Calculators that have Scrolling Commas?



I was wondering which calculators have scrolling commas as seen on the HP41? What I mean by scrolling comma is that when you type in 4,000,000 the comma will scroll across the screen such as 4,000 then you add another 0 and the comma goes to 40,000 then you enter another 0 it goes to 400,000 and so on before you press the Enter key. I know the HP48GX does not show the comma until you press Enter, which is annoying. So I was wondering which calculators have the scrolling commas?



All of my Pioneers work this way - 17b, 20s, 22s, 27s.


Certainly 42s does :-)




11C, 12C, 15C do (I don't have the other two) and all Compucorp 400-series as well! These are the only luminous one I know that have this feature.

Greetings, Max


This was (and is) not an uncommon feature. All the HP calculators in the Spice, Voyager and Pioneer series have scrolling commas, the 9815 has them too. Many old non-HP calculators have scrolling commas too: the Monroe/Compucorp 3XX machines, 1920, 1930 and others, the Sharp 364R Nixie tube calculator, even the 3-digit Sharp EL-120 had a scrolling comma in a weird sort of a way.


The HP-33S (and presumably the HP-35S) does.


HP 35s input line does not add thousand separators


My HP32SII work this way.
And I love it!


Thanks everyone for thier inputs. I wonder why my 48GX does not have this option? Do the new HPs have this option? When did they stop scolling commas?


When you entered a number into the earlier RPN HP models you were in, fact, over writing the X register. When HP added commas to the Spice (HP-3x) series, they decided to include live scrolling commas. When you enter a number into the 48GX (or any RPL series calculator) you are actually editing a command line which is more like a text editor.

Even though the newer RPN models like the HP-33S have a pseudo command line entry, they also include scrolling commas (probably to be consistent with earlier RPN models). I thought the HP-35S would work the same way but V-PN mentioned the it did not have scrolling commas. Strange.


I think I remember Bill Wickes telling us at the 1990 HP Conference in Chicago that it was that command line which made them omit the scrolling commas. Also, since a user may be entering commas him/herself into the command line, it might confuse things. However, if the entered comma (for ordered pairs, etc) differed in its look from the automatic thousands separator (as a smaller symbol raised up a bit, for instance), then perhaps the scrolling separator could be reinstated. I always thought that this would make a great programming-contest problem. One of the many complications of course, would be that you can move the cursor backwards through a command line and insert a real comma anywhere. Imagine a long string of 12 digits with automatic commas appearing - and then having the user step back and insert an intentional comma between the 6th and 7th digit in order to convert it to an ordered pair of two six-digit numbers. Immediately, the automatic separators would have to change to accomodate the new data. Or how about if one was entering a string object which happened to contain a large number of numeric digits together: you might NOT want thousands separators there. Then, if the string quotes were edited out, the calc would have to re-parse the command line and insert separators where they hadn't be there before. So - do you re-parse the command line after each and every keypress, in order to keep things right? All these situations could be considered either a nightmare or a supreme challenge to surmount...
Jake Schwartz


[SPC] and ; (RS&,) are just fune for separators
it's not too late to fix for the 50g+ model
I'd rather have the Vectored ENTER back on the Algebraic Mode
and APPLY working again eg. 1.19-2 ROM back in business
but bug fixes up to 2.10
having Equation Writer accepting units on Complex 'vectors' where one could use units and solve a part would be really nice
(5V <)30_o)+(R <)-45_o)=(0_V <)0_o) in the EQW using SOLVE for R
no units in the EQW as in the 48-series
no symbolic complex numbers
(we have symbolic matrices though)
no units on complex numbers
(you can enter units into a matrix using command line)
no solving a part of a complex number in vector format
In EE this would rock the universities


The RPL machines like the 48 takes a lot of diffent type of data from the command line. It's hard for the calculator to know that you're entering a number until you finish it.


I have a Casio S-1 which has a blue fluorescent ten digit diplay. It has scrolling delimiters which act just like the scrolling commas that you describe except that the delimiters are comma-like figures which are at the top of the display rather than the bottom.

Other older Casios probably offered the same sort of display. If you are interested I can check a sizeable sample at my winter home later this month.


Hansel --

Jake Schwartz and Chan Tran basically answered your question with different levels of detail, but I'll address it in my own way. Your question also came up at the recent HHC conference in Corvallis last month.

The RPL-based calculators (HP-28, HP-48, HP-49, HP-50) accept user input into a buffer with minimal restriction, then process it when input is complete. This input could be a combination of many kinds of "objects", and could even include commas as part of the syntax. The calculator must parse the input to determine what it is and what to to with it. Thus, the 'thousands separators' are not inserted until the calculator identifies that all or part of the input is a number.

By contrast, with rare exceptions, the RPN-based and AOS H-P calculators accept only numbers as input outside of program mode. Input is generally checked for validity as it is entered, with the 'thousands separators' inserted immediately where appropriate.

BTW, I prefer RPN...


-- KS



the 35s is a noticable exception to the rule. It has a RPL like input line processing.



You wrote:

The 35s is a noticable exception to the rule. It has a RPL like input line processing.

The other thing that the 35s provides is the ability to select whether or not to have the thousands separator. The example on page 1-24 of the manual starts by setting Display 4 and the the note accompanying the example states "The default format uses the comma as the thousand separator and the period as the radix." I don't get the thousand separator unless I have set Display 7. Maybe I don't understand what "default mode" means.




the 35s is a noticable exception to the rule. It has a RPL like input line processing.

Marcus --

Yes, good point. I was aware of that, but forgot to mention it in my posting. In fact, I questioned the advisability of the RPL-style input processing (among other things) of the RPN HP-35s in a paper I presented at the HHC conference in Corvallis last month.

-- KS


What I really don't understand after all of this is "What real advantage is there to having scrolling commas?"


What I really don't understand after all of this is "What real advantage is there to having scrolling commas?"

The adaptive thousands-separators (commas, by US convention) allow the user to clearly see what number has been entered up to that point...

-- KS


The adaptive thousands-separators (commas, by US convention) allow the user to clearly see what number has been entered up to that point...

If I am using a really capable machine I don't really examine the number in the display as it is being generated. Do you really do that?

I would have thought that such stuff might have been necessary for machines for ordinary use and for business machines, but for scientific machines designed for use by mathematicians, scientists and engineers?

Of course, these days all of us folks who claim to use higher powered mathematics in our work are in disrepute since the models generated for financial market analysis are being blamed for the financial mess. So far as I have seen they have blamed mathematicians and physicists but haven't said anything about engineers. Should I take some comfort in that?


Some people just can't count.
(as opposite to "Rainman" played by Dustin Hoffman)
That's why they use a simple calculator anyway.
So, while keying in a "large" number, like
they like to see
appear as
then adding digits
and that's how those countless non-counting people want it.

Did you get it now why and what advantage?
It's like a stick to a blind person...
riding a trike instead of bike
those of you who prefer commas (commanists)
don't take this 2 seriously...
after all you can read...and use a calculator
(a simple RPN model, not an allgebrainiac model)

all puns where intended (or not)


Hyvää päivää Veli-Pekka,

PS: those of you who prefer commas (commanists) ...
:) Thanks for this one. At least, us commanists are slightly better than those pointless folks ;)


Are you pointing at me?
no point to continue...(oops)


I forgot to quote your last sentence: all puns were intended ;)

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