Already forgot how to use a normal calculator...

I think in an earlier post I detailed how I always wanted to learn RPN/RPL, and was working my way back through college algebra/geometry/trigonometry on an HP 48g and 50g.

I've spent so much time lately in RPN that I needed to do some simple math, and the only calculator I had available was Windows CALC.EXE.

I was absolutely stymied by calc.exe's apparant inability to add five numbers together and divide by five.

"Why is it telling me the average is 5?"

"I wish I could see the stack, how can I be screwing this up?"

After about thirty seconds I realized my error, and then it was actually painful to make myself think in... infix notation, I think it's called?

"Enter the number, plus, second number, plus, keep going, now 5, divide, crap, that should have been divide, THEN five, but wait it only divided the last value by five" etc. etc. etc.


Get yourself a Mac. The included calculator can be made into RPN mode. :-)


Besides lerning that keystrokes, don't forget to find out first if there is operator precedence or if trig functions are maybe still postfix. Brian, where's your head? You cannot just *use* an algebraic calculator! ;-)

I still remember when I got my 32SII. I was so upset about RPN (at that time, I was used to the 20S), that I was about returning it to my dealer. Fortunately, he convinced me to keep it and gave me a 25% (roughly) discount. Only one week later I was in love with this machine :-).


Yep, you're hooked ;-)

There are several Windows RPN calculators you can try, the two I have are:
A simulator of the HP-42S by Thomas Okken: Free42
A windows-calc like calculator with RPN mode: Calc98



I thought RPN was "normal", are you saying that I am abnormal? :-)


One of the reasons I haven't got a Mac yet is it lacks a Brazilian ABNT2 keyboard.


... and an intuitive UI. But then, who needs all this if he can have RPN! ;-P.

Thomas - waiting for a free42 port to AROS ;-).


Exactly! RPN has been "normal" for me for so long it's hard to switch back and forth when using various HP calc's (RPN/Alg).


You know, it's funny, I now completely understand why someone would purchase even a simple RPN pocket calculator and carry it around all the time.

Fortunately I can just load up an HP calculator emu on my android and have the same utility without my wife making quite as much fun of me.

Although there is something tantalizing about the HP 50G compatible belt holsters out there...


I started with the 35 so no problem there. Iworked with a texh that could use either alternately. Practice makes perfect.
I do wonder of most users of the 39-50 can actually use them beyond the math keyboard. I hear "I don't do much progrramming" so whats the point? sam


A few years ago, probably through this forum, I found WRPN
was a nice RPN "app" for a windows machine.

I think I have it "handy" on a few USB thumb drives as well.

So, find it, install it on your PC, and get back to "normal"!



dona nobis pacem


My eight-year-old just pulled an HP 10s from my desk drawer. A few seconds later she came back and said, "Where's the enter?". Have I done a good job, or what?!!

It gets better. She swapped it for a 50g which had been reset to factory settings. Back again a minute later with, "How do you get this back to normal?"

Of course, she'll have to attend remedial classes when she gets given a Casio at school, so I shouldn't be too smug.

Edited: 26 July 2011, 3:10 p.m.


And how could I forget..., our good curator has a list of HP and RPN simulators and emulators:


Under Windows, I've been using Bernt Ribbum's Xcalc for the past 15 years or so. It isn't skinned like an HP calculator, but works very well, has never surprised me and it has a mini-mode that uses very little screen real estate (though this was more important in the days of 800x600 14-inch CRTs). It's always been freeware, but now it's open source as well.
You can find it here.

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