from reading that.

-katie

03-24-2014, 02:13 AM
Post: #4
 cruff Member Posts: 231 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
(03-24-2014 12:39 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I haven't read SciAm in a long time but back in the day it was a fantastic source of information and entertainment (Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games column, of course).

Having read Scientific American from the late sixties til now, I have to say that it is definitely not up to the same quality now, and content has been simplified. I keep thinking I shouldn't renew my subscription each year. It certainly has not had a column of the quality of Mathematical Games for years.
03-24-2014, 02:30 PM
Post: #5
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,890 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
The only old copy of Scientific American that I've kept is the September 1977 issue. The entire issue was dedicated to the topic of "Microelectronics". It contains Alan Kay's famous article in which he introduces to the world his novel concepts of "windows" and a "mouse" (both on page 234). There's an ad for the HP-97 for only $624.88, and the TI SR-60 for only$1695.00(!). And the Sinclair Cambridge Programmable for $29.95(!). And a whole-page ad by HP introducing the new HP-01 ("With its 200-year calendar, it not only bridges the generation gap, but represents a legacy of sorts.") And an ad for the world's first LCD alarm watch for only$69.95. And a TI ad for their new "bubble memory". And a Beckmann ad that mentions the world's population: 4.019 billion. And a two-page ad "Introducing Apple II" ("up to 48K bytes on-board RAM, 4K supplied; uses either 4K or new 16K dynamic memory chips"). And an HP ad for their 128K memory modules for only $6400 each, and an HP microcomputer with 1 MB RAM for only$59800. And the Cray-1 with 1 million 64-bit words is listed for only $8 million. Ah, those were the days! <0|ɸ|0> -Joe- 03-24-2014, 03:31 PM Post: #6  Frozen North Junior Member Posts: 18 Joined: Mar 2014 RE: Cover Girl HP-65 No one enjoyed Gardener's Mathematical Games monthly column more than I. I've got all his books, too. It is somewhat ironic that so many of those who were attracted to his work were also pioneers of personal computing which in turn helped end Mathematical Games by using exhaustive calculation to spoil the joys of cleverness and intuition, formerly the only ways to solve the problems Gardner posed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Gardner 03-24-2014, 07:31 PM (This post was last modified: 03-24-2014 08:18 PM by Matt Agajanian.) Post: #7  Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Cover Girl HP-65 Oh wow, do I remember this one!!!! I have this issue (although it's stuck in the storage area). I'd love to catch a PDF of that one which will suffice until I can fish the SA out of storage. Is there a PDF of this issue anywhere to be had? Please let me know. ***AS Emily Littella says. "Nevermind." I saw the link earlier in this thread.$8?! Easily done!!

Thanks
03-24-2014, 09:59 PM
Post: #8
 BobVA Senior Member Posts: 402 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
I remember poring over SA issues in the library while in middle school, staring at the unattainable Curta's advertised (with a line-drawing!) every month.
The physics teacher at my high school got an HP-35 when they were first introduced and brought it down to our electronics class. You'd think Joe Namath had walked in, the way the poor guy got mobbed.
03-25-2014, 03:12 AM (This post was last modified: 03-25-2014 03:40 AM by Gerson W. Barbosa.)
Post: #9
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,473 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
(03-24-2014 07:31 PM)Matt Agajanian Wrote:  Oh wow, do I remember this one!!!! I have this issue (although it's stuck in the storage area). I'd love to catch a PDF of that one which will suffice until I can fish the SA out of storage.

Is there a PDF of this issue anywhere to be had? Please let me know.

***AS Emily Littella says. "Nevermind." I saw the link earlier in this thread. $8?! Easily done!! Thanks It's a pity articles like the following are freely available in German, but not in the original English: http://www.spektrum.de/alias/rechenschie...den/866419 At the time it was published Scientific American charged$ 5.00 for the article, but Google would point to a place in the site from where it could be downloaded for free (in fact I found that one first, before finding out the article ought to be paid for). I warned them about the security failure and the next day the link wasn't working anymore...
03-25-2014, 02:04 PM
Post: #10
 Katie Wasserman Super Moderator Posts: 637 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
Quote:The only old copy of Scientific American that I've kept is the September 1977 issue.

