"The Swiss Army Knife for nerds"



#25

I thought you'd get a chuckle out of this. I posed on my facebook page the comment "who would have thought that a hand-held calculator could solve 'killer' difficulty Sudoku puzzles in 0.1 seconds?"

I received several responses, but the best was from my wife: "The HP programmable calculator is the swiss army knife for nerds. Smooch!"

Isn't that the truth? Just like a Swiss Army knife, my HP calculators are kept close by at all times. They're tools to help with little problems that arise from time to time.

Dave


#26

I unfortunately always find myself *not* in need of an advanced calculator.
Too bad, considering I have one or two thousand calculators on hand <g>

#27

Borrowing not only Frank Boehm´s title but also the fact that I could count on one calculator or almost a hundred (based on current count...) when I needed, I have been using them either on single expression solving or in writing large programs for complex problem solving. I cannot agree more on the swiss army knife title.

I actually perform daily, fast calculations by mind (even some two-digit square roots of integers with non-integer square roots) or with pencil and paper, just for the sake of giving brain cells some activity. Anyway, I consider programming a very straightforward, 'mind stretching' activity, and I like achieving the most from the least resourceful tool.

'Swiss army knife for nerds'. I like it! But I have the feeling of reading this kind of reference somewhere else, IIRC as a reference to a Linux resource for programmers.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 22 Jan 2010, 11:12 a.m.


#28

My mentor always used to beat us whippersnappers regularly with mental arithmetic. He smirked when I brought out my HP. He had a TI and said that the one great thing about the HP was that it didn't get "TI-itis" (that keyboard disease with too many 9999999's.

#29

Good evening!

For me as well, the Swiss army knife and the programmable calculator are very similar: I always (*) carry both of them with me and never find a reason to use either of them. Probably haven't opened the knife in five years (luckily they really are made from stainless steel) and used a calculator for real calculations in ten, other than to play around with it.

Greetings, Max

(*) At work, I have to leave the knife in the car because they won't let me take it through airport security. Not long, and the calculator will have to stay in the car as well, because some idiot will find a way to use it as an explosive device.


#30

Quote:
I always (*) carry both of them with me and never find a reason to use either of them. Probably haven't opened the knife in five years ... and used a calculator for real calculations in ten, other than to play around with it.

Well, first off, I'm a Leatherman guy, I carry one always, and have occasion to use it often. Ditto for my calculators, except I use those several times a day.

#31

Quote:
Well, first off, I'm a Leatherman guy, I carry one always, and have occasion to use it often.

I collect Swiss Army Knives :-D

My favorite everyday carry one is the MiniChamp

Small enough to fit unobtrusively in any pocket, but has all the required tools. The pen is by far the handiest item I carry!

Dave.


#32

Quote:
I collect Swiss Army Knives :-D

Just curious - do you prefer Wenger or Victorinox?

#33

one of both.

#34

Quote:
Just curious - do you prefer Wenger or Victorinox?

I'm a Victorinox man. But Victorinox has acquired Wenger I believe, so it's a bit moot.

I always loved the handshake deal that Wenger was the "Genuine Swiss Army Knife" and Victorinox was the "Original Swiss Army Knife"

Dave.


#35

Quote:
But Victorinox has acquired Wenger I believe, ...

Confirmed. Please see here.
#36

Prediction: the HP-30b will become the new (modern) swiss army calculator of choice within one year.

Bruce


#37

Quote:

Prediction: the HP-30b will become the new (modern) swiss army calculator of choice within one year.


Correction: you mean Chinese Red Army calculator of choice...


#38

No, I'm serious! It may not be my favorite calculator on the planet, and not my favorite HP, but based on my day-to-day needs for calculating, quality of the hardware itself, programmability, size, cost and RPN-ness, I think it's going to be my future "go to" calculator. I will probably buy a few and spread them around my office, home and truck.

It's truly an amazing calculator...


#39

Quote:
It's truly an amazing calculator...

Dang.... Comments like that make me want to buy one, even though I have no use for it at all. You people are going to turn me into a collector. :)

#40

If you have an iphone or ipod touch, just get Thomas' free42.

#41

Quote:
...I think it's going to be my future "go to" calculator...

Since I bought my HP28S in 1990 (and she's still running perfectly today), I've got a lot of "future 'go to' calculators".

This last HP is looking great, but it's only one more in my long list.

Will see what will be at the top of my 'to go' list in 20 years!


#42

Quote:

Since I bought my HP28S in 1990 (and she's still running perfectly today)[...]


