Average Age in hpmuseum forum


Hi everyone,

I would like to know more or less the average age of this forum, it's just about curiosity and the profile of HP calcfans.

It's strange because as many here I like very much technology progression and evolution in every aspect but with HP calcs I have the opposite reaction...

I started with a 48GX 9 years ago ( I'm 26 ) and now I'm more interested in older calcs than newer...

This is happening also with HP LX and with PSION...

Just feel that now everything is more standarized and less engineered it's just a feeling, probably I'm getting older than what my age shows...

HP should release 15C and 42S thanks Raymond.


Hi Nacho,
I'm 52 (next monday) and with your 26(!) the average is 39. So far.




I am 45 years old

I had my first experience with an HP35 that my brother-in-law bought for my sister to use in her college classes in 1974. I bought my first HP, a 41CX, in 1983 while in college. I have owned various HP over the years, 41CX, 15C, 42S, 20S, 28S, 48SX, 48GX, 33S & 35S. The ones I return to the most for quick calculations and programing are the 41CX and the 42S. About all I use the 48GX for these days is to do unit conversions.


45. First HP calc was the 25, in 1978.



Turned 70 last month. 41C bought in 1979 and of course still in use daily. Have been a farmer/rancher all of my adult life and am Semi-retired.


62. First was a 19c, now dead :( For years the most used was a 41cv, now it's probably Free42 on a PDA or laptop. The various 48 and 49 are just too bulky to fit in a pocket, and while I can do Lisp, it's overkill for a calculator. Now if someone was to port Icon to the 49 ... never mind.



HP41C, CV, CX, 28S, 48SX, 48GX, 49G+, 50, 35S and now - 42S on iPhone

When I got my hands on my first HP-41C with 1 memory module I could not sleep for 3 days; I was so fascinated. I still have it - works as good as at the day I got it. Nothing compares to it.

At the moment I got familiar with RPN I loved it and I'm still in love with it, that love will die with me :)

Edited: 13 Feb 2009, 8:28 p.m.


40. My first HP was purchased for me by my high school for competition. Then, just after joining the military, one of my first paychecks (actually, it as about 40% of a paycheck) went to buying my very own 11C. It suffered a tragic laundry accident, and has been replaced with another 11C, 49g+, 50g, and most recently, a 35s.


I am 40. Bought the 28s in 1989 and am still amazed at what it can do. Encouraged (enabled?) me to buy the 49g (eek), the 49g+ (better), the 50g (quite nice IMO). Then came the 12c, the 33s and finally the 35s, which is my "go-to" calc for quick conversions and equation solving. (The 35s has received mixed reviews on this forum but I like it a lot.) But which do I take to a desert island? The 28s.


I'm 45. Bought a 29C my freshman or sophomore year in high school, then a 41C around 1980 and a 41CV a couple years later. Loaned the 29C to a girlfriend around 1986 and haven't seen it since. The 41CV is in my desk drawer and was my primary calculator until about a year ago when I had to buy a TI 83 plus for my daughter and I wondered what HP had done with calculators in the past 25 years. Bought a 50g and I've been goofing off learning about it, UserRPL, systemRPL, Saturn architecture, HPGCC etc. Just bought a 48gii for a paying gig.

The market for calculators has shrunk a lot and the price people are willing to pay is tiny, at least compared to what we paid 20 years ago. So the engineering suffers proportionately.


41. And, since this is the year of the 41 (30th anniversary), I have decided to do most of my programming for the 41.

I started with the 15C in 1985 (still use it), then progressed to the 48GX (retired for a 50g, my 48GX was gift from father and I did not want to lose it on my travels).

I started to collect in 2006 when I discovered that the only way to get a good 'new' calc was to get a good 'used' calc.

I am most fascinated with models with I/O (41, 71, 48, 50). But if I had to rebuild civilization, it'd be the indestructible 15C with it's 20 year battery life. IMHO, a calc with bidirectional I/O and alphanumerics is a computer. The 15C is all calculator.

Edited: 13 Feb 2009, 5:27 p.m.


I'm 50.

A friend loaned me an HP-45 when they first came out. I was quite young, but was bitten by the bug.

I purchased my first HP in 1974 when I turned 16.

My HP-25. It served me well and started what turned out to be a career in computers.


I'm 49.

My first HP encounter can be seen in the memories section of this site: The calc that always gave PI as the result.

Still looking for the HP-71B Math Pac at a reasonable price...


I am but a wee babe. I'll be 36 this year, meaning that I'm (embarrassingly) younger than the HP-35.

My first HP was a 48sx. I badgered my parents into buying it for me in high school, when a $250 calculator was a <i>huge</i> investment.

I used it until 2003, when I bought a 50G. A few weeks after that, I found a 48gx at a swap meet, and got suckered into the world of collecting HPs that I'd wanted as a kid, but could never afford.


Seth, if you edit your post to replace <i> and </i> with the word italic resp. /italic in square brackets [..] italics will work. ;)


62, retired engineer, my first calculator was the HP-35, my favorite calculator is the HP-15c, my first PC was the Sanyo MBC-555.


I'm 48. Psychiatrist.

I own... pretty much all of them now.

My favorites: 25, 19, 71, 67, .....


I'm 42. My first HP was a 15c (around 1990, still my favourite), and then a 42s (1992). Today I'm using a 35s or a 48gii.

Edited: 13 Feb 2009, 8:39 p.m.


I admire this subject. As if we all sort of introduced our selves at a fancy dinner party :)

Cheers all

Edited: 13 Feb 2009, 8:45 p.m.


...[like] a fancy dinner party...

indeed! Can you please pass the HP Sauce? (also an excellent Stack Replacement util for the 48G series)


Hi, my name's chuck, and I have an Hp addiction. :)

I'll be 46 in a few weeks. Bought my first 11c in 1981 with financial aid money my first year in college; still have it. From there, I acquired a 15c, 28s, 48sx, 50g+ and a host of others through out the years (20 - 30, but who's counting). Currently I use the 35s as my usual "physical" calculator, but am enjoying the i41cxp on the ipod touch.

Cheers to all.


