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To all:

It is increasingly obvious that HP is getting ready to release some interesting new apparatus, specifically a 10.000 unit limited "anniversary" reissue of the HP.15C scientific and some revision of the 49/50 series (pray for big ENTER key and tapered/sweeping cross-section "Classic" case design).

Please let me know your opinion on the possible issue of some collectors "hoarding" the 15.C reissue (and its effects on the E**y auction scene).

As for me, I love the "Classic" series and keep a whole stable of them running with many parts donors. 12.C comes into play when financial questions arise not congruent with HP.80.

Just some food for thought: I believe this group has too much "class" to hoard, but let me know what you think of the (semi)-outside world's reaction to HP's newest crop.

Best regards.

John Stark


How is it increasingly obvious that HP is getting ready to relaunch a revived HP-15C? And how is it obvious that they will make 10,000 units and not some other number???

I am all ears!




Here is one site discussing this development:


HTH - Even I am excited about the re release of a machine I used many years ago.

Best Regards,

John Stark

I appreciate your contention that this group has class... However, if this machine comes to pass, what would you consider "hoarding". Does the purchase of 2-3 units qualify <g>?

Nah. One for the office, one for at home, and one for the briefcase, or just as a spare. I don't think you're in hoarding territory until five and up.

And I'll certainly be in for one - possibly two - if this all comes to fruition. I love the 48SX on my desk, but the viewing angle and contrast are a little harsh, and input isn't as speedy with all the fancy RPL stuff. Wouldn't mind getting a 15C for basic work and saving the 48 for the heavier stuff.

I think it's time to ask Donald Trump to check out the roomers about the HP-15C .... after all he has a team of crack investigators.

Let me see ... where did I write Trump's number ......



IIRC, there was some hording by this group on the 42S. Someone here found out and reported that HP still had these in inventory as "replacement" machines long after they had been discontinued. Those of us who didn't act fast didn't get in on this find as not everyone limited themselves to 1 or 2.


Edited: 9 May 2011, 11:25 p.m.

Supposing that rumor turns out to be true, and further supposing that certain "greedy hoarders" snap up the limited run of 10,000, so the rest of us poor enthusiasts can't get one, then wouldn't that tend to encourage HP to make more 15Cs?

I personally hope both things happen, and that I also get my place at the first trough, but I'm not holding my breath for either eventuality.:)


I assume the limited production run has one good reason: there is only a (very) limited market, most buyers can be found in this forum :)
Hoarding might happen, but probably won't mean a profit, the limited buyer group will grab 1-3 calculators early, which will be enough for at least a dozen years. To push prices up early, one would need to purchase all available calculators - 10000 times 100USD is certainly a freak investment and not going to happen.

But really, who hasn't dropped a million bucks on a niche calculator model for speculative purposes? Haven't we all?

I agree that there would be a only limited market for a re-introduction of the 15C. Most of us who praise it are those who had it at that time and experienced its real value compared to the other calculators, but I wouldn't be surprised that the youngest generations were not interested in it at all. However, in my opinion there is still something in terms of absolute value in the 15C and 10 series in general: it is the form factor, the compact shape, the nice look, its unsurpassed keyboard and its overall impression of a good quality build. These are things that still matter, maybe not too much to a student, but definitely to a professional. With the present technology it could be provided with a lot more functionality and made a lot faster than the original model. Matching the features and speed of the current scientific calculators, the qualities mentioned above would be the differentiating factor and what could make everybody, not just the nostalgic bunch, buy it.


If one (or even a few) person snatches 10,000 units, then HP would be clever to make more runs. Storing many units (in the thousands) is not easy and is a big gamble. I think buying 2 or 3 units will be, by collectors' standards, "reasonable" (sounds ironic coming from someone who has six vintage HP-15C ... and always uses an HP-15C emulator).


Edited: 10 May 2011, 9:42 a.m.

I just hope that there is one for me when it is released. :)

Just a million? Well, I guess that we're still in a recession of sorts.

