Strange reaction to Calculator display



#22

My wife bought a new wall unit which has two sliding glass fronted shelves. We put this in the computer room. I brought some of my calculator collection out and put it into the shelves.

The reaction to this has been rather percular. People look at me with a funny look and make sympathetic comments to my wife as if they expect me to be commited any day.

Do other people get this reaction? It is not that I mind so much. People have thought me strange for as long as I can remember but I am a little perplexed. Has nobody outside of this list heard of hobbies?


#23

<Has nobody outside of this list heard of hobbies?>

They only one that I see my friends and people I have met is the media driven lemmings syndrom of sitting in there cars rapped around the block at mc d's waiting for a $.10 beanie baby(tm).

Or getting into debt upto there eyeballs buying big screen TV's home theater systems and cars and houses to impress there friends.

I guess to them that is a hobby.

#24

The other day I went into a pawn shop and asked if they had any old calculators and the lady just shook her head and said nobody wanted them. That's the problem with this hobby (and blessing, when you find a good deal): people think we're interested in something that nobody's interested in! Maybe the thing to do is to put nicely printed copies of Ebay auctions with final bids next to your calculators, regardless of whether you bought them that way. Maybe include impressive lists of bidders in auctions for the model on display. Heck, fake the numbers! That might impress some people - but they might have "worthless" calculators that they're going to give you someday, maybe it's better not to let them know!


#25

the only non-math person that didn't look at my little glass covered shrine like it's a drug induced psychosis is a salvadoran house painter that i know. he was looking at it and probably getting ready to say that i'm "mas loco que una cabra" when i reached in and gave him a t.i. made in el salvador in 1977. i bet juan shows it to other people now and tells them that "back in the 70's my country exported technology to your country".

when the business agent for the labor union that the surveyors around here belong to (operating engineers) comes over he goes to the calculators before the beer fridge. but he's got his own museum; a 45, 41, a national semiconductor mathmatician and his wife has a 37. so he's as crazy as us.


#26

One of my neighbors once saw my wall display and burst out laughing. I couldn't understand, and still don't , how someone could fail to appreciate that people have diverse interests, and further, fail to respect those interests. All I can think is some people have a very limited conception of what a human being is. I genuinely feel sorry for them, and i'm immensely happy that I don't have to go through life like that. Way happy.


#27

I know what you mean. I have rather eclectic interests. Most of my interests fail to excite any of my friends and family. However I long ago ceased to care and simply persue my pleasures regardless. I think that many people realise that a little effort can bring great reward.


#28

Here in the UK hobbies get a bad reception and press.

If it doesn't involve watching TV (especially the latest wide-screen, satellite, 3D sound, DVD version), drinking alcohol (especially ones in fancy bottles or that taste of fruit), being a couch potato buying from the shopping channel / watching sport (especially pay per view) or is whatever else is the latest fad is you tend to be seen as a bit unusual and are subjected to ridicule.

I don't know if it's the same in the non-english speaking parts of the world or perhaps they are not slaves to media and big business or are a bit more active (in both brain and body)?

Collecting calculators is seen as quite geeky as many people hated maths and could not wait to see the back of needing a calculator beyond adding up the weekly shopping (for which a 4 banger is all that's needed).


#29

It's not much better here in germany. I'm collecting those parts now for over 25 years (yes, from that time they where produced) and was thought by most people I told about my hobby as being kind of gaga. I always couldn't see what difference is between collecting (ugly) antique clocks or stylish "swatch" watches and collecting calculators. But the MoHPC and Ebay gave my self-confidence back, as there must be more gagas out there ;-)
And: these calculators are part of my personal life. The first programm I ever wrote was in 1973 on a HP9810A at our school. Without that I don't know if my life wouldn't have developed in a complete different direction.
By the way many of the gagas I know are studied physicists like me. I believe Einstein would have collected calculators ...


#30

<<I believe Einstein would have collected calculators ... >>

E m c 2 ^ * =


#31

What does that strange symbol '=' do in that equation? I cannot find it on any of my calculators.

#32

Brilliant!

As a nostalgic homage to the RPN past, and as a statement of solidarity with the proud, nerdy collector/hobbyists, I made your formula into a wall hanging with 72-point Arial in landscape mode.

I also took the opportunity to create my own "ªENTER > =" poster as well.

(When I get the transfer paper, I can make my own T-shirts . . . )

I imagine folks could come up with many more slogans as well. ("RPN rules, Algebraic drools" comes to mind, but is readily dismissed . . . )


#33

Paul Brogger wrote:


I imagine folks could come up with many more slogans as well. ("RPN rules, Algebraic drools" comes to mind, but is readily dismissed . . . )

Paul:

When I read this, I laughed... It fits perfectly, since I just read your post about your son and his calculator choice! Sometimes it is easy to spot those of us who are fathers---we give ourselves away by saying something we heard from our kids! ;-)

Bruce.

#34

This is so simple. We, calculator collectors are just RIGHT and the rest of the world is just WRONG.

AFAIK, most of us have had our first encounters with HPcalc's when they were on the top of their implementation. We appreciated the way they were made and tested, as well as the RPN concept itself, as a normal natural way of thinking and crunching complicated expressions. It was completely natural and easy approach.

Several years ago, when I was working on my MSc and PhD theses I had the same mentor (a famous Croatian professor, who is now a member of academy of sciences and arts). We easily got along during the whole my work on both theses. A few weeks ago I visited him and finally found out the reason for our good agreement, which I have not known before. He took his HP45 from the drawer... Immediately, I found out that our way of thinking was that what was the same in the approach of both of us. So, this explained our whole good cooperation. When I told him that I collect them, I knew that he appreciated that (btw, he still uses his machine).

My wife supports my hobby, my son as well (they use their HP's 12C and 32SII almost everyday and are deeply satisfied with them). My friends here at this forum... there is not a need to add anything, except that it is always my pleasure to exchange information here and to know about new facts, approach, skills, etc. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD.

It is not E-bay prices that make my hobby appreciated for me. At least, I would never accept that a HP65 is more expensive out there than a HP67, or a HP25C than a HP33C, or a (famous) HP70 than e.g. HP37E, or anything than a HP41CV/CX-HP42S, or HP10 than anything else... Please, do not tell me about market economy, offer and demand laws either, etc, I just do not care. The better calc for me is the one with better functions and more elegant solutions implemented. I do not need an E-bay as a measure of value at all.

I admire the way they work and the extensive tests they have been subjected to. Remember, that the only known bugs in a HP67 are those in the instruction manual dealing with the small arguments of trigonometric functions. Could anybody tell me something about the known bugs in MS Excel functions (no matter what version)? About MS Windows bugs? The human kind would have never succeeded with a Space Shuttle project if they were using today's software those days (imagine only a message: "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" during landing, or a similar situation). If you can rely on your calculator I am sure you will land safe and sound...

The proofs for this are in famous article "Making -2 to 3 equals -8", by Dennis Harms, in HP Journal, or the famous key pressing devices for testing of Woodstocks, or many forgotten techniques hidden in engineering manuals of HP67 or HP41... Nowadays, this would have disappeared as a forgotten knowledge, if we did not have Dave Hicks and the rest of you guys and girls.

Once awhile ago I appreciated the excellence of HP products, nowadays I cannot say so for their today's products. Their products of ten or twenty years ago are still invaluable today and still deserve to be appreciated.

I AM PROUD OF MY HOBBY, no matter what others may say. They once will have to pay a ticket to see my collection of vintage HPcalc's, if I decide so. Nevertheless, I have met many people who supported my opinion, though they did not know about us around the moHP.

I cannot end this story without Muyo and Hasso (hope that db would like this one):

Muyo is driving his car along the highway (say E-1). He hears an announcement from his radio: "Dear drivers, the road conditions are fine, the weather is fine, everything is just fine, except that there is one fool driving along the E-1 in the wrong direction". Muyo says, "Ha-ha, she says one fool and I see hundreds of them".

Everything depends on the point of view... I do think that Muyo is right...


#35

Nead, Very well argued.

> The better calc for me is the one with better functions and more elegant solutions implemented. I do
not need an E-bay as a measure of value at all.

True. Our appreciation is the ease of use, the quality of manufacture, visual appeal, and overall design. Not to mention the fact that as number crunching machines they are brilliant.