I'm Mike (polarbear, if you're a friend), i'm 60.
My 1st HP was an 11c almost the week they came out!
Since then there have been 41, 41cv, 3-41cx with card reader, printer, cassette drive, bar code wand, etc., 45, 67, 33, 32s, 4-42s's (wore 'em out - I'm a Land Surveyor PLS 6049, CA) 48sx, 3-48gx, 48g, 28c, and an HP 50g. i THINK thats all of them... Might have left one or two out. STILL have the 11c!

polarbear Mike

PS - just remembered a couple more: the 55, and a 200lx

Edited: 13 Feb 2009, 10:48 p.m.


I am 47. I work as an electrical engineer.
My first HP was my HP-25 I bought in 1977.
I have also owned the following HP calculators:
HP-11C, HP-28C, HP-28S, HP-48SX, HP-20S, HP-48G, HP-41C, HP-38G.


I'm 62.99 (i.e. I'll be 63 next week).

First HP was a 35, which did all the calculations for my Ph.D. thesis in 1973. Since then, I've had (& still have) an 11C, 41C, 41CX, 32SII, 42S, a 33S, and a 35S.

For everyday use, I grab the 35S, which sits in my desk drawer atop the original 35.


Hi, I'll [hopefully] be 49 in a month.
My first HP was (and still is) a 41C bought in 1979. Since 1998 I started collecting its siblings and now own at least one of each.



I'm 64, retired civil/structural designer/drafter. In 1972 a student employe brought in an HP 35 which was instant hit with the engineers and surveyors. My fist calc came shortly after thru a promotion by Chevron, a 4 function plus percent key. Our computer guy wrote some routines to do square roots and something else I forget what. My first hp was a 25c bought on clearance in Cheyenne, wy 1978. My needs and pay didn't warrant HP so I spent most of my working years with other calcs. 1995 I came to Phoenix and employer bought me a 32sii which is more than I need but it gota lot use doing trig and conversions.

Charlie O.



I'm 37, electronic engineer my first HP was a 41cv that took me through college, later on I got a 41cx then a 49g, 48gx and two more 41 cx's



First encountered a calculator (a 35) in 1973. My first own HP was a repaired 25C in 1977. Switched to 11C in 1982, to 32S in 1990. Started collecting in 2000 with a Portuguese 97.


43. And due to my age I'm desperately waiting for the launch of the 43S ;-) I'm a software engineer working in the fields of text-to-speech. My first HP calc was a 41C, and my last one is currently a 9100B (but this is changing continuously).


Hi Nacho,

I'm 38, and had my firt HP (HP-11C) back in the 80's!

BTW, I'm a business process manager.


Edited: 14 Feb 2009, 4:46 a.m.


/me = the random number (42, the sum of eyes on two 6-sided dice)


My age 35,9/12, my profession - sysadmin, working at several (big and small) companies.

My first calc is Soviet MK-61 in 87 or 88, now I have:

Soviet: MK-71, B3-34, MK-61, MK-52+BRP-3 rom+BRP-4 rom, MK-85M, MK-152+external flash ram for storage

TI: TI-30, TI-55, TI-59, TI-74, TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89 Titanium

HP: HP-97, HP-41CX+PPC rom+2 X-RAM+HP-IL+CardReader+HP-82242A IR module+NoV64, HP-82161A Digital Cassete Drive, HP-81162A printer, HP-82240B IR Printer, HP-71B+32kb ram+HP-IL module, HP-28S, HP-33s, HP-35s, HP-48GX, HP-50G+512k SD card

All calcs and peripherals in working condition and used by me.


The answer to everything...42!

[1st guy in HP marketing dept., preparing his gun] Why are we stuck with these half dead guys? Where are all the f*****g teens and students?

[2nd guy in HP marketing dept., adjusting a knot on a rope] Don't know! Forgot to phone X at TI and Y at Casio! *sigh*

[1st guy]shoots himself

[2nd guy]goes a-swinging

Edited: 14 Feb 2009, 5:22 a.m.


Age: 49.

[1st guy in HP marketing dept., preparing his gun] Why are we stuck with these half dead guys? Where are all the f*****g teens and students?

[2nd guy in HP marketing dept., adjusting a knot on a rope] Don't know! Forgot to phone X at TI and Y at Casio! *sigh*

[1st guy]shoots himself

[2nd guy]goes a-swinging

I got into this in my early 20's. I would have gotten into it in my teens if I could have afforded it. Get kids interested in engineering again instead of video games and tagging, and they'll become customers.

I never went for "cool," and I didn't care what others had or wanted. If I could afford anything I wanted back then and the graphing "supercalculators" had been available at the time, I still would have chosen the 41 and/or 71 for HPIL's ability to control equipment on the workbench and take data.


My age is 43.

My first contact with a calculator was in 1975 when my father got an HP-35. In 1977 he got an HP-21. I was using only RPN from 1975 to 1980.

In 1982 I got Casio FX-602P and FX-702P, then in 1986 I finally got an HP-71B with Forth ROM and Math ROM and a card reader. Later still, in 1991, I got an HP-48SX, then in 2007 an HP-50g and an HP-48GX, and finally in 2008 an HP-41CX (I wanted to have an HP-41CV since 1982 but could not afford it then) and an HP-12C.

I also use emulators on a PC, Windows Mobile phones and iPod Touch: nonpareil, Emu48, Emu71, V41, Free42.


Vladan, it appears that you were even more spoiled with gadgets than I remember. I couldn't afford more than a humble Sharp while you were flashing the 71B at the university. But all of these? Were you luckier wirh your financiers?

Or is it a generation gap? I am 41 (41CV, Calculator Veteran), starting with a Privileg of some sort, a 4-banger, no RPN, but as early as in 1974. To this day, I still have the same feeling about red LED displays.

First programmable, TI 53 in 1982. First pocket computer, Sharp 1211 in 1984. First HP, HP 32E which my wife inherited from her sister. I neglected it and it died when its NiCd pack leaked. D'oh. (I let a red LED HP die. I thought it would be like my Sharps, indestructible. What was I thinking?!) HP for life, 12C. It is just so right. I wish I discovered how good and useful it was much much earlier than in this century.



