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Last post Author Topic: Geek gadgets - Calculators...  (Read 17061 times)

Darwin

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Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« on: April 17, 2009, 04:04:52 PM »
I love 'em and have a small collection. Anyone else? What are you favourites?

For those that care I have:

HP 50g
HP 35s

Radio Shack EC-4044 (the TI 68 in RS clothing)
Radio Shack EC-3035 (Casio fx-580 in drag)

Casio fx-115w
Casio fx-570w

Sharp EL-W516b
Sharp EL-546WBBK
 
TI-65

TI= Texas Instruments
HP= Hewlett-Packard
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 04:16:52 PM »
I had an hp41cv in high school and used to write programs on it like hangman:
hp_41cv_full.jpgGeek gadgets - Calculators...

The HP41 has to go down in history as one of the coolest calculators ever, because of something called "Synthetic Programming":


Quote
from this usenet thread:
    I seem to recall that Bill Wickes, the inventor of RPL, was person who
    discovered HP-41 synthetic programming. Others will hopefully supply
    more details here.
There were a number of synthetic programming pioneers besides Bill
Wickes, including (but not limited to) Tom Cadwallader, Keith Jarett and
John McGechie. But Wickes certainly was one of the first (or possibly
*the* first) to get the idea of using the HP-41C's bugs to create whole
new program instructions
.

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 05:27:20 PM »
Yup. I bought the HP 35s because I wanted an HP 41... but I couldn't afford one! Have the emulator on my PC though  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 07:03:01 PM »
PS Wrote the above while trying to teach...  :o Just wanted to clarify that the HP 41 is HIGHLY desireable, even though it has been out of production for 18 years or so and that they fetch BIG money on eBay. The 35th anniversary HP 35s is a bargain at $60, and a pleasure to use... Though I am currently most enamoured with the EC-4044 (TI-68), for reasons that I can't pin down right now. Not to worry, though, next week it will be something else  ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

superboyac

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 08:57:02 PM »
I wrote an article about calculators on my website.  It's going to offend all you HP fanboys, so i apologize in advance.  Sorry!!
http://aram.dcmember...rnia-pe-exam-part-4/

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 09:42:10 PM »
No offence taken - I've not tried a 33s, so can't comment, but the HP 35s is a beautiful calculator and is touted as being a much better machine than the 33s. I bought it to get to know RPN... I haven't made much progress because I haven't had much time to play around with it (RPN) - after 25 years of AOS/EOS it seems kind of cumbersome.

I like Casio calculators too, BTW my first four calculators were all Casios (or Tandy/Radio Shack badged Casios) and I keep toying with the idea of picking up a 115ES (it's the 991ES up here in Canada) :) The TI-68 is awesome - the last great TI (non-graphing) Scientific (they made them between 1989 and 2002)... I can't stand the new ones.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2009, 01:21:41 PM »
Is bumping your own thread a faux pas  :-[ I'll live with it...  :P

Just thought I'd post to say that I'm surprised more people on DC aren't interested in calculators - these are the gadgets that got me into computing! I suspect that it is a generational thing, though - younger members are probably more excited by cell phones and mp3 players...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

ewemoa

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2009, 09:30:51 PM »
I used to use either the following one or one of its descendents -- it was nice that I had teachers who were fine w/ me using it during tests :)

https://secure.wikim.../wiki/Casio_fx-7000G

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2009, 10:54:16 PM »
Thanks for sharing that, ewemoa  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cranioscopical

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2009, 11:05:08 PM »
these are the gadgets that got me into computing!
Same here.
Buying and playing with a programmable calc led me to take my first, night school computer course.
That quick sharp led me to buy my first computer.
(I couldn't stand the wait, from week-to-week, for the punch-card to print-out COBOL cycle.)



Deozaan

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 02:12:43 AM »
I have a TI-30XA and a TI-86, but only care about them for school.

But I absolutely love my http://Power Calculator on my PC. I typically replace calc.exe with the PowerCalc version on my systems. :-*


Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 06:50:03 AM »
I was running the Win7 calc in Vista for a while and usually have the Power Calculator installed as well. However, if I need to calculate anything when I'm on my computer I tend to fire up Excel or, more commonly, reach for a calculator. Somehow it just feels "right" to me, whereas using a computer based calculator leaves me feeling empty  :o
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 10:43:41 PM »
I stole a Bowmar Brain back in 1977 or 78...   :P

[attachimg=#1][/attachimg]

Jim

ewemoa

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 10:48:17 PM »
I hope this digression will be tolerated...

But I absolutely love my http://Power Calculator on my PC.

I really like the past computation info in this and in SpeedCrunch (the latter has the option of a portable install :) ).

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 01:34:58 PM »
Hey Jim - I just picked up a Bowmar 90515 sans power pack. I opened it up, removed the INCREDIBLY corroded original Radio Shack rechargeable powerpack - 3 AA Ni-Cads soldered together - and hacked together a replacement powerpack using alkaline AA's and the thing works!

Kind of cool... I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a power pack. Once I have that I'll build my own Ni-Cad battery pack and it'll be good to go  :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2009, 01:36:48 PM »
PS the Klonix keyboard is hilarious - it sounds like there are lots of screws loose inside the calculator, but it's just each individual key...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2009, 01:54:37 PM »
Yeah, I remember the keys were all "clicking" keys. That thing was truly one of the originals! When first out they ran about $300 approx. They banned them at school because they offered too much of an advantage to the wealthy kids, plus they insisted that everyone do all work by hand. Odd thing is, I am the only one out of family and friends here who can still extract square and cube roots on paper, use a slide rule to four significant figures, and multiply four by four figures faster than my friends can find the results with calculators!

Many thanks to Sister Mary Elizabeth Shawn and her amazing backhand with a yardstick!

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2009, 01:08:04 PM »
Oops... Klonix = Klixon  :o :-[ Anyway, my experience in school was similar to yours, Jim (minus the nuns and corporal punishment - they banned the strap here while I was in kindergarten): we weren't allowed to use calculators until grade 9. We had to master finding square and cube roots on paper first. I find it scary that kids today are ENCOURAGED to use a graphing calculator in calculus and physics classes in high school. Granted, they're not allowed to use them on exams, but why encourage them in the first place? If you don't understand what you are doing and why, what value is there in arriving at the correct answer quickly? I'm getting old...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2009, 04:59:03 PM »
Oops... Klonix = Klixon  :o :-[ Anyway, my experience in school was similar to yours, Jim (minus the nuns and corporal punishment - they banned the strap here while I was in kindergarten): we weren't allowed to use calculators until grade 9. We had to master finding square and cube roots on paper first. I find it scary that kids today are ENCOURAGED to use a graphing calculator in calculus and physics classes in high school. Granted, they're not allowed to use them on exams, but why encourage them in the first place? If you don't understand what you are doing and why, what value is there in arriving at the correct answer quickly? I'm getting old...

Hey, they seem to get by OK. I'm glad that I learned it all as I did, but I don't begrudge anyone who doesn't have to learn it that way. Jealous probably!!

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2009, 11:36:55 PM »
Well... I don't begrudge them, exactly - I just worry a bit. May be I should worry about more immediate things, though, like figuring out how to use a graphing calculator myself  ;D Seriously, though, my issue is that I never really learned stats - properly - and have always used SPSS or SAS to crunch my data. I've always suspected that I'd have a greater "handle" on things if I'd just learned to do it with a pencil and some paper... Like I said, I'm just getting old and crotchety, I guess!
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J-Mac

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2009, 12:12:20 AM »
What, statistics? Forget it! Stick with the programs! You could easily learn the required math, but you would then continue with the software instead. Much too long, makes manual calcs inefficient.

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2009, 01:56:06 AM »
What, statistics? Forget it!

 ;D

Lies, damned lies, and statistics, eh?!

Seriously, I follow what you're saying - and take some comfort in it  :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Dormouse

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2009, 01:57:15 AM »
faster than my friends can find the results with calculators!

I always find this a problem. Not finding the results with the calculator, but finding the calculator in the first place

phitsc

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2009, 03:44:34 PM »
I have an HP 48GX. Served me well when I was studying (electrical engineering). It's lying here next to me on my desk, telling me that it wants its batteries replaced. I sometimes still use it to add up some numbers. ;)

If you have a Windows Mobile phone (or Pocket PC), you should add YaRPNcalc to your collection. You'll find a link to it in my signature. :)

Darwin

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Re: Geek gadgets - Calculators...
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2009, 03:35:32 PM »
Have now owned an HP-33s for a couple of months - it's a nicer little calculator than I expected. However, the 35s DOES allow you to edit and re-use equations typed in while in ALG mode - this addresses one of Superboyac's criticisms of the 33s, which doesn't allow you to do this...

I also have a 48gx now - awesome grapher but SLOW!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 04:38:40 PM by Darwin »