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Does anyone know of a good book in print (and where to get it) for learning how to program the HP 41 or 42s? I have a 42s, but the chapters on programming do not give a lot of detail. Seems to assume that the user already knows how to program a 41.


Edited: 13 Nov 2008, 3:58 p.m.

Generally, HP's vintage calculator manuals were the best literature to teach RPN programming. Everybody here learned it with his first RPN programmable calc, and advanced with his next etc. Personally I started this with a 25C, so at the time I got a 42S I already knew what's going on in general and only had to learn the increment. So it's hard to give you a good advise. Maybe reading some earlier manuals makes it easier for you: you get them all on the museum DVD for a very fair price, or choose a subset for even less.



HP put out a programing examples and techniques manual for the 42S that went into more detail in using the 42S and its additional programing features. The book was simply Programing Examples and Techniques for the 42S. Copies can be found on eBay from time to time or it can be found on the Museums set of CD's.

Yes, I have the Museum CD, but the 42s Programming Techniques manual still assumes a lot. I guess I should start with an earlier manual on the CD such as the 41 or an even earlier one. I also have a 32SII, and the instructions in that manual on programming are much better, but it does not appear programs on the 32SII are compatible with the 42s, or if they are it is not obvious from the manuals.


I agree with your conclusion. Start with the HP41 manuals. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. So write programs using a real 41C/42s or even a simulator (where you can easily store and recall programs from your PC's hard disk). The 41 and 42 are very able machines and allow you to write user-friendly programs that can clearly prompt for input and comment on output. Playing with an HP-67 nowadays shows me how advantageous the 41/42 are when it comes to programmingg.


Edited: 13 Nov 2008, 6:03 p.m.

I really like both the Easy course in Programming the HP 42S and the Easy course in Using the Hp 41C (CV, CX). IMHO, Besides the manual, these are the best resources available.

I'll second the recommendation for the 42S "Easy Course" book. Still on Grapevine Publications list of books.


Thanks, I will look into the Grapevine books as well.

I'd like to echo the praise above for the "Grapevine" books, and to point out that a pdf copy of "An Easy Course in Programming the HP-41" is on the museum DVD set. Yet another reason for purchasing this excellent resource, if you haven't done so already!