I'm 46 - haven't kept track of the average so far, but intuitively I would say that I'm pretty close. Incidentally, this is also the average age of motorcyle drivers in my country - whatever this may tell us.

My first (own) HP calculator was a '97 that they wanted to throw away at the office arond 1990 and which more or less started me collecting these things. When I really would have needed them, they were much too expensive, so I had to rely on products of the competition to help me through my degrees.

Greetings, Max

NB: I got my latest HP calculator just yesterday, an "HP OfficeCalc 200". But I'm afraid this is just another mass produced Chinese throw-away-article and HP really should not need to stick it's logo on such things.


I'm 45 and my first hp was an hp-67, in 1978.


30, physics teacher.

First HP was an 32sii in 1997. I still use it together with 48GX, 49G, 41C and CV, 42s, and my oldest one, an HP97 with broken card reader, but who cares, the printer works ;). And HP12 and 17Bii, when dreaming about a house.

Almost forgot my like new 200LX running DOS derive.

Edited: 14 Feb 2009, 9:59 a.m.


Hi, I am 52.

Started with the 67 in 1977, owned or still own 41cv, 28s, 48sx, 15c, 16c and some current models.



Started my work in HP as an Calculator rep back in the 80'
Hp 41CX, CV, ++
CCD, PPC, Zenrom Module +++


So far the number of age data values is 35 with the following results (rounded to the closest integer value):

Average age = 47

Standard deviation (s) = 10

Minimum age = 26

Maximum age = 70

Over half the respondents (18 of 35) were between 40 and 49.

I'll leave it to the philosophers and socialogists among you to determine the significance of these results. Personally, I find the varied professions more interesting than the age data.


Whoo Whoo!

I'm Average!


It is indeed interesting to see, that the "younger" users of this forum seem to be rare. Maybe the problem is "museum" ... ? ;)


52. I was geeky ahead of my time and bought the 35 when I saw the first ad for it in Scientific American in 1972. I missed getting a red-dot, but have made up for that in recent years by collecting almost all of the calculators HP made.

I do computer consultant stuff with wall street places.


Edited: 15 Feb 2009, 11:46 a.m.


Wow Katie, I'm impressed! You were like only 16 when you bought your HP-35? Where did you find the $395 for it? I was already 27 in 1973 and working when I bought my HP-35 for $295. Even then it was a big deal for me, representing almost 2 weeks take-home salary.


$400 was a ton of money back then, but I worked as a teaching assistant at a media studies school in NYC. It was a lot of fun playing around with Panasonic Portapaks and early video stuff like that. I remember being quite upset when HP lowered the price and came out with the 45, my first introduction to the rapid depreciation of the value of consumer electronics.


So far the number of age data values is 35 with the following results (rounded to the closest integer value):

Average age = 47

Standard deviation (s) = 10

Minimum age = 26

Maximum age = 70

Over half the respondents (18 of 35) were between 40 and 49.

I'll leave it to the philosophers and socialogists among you to determine the significance of these results. Personally, I find the varied professions more interesting than the age data.

Hah! I am just above average at 49. My friend designnut in this forum is 80years young, right, Sam?


I am 47.

I bought a 41CV as a freshman in college with financial aid money, added the card reader and printer to it, and later upgraded it to a 41CX. I had a few other ROM's and accessories for it, including the synthetic programming books/rom.

I bought a 15C soon after leaving college and joining the nuclear navy, since alpha-numeric-capable devices were not allowed in the classrooms (security reasons - makes me wonder what they do now, given the capabilities everyone has on phones, PDA's, etc).

...and those 2 calculators (41CX and 15C) have served me well for over 2 decades, until the "1" key on the 41CX began misbehaving several years ago. I finally added a 35s, and am having fun playing with it (see my review/rant about it elsewhere in this forum).

I'm still in the nuke industry.

Edited: 14 Feb 2009, 12:15 p.m.


Here is a "younger user" of the forum !
I am 21 (will be turning 22 in 4 days), studying physics in college. My first HP calculator was 32sii which I got in 2004. My physics teacher showed me his 11C and I immediately got hooked. Since then, I acquired 11C, 15C, 33S, 48G, 50G, and Free42 on my Treo 700. My favorite is 32sii


43 - for another three months...

I am a mechanical engineer and part-time LeanSigma practitioner. I acquired my first HP in university in 1986 - a slightly used HP-15C. I have since added a dozen or so different models to my collection, not including a spare 15C that I got at a yard sale for $5. It is still my favourite 'pure' calculator (non I/O capable), but the 32sii is a close second. Rating these machines in terms of preference is a challenge. I have become sentimental about them (how embarrassing) and would have a hard time parting with any of them, as I am sure others on this forum can relate.

Do any of you rotate your calculators? I find myself bringing different models with me from time to time (e.g. 41C with Advantage Module, 42S) and I like the retro units like the 32E for number crunching and basic stats. The RPL models are kinda bulky so I leave them at home.

Jeff Kearns



Do any of you rotate your calculators?

Yes, nearly every day, when I think of replacing the calculator in my bag before leaving. Unfortunately, on most days I bring it home with the batteries still full, because there was nothing to calculate all day. Well there was a lot to calculate, but more adequate equipment took care of it...

Greetings, Max


I'm 65.
Bought my HP35 in 1973 for 900 DM, sold it for much less because I couldn't resist a HP25 (programmable!). Then came a HP67, HP 41C, HP48SX (its mainboard hangs on the wall of my shack) and now that I am retired (maths physics teacher) I play with my HP50g.

Greetings, Helmut

Edited: 14 Feb 2009, 2:33 p.m.


What would your HP-35 have cost you in 1973 dollars? I bought mine in June 1973 in the USA for $295, just after HP brought out the HP-45 and lowered the price of the HP-35 from $395. Even at "only" $295, this represented nearly two weeks take-home (after income tax) salary for me. It must have been an astronomical cost for you!


I'm 55. I've been the composer/lyricist for a childrens' theatre company, a classical music radio announcer, a freelance writer on the arts, a technician in a chemical lab, a technical writer, and a network admin and IT support person.