> I admire the way they work and the extensive tests they have been subjected to. Remember, that the only known bugs in a HP67 are those in the instruction manual
dealing with the small arguments of trigonometric functions. Could anybody tell me something about the known bugs in MS Excel functions (no matter what version)?
About MS Windows bugs?

I read an editorial in a Windows 2000 magazine recently that said that the MS standard was 15 errors in every 1,000 lines of code. I find this extraordinary. .... Sorry. Have to go. My Windows is about to crassss ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGggggggg........


#36

Once I asked a colleague in the office, "Do you have any hobbies?" "Not one," he said, adding that his idea of a pastime was to sit down in front of the TV.

I've made the same question to other people since, and mostly found the same reply. A few collect watches or CDs, but that's all.

It's sad to notice that people basically do nothing with their leisure time, or have little if any interest in things other than TV or audio. Poor slaves, I think.

Like most of the participants of this forum, I met HP calculators at the peak of its glory. In time I've become a nostalgic collector, and I am proud of it. And I am grateful that there are other people out there who share my interest.

#37

Nenad Vulic wrote:
(imagine only a message: "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" during landing, or a similar situation).

Actually, that's just about what happened when Neil Armstrong was landing on the Moon. He had to choose between landing manually or aborting the whole mission. He landed manually as we now know. In other words, the calculator or computer is great, but the human brains behind it are the most important. Especially if they use RPN :-)

Cheers,

Wlodek


#38

HI;

Mr. Wlodek wrote: "(...) but the human brains behind it are the most important. Especially if they use RPN :-)". An RPN-based human brain... Amazing thought!

Everytime I am writing a program to any RPN/RPL calc, I try "moving register's contents" without using pencil and paper. Sometimes, when a few steps are needed, it is possible; but there are moments when pencil and paper allow a better, improved solution. Maybe I already have a RPN-based brain, I don't know, but the idea teases me.

(Please, falks, allow me: Mr. Wlodek, I tried buying some of your former books about 13 years ago and I didn't get success, cause at the time I ordered them to EduCalc they were not available and I did not try later. Based on what you wrote here, they must be fantastic readings. One question: is there something that you wrote available to download? Thanks.)


#39

Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) wrote:
>An RPN-based human brain... Amazing thought!

Well, those of us who were taught to do arithmetic
with pencil and paper do work, and think, in stack
based notation, or RPN :-)
These days, I try to explain RPN as immediate
execution notation, to folks who never heard
of RPN. Press the 7 key and you immediately get
a 7 in the display, on any calculator. So why
not press the SQRT key and immediately get a
square root, as on some calculators? And press
the + key to _immediately_ get an addition.

As for my stuff online, well:
1/ Most of my books are still on sale from a few
outlets, or direct from me.
2/ My HP-41 book is available on one of the Museum's
CD-ROMs (and I have a few of the printed ones left).
3/ A collection of my articles is available at several
places on the web - try visiting our club site
www.hpcc.org and following the Wlodek's articles
link from there.

Best Wishes,

Wlodek


#40

I've had a similar idea in mind: when you use an "algebraic" calculator capable of chain calculations to get the sum of a series of numbers, after you key in the first number, you are essentially operating in "adding machine" mode, which you could say is a subset of RPN. Pressing "+" gives the current intermediate answer, incorporating the just-previously entered number in the sum. Maybe because I am accustomed to RPN, I always press "+" after entering a number in this situation, then look to see if there are any more numbers to add. When I get to the end, I have a moment of terror because I think I need to press "=" but I have already pressed "+". Then I remember that the total is already calculated. I'm trying to train myself to enter "0" as the last item, then press "=", to see if that reduces my anxiety.

Of course, this only applies when you are repeating one operation. Also, while "0" is the correct final number for addition or subtraction, "1" must be used as the final number for multiplication or division to avoid discomfort.

#41

the link at hpcc points to:
http://www.public.usit.net/rfurr/hp-jhi.htm
and is redirected to Earthlink's home page...


#42

Quite right - sorry, I had not noticed that this page is out of date. I'll get the HPCC link changed. A search engine will quickly show some other sites with my articles - for example see Rick Furr's site, with my articles at www.vcalc.net/hp-jhi.htm.

And it's high time I updated the collection - it's over 5 years old and I've written lots more since :-)

best Wishes from Wlodek


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