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 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.

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