Monday, February 25, 2008

The Enduring Popularity of HP Calculators With Geeks

Many people don't realize that technophiles can be the most conservative of people.

In the drive for miniaturization and ease of use, there are those who smile and stand aside:

While not the sexiest consumer product out there, our engineering audience will likely see the appeal that HP's latest scientific calculator had for me. The 35s, which this new model is dubbed, is similar in many ways to the 15c I bought twenty-some-odd years ago when I entered engineering school... There's no doubt that the 15c was the premier calculator of its time. Just about everybody in engineering school seemed to have one...

I bet many of you are smiling to yourselves saying the same thing, "yeah, I bought one of those, too." But the kicker for me, and I'd bet for many of you, is that my 15c is still going strong. In fact, it still serves as my everyday calculator. And it doesn't get lost like many of the other objects on my desk, such as the tape dispenser, stapler, and scissors, thanks to its use of reverse Polish notation (RPN). My family members take the attitude that it's easier to find another calculator than to learn RPN. And that suits me just fine...

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