Incredibly (or maybe not) this and the September 1984 issues are the only old copies of SciAm that I've kept too. I dropped my subscription when they started dumbing it down.

The September issues were always single topic issues and the one in 1984 was on computer software with articles written by leaders in their sub-fields: Alan Kay had the lead article in this issue with other names: Niklaus Worth, Andy van Dam, Doug Lenat, Terry Winograd, Peter Denning, Stephen Wolfram, etc.. The ads where nowhere near as interesting in this issue as the 1977 one. Apple had a big spread on the Mac, HP only had a terrible ad mentioning the HP3000 system (I ran several of these for 15 years, I loved them), Elek-Tek was selling the HP-15C for $90 and still had the HP-97 for$560.

-katie

03-25-2014, 06:45 PM
Post: #11
 Jim Horn Member Posts: 209 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
(03-24-2014 09:59 PM)BobVA Wrote:  I remember poring over SA issues in the library while in middle school, staring at the unattainable Curta's advertised (with a line-drawing!) every month.
The physics teacher at my high school got an HP-35 when they were first introduced and brought it down to our electronics class. You'd think Joe Namath had walked in, the way the poor guy got mobbed.

My senior college year, 1975, an IEEE Fellow was teaching Digital Signal Processing. One class, I noticed that he had a new leather case on his belt, similar to the HP-35 and HP-45 cases I had seen wealthier students carrying, but noticeably thicker. During a lull in the lecture, I asked if that was a (just introduced) HP-65. Surprised, he replied that it was.

The entire room gasped. He took a step back and said, "This is *not* leaving my belt!"

A student quipped, "That's OK, we can cut you in two!"

At the end of the class, we all crowded around the front desk as he demonstrated his '65 which cost a month's pay for many back then.

I never had a '65, having started with a '25 (after graduating still using a slide rule) but certainly understood the excitement...
03-25-2014, 07:47 PM
Post: #12
 Frozen North Junior Member Posts: 18 Joined: Mar 2014
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
A while after the HP-67 was introduced, I managed to scrape together enough money to purchase one although I had to sell my HP-25 for part of the cash needed. I got US\$85 for that HP-25, heavily used but still in good shape.

At the college bookstore which sold me the HP-67, I also bought a super deluxe, 23 scale Pickett full size metal slide rule with holster. I figured it might be the last time a person could purchase one of these new and I think I was right. I still have it and it's fun to show it to a young person and then ask them what they think it does. The Pickett came with a well written instruction booklet and for amusement I worked through many of the exercises with my HP-67. Most of the numeric solutions given for the problems were printed with three digits of precision and the HP-67 showed that several answers were off by one in the third digit.

If I'd had the money back when a Curta pepper mill could be purchased new, I would have bought one. But I couldn't have resisted the temptation to take it apart just to see how everything worked.
03-25-2014, 08:43 PM
Post: #13
 Thomas Klemm Senior Member Posts: 1,804 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
(03-25-2014 07:47 PM)Frozen North Wrote:  But I couldn't have resisted the temptation to take it apart just to see how everything worked.
You might like this: CURTA DISASSEMBLY
03-26-2014, 10:06 AM
Post: #14
 Frozen North Junior Member Posts: 18 Joined: Mar 2014
RE: Cover Girl HP-65
A correction: My super deluxe Pickett model N4-ES slide rule actually has 34 scales, not 23. However, several of the 34 scales (16 on one side, 18 on the other) are duplicated or wrapped, so the number of unique scales is subject to debate.

A picture, stolen from http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/pickett.html

That's twelve full inches of sweet aluminum log-log goodness, copyright 1959. It's the most powerful general purpose straight rule Pickett ever made.

Alas, my eyesight now demands a strong magnifier and a bright light to read any of the markings. I would be better off with one of those two meter demonstration slide rules which once hung on the walls of high school algebra classrooms.

This is actually my second Pickett. My first was a much simpler, single sided plastic model with nine scales, a present my dad gave me for my tenth birthday. I've still got it.
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