Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th May 2011 22:14 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Matthew Rothman bought an HP 12c financial calculator for his first job out of college in 1989. Years later, he still has the same calculator. And he still uses it constantly, just like thousands of other 12c enthusiasts. "Whenever I switch jobs, I just peel the old business card that is on the back and tape my newest one on," says Mr. Rothman, head of quantitative equity strategies at Barclays Capital in New York. Sales of the device, which debuted in 1981, haven't slipped even after its manufacturer, Hewlett-Packard Co., introduced more-advanced devices or even, two years ago, a 12c iPhone application, which replicates all the calculator's functions, the company says.
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I understand completely
by ricegf on Thu 5th May 2011 23:30 UTC
Member since:

There's a difference between a geek and a dork. HP calculators are geek tools.

I finally sold my beloved HP-41CV, which kept me sane in college, a few years back - though I felt much like Andy giving away Woody. Of course, nowadays the first app I load on any computer worthy of the name (including my N900) is always Free42 with the photorealistic skin.

Reply Score: 2

They should have kept making them
by unclefester on Fri 6th May 2011 07:03 UTC
Member since:

HP could have designed lower cost RPN models with plastic cases and sold them for $20-50 to compete with the mainstream Casio scientific calculators for student use. The RPNs were great calculators but far too expensive for non-geeks.

However I did see some very good graphing calculators on sale for a mere $8 at Kmart (Australia) a couple of months back.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:

Agreed, in Portugal I only saw HP calculators on stores.

Everyone was using Casio calculators. If you were a geek in Portugal in the late 80's, then you would proudly use a Casio FX-850P or FX-860P.

I still have mine. ;)

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:

I also agree.

The 12C was one of a series with the same form factor:

The 10C (basic scientific)
The 11C (mid-range scientific)
The 12C (financial)
The 15C (advanced scientific)
The 16C (computer programmer)

The 11C was as common in engineering and sciences classes as the 12C was in financial classes in the 80's.

Why only the 12C was kept in production with improvements over the years appears to be a mystery and may have been a poor decision by HP.

The iPhone or Java replicates of these calculators will never replace the auditory and tactile feedbacks of clicking the keys. After some use, one could performed calculations with long sequences of numbers quick rapidly with minimum verification of each entry on the calculator. Hum, this may be why the 12C has remained in production.

Reply Score: 1

HP calcs
by Neolander on Fri 6th May 2011 11:14 UTC
Member since:

By the time I needed a graphic calculator in high school, for ~80€ you got the choice between
-The TI-83 ("My first programmable calculator")
-The CASIO equivalent
-The HP 40G (With a full CAS, tons of useful graphing/stat functions, a fast system programming language, and lots of awesome games in French. Sole issues : slow hardware and limited availability)

Guess which one I've chosen ;)

I think in the higher-end the TI competition is a bit better, but in the lower-end, HP calculators totally rock.

I only wish the HP 39g+ made it to the French market. From what I've read, it essentially looked like a 40g with a fast processor, which would have made it the most awesome graphic calc ever sold.

Edited 2011-05-06 11:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: HP calcs
by bhtooefr on Fri 6th May 2011 15:18 UTC in reply to "HP calcs"
bhtooefr Member since:

There's also a 39gs and a 40gs, which are the latest versions.

Essentially, they're a cut-down (but just as fast) version of the 50g hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: HP calcs
by dvhh on Sat 7th May 2011 15:25 UTC in reply to "HP calcs"
dvhh Member since:

Got a in this order
- a CASIO graphic calculator
- TI-85

my brother got the HP-48G, he developed some applications on it, and some games (as DINHP and I only drew some graphics).

The HP48 was awesome for any hobby developer (my brother loved reading pages of HP48 assembly for optimizing it by hand)

Reply Score: 2