The museum of HP calculators

Wednesday 3 December 2003

If ever there was a site that lovingly and obsessively detailed the history of a narrow slice of technology, it is the Museum of HP Calculators.

I can't blame them. I still remember the reverent awe of using the HP-35 at the calculator counter at Macy's as a school kid. During high-school I somehow bought (or was given?) an HP-41C. It had the form factor of a calculator, but had a one-line alphanumeric display, and was programmable with a rudimentary assembler-like language. I wrote a few interesting programs for it (generate pronounceable nonsense strings, test whether the axes of the three inscribed parabolas of a triangle are coincident), all of which are lost in the sands of time. I still have the calculator, and it might work if I found some batteries for it.

The museum is an amazing site, with history not only of every HP calculator, including pictures, technical specs, and manuals, but also earlier calculators and slide rules.


Fred Kiesche 8:03 AM on 3 Dec 2003

Slide rules! Got a few dozen of them! Great for collecting and they are still usable! And no batteries required!

Take a look for the "Slide Rule Universe" in Canada for a small sampling of how crazy we are!

anders 9:30 AM on 3 Dec 2003

i wasn't cool enough to have an HP, but i was really into my TI-85 for a while in high school. i wrote a basic 3-d graphics engine for it using matrix operations. rotating a wireframe cube worked but took about 2 minutes to calculate each frame. i really wanted an HP though. my friend told me that the model with an IR port could be programmed to open people's garage doors. the thought of using a calculator for breaking and entering was just too cool.

Bob 9:44 AM on 3 Dec 2003

Ned, thanks for triggering a pleasant geek memory. I had an HP-25. I blogged about it here

Justin Knol 3:46 PM on 3 Dec 2003

I remember coding a small "Hunt the Wumpus" game for my HP-41c at Uni. Wherever your went, it always responded "You are in a cave."

Good, simple fun...

DeanG 10:14 AM on 5 Dec 2003

Wow. Surprised they haven't added the 48G or the IR thermal printers that went with the 48's (and others?)...perhaps it's not considered antique.

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