Seems like HP should run an auction ... pssst, don't tell them! d;-)

After I posted yesterday I got to thinking about this question some more. I was wondering how many people were on this forum. Surely not more than 1000? Lets say that 80% of forum members would like 1 or more units (2-3 seems to be a common theme in various posts past and present). So lets use 3 as a figure. Say 2400 units between 800 forum members (I didn't need an HP15C for that particular calculation). Should be more than enough for all of us. UNLESS some distributor grabs a whole bunch as some have suggested might happen. Sounds like that would be prohibitively expensive and somewhat risky. If that person or entity purchased say all 10,000 units (or even if they were all bought up by 5 entities) to push up the price, what then? Sitting on those units for any length of time becomes a liability. They would have to sell them to recoup their investment. And that would mean that it would be very difficult to hoard at the level required to make the calcs either unavailable to those that want them or to push up the prices.

Just my 2 cents worth.

And, of course, it would be nice if the limited number became general availability. It seems to me that the risk to HP would be minimal since the machine is based on the same architecture, case, etc. as the 12C. There are only two differences as far as I can tell. The keyboard and the firmware. Worst case one could take the firmware and apply it to the 12C and figure out how to create a keyboard template. Certainly not as nice as having a "real" 15C but effectively the same capabilities.



I'm just guessing it will be a reprogrammed "modern" 12C.

Do the modern 12C's have the reliability or battery life of the originals? I guess not.

While I would like to own a newer one, I'm not going to even consider buying one at "speculative" prices on TAS. The original I bought for $15 will be good enough, and considering "modern" electronics don't have the reliability/long life of similar products built 20 years ago. Televisions for instance, "stocking up" for future need could be foolish (leaky capacitors and such).


dona nobis pacem

I've an original 15C which I only use very occasionally because it's so incredibly slow. Decent speed makes a huge difference.

As the programmer of the "hardware part" of wp34s, essentially the same hardware as the new 12C and the (hopefully) upcoming 15C, I can assure you that performance and economy on batteries can go hand in hand. Of course not if you are running a tight loop which will rapidly eat your coin cells. But with normal use, you can expect a battery life measured in years, not months or weeks.

Sorry for the stupid question: what is TAS? I have just registered to this forum...

I think it stands for "That Auction Site"... At any rate it refers to eBay.

I don't think that I would be hoarding, but I would definitely be buying three. One for the office, one for home and a spare.

My hope would be that these would be released as some limited edition and then HP would release a 15C general edition.

Will this happen who knows, we've been waiting so long it seems that I don't want to tempt fate.

I own both old and new 12C's as well as the newer 12C Platinum (2 x CR2032 cells). I can't speak to reliability as I have not had the new ones long enough and I don't use them enough anyway but I can tell you that they are FAST. I can also say that I have had no problems with the keyboards on either the 12C+ or the Plat and that I do like the keyboard feel.

Note that the new 12c's are fast, but the 12c platinum's are not.

Some people find the word, "ebay" so distasteful that they find other ways of expressing themselves. But it is also similar to TOS which has much more significance here.

Sitting in the cockpit last week on the way to Tokyo when the guy beside me pulled out a beat up 15C. Of course, I had to talk to him about it and pulled out my 71B, 42S and 15C.

Now I have to explain why I have 3 HP's in the flight bag:

1.  71B is a new toy that was just reconditioned and I was
converting all 42S RPN programs into basic.
2. 42S was a replacement for the 41CX, my favourite, because it
was not as buggy as the 41CX in the static environment of the
3. 15C because it fits in the pocket and is just fun to play with!

So, after examining his, I noticed his program memory was empty. I went ahead and a programmed it with 15 routines applicable to our specific job. Gave him my overlay card and program outline notes. He played with it for the next few hours and on the way home. He bought it new in the eighties and uses for simple stuff, and now the complicated stuff.

He asked me if there was a replacement and I mentioned the used market and the value for a good example. He was stunned. I asked him if he would by a new replacement if one was available. His answer was YES, probably 2.

So, there is a market, even for non collectors and HP museum attendees.

