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Development of the HP-35, the First Handheld Scientific Calculator, 1972

IEEE Global History Network: HP-35

"Essentially unchanged in current calculators"? I can't agree with that assessment. I understand why they're different, but that doesn't make them the same.

My path to becoming interested in old HP calculators is somewhat backwards from most people here. I must be one of the few people who got familiar with a WP-34S before ever having actually touched a HP-41 or a classic model.

That said, in the last couple of weeks I bought a HP-41CX and an HP-67. (I was very bored with the Prime threads).

Now and only now do I understand what people are talking about when they talk about the feel of the keyboard on the older models. The HP-41CX keyboard is just incredibly pleasant to use. And the HP-67 instantly captured me - its right up there with my Leica M3 as gadgets I want to have with me for absolutely no good reason at all.

So, in other words, I totally agree with your disagreement with that statement.

Thank you for a fine description of the quality of early machines! I came into this early on - my first was an HP-25 when first announced, a month after graduating from college in 1975. That poor machine never got a moments rest in my engineering and enthusiasm. When the HP-67 came out, I borrowed a co-worker's VW minibus and rocketed across the Los Angeles basin to get one of the first to arrive at Olympic Sales in 1976. I used it so much I'd program it by feel while driving cross-country at night to stay alert, and later added a speed-up switch and phase zero interrupt switch to allow synthetic programming, useful for exploring the architecture of the HP-41 via its card reader later.

No, I don't want to go back to two hour battery lives, 49 or 224 step program memories, etc. But those early machines (and my HP-41C) still have a panache that is unmatched. That Tim and company are still pushing the envelope with the Prime - which I am ill suited to find the limits with my aging brain - fills me with delight. And the productive banter of those on this board shows how cooperation can overcome tremendous obstacles.

Thanks to all for a terrific community!

Thank you for a pleasant alternative from the boredom of Prime