"and she's still running", I believe is the central lemma of this thread. Depending on the language area, a calculator may be a "he", "she" or "it". In my language (German) it would be a "he". However, this leads to the conclusion that some users attribute a personality to their handhelds. Of course, not just any calculator, only certain calculators are ennobled with personality. From my point of view, I could not believe that army knives have that strong appeal. The calculator-nerd feels better as long as he knows, his favourite handheld is in the vicinity. For me its the HP41, and although "he" is not indispensable for my daily work, it is good to know "he" is within reach. As the years go on, I hope I won't end up like Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings", who conducted dialogues with his "precious".

Have a nice day!


#43

Hallo Frido!

I'm pretty sure that French makes such things as cars or gadgets female: la voiture, la calculatrice. It's probably a common feature in roman languages.


#44

I know that my calculators are, "my babies..." Hadn't considered gender....

#45

Quote:
No, I'm serious! It may not be my favorite calculator on the planet, and not my favorite HP, but based on my day-to-day needs for calculating, quality of the hardware itself, programmability, size, cost and RPN-ness, I think it's going to be my future "go to" calculator. I will probably buy a few and spread them around my office, home and truck.

It's truly an amazing calculator...


If you are an accountant, probably.

But if you need a scientific then it's not even close to being amazing.

Anything with EEX as a shift is next to useless in my book, but YMMV.

WHEN are HP going release one of these new platform calcs as a scientific??

Dave.


#46

Perhaps!

But remember, this thing is very customizable. You could, for example, assign the EEX key to any key you want, including face keys.

There's a limit to how many you can do that with (10), but still, it's pretty cool to be able to re-assign keys, kind of like with the 41c.

Oh, and since this one is easily flashable, you could create your own scientific with not a lot of effort. Granted, you'd need some kind of overlay for the keys, but it's a much easier proposition than the 20b. And we do already have the basis for a 43s with the 20b, so it wouldn't be difficult to put it on the 30b.

thanks,
bruce

Edited: 23 Jan 2010, 11:38 p.m.


#47

Ah, ok, fair enough, I forgot about the re-mappable keys.

A stick-on template overlay would be trivial, you'd just have to ignore the primary designators.

I'll wait for the scientific version though, surely it's on the way?

Dave.


#48

That too is included! It's not a full keyboard overlay, but it at least allows you to scribble on the top four rows of keys.

I believe someone looked into using one of those cell-phone skin companies to see if they could get an overlay for it. Can't remember what came of that...

thanks,
bruce


#49

Quote:
I believe someone looked into using one of those cell-phone skin companies to see if they could get an overlay for it. Can't remember what came of that...

I believe that someone was me regarding a company called Skinit. I sent the following inquiry to them last October:

I would like you to make skins for a product that you do not have listed, the Hewlett Packard HP20B calculator. It must overlay the entire keyboard with holes cut for the keys so that custom key labels can be added above and/or below the keys. Is this possible?

I received the following reply:

Thank you for your interest in Skinit. Unfortunately we do not support that device at this time and we do not provide launch dates in regards to new devices being added to the website. I would not recommend buying a skin that does not specifically fit your device on our website. We cut each skin individually for each device and ordering a different skin will cause the skin to not fit. We would like to inform you that we keep updating our website regularly by adding new devices and skins, so we would request you to check back later if we have not listed your particular device on our website. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you and appreciate your patience in this matter.

I have not checked back to see if they added the 20b.

...

#50

Quote:
That too is included! It's not a full keyboard overlay, but it at least allows you to scribble on the top four rows of keys.

I believe someone looked into using one of those cell-phone skin companies to see if they could get an overlay for it. Can't remember what came of that...


You could do it using laser etched stainless steel, or thin (0.5mm) PCB material. These are easy and fairly cheap to obtain custom made from various places.

Dave.

#51

I love that comment. I usually have a finance and a scientific HP around me at all times.


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Swiss Micros calcs Mike Powell 6 1,415 10-26-2013, 05:03 PM
Last Post: Mike Powell
  OT: Visiting the US (NY & LA) - wants to meet calc nerds Geir Isene 7 1,511 05-25-2013, 09:07 PM
Last Post: Garth Wilson
  Swiss clones of the HP Voyager series WaltMaken 10 1,690 11-30-2012, 11:40 AM
Last Post: Harald
  Swiss 15C "Clone" has arrived Richard J. Nelson 7 1,534 02-17-2012, 09:07 PM
Last Post: Paul Dale
  OT: New incredible shuttle video for space (and LED) nerds Egan Ford 3 883 12-13-2010, 09:21 PM
Last Post: Dan W
  Off-topic, but Important: SIDS & Nerds Paul Brogger 0 417 04-26-2002, 11:27 AM
Last Post: Paul Brogger
  Meeting of swiss collectors in Stuttgart (Germany) Mike 1 535 05-18-1999, 08:57 AM
Last Post: Klaus Bernhard

Forum Jump: