My Collection of Hewlett-Packard Calculators

Just to demonstrate that people will collect anything, I offer you the following description of my inventory of Hewlett-Packard calculators, some of which have sadly met their demise:

  1. HP-28C. The old clamshell special. Got this as a high-school graduation gift from my parents; I think it was about $250. I used it throughout my undergrad engineering years, but lost it midway through my senior year.

  2. HP-42S. Maybe my favorite “modern” HP. I got it to replace my 28C, and remember paying exactly $112 for it at the Ohio State bookstore. Used it the remainder of that year and for the first couple of years of my first job. Some cockenheimer stole it there, and I think I know who it was - I saw him with it, assumed it was his and not mine, and then he quit. I never saw my 42S after that. It’s out of production now but fetches big bucks on eBay.

  3. HP-48G. Replacement for the 42S above. I cheaped out and didn’t get the 48GS with the expanded memory, but it served me well for many years of employment and graduate school. I still have it in my desk at home.

  4. HP-48GX. I bought this with the intention of doubling it as a PDA (there are free programs that will do that), but as a PDA it didn’t quite do the trick. Nevertheless, with its various minor improvements over the 48G (much better keyboard and graphics), it has served as my main workhorse for the past 6 years or so.

  5. HP-97. Now we get into the antiques. I got this as surplus from a company I used to work for. It is “heavy iron” - I think it weighs about 3 pounds. But the printer drive gear stripped, and the switch to turn off the printer broke, so when you turn it on, the printer just runs pathetically and you can’t calculate anything. This one got pitched last year, but I kept the power supply.

  6. HP-55. Another antique, from my current employer’s surplus room. Not really a fun calculator, although it is pleasantly antique with the LED display and all. I had to rebuild the battery pack using batteries from a discarded wireless phone handset.

  7. HP-34C. You’ve gotta love a calculator that has an old-timey LED display, yet does numerical integration. Had to rebuild this battery pack as well. I carried it around for a while as a conversation starter.

  8. HP-97 number 2. From employer’s surplus. This one had no power supply, but I had the one from my previous 97. It works great, and people really notice when I use it. But the keyboard is kind of clunky and I don’t know whether the magnetic card reader still works.

  9. HP-67. From employer’s surplus. Dead battery pack, so I don’t know if it works, but it came with a whole buttload of magnetic cards. I just got this one yesterday.

  10. HP-41CX. Yeah baby! From employer’s surplus, also picked up yesterday. It came with the Math 1 and Stats 1 cartridges. It was dead on arrival, but a quick check revealed dead and leaky batteries. A pencil-eraser cleaning of the contacts and a new set of N-cells, and she is good to go. A little balky still, probably due to residual crud in the battery box, but it works. I just need the manuals now.

Heh, got one you don’t have … the trusty 12C. But you far outnumber me in HP calculators, but probably not in total calculators (and I’m going to count my slide rules and abaci!).

I feel so unworthy… I only have two HP calculators. A 12C and a 15C.

HP-33C. I got that one when I went to university. If I could get a new battery and charger for it, I’d fire that puppy up.

HP48GX. Didn’t need it, but when I was finally able to afford it, I gought one. I no longer understand many of its functions.

I want an HP-01. :slight_smile:

I have a 41CV, purchased while I still thought I’d be an EE. It was an emergency purchase when my TI something or other quit 2 days before a big calc exam when we had to have calculators that could convert between different coordinate systems. I bought it because I’d heard how tough HP calculators were and how hard they were to break (I tend to be a bit rough on my equipment). The reputation was well deserved. It still works like a champ, although I don’t need anything like all the functions it has.

Trusty HP-11C here. But I have 2 slide rules.

28S, 11C, 12C, 15C, 41CV, a couple 32si, and my first HP was - what was that? - 33E? It was a programmable with an LED display, and it had a NOP function you would sprinkle along through your program to give you room to add things in the middle later (because you couldn’t insert instructions into a program, only replace other ones). I wrote a program on it that kept searcing for bigger and bigger primes. My girlfriend wanted to clobber me.

Also bought a TI SR50 when they first came out.

I have a 15C, but I want a Curta.

I’ve always wanted one of the “10” series (the ones shaped like a credit card), but my primary source is surplus inventory at my place of employment, and the 10s were usually owned by individuals. I would like something with Nixie tubes, too.

I do have a TI-59 with the printer, but it just doesn’t have that HP mojo.

I also have two slide rules from the 1950s and a big, cylindrical one from 1890 (“Thacher’s CALCULATING INSTRUMENT”, manufactured by the B.K. Elliott Company of Pittsburg). That last one was a gift I got upon receiving my Ph.D. I think I saw it on the Antiques Roadshow once.

Still using the 48SX that I bought back in 1991 every day. I got into a panic a while back when someone told me that HP wasn’t making RPN calcs anymore…not quite true, but it seems like RPN is no longer a principal feature, but rather an additional mode of some of the higher end scientific models.