Got my first calculator in 1976, a cheap, simple four-function. This was quickly replaced by a Novus Mathematician (a scientific RPN calculator). That led to an HP-25 in 1977. I learned a lot of math and programming playing with that HP-25. All through high school I thought I was lousy at math. Having the calculator showed me that I was reasonably good at math, I was just lousy at doing arithmetic on long strings of digits, especially in my head.

I got an HP-11C in about 1987. It's been my everyday calculator ever since. I'm currently lusting after an HP32S or HP32Sii for its nicely-spaced keys. Or maybe one of the current scientific models. Stay tuned.



A friend of mine, an engineer, bought his HP35 a few months earlier and paid more than 1800DM. That calculator still had the famous sine error, while mine was a later model.

Greetings, Helmut


I'm 73, retired software engineer. I blew an unexpected windfall on the coveted HP-65 after earlier buying only the manual I could afford. I really felt guilty for spending such an enormous sum, but in the long run it was worth it.

I have collected several hundred new/used/discarded calculators in 45 years. Each seemingly has its own personality. I now use mostly 11C and 48G.


I'm a retired EE age 80.when I got a 35 I learned to squeeze the maximum out of it's limited resources. I was doing a lot of resistive dividers and developed a shortcut to get the divider fraction and Thevenin equivalent using RPN solutions, archived here at MOHPC. I immediately rewrote the RC frequency corner as 2(Pi)FRC=1, multiply the knowns and invert to get the unknown. LC frequency became {2(Pi)F}^2LC=1. can't stand algebraic as I seldom want a single answer. Run 2(Pi)F up the stack and you can simply multiply twice and invert to find resonant elements. I turned on a couple of 50g today and found I had to replace both the AAA and coin cells which exhausted my coin cell supply. Since I gift 33S calculators to young students I found 20 coin cells at auction for 4$05 inc. shipping. I want to support RPN addiction, plus it is a big preference and work horse for me. E. Samuel Levy designnut@cox.net


Age 60, practicing civil engineer (own a small design firm). Started in the slide rule/pencil & paper era. Left the engineering profession soon after I started, just about the time electronic calculators first came out (1971). Returned to it just when they were really getting useful (1977). First purchase was a TI59. Loved it and used it until (you guessed it) the keyboard malfunctioned; bought a TI36 solar, which lasted only about three years. By then I was getting tired of TI quality (or rather lack thereof). So I went looking and was pleasantly surprised that HP was making algebraic models. Bought a 20s (1993), which I still have. Eventually obtained 38g, 48sx, 22s, 27s, and 32sii. Tried 35s and 12cp 25a, found both wanting.


My age is now approximately 13.054 x 1018 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom. Or roughly 200 x 10-9 galactic years. But who's counting?


as in all other things as well, you are approximately 1.53x1018 periods ahead of me...


I celebrated my 80th birthday on February 1.

Two days ago I received a letter from the AIAA (technical society for aerospace engineers) telling me:

As an Emeritus Lifetime Member you are now part of an elite category of members who no longer have to pay any dues to AIAA.

Now I really feel old!

In the late 1970's I was doing statistics on a shared computer at Honeywell. My supervisor had obtained an HP-45 and suggested that I try it. When I found that it couldn't store the entries for later recall I told the supervisor that I had no use for it.

The first handheld which could do the statistics and matrix work that I needed was the TI-59.

The first HP that I purchased was an HP-11. I got one of the early ones which has the bug.

I have 42 HPs in my collection.



I like how is going this thread, I ve been reading and posting ( not too much ) from 2002 and I ve seen some of your names lots of times.

Is great to know the story and interests of everyone.

I like so much this forum!!!



39. Started with a 15C as a freshman in 1987, but it was later stolen. I have never fully recovered...

Now own two 15Cs, two 11Cs, 16C, 12C, 10C, 32SII, 41CV, 71B, 48GX, 48G, 48GII, 50G, 87XM, 35S.

- David

Edited: 15 Feb 2009, 8:18 a.m.


I'm 41.

My first exposure to an HP RPN calculator was in the early 90's
in statistics class while earning my Civil Engineering degree.
My TI ran out of batteries during a test and the professor
provided me with his 11c or 15c. I can't remember which one but
I definitely remember the form factor. I fumbled with it and
was completely lost. Couldn't even add or subtract with the thing.

In the late 90's while doing survey crew work - all surveyors
and engineers at my work had HP 41's - I finally realized the
beauty of RPN and HP. We had some spare 32SII's and some 48G's
and I got work learning how to program them both. I have had a
blast with them ever since. And for the past 6 or 7 years I have
immensely enjoyed reading the posts and participating in the
mini-challenges posted on this site. Thanks to all of you.



I would like to know more or less the average age of this forum

I can think of a number of calcs that will let you do that and more, if we provide the data. ;)

For the record, 53 here, Comp. Sci. PhD student (you'd think I would have more sense at my age). First calc was a 45 back in 1974.


--- Les



I am 50; my first HP was the 16c, followed shortly by the 15c. Currently, I mostly use (appropriately) the 50g.




Not involved much at all with HP calculators. . . really.



41 going on 42. My first HP was a 41CX that my dad bought on a trip to NY. Found it in a small out of the way store in Manhattan.


Not involved much at all with HP calculators. . . really.

Let me guess - for the first six months you have to sweep the floor and make the tea until you can be trusted not to break anything?



Adding my .02

I'm 44. I have to admit I did use my parent's friend's TI datamath2500II while in junior high ('77-'78) but then discovered that my father had an HP35. I've been hooked on RPN ever since. It just seemed to... work... with my brain. It was how I think...

Got my father's (yes, he continued to upgrade) 41C for use in high school when he purchased a 41CX. Still remember my math teacher looking at the 41C during a test (took it out of the case) and looking at me like... WTF??? Then inserting it back into the case with that OMG! look on his face. Priceless!

I did purchase an HP 28S during college and an HP 32SII after that.

I collect them now, just to reminisce. And, yes, I still use them on a daily basis. I change-up every few days, just for fun. I love these devices!






Age 38, software developer.

Calculators: 3x HP-48GX (each with 128K and 2048K RAM cards), HP-48G (expanded to 768K), HP-48G+, HP-49G, HP-49G+, HP-41C, PC-1251, PC-1403, TI-57, TI-59.

Emulators: HP-41X, HP-42X, HP-71X, HP-11E, HP-12E, HP-15E, HP-15X, HP-16E, HP-41E, TI-57E.


HrastProgrammer, you could have mentioned that you're the author of the emulators you mention. :)

BTW, I've just mentioned your site to members of the French MySilicium forum.


HrastProgrammer, you could have mentioned that you're the author of the emulators you mention. :)

Well, I mentioned them here just as a user of them :-)

BTW, I've just mentioned your site to members of the French MySilicium forum.

Thanks. What was the thread about?


They were talking about the TI-95, so I've mentioned TI95E.


70, Started with Sharp 5813 [ 30 steps in prgrm mode ]in the 80's for lens calculations in my practice,then got Casio FX 602P for astronomy hobby-great features but small keys and hard to program. One day I saw a nice looking calculator in a display case,[ 11C ] clerk told me " forget it" it uses reverse polish notation!-I thought he was joking. REVERSE POLISH NOTATION-what the h..l is that! When I tried it out , the keys felt positive and the display was nice so I bought it not noticing lack of an equal key. After reading the manual and doing some simple math problems, I was hooked! Later got 41cx ,32ii and my favorite-42s and 35s.


I'm 56.438065482395 years old.

My first scientific calculator was a TI-30 when I started college back in 1977. A year later I upgraded to a TI-58. In late 1980, I agonized over whether to get a TI-59 or an HP 41C. The TI-59 would have been cheaper, more powerful out-of-the-box (I'd have to get the 41's Math and Stat ROMs and card reader to have the same functionality), would be easy to adopt to after the 58, and didn't require me to learn how to use that silly RPN. But the 41C had more growth potential, and the alphanumeric capability made the difference. I bought the 41C, figured out RPN in 15 minutes, and it's been HPs ever since.

I no longer have the 41C; it got a fatal zap in the mid-80s.

Since then: 15C, 28C, 28S, 42S, 20S, 48SX, 48GX ...(14 year lull)... 35s and 50g. All of these are still working.



I am 40 years old.
Consultant in Material and Surfaces Sciences.

First (physical) contact with an HP was during high school pratical works in 1987 when the chef of the lab let me use his HP-41C.
Next HP I have used was an the boss's HP-15C during my first employment.

I own and use a HP-28S since 1991 (and 82240A thermal IR printer since 2006).



My first prgrammable calculator was the amazing Casio fx-180p. Started my HP addiction with a 20S in 1991 and soon upgraded to a 32SII. Both calculators are still alive, but not used anymore. Recently, I gave up on physics and started a career in technical writing. For that, my 18C/19B calculators are way better suited ;-).

Thomas (Germany)



My present age is 65. I started in Surveying using a curta calculator and trig tables. The HP 35 was just revolutionary at the time. I was hooked. Since then I have had the following calcs.

HP25, HP25c, HP41, HP42, HP48 and currently a HP 50. I have always written my own programs and still continue to write them.

I am still active in Surveying.




Purchased a 15C at high school (Christmas 1983) at age 15.
Started at university in 1989 and did *not* purchase either the 42S nor the 28S - the first had to little memory, the 28 a too clumsu configuration (had used the 28C a friend of mine borrowed to me during his mil. service for a year). Instead I thought that "there is better to come..." - and there was. Bought the 48 SX in the summer of 1990 after 1 year at University. Later bought the Mac cable and also later a PC cable. One of these cables cost about a fourth of the price of the 48 SX.

Then after having completed my studies I have aquired some other models (in no particular order), such as a second 15C, 12C, 12C platina, 19Bii, 17Bii+, 71B, 41CX, 97C, 11C, 48GX, 48G+ with 2.3 MB RAM extension, 25, 25C and finally a HP-50G that is the best of them all in my opinion. Why? Because it bears the heritage from the 41->48->49Gxy->50 and does that with a fast processor. Second best is the HP-15C it fits in a pocket and runs many a click per set of batteries.

Matti (Sweden)


Average age up to now is 48 year.


According to my 12c; i am 19,561 days old. That'll age your statistical average a bit.


I'll raise your average- I'm 82.



Chronological Age = 42

Some people here on the forum would say my mental age is closer to 4.2


Well, in the interest of disclosure, I ought to chime in...

45 -- bought my HP-15C new in 1983 after having coveted the HP-41 and HP-34C, but not being able to afford them.

I started collecting in 2002 after seeing and buying the "foregone" HP-34C and and HP-41CV in a local used-electronics store. My collection now includes at least one of each model in three series -- HP-41, Voyager, and Pioneer. My collection represents RPL with the HP-28C, HP-48G, and HP-49G. I also have the HP-71B.

For those who are compiling statistics of this data on an RPN-based HP calc, I'd recommend not the HP-21S Stat/Math, which utilizes the summation method for calculation of mean and standard deviation. Instead, I'd use the HP-17B/BII or HP-27S. These models save all input data for sorting, and the calculation of median, minimum, maximum, and range. I believe that all the RPL-based models will do the same.

So far --

responses: 85   (includes Eric Smith's, which is not as obscure as it might seem...)  ;-)

median: 46
minimum: 22
maximum: 82
mean: 48.0 (closer to 48.5, if reported ages were not rounded down)
std dev: 11.9 (sample)

I'll post final results and a makeshift histogram when the responses stop coming in...

The average ages are about what I expected, based on previous instances of this topic. The era in which scientific calculators debuted, and later became capable and affordable, coincides with the late youth and young adulthood of the majority of us.

-- KS

Edited: 19 Feb 2009, 3:18 a.m.


I was introduced to RPN on my brother's 25 back in the late 70's, but my first calculator was the 32C, purchased new in 1981. Since then I've been an HP-only fan, most recently keeping my classic 11C and 32S running at my deskside. Things have brightened up, though. The classic calculators have been lovingly retired and I now have a 35S and a 50g deskside and the amazing i41CX loaded on my iPhone

Oh, and I'm 52 and I've worked in the mapping, charting, survey and geodesy field most of my career.


I'm 52, born June 23, 1956.

I got my first HP, a 41CV, rather late (1988). I used a TI-58 in college.

I learned to use a slide rule for high school chemistry and physics (1973-4).

Currently, I'm licensed as both a land surveyor and civil engineer in California. I use a 41CX with a survey pac almost daily at work.

I've collected a large amount of HP 41 items from the auction site over the past 8+ years.

I've enjoyed reading the responses on this thread.

Mark A. Taylor


Just turned 46.

Software developer, pilot.

Although I remember playing with an HP-35 briefly, my first real exposure to HP calculators (my father's) was the HP-65, and eventually the HP-97. The first HP calculator of my own was the HP-16C, acquired shortly after I started with Boeing as a software developer. Still have that these.

Wrote emulators for the HP-67 and HP-97 - which I use at least a few times a week. For example, calculating Eric Smith's age in Earth years - based on his given age in cesium beats... Eric, wow..

Loving the 50g now too.


Edited: 16 Feb 2009, 1:51 a.m.


42, but close to 43 at the end of March (born in 1966).

Civil engineer (but don't count on this).

Italian (you can count on this).

HP calculators fan (you can bet on this).

-- Antonio


Like a few here, I do have hp's older than me as I am 33.



56 years old (0x38)
My first machine was a 35 red dot which was stolen. I owned a compucorp 326 machine after my 45 was stolen. I had a 28c, and I had a 41 which I still use today. Today I own most HP calculators in my collection with the exception of some of the machines in the 10c class. I still like the 41cx,32sII and 42s the best. I find the RPL machines a little baffling.



I just turned 43, civil engineer.

First encountered HP calc was HP 9800 family dusted machine at the colleague in early 80s which I was only the one interested in and (probably) the only one who learned to use it. Around that time, the special „roadshow“ HP bus came to Prague mainly with measurement equipment and also one 41C. We were able to see and even touch it!
Any HP was only a dream for me. The most I could afford (and buy in the special luxury western goods shop with special money-coupons obtained on the black market) was TI 58C for which – not to be able to reach to TI 59 - I made a paper punch card reader/programmer (just U shape trace out of the copper laminated board with the row of small springs making shortcut of the row and column keyboard matrix when twin openings in the punch card get under and simulated key presses) while I managed to solder external socket to the keyboard conduits into the machine.

I found this forum quite some time before I get my first RPN calculator (not counting kind of RPN simulator for TI) HP 35s. I am not brave enough to contribute to math discussions and astonishing solutions (I get sucked with Valentines' factorial Mini challenge for almost a year), but I enjoy to follow this forum.


Edited: 16 Feb 2009, 9:23 a.m.


Age: 48

First SR-50A in 1975 for DM 252.00 and TI-58 in 1977 for DM 298.00.
First HP-20S in 1991 ;-))



Current age: 52 (53 in 3 weeks, though...)

Used TI calcs through late high school and most of college, because I couldn't afford HPs. My last year of college I did have a 19C that a friend of my father gave me. I bought my first HP, a 41C, after college when I had no earthly use for it.

The HP deprivation of my formative years warped my young brain and inculcated a lifelong passion. Now I have them all.

The scientifics, that is. A couple of financials have come through, but I donated my cherry HP-70 at the 2006 club meeting as a door prize.


Age 36, to lower the average a bit.

I started my addiction with a TI-30 Galaxy around 1985 which I bought mainly because it featured a Voyager like form factor with large = key and I could not afford the HP offerings at that time.

When I entered mechanical engineering college I opted for the 11C.
Moving on to University in 1992 I decided its time to splash out and get a 42S, the ultimate in shirt pocket sized excellence(..if it had only i/o, a simple equation editor...)

Now as a postdoc in experimental physics I do the daily number crunching with a new 35S or Free42 (some backup from Matlab/Mathematica included ;-)).

One thing is interesting. The best selling HP model is probably the 12C/P which you wouldn't guess reading through this thread/forum.
Where are the business folks (and the woman)? Seems they are immune to this special kind of (in)affection.


I would guess that about 99.99% of the people who buy the 12c:

  1. have never visited this forum
  2. have never discovered (or needed) keystroke programming
  3. couldn't care less about RPN, and use algebraic mode if they have a 12cp or use a desktop calculator for normal arithmetic if they have a 12c

I like the 12c for its simple programming model, and I look forward to getting the super-charged version later this year, hopefully.

Pretty much every person that works at every one of my wall street clients has a 12C on their desk. Based on that, I'd like make some comments on your comments.

1. have never visited this forum


2. have never discovered (or needed) keystroke programming

They typically use some simple program that they plug when they get a new calculator, but they don't know how to program.

3. couldn't care less about RPN, and use algebraic mode if they have a 12cp or use a desktop calculator for normal arithmetic if they have a 12c

They don't care about RPN nor do they really understand it, but they are so set in their ways that changing to algebraic entry causes them to screw up. So they use RPN more even on the new 12C's.

Edited: 17 Feb 2009, 10:01 a.m.

Thanks Katie, that's interesting. So they have just learned over the years to use the ENTER key to separate their two numbers, and press the operation key last. But if we were to ask them about stack levels, they would say "what in the world are you talking about?". :)

Still looking for causes of the financial crisis? d;-)

Exactly! They have no idea what a stack is and have probably never used more than the X and Y registers. But they do use must of the financial functions, of course, and will probably appreciate the super fast speed in the next release, once they learn to trust it.

Which reminds me of a question I had.... If the next release is indeed running the original code in an emulator, how long will a PSE instruction last for? It seems to me that this is just a timing loop in the original 12C, if so it's going to go by in the blink of an eye.

I suspect the Wall Street types are all in banking and investments. I think the answers are (slightly) different for the actuarial community. I'm being presumptuous here, but I'd guess:

1. True.

2. Partly true. But most would never program a 12C. The programming capabilities of the 12c weren't really useful to actuaries. The IBM PC quickly appeared on desks in the early 1980s, where APL was the preferred programming paradigm. Interestingly, APL syntax is quite similar to RPN (it's largely postfix but reading from right to left). This all changed when Excel came on the scene.

