old computer comercial



#6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gaNyXWBcsU&feature=player_embedded

nothing a 67 couldn't have done, or a 41 couldn't have done better.


#7

awesome!

can we have an enormous red, front mounted, power toggle switch just like that on the next hp calculator please!


#8

Quote:
can we have an enormous red, front mounted, power toggle switch just like that on the next hp calculator please!

It is interesting. Not sure I want to see the case size just to fit that.

Dimitri

#9

Quote:
nothing a 67 couldn't have done, or a 41 couldn't have done better.

Well, sorta. I remember seeing one of those in Paris in 1976; it particularly stuck in my memory because it was running BASIC, but all the BASIC keywords were in French (IMPRIMÉ instead of PRINT, for example). I couldn't do much with it. ;)

But optionally, it could run APL programs and could have up to 64KB of RAM (with the APL interpreter entirely in ROM), making it pretty good for scientific work, as long as you don't mind reading code from right to left. ;)

A bit more capable than the 67, or even the 41 of a few years later.

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#10

Hi Les; Question: How many times more effective, or frugal with program memory is RPN compared with that implementation of BASIC - in your opinion? Combined with that, would a 41cx with a couple of good ROMs, 2.2 in main and 6k in extended come close to equaling a 64k IBM? Does the ease of programming on the fly add enough to that to bring it up to that? If not then how about a 41 on a 32k RAMBOX, which was available back then?

I know how much you prefer RPN, so i'm just trying to give you a way to get on the side of the Angels here ;-) -db


#11

The IBM had a full size keyboard and a reasonable screen. Add the sturdy tape drive and you get a professional machine. Compared to that, a 41C is a geek machine.


#12

Right?


#13

No, I'm not. As a lab controller, a 41C might do a good job but as a commercial computing device it's a toy.


#14

While the IBM 5100 wasn't used for docking maneuvers on the Apollo-Soyuz mission like the 67's less capable predecessor the hp65, i'm sure it was a fine machine. Those "geeky" space shuttle astronauts just bought 41s with their own money and got hp to teach them how to program so they could play Moon Rocket Lander during their orbital off hours too. The programs for ground antenna acquisition, emergency re-entry, landing calculations and the like were just a cover-up. I'm sure the 5100 series could have done all that anyway. That ad should have mentioned it's more impressive abilities, instead of concentrating on helping a clueless real estate agent decide when to do landscaping and telling a farmer what to feed to cows. Forget about all those "toy"-like uses for the 41 like NATO artillery targeting, nuclear & Cardiac/Pulmonary medicine, Optometry, the Math/Stat pac, the high level math and engineering solutions books, the blue water navigation pac, the USAF rom for loading cargo planes. I mean, really; the IBM 5100 was used by Insurance Companies! Wowie!

I found this on a 5100 site:

Time Travelers Need IBM 5100 Computers!
From 2000-2001, John Titor claimed to be a time traveler sent form 2036 to 1975 to fetch an IBM 5100 in order to solve problems with legacy software in 2036 (before Unix systems fail in 2038). He stopped in 2000 to warn us of a civil war that would start in the US in 2005 and culminate in World War III in 2015. He claimed that there was some special hidden feature in the 5100. No toy here.

While wandering around the upper Amazon in the late '90s with my cx and transit doing boundary surveys, i often wished for the "full size keyboard and a reasonable screen" of a "professional machine" like an IBM 5100 series, a generator to power it, a tent to put them in, along with 6 porters to carry it all.


#15

Each tool, each job, each need...

Comparing computers to calculators is like comparing water.

Edited: 2 May 2010, 2:31 a.m.

#16

Quote:
How many times more effective, or frugal with program memory is RPN compared with that implementation of BASIC - in your opinion?

I don't know the details of their BASIC implementation, db, so I can't comment confidently. However, it was fairly common for BASIC interpreters to tokenize all the keywords of a program, so that they might take only one or two bytes. As a result, the difference might not be all that great.

And of course, APL is an extremely terse language in which arrays and matrices are first-class types (take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_%28programming_language%29 for some examples).

Quote:
I know how much you prefer RPN, so i'm just trying to give you a way to get on the side of the Angels here ;-)

Oh, yeah - you'd have to pry my 41's from my cold dead hands. Having said all the above, I wouldn't trade a 41 for a 5100, especially these days - the 41's have undoubtedly aged a lot better!

(But if I had the time, it would be fun to do some tinkering with a modern APL implementation).

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#17

Les; The BASIC i learned in '81 at Western Nevada Community College's school of Casino and Cat-House Management may have been a math deprived one. I know there are more complete implementations of it, but i always think of the little BASIC i know and compare (un)accordingly. I remember having to teach the computer how to convert minutes and seconds to decimal degrees, step by step - and thinking that my new 11c was twice the computer.
APL is a language that goes way beyond what i have ever needed to do. And being both high level and math oriented, it looks more compact than even RPN. Going to anything else after that must have felt like swimming in concrete.

