HP-12C Clone, New?



#16

I don't think this has been discussed here before...

I came across another HP-12C clone calculator on the web -- not the
Victor V12 nor the Aurora FN1000 -- the Compucessory CCS 28956.

Functionally it's a modified version of the code used in the earliest
version of the HP-12C Platinum. It has RPN/ALG, parenthesis, undo,
and 400 program steps but only 31 cash flow registers. It adds a
Cost/Sell/Margin subsystem complete with dedicated annunciators on
the display. The key layout is completely different than the 12C but
the unsifted/shifted function bindings are identical, with the new
functions making use of non-designated shifted keys on the 12CP.

It comes in a hinged, clamshell case, which is sort of nifty but
cheap. While the display is pretty large and readable with adjustable
contrast, the decimal points and commas are tiny. But the real
problem with this machine are the tiny keys making the overall
ergonomics of this calculator simply horrible. The manual at first
blush looks complete if brief but it omits much of the functionality
that's actually in the the firmware (like storage register arithmetic).

It runs off of one CR2032 cell and it's pretty fast. About 4.5 times
faster than the 12CP Anniversary edition. The best part about this is
that it sells for about $20 (shipping included) on many websites.

Here's are some pictures of it:

Most of the firmware in this machine is apparently taken directly form
the 12CP since it has the standard built-in tests, which are
undocumented. The keyboard test requires that you press the keys in
the same order as they appear on a 12C which has no relationship to
the layout on this calculator. If you do that this display
ends by showing "12" in the middle of it!

Cyrille and Tim, did you know about this machine?

-Katie

Edited: 17 Aug 2010, 10:19 p.m.


#17

Nope. How long has it been around? Still shipping?

TW


#18

I have no idea, it's all over the place but I hadn't noticed it until a few days ago when i bought one.

#19

Katie, very interesting. Good find!

x->m and m->x, are those STO RCL?

Since you said it uses the early platinum firmware, apparently, does it have that bug about GOTO's not working correctly if you have more than 200+ program lines? If it does, how can this company legally just use the same ROM as HP?

I can't see the blue-chip financial types replacing their nice gold professional looking 12c's for this.


#20

Illegal or not (I don't imagine this will hurt HP sales), for 10$/piece you can buy a few and lose a few. As a student I'm always afraid or misplacing or losing the 12C, this is a great find for the coatpocket.

#21

Quote:
Since you said it uses the early platinum firmware, apparently, does it have that bug about GOTO's not working correctly if you have more than 200+ program lines?

The GOTO bug doe not seem to be there, the firmware was from a later model Platinum but not the most recent one. The most recent one uses 12 digit math and allows for more cash flows.

I wonder if whoever made this calculator had the source code or just intercepted the keystrokes in order to include the added Cost/Sell/Margin functionality along with the adjustable contrast. The contrast adjustment is done with <shift-hold>+<x> or <shift-hold>+</> which happen to be the same keys used for Cost and Sell. This lends credence to the idea that the additional functionality is done with intercepting keystrokes and that the programmer just had the object code from the Platinum. Besides, if they had the source code, why leave in the keyboard self test that makes zero sense on this calculator.

#22

Quote:
x->m and m->x, are those STO RCL?

That's what I was wondering. Surely that can't just be the X stack register. How many storage registers does it actually have, and how do you access them?


#23

Yep, they are just STO and RCL.

The firmware in this thing is identical to the 12CP (version just before the latest one) with the addition of Cost/Sell/Margin and contrast adjustment. The keys and functions the are bound to are also identical except for their position on the keyboard. The key labeling is not identical however.

#24

Quote:
Functionally it's a modified version of the code used in the earliest version of the HP-12C Platinum. It has RPN/ALG, parenthesis, undo, and 400 program steps but only 31 cash flow

Looks like Compucessory is not aware of the specifications of the calculator they have created. In their site they say 99 steps and 20 cash flows:

http://compucessory.com/?page_id=4&nav=39|208&catfilter=1240&keyword=&search=&page=1&id=1014440533


#25

Might be time to pick one up... just in case it suddenly disappears from the market. ;-)

#26

Thanks Katie for the info. I bought two calculators from Amazon.

Namir


#27

Woohoo! nice find, Katie

will try to get a few units


#28

I normally don't quote myself, however

Quote:
... the real problem with this machine are the tiny keys making the overall ergonomics of this calculator simply horrible

You've all been warned!

-Katie


#29

fair enough!

:-)

Namir

#30

Want to send one of them on to me? (Or drop it off at the conference)

:-)

TW


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