3. True. Don't care and prefer algebraic calcs. Many use a 4-banger or adding-machine style business calc, and do anything more complex in Excel.

Edited: 17 Feb 2009, 12:52 p.m.

They don't care about RPN nor do they really understand it, but they are so set in their ways that changing to algebraic entry causes them to screw up. So they use RPN more even on the new 12C's.

Many years ago, before all of the customer representatives at financial institutions had a computer terminal at their desk, I was doing a CD rollover. The representative did the various cases that I wanted done on her HP-12C. When I selected one option she entered some calculations on her old desktop calculator that had a printer. She had to do that because the paperwork that she had to assemble had to have a printout.

When she was doing the various cases I was checking her results with my TI-66. She had no idea how a customer could do that.

Even earlier than that I encountered a situation where I had reinvested a CD at a higher rate during the year but the accumulated interest at the end of the year was smaller than the previous year. I went to the customer rep with my trusty TI-59 in hand, prepared to explain what had happened. I hit a blank wall. After a long time I finally got to see the head of data processing who was able to understand what I was saying.

Banking has always been a scary endeavor!

Hello All,

Well, I'm 32 (and a Ham as well).

Actually, I ended up getting my mortgage through a local bank because of the 12C (interesting story). I use one exclusively as my career rarely requires the use of trig functions (although I envy the fine functions as delivered by Valentin).

My wife and I got pre-qualified at two financial institutions. The first experience was unsatifying as the loan officer made a glaring error in the payment calculation (later rectifying it). Needless to say, he was using the computer to calculate the schedule. I was not impressed.

The experience at the second bank was one of pure enjoyment. I first met with the loan officer (who promptly broke out her 12C). She then brought her young assistant in (he brought his 12C). The branch manager (a friend of my father's) then brought his in. It was wonderful and refreshing to see people who know what's going on. We decided to do business with them. I later found out that the loan officer and her assistant both have two 12Cs (you know, just in case one needs batteries).

While this story may seem outrageous, it leads me to believe that HP users are professionals. That has value.

Now, when are the HP-HAMS going to get together at Dayton?


Tony (AB9IO)

Somewhere I have a slip of paper with all the hams I've met on this forum. It is pretty long.

Somewhere I have a slip of paper with all the hams I've met on this forum. It is pretty long.
WB6NUY here.

Hi everybody,

I am 51.

During the 70s and during studies (physics) I used TI calcs (SR56, TI59) because HPs where too expensive for me. Later I switched to Sharp (PC-1500 a really wonderfull machine I still use for aviation, I developed a bunch of assembler programs for it).

My first contact to HP was a HP9810A we had at school in 1973. I really loved this machine but it was completely unaffordable with $2500 (10000DM) at that time.

My real HP-time began after my doctorate when I worked in several IT projects as IT consultant and developer with HP workstations (400 and 700 series) and HP-UX servers.
Today I'm working in the management of a media company.

I'm collecting pocket calcs since the late 70s (lots of TIs, e.g. the rare SR-60, later also HPs).
Since 2001 I'm collecting and restoring the heavier machines (9810/20/30, 9825/31/35/45 and lots of peripherals).

Since 2006 I'm developing the HP9800 emulator for those machines (www.sourceforge.net/projects/hp9800e) in my leisure time.


156 days older than Mark Taylor.

Graduated in Physics but ended up in the financial services industry, where I do reinsurance analysis and pricing work.

My university calc (1975) was the Radio Shack EC-425, a rebadged TI SR-10. My first HP was a 12C supplied to me when I was an actuarial student. My daily calc is a 17BII. It was on this forum that I first learned about the Solver in this calc. Prior to that I had simply used it as a 12C replacement. I kept lamenting the lack of programming on the 17 and never thought to check the manual! Like some others here, I think this is an underrated machine, and prefer the algebraic solver to the clunky implementation in the 42S. An RPN version of the 27S would be my ideal calc.

I'm 55 and counting...

My first contact with HP calcs was a 1973 ad, but the price of the HP-35 was way beyond anything I could afford at that time.

The first HP I owned was an HP-25 in 1976, which made me part with my first paycheck. I've been an RPN addict since that day.
Now my collection includes an HP-35, HP-45, HP-55, HP-67, HP-97, HP-32E, 33E, 34C, 32S, 20S.

And on a few rainy Sunday afternoons, I programmed a Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor to emulate an RPN calculator, just for the fun of it -- and it WORKED. Talk about an RPN addiction!

Joel Setton

Joel - I am sorry, but I must report you to the RPN police unless you immediately destroy the HP-20S. ;>)

Er - I didn't buy the 20S, it was given to me! And even though it's not RPN, it's an HP calculator... and an HP calculator should never go to waste!

Je pense que vous êtes trop sérieux. C'était juste une plaisanterie.

Mais oui -- ils sont fous, les Romains ... emh, les collecteurs des calculatrices ;)

42 (and a half) but still on my first set of batteries!

I'm still on my first set of batteries, too ;-)

I'm 27.

My first HP calculator was the 48G in 1995. Now I have several that are older than I am.

I'm 50. I was in 9th grade when my dad bought an HP-35, and the rest is history. I still use my 21-year-old HP-42S every day.

I'm 44, and about 5 minutes old on the MoHPC; but I've been interested in HPs since the late 1970's, when I managed (can't remember how) to get an HP-41CV. I loved it! Sadly, I parted with it about 2 years afterwards, although I always regretted it. It's only recently, about a year ago, that I realised (finally) that surely I could afford another HP-41CV, if only they still existed...I must have been blind all these years :-)
I've gone a bit collector-mad now...probably the over compensation from a good 24 years of privation.

Wow! What a thread !

49.9, had a Canon, a Commodore and a Casio through school and bought my first HP, a 16c, in 1985 when I tried and failed to get a Casio pocket Basic machine to handle hex conveniently.

Always an HP instrument fan, I liked the calcs just as much but used the 16C almost exclusively until I started collecting them in about 1995, partly because I came across a cache of HP35s.