#18

Quote:
Oh, yeah - you'd have to pry my 41's from my cold dead hands. Having said all the above, I wouldn't trade a 41 for a 5100, especially these days - the 41's have undoubtedly aged a lot better!

I have several 41s, and except for my favorite, I would gladly trade one of them for a 5110. Not only would it advance an ambition to own one of every machine I ever worked on personally*, if I became strapped for cash to feed my calculator habit, I could sell the 5110 and buy something in the neighborhood of 81 complete 41C systems. (Going by Mike Morrow's estimate below, and figuring around $1000.00 per 41C[V|x] + nice peripherals.)

Regards,

Howard

* The major barrier to achieving my ambition is that darned Star array processor attached to a VAX 11/780 at the UCSB Physics department.


#19

Quote:
I have several 41s, and except for my favorite, I would gladly trade one of them for a 5110.

Ah, see, I only have two 41's left - I'm a user, not a collector, so I wouldn't surrender a large chunk of my tools for a machine I wouldn't have that much use for.

And if I'd kept every machine I'd owned - let alone every one I've worked on, going back to the Elliot/ICL 1901 - I'd have a museum.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#20

Quote:
And if I'd kept every machine I'd owned - let alone every one I've worked on, going back to the Elliot/ICL 1901 - I'd have a museum.

That's sort of the idea, but not really. That is, I can entertain the thought but not bring about the reality. :)

Regards,
Howard

#21

I worked on an IBM 5150 in my first computer job in 1983. It was a relic by then. I believe it was a model that had been delivered with APL as the user programming language, because the keyboard had the APL special symbols on shifted keys. But the machine had been converted to use an extremely primitive form of BASIC. The machine was as small as pictured in the referenced ad, but sat on top an enormous dual 8 inch floppy drive unit that was large enough to raise the machine to a comfortable height for typing. The small computer consulting firm I was working at had several customers that used the 5150 with a custom payroll application developed by the company. Later, I graduated to using the Convergent Technologies machines. These had a very early form of networking, and ran Microsoft BASIC. I sure appreciated the advance control structures, like WHILE/WEND, in that dialect. :)


#22

The 5150 was the first IBM PC, the 5160 was the IBM PC XT with more slots and a hard disk. I think you are talking about the 5110.


#23

That's right. Thanks for the correction. this link shows the system I worked on, a 5110. I believe we must have had the Model 2 because there was no cartridge tape. I used every piece of equipment shown in that picture except for the outboard cartridge tape drive.

Also note the reference to hand held calculators given at the end of the page.

#24

Quote:
nothing a 67 couldn't have done, or a 41 couldn't have done better.

One should check out some details of the IBM 5100 before making that type of inaccurate off-the-cuff statement. See this IBM 5100 article .

I own the HP-67 and HP-41, and they weren't even in the same ballpark in terms of capability. But the cost, back in late 1975, was 24 kg in mass and up to $20,000 ($81,000 in 2010).


#25

Unless it was better than the 5150 which came later, the 41 was much, much more efficient at quickly getting programs going to control lab equipment at take data, using the HPIL & Ext I/O modules and the 82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter. I found that out when I worked at a microwave semiconductor manufacturer.

Edited: 29 Apr 2010, 11:09 p.m.

#26

I agree, Mike, you really can't compare a programmable calculator like the 41 or 67 with, essentially, a minicomputer like the 5100. The 5100 was revolutionary; it really was the first "personal" computer in a day where computer = IBM 360. I've still got the brochure IBM sent me when the 5100 came out; it was like they shrunk the 360 to fit on your desk.

#27

Since I will be visiting theBay area for about 10 days from Fla, db has suggested that we have a mini HP fest in or near Martinez CA on the weekend of May 15-16. It might be a good chance for some of us rpn geeks to meet, share stories and "wine" about HP's current state of calculator affairs. Anyone interested?

Edited: 4 May 2010, 10:55 p.m.


#28

Obviously; i'm interested since art and me will be meeting up here in river city. I'll have the "alternate universe RPN museum" unpacked, for anyone that wants to fondle a Russian, Argentine, German, Japanese, or whatever calculator with a sensible operating system. (Art: there's a couple of new ones you haven't seen yet). Art and me will be "wine tasting" like the other times. You might try to get him to talk astronomy while he's on vacation, good luck there. Other possible diversions can be:
The John Muir Home is here and worth a pilgrimage if you climb or study nature.
The Viano Winery is a mile from here for yet more wine tasting. As Clem said: "It's the Grapes".
If the Sons of Italy are finished restoring it: Joe DiMaggio's Chriscraft speedboat may be back on display. It's a siren call to fans of both baseball and places that Marlyn Monroe placed her lovely fundament.
I plan on checking out Art's 48-with-a-41-card, and i might try a glass of wine.

Transport from and to BART is already in the cards. All we need to know is which day: 15th or 16th. I don't know who all here is close anymore- Ted moved south, lost track of the folks in Davis. Eric, Howard, show up if you want.


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