HP Calculator Colors


Has anyone ever seen the Pantone or RGB colors of the various HP calculators?


Yes. :-)


(only for some modern units through, either there never were specified pantones, or they have been lost over time)


do you know the number for a HP-55?


Since Tim said "only for the modern ones", do you really expect he would have the HP-55 from 1974/1975?

I imagine that "modern ones" might be from 2000->

So, the answer I predict is "Of course not".


I agree,

However, your mileage may vary :-)

To me, "modern" means post Hp-65.




Some of us weren't even born until 10 years later. . . :-)



Actually that makes me think of something. I was around ten when the HP 67 came out. Boy was that thing a marvel. Not that I had a lot of chances to use one, but I did get the chance to play moon lander on it--and that experience was never forgotten. It was cool high technology the latest and greatest.

Fast forward to today. My own kids think these old calculators are sort of neat, but they are totally enamored (well, I wouldn't say unthinkingly so) of the ipod and smart cell phones.

When they are 40, are they going to look back at the iphone the way I look back to the HP 67?


When they are 40, are they going to look back at the iphone the way I look back to the HP 67?

No because they will remember them as junk. The HP67 had a use, was relatively new technology, and still works making the dream to own one again possible for you. Most people I know who bought iPods when they first came out already have replacements because they broke down.



I second Dimitri´s thoughts.

Some years ago I wondered about the same subject, including whatever we have today. I am not a collector in the sense I would not have an item just to complete a collection. I just try to keep working units with features I need or want.

I also have some cassette decks and recorders, most of them are Philips from the 70´s up to mid 80´s. Those were built to last, and almost all of them are serviceable with components available nowadays. I also happen to have some equipments from other origins, mostly Japanese, but they are not serviceable as well because some components are no longer available. In fact, with a few exceptions, most of the European sound equipment form that time are still serviceable and most of their electronics can be found today. And for me they are kind of working technology register, far better then reading about them in books or wondering about them in service manuals.

What can we tell about the new equipments? They are built to trash, not to last. Once their lifetime expires, kiss them good bye. We all know the HP41 and its internal user (RAM) memory. The HP41CV offers 2240 bytes (2237 if we consider the permanent .END. cannot be used) for program and register storage, and so too many things were created with that we can´t tell. Today many users happen to stuff 64 GByte pendrives with MP3- and JPG- and MPG- files, leaving no space for serious business. This kind of data is also volatile, meaning that in a couple of years -if that further- these MP3, MPG and JPG files will no longer be of interest. And the device itself will be too 'small' to store the silliness these users will want to store in then.

The iPods surely became small, 'resourceless' and 'old', and I'd not count on people telling 'how good they were back then'.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 2 May 2010, 7:34 p.m.


I doubt it will be the same for the iPhone. The whole concept of having a powerful hand-held device just isn't new any more. Sure, the iPhone has some great capabilities, but it doesn't feel as "new and special" as the early calcs.

I do wonder, though, what device _will_ have that cachet to today's teens in the future, the way calculators appeal to me. Maybe hand-held game machines.

Btw, crazy as it may sound, I've hung on to each version of the iPhone as I buy the new ones. I have no love for them, though, because all the delight comes from the software. I'd get a greater rush holding a dead HP-67 in my hand and tapping on the clicky buttons.


I'm not so sure the same thing won't repeat itself.

My son, who is just 20, already wishes he had held onto his first iPod. Will probably buy one for him so he always has it.

Sure...when he is 60, the idea of 20GB of storage on an iPod will seem ridiculously small, but I think there will be many who remember their youth this way.


The original iPod is certainly iconic. I've kept my original 5GB (mechanical click wheel, Fire-wire only) from 2001, along with all the packaging. I've kept several others, too.

Maybe it's because of the hard lesson learned from letting go of my dead HP-25C, about 30 years ago. I still haven't managed to replace it. Shouldn't be hard, though... A dead what would be as good as what I had.


I'm not sure that the iPhone will have the same nostalgia value as the HP 67 because it isn't such a huge leap in technology. I think the relatively big advances that occurred over the past 10 years that kids will be nostalgic about are:

  • the iPod
  • the cell phone
  • the Nintendo Wii

I look forward to one day telling my grandchildren about the bizzare old days when telephones were permanently plugged into the wall and had to use a thing called a typewriter to write papers.

"But grandpa, how did people call you when you went to work?"

