HP 71B arrived



#19

Today I received the 71B I mentioned a while ago.
I had forgotten how nice a machine the 71B is. I very briefly had one as a student about 13 years ago. But shortly after buying it, I decided I couldn't really afford it and sold it on (making a HUGE profit of about 5 german Marks).
The one I bought now came with two 32k RAM moduls, but without IL interface. And although it is very nice, I don't really expect to do a lot of work with it. So I probably won't buy any more stuff for it. But without a way to connect it to some sort of permanent storage device, I don't see how I will ever fill the additional 64k of memory. Hence I was thinking of replacing the RAM modules with blank port covers. But I suppose these are even more rare then the RAM modules, right?


#20

There are few, if any, who do not consider the 71b the ultimate handheld.

With luxury appointments, power, ease of use,flexibility and more panache than even the Kardashians deserve, you have now entered the most elite circle there is.

The HP71 has been my service piece since 1984. I own 4 and they are standing still while evolving.

Enjoy my German friend. Enjoy.


#21

Quote:
Enjoy my German friend. Enjoy.

I will do! Thanks!

#22

Quote:
There are few, if any, who do not consider the 71b the ultimate handheld.

A bit of humorous but sarcastic hyperbole, one must assume.

I own an HP-71B (2548A....). IMHO, it is one of the most unusable items in the collection that I've built since 1976. It doesn't even do RPN! Even if one could find some use for it as a device controller (which isn't a "handheld" usage), it's hard to imagine much functional value above that of a HP-41CX with HP-IL.

I'll take one HP-42S over a bushel basket full of HP-71B units (unless I could sell the 71B units to get more 42S units). That definitely comes closer as a desirable ultimate (at time of production) HP handheld.

I am one of no doubt many who regard the 71B as an interesting device...but one whose rather short product life compared to other contemporary HP calculators is clear evidence of it being an expensive white elephant during that lifetime. Except for some use in the surveying profession, it seems to have had minimal other employment.

But...as a device in a collection of HP calculators, everybody should have one. The same can be said for the HP 38G.


#23

Quote:
I own an HP-71B (2548A....). IMHO, it is one of the most unusable items in the collection that I've built since 1976. It doesn't even do RPN! Even if one could find some use for it as a device controller (which isn't a "handheld" usage), it's hard to imagine much functional value above that of a HP-41CX with HP-IL.

The 71 is a hand-held computer, and not very practical as a calculator. For a calculator today I use my 41, except when I need to do a lot of complex-number operations which the 41 can do but is clumsy at without the 41Z module which I will get in a NoV-64 when my employer gets caught up on paying me! (That's important with a son finishing up in a private college and I want him to graduate witout debt.) I definitely prefer RPN.

I have two 71's (the backup having been nearly free NOS before eBay existed), and used the 71 constantly from 1986 to 1992. It is far more powerful than a 41 (and its HPIL is about 35 times as fast as the 41's), but much of its power was lacking if you only have the mainframe. What added so much, beyond the HPIL, math, and Forth/Assembler modules from HP, was the LEX files from the user groups, and the large third-party memory modules (up to 128KB of RAM in a single module from CMT, and there was even a company that would hard-wire 256KB RAM inside so it didn't take any ports). With these, I constantly typed memos and other things on it with a full-featured editor I wrote taking advantage of the many LEX files from Paris published in the CHHU Chronicle, optimizing it to be nimble with the tiny display (even though I also had the 80-column video for it), and I could type at 30wpm on the tiny keyboard as much as I wanted without any worries of running out of memory. (I type at 60wpm on a full-sized keyboard.) I did calculations on arrays of up to 16,384 points, and control functions on the workbench, some of which the 41 was hopelessly slow for.

I did like the handheld size of the 71 as a controller, because before the days of real laptops, I could easily unplug the HPIL cables to free it up to go from the workbench to my desk and back, and, at the end of the day, put it in a corner of my attache case to take home and work on things there, even more practically than a modern laptop-- if you don't need graphics (which I did not).


#24

The 71B is a backup, albiet with no IR, and no, I do not lug around the HPIL printer for that! I find the programing on the 71B to be much easier and more flexable then the 41 and the memory capability now at 124K to be phenomenal for a hand held programmable. The disc drive and tape drives provide all the backup required to bring the 71B back to life in the event of a battery loss or Memory Lost condition.

The HP 41C, now CL is the main machine in the cockpit. Especially due to the IR printer which also accompanies me along with the watch. Of course the CL backup is in the flash drive on the board.

To top it off, I DO USE the HP-01 on the flight deck and have 3 others as spares including one 'prototype, and a NOS in box.

Cheers, Geoff

p.s. as an addendum, I never cottoned on to the RPL system. Although I have programmed my 48SX and 48GX with a suite of programs in use on the pictured overlays. I am a lazy programmer and stick to the psuedo ludite progamming languages I grew up with in the late 70's and early 80's.

Edited: 16 May 2012, 2:51 p.m.


#25

Hello!

Quote:
To top it off, I DO USE the HP-01 on the flight deck ...

One day you must show me how you do that :-) Tomorrow I have three sectors to fly, the longest of which is 35 minutes or so. One of them onto the shortest runway our little business jet can legally land at, and one into the second busiest airport in Germany. No time to look at the watch... any watch ... or press any buttons that are not really required to do the job!

Happy landings,
Max


#26

Overseas, 10 to 15 hour legs! Fifteen years on domestic 737 with 20 minute legs up to 2 hour legs so I feel your pain ;-))

Canada is a little different to German domestic. Closest city to Vancouver with a population of greater then 1 million, in Canada is 01:00 hour away.

Overseas minimum leg is 5 hours long. So nice to have countdown timer for Flight Attendants and myself along with alarm and easy timezone conversion. This watch also gives the TMI with the push of two buttons to confirm Trans Atlantic clearances let alone a countdown of the fuel burn left (albiet in a linear fashion, see link below). Memory contains the timezone differential and alarm for various times on the aircraft (such as break schedule on a 15 hour flight).

Cheers, Geoff


10 hour flight with 5500 kg/hour burn on the HP01 as a continuous display

Edited: 16 May 2012, 3:53 p.m.

#27

I disagree RPN & ALL 41 programs can be easily run with the 41/71 translator pac.

It is big. But I have a reputation to uphold. I cannot be seen in public with anything less, except (maybe) for a 41.


#28

Quote:
I disagree RPN & ALL 41 programs can be easily run with the 41/71 translator pac.
That's one I never got, for the reason you give, that the translator would have to anticipate every 41 module which was still to come out, something that's not possible. You're not disagreeing with me though, since I never said the 71 was a faster or more-powerful substitute for the 41. Faster and more powerful, yes; but direct substitute, no. Its approach to everything is quite different. But again, for use as a calculator, it's not as practical as the 41. The 71 is not a calculator, but a hand-held computer.

#29

Quote:
But again, for use as a calculator, it's not as practical as the 41.

Funny, I use it as a calculator all the time, even nowadays, and would never use any other HP model for real work calculations.

Perhaps you forgot such things as the 15-level command stack which will allow you to recall up to 15 previous calculations you've made, edit them on the fly, the recalculate the edited expression at once by just pressing [End line].

Try that with a 41C or 42S where the moment you perform a run-mode calculation by hand it's gone, never to be seen again unless you key it in anew once more or else take explicit measures to store all arguments and operations. I can recall the complete expression just computed at the touch of a key.

I could go on and on and on (*cough* complex-number computations anyone ... matrix computations ... multiