[FoRK] Any HP calculator geeks out there? (... wp-34s)

Joseph S. Barrera III j3 at barrera.org
Thu Oct 4 17:52:23 PDT 2012


Besides me, I mean.

My dad worked at HP when I was a kid and got one of the very first HP-35 
calculators. He would also bring home the big programmable calculators 
like the 9825, upon which I first learned how to program. My dad's 
friend up the street owned an HP-65 which I lusted after. One day a 
co-worker of his visited and brought his HP-67 which I lusted after even 
more.

In high school, I worked at the horse stables down the road, literally 
shoveling horse shit and piling it higher and deeper, to earn the money 
for an HP-29C and then later an HP-41C.

I subscribed to Richard J. Nelson's PPC newsletter and loved the 
hypothetical future calculator designs that people would come up with. I 
don't know where I put my PPC back issues so I can't post any of them here.

After grad school, after I started earning some money, I bought an old 
HP-67 from this newfangled site called "e-bay", and then proceeded to 
collect the rest of all the calculators HP made.

I've watched HP lose its way in calculator design. The older calculators 
were easy to program -- even if the code resembled assembly. The newer 
calculators used a higher level language which was much harder to 
program on the fly.

Just recently I've become aware of the WP-34s effort. This actually 
takes an existing HP calculator (HP-20B or HP-30B) and reprograms it to 
be an ideal scientific (NB: not graphing) calculator. I find this very 
awesome. It takes those hypothetical calculator designs and turns them 
into reality.

If you are wondering, why not just write a WP-34s emulator and run it on 
your iPhone or Android phone... well, you are probably missing the point.

-- 
Sent from my HP 9100A



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