"There was a separate phone at work. But get this: it had a different number. So you had to tell people both numbers and they'd call whichever one they thought you might be at"

"Well that's just DUMB grandpa!"


There will be some problems with the iPhoe in the (not so distant) future:

The battery is toast and irreplaceable.

iTunes will have ceased to exist, no way to put anything on the device.

The cellular networks will have emerged in a way that the iPhone will be useless, even if it would still be in good shape.

A classic HP calculator will still be useful.


Good summation.


There will be some problems with the iPhoe in the (not so distant) future:

The battery is toast and irreplaceable.
A classic HP calculator will still be useful.

The battery in an iPhone is replaceable just like rechargeable battery packs for classic HP calculators. It's a module, maybe with wires soldered (in the 1st generation) to the motherboard. Whoopee.

There are kits and 3rd party service providers today if you need a battery replacement.

As for the rest... Well, the iPod Touch is an iPhone without cell service and people find it useful. Furthermore people have "jail broke" them both to put non-Apple software on them without using iTunes and for their own purposes.

I'm not saying that an iPhone/iPod will have the market in 30-40 years that old HP calcs had at that age, but it seems disingenuous to claim that an old iPhone will be significantly more useless than an old HP calculator. Maybe you could run free42 on your old iPhone...

I was given a mint HP 67 with several software packs, manuals, etc. that the owner considered useless. I purchased a 41cx in very good condition that the owner considered useless. Both had been sitting unused for years.

I'm sure many people will feel the same as those owners did when thinking about a 30 year old iPhone, and I am equally sure that some people will find that phone desirable and maybe even useful.


My own kids think these old calculators are sort of neat, but they are totally enamored (well, I wouldn't say unthinkingly so) of the ipod and smart cell phones.

When they are 40, are they going to look back at the iphone the way I look back to the HP 67?

I was fortunate enough to get a Sinclair Scientific when I was 11 years old, and an HP-25 about two years later. I wrote my first computer programs (in BASIC) on a friend's dad's Commodore PET, and, with a little help from my dad, on the local university's mainframe (in ALGOL-60, good times!). By the time I got to college, I was programming the Commodore 64 and the first generation Macintosh.

From that first scientific calculator to the Commodore 64 was all just one cool adventure. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't have a life outside of this -- I loved spending time with friends, being outdoors, etc., just as much then as I do now. But that newfangled digital technology was just, well, really really *new*.

By the time I started programming on the Macintosh in the mid- to late '80s, the novelty was starting to wear off. I was learning GUI APIs, learning how to write "real" applications, i.e. the kind of stuff that people want to use because it helps them with their jobs, as opposed to the stuff that people run just because it's cool.

I have no regrets about making that transition; the "boring", "just useful" stuff, it pays my bills with plenty left to spare...

But the fun and excitement of those early years, that's gone. I haven't felt excited about digital technology since more than 20 years ago. Sure, stuff like the iPhone is neat, but in the end, it's just more of the same. Things keep getting smaller and faster and just generally better and easier to use... but the sense of something truly *new*... That's gone.

It seems to me that the young 'uns (as in, anyone born in the late '70s or later) never had the chance of experiencing that sense of excitement to begin with... and so they'll never have the kind of nostalgia that I sense on this forum and other places that celebrate the technology from the early days.


well this thread wander way the hell from the original question :<


well this thread wander way the hell from the original question :<

I guess it did... but what does :< mean? "I have a mustache like Jamie Hyneman"? :-D


No, but I have a blue 41 case John Dearing had. It's an attention grabber.

One of these days I should transfer the CX guts into it. Perhaps a project when Geoff's book comes out.


My previous work has a magic colour measuring device that returns the top couple of pantone matches for what you're scanning. I might be able to get access to it if enough people are interested. Of course, my collection isn't varied.

On a positive note, I'm employed again as of the 10th...
Beware autonomous psychotic tractors :-)

- Pauli


I'd like to know what color the green is on the classic series...


I'd like to know what color the green is on the classic series...

:-? Never seen anything like *green* on a Classic. Grey, blue, gold, black, white, ... but no green. Please specify.


From the HP 70 page on this site:

What some people remember most about this model was its color scheme. Its pale green/beige body with keys in black, gray, white and bold orange was quite distinctive.


Thanks Martin, I stand corrected. I was taking the keys only. I admit I don't own an HP-70, however, and won't strive for one since it's a) financial and b) ugly in my eyes.

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