Myself, at least 2, backup and spare just because of the projected speed of the machine. Currently a Great Circle, and Intermediate latitude programs take 30 seconds of "Running" prior to display! The 42S takes about 2 seconds, and doing the comparison of the standard:


With 1's loaded in the stack on the newest 12C I would suggest the answers will be instantaneous if they do reissue the calculator based on the newest 12C platform.

Does that make me a horder? No.

Cheers, Geoff

Agreed. My wording could easily have been taken the wrong way. I realized that when I posted and just got lazy. <g>

Edited: 10 May 2011, 3:27 p.m.

Hi Geoff!

Sitting in the cockpit last week on the way to Tokyo when the guy beside me pulled out a beat up 15C ... He bought it new in the eighties ...

This must be long-haul flying then :-) Enough time to "pull out" things to play with and colleagues who were already born in the eighties. In my sector (comparatively short range business aviation), the guys next to me are all born in the nineties and if they find space somewhere in the cockpit for their bag, they pull out iPhones or iPads with very smart real-time GPS based aviation apps running on them. When my HP-15 sees those, it blushes with embarrassment and creeps back into it's pouch. No, there's definitely no market here for old or new 15Cs.

Personally, I'm not interested in a new 15C either. I have an original one that I don't like enough for actually using it (I always found grey LC displays awful and it dosen't have a proper CLx key either) and that I only keep for collecting purposes. And I can't imagine that the new 15 will become a collectible for a long time, even if only a limited number is made: There are simply not enough collectors!

Regards, Max

NB: I owe you an answer to a very old mail regarding a CompuCorp calculator. I made a mess of my emails then when trying to synchronise my two Macintosh notebooks and have only recently recovered a bunch of lost messages! Will be in the next few days!

Edited: 10 May 2011, 3:45 p.m.

slow: yes

but it is small and simple to operate! That's why it's one of my favorites for the simple stuff and it's quite powerful to fit into the pocket:

- complex numbers

- matrix operations

- easy RPN programming and even recall arithmetic

I will for sure check it out if there is a new 15c edition.


Personally, the HP-15c is one of my favorites for all the reasons you list and more. The real disgrace is that nearly 30 years later we have the HP-35s that can't even do matrix math and has an inferior keyboard and display.

Sounds like HP would do quite well to run a few half-page advertisements in various trade and hobbyist publications, then, such as those for pilots, mechanical/industrial engineers, etc. Just include a nice large, clear photo of a 15C, and anybody reading that's fond of that model will be quickly drawn to it, and read the details of how to get a brand new faster one.

What I hate most of the 35S is, that you can label program just with one letter. This really yields all that nice memory to be a silly joke.

The 35S looked at least again like a real calculator and not like a spaceship :-)

but I leave the 35s all the time in the drawer and rather pick up the 15c or a 41c to have with me.


...and it dosen't have a proper CLx key either...

To each his/her own. The design of the keyboard - even though the CLx key is shifted - is a model of efficiency and practicality. There is an excellent article worth reading (if you haven't done so already) by Valentin Albillo that elaborates on this called "Long Live the HP-15C". I cannot link to the original as there seems to be a problem with his website and the locked .pdf I have will not allow copy/paste. That article, along with his others, is a collectible too!

I for one, regard this calculator as one of the very best ever designed, notwithstanding its slow processor. A faster, à la 12C+, version would be of interest to me. Let's hope there will be some available to those of us who want one.

Jeff Kearns

Edited: 10 May 2011, 6:37 p.m.

I think HP also runs the risk of stumbling into an uncanny valley for calculators if the alleged 15C's are close in function but lack the quality of the namesake.

Heh heh (laughing)..

Long haul indeed, just finished a YVR - SYD turn with a layover in Sydney Australia (24 hours) ant then back to Vancouver.

YVR - SYD  15:38 in the air and 17 hour duty
SYD - YVR 14:24 in the air.

More then enough time to pull out the toys. Must say though, that with an augmented crew those legs included two; three hour rest periods in a nice bunk above business class. In fact, I get most of the book typing done in the bunk area during my 'rest' period.

