Over the years I have owned several HP calculators:
- HP 28s, my first RPN programmable that I used when an engineering student in the mid-90s, and made the jump from GCSE/A-level Casio to a grown-up calculator.
- HP 48GX, a very serious machine that I never really used the full power of, but would certainly have been used everyday had I continued into mechanical engineering. Upgrade from the 28s for better programming and graphing. Probably bought in 1996, still used for certain tasks.
- HP 12C which I acquired while working as a consultant in about 1999 and needing to do TVM calculations, then used later while writing financial software to prototype and validate bond/portfolio pricing calculations. This is the one that presently sits on my desk at work and is still regularly used.
- HP 17B-II which I bought as an upgrade to the 12C but then discovered I preferred the older one, so it was relegated to the status of a backup. This one is on my desk at home.
- I also seem to have acquired a modern HP 35s somewhere along the way, probably for nostalgia’s sake. This one gets used for things neither the 12C nor the 17B can do, such as the odd bit of trig or binary/hex.
Quality products, built to last, providing their owners with literally decades of faithful service, just new batteries every now and then. Looking at HP now, it’s sad to see how far they have fallen, and I suspect they haven’t hit the bottom yet.
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