I now have all the 10C series, 10,35,45,65,70,41CV,71B,32SII,48SX. The 16C is still my favorite, the 15C is very popular and the 32SII is used when I don't want to risk taking a Voyager. The 16C is the only one I ever bought new and is still the most I paid, though the 10C came quite close.

My age (47) hits close to the mean, and I'm an electrical engineer.

My HP history was an HP-29C I bought using newspaper money in high school (late 70's). That was displaced by an HP-15C in college (1981?) and supplemented by an HP-48GX when they first came out in 1993 (special deal at ASEE conference) when I went back for a doctorate. My latest HP is the HP-50G.

I currently have the HP-15C in my briefcase, and the HP-50G in the desk drawer at work.

While I don't 'collect' HP calculators, things get more interesting when you add other family members. My wife is one of the few women (the only woman) I know who carries an HP-11C around in her purse. (She bought it while an undergrad in engineering.) My daughter (a sophmore ME student) uses an HP-49G+. (She 'likes' the color scheme better than the 50G - but she is having some keyboard issues.) My son in high school has an HP-48G. The junior high son is using an HP-33.

Missing in action are: the HP-29C (might have gone to my younger sister, then disappeared); the HP-48GX and two memory cards (possibly left in a hotel or on an airplane); and the HP-32SII my daughter used in junior high (stolen).

Killed in action: the HP-49G+ with the smashed screen, a victim in my daughter's backpack.

Waiting in the bullpen: two HP-49G+ calculators with the new keyboard (got a good deal on that auction site) - one to replace the flaky keyboard calculator my daughter has, and one to replace the 48G with faster/better capabilities (the 48G will trickle down to the HP33 user, and the 33 will go to the youngest, currently without any calculator); and a spare HP33.

Finally, there is the HP 6S, but that's in a dark drawer, and we don't talk about it much :)

My wife is one of the few women (the only woman) I know who carries an HP-11C around in her purse.

Add my wife, another astronomer (like me) to your list - although it more likely is in her briefcase, along with one of her two 32S's.

I'm 45. First calculator an HP41CV in 1981 (I think). At the time I was tossing up between HP and TI but the alpha capabilities did it for me.

My wife more recently completed a Medical Science degree and asked me "With all those calculators, surely there's one I can take to uni?" I asked her to pick the one she wanted to use and she picked an HP28S. She graduated and is now a Senior Diagnostic Medical Scientist, I'm sure in part because of the calculator ;-)

I started re-collecting HP stuff about 10 years ago, with my basic intent to get as much HP41 related material as possible. My collection is large enough that I make sure my wife never sees it all at once :-D

I am 52. I'm new to posting here, but I've been coming to this site for many years now. My first HP was an HP-15C which I bought back new in early 1986. It is still working wonderfully. Since then, I've acquired an HP-28C, HP-28S, HP-48GX, HP-32SII, HP-48SX, HP-39G, HP-49G, HP-49G+, HP-50G, HP-6S Solar, HP-30S, HP-9G, HP-42S, HP-20S, HP-32S, HP-33S, and an HP-35S. I also have an HP-42S application on my iPhone. I still have all of the above calculators, with the exception of the HP-28C, and they are all in great working order. When I saw the change in the quality of some of the newer HP calculators, I worked hard to get my hands on some of the older models.

I know this is a small collection, compared to many of you. I'm proud of it. As a math teacher, I've had hands-on experience with many different types of calculators. However, I do prefer RPN/RPL over any other entry-system logic, bar none.

After eight-plus days, and responses dwindling to a trickle, maybe it's time to tabulate the results, using an HP-17B. I'd say that our sample is quite significant in a statistical sense:

responses: 92

median: 46
minimum: 22
maximum: 82
mean: 48.0
std dev: 11.5 (sample)
modes: 52(8), 45(7), 42(6)

A numerical histogram (with the help of the SORT function):
[age in years]
[number of respondents]

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
1 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 1

40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
5 4 6 4 3 7 3 5 1 3 4 1 8 3 1 2 2

60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
3 2 1 1 2 2 1

80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 99 98 99
2 1

Middle-aged people definitely characterize this group. I still believe that is attributable to the "genesis era" of the product being discussed. The average age of PPC members back in the 1980's might have been lower.

-- KS

Edited: 3 Mar 2009, 2:22 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


I don't know if I am amazed or humbled, that I'm the oldest at 82. My first was an HP-25C in 1978. It is in perfect condition; my first love in HP calculators.


Heh, seems I'm late to the party, but my data point won't change much.

Age: 40.

Calculators: first, an HP-35, bought second-secondhand cca 1982, introduced me to RPN. I've been a fan ever since. The calculator still works. Then, a 15C, 1986. It was a more than brilliant high school calc, passed on to my sister for college. (She managed to put it close to a space heater once, so it has an ugly molten gash on its case, but it still works.) Then, in 1990, 48SX. My college calculator, has helped me tremendously and still works. I can use it blindfolded.


Age: 44. HP calculator user since 1977, an HP-25. I don't have it any more, since I had to sell it to help raise the money for the HP-19C that would replace it, but if you have one with a small dent made by the tip of a hot soldering iron on one of the sides, and a Brazil serial number 1706Bsomething, you could have my old high school calculator in your hands. Oh, yes, it is an HP-25C now; it broke once and I had to send it in for repair, and it came back as the fancier version. It was out of warranty but they only charged Dfl. 25. Now that's service you don't see every day. :-)

- Thomas

mean:      48.0 

47y 7m 7d



47y 7m 7d

47y 8m 24d
So there, Kid! ;-)

Steve Simpkin

Last year Giancarlo Mattioni compiled a table based on a similar survey ( http://www.hpmuseum.org/guest/giancar/whererwe.pdf ). Unlikely as it may seem the list includes a forumer who lives in the same city as I do. Only two other people born in 1961 though.



I counted you both as 47; not close enough to your 48th birthdays.

The four new "quadrogeneraians"(?) and young sextogenearian tightened the distribution, but did not alter the mean or median.

-- KS

Although hesitating not to spoil HP's marketing expectations any further - add another 60 years to the list ;-))

Best regards,

Peter A. Gebhardt

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