As to the age of my fellow workers, the guys and gals on the B777 at Air Canada are all plus 50 (including me). The relief pilots are usually junior checking in at 40.

Yeah there are faster calcs with more power, but for my ops, a few subroutines without the need of alpha and the 15 performs. I bring the HP 71B and 42S because of the printer wow factor and alpha display and output formatting. In fact the 15C does quite well on it's own.

It would be nice to see a 15C with more memory, back light, alpha and timing clock abilities. Just a thought TIM!!!

Cheers, Geoff


I was hoping by "trash talking" the new 15C (if it is real and not imaginary[pun]), I'd discourage enough folks from buying so I'd have at least a 0.0073 percent chance of buying one for myself!

I guess you didn't fall for it...



dona nobis pacem

Heh heh (laughing)..

As to the age of my fellow workers, the guys and gals on the B777 at Air Canada are all plus 50 (including me). The relief pilots are usually junior checking in at 40.

Cheers, Geoff

A 747 pilot told a cow-orker of mine years ago something to the effect that...

By the time a pilot has the seniority to join a 747 crew, and that a 747 is so much easier to fly, a pilot is at the age where their flying skills will rapidly decrease if not frequently used, and the 747 doesn't provide them with that opportunity!


As soon as the new 15C is released I do hope a talented team will issue a high quality firmware to repurpose the calculator into a full fledged Hp-80 (my favorite).

Now THAT would be THE hack of the century :-)

Kudos and congratulations to the WP34 team for the great job.

A Hp-80 firmware for the new 15C should be a piece of cake in comparison.



Probably the existing new 12C is a better (cheaper) target for a repurposing project, be a new HP-80 or whatever. We need to find out some basics about the display and keyboard before we can start.

More of a problem of being to old to switch technology then skill level.

DC-8 to DC-10; 707-747. introduced master control panels and complex flight directors along with simple programming of on board computers. As a result many good pilots with high standards could not transition to the different flight paradigms.

747 300 to 747 400's as with DC-10 to MD-11 removed flight engineers and simplified the cockpit for two man crews versus three man crews. This meant the computer took over the engineers seat. But this has added to the knowledge requirement and trouble shooting abilities of the crew.

So it is not a factor of ability to fly, but ability to transfer to new pardigms and technology. Many pilots retired by remaining on the older technology aircraft that they were familiar with.

Like anything, hang around and do not exercise the brain and it will deteriorate.

I don't find the 777 any easier to fly, yes more automation, but my training and ability is there for when the automation fails or is degraded. Six month exams (simulator), line checks, six month medicals are designed to catch and remove problems in ability be it physical or mental. Even a regular flight is considered a flight exam as anyone on the flight deck may note mistakes and must discuss and report depending on the severity of the error. We even have a check list with memory items that are designed to catch a degraded mental process in the air.

I look at the aircraft I have flown from ca. 1938 Beech 18's on floats to brand new 777's and see different skill sets for all of them.

You are correct that a long haul pilot may do three take off and landings a month whereas the 737 three take off and landings a day for 20 days. But that skill level was transfered to the 777 and is demonstrated continually.

a pilot is at the age where their flying skills will rapidly decrease if not frequently used

So although at face value the above quote may have merit, in reallity it doesn't; for those that continually surpass all tests thrown at them be it a formal simulator, line check, medical or regular line flight.

Cheers, Geoff

A new application of conspiracy theory?

We need to find out some basics about the display and keyboard before we can start

We have all that for the 12C+. If you contact Cyrille or Tim I'm sure that they'll send you the minimal SDK for it which contains all the keyboard and display mapping. I've already done some playing around with re-purposing the 12C+.

My problem with all these re-purposing projects is the keyboard labeling. Having the correct easy to read and impossible to rub off labels is critical for user-friendly calculator usage.


We're restricted to numeric labels and five designated letters on the 15C.

We're restricted to numeric labels and five designated letters on the 15C.

...so there must be clearly another reason why I rather pick up the 15C!


(it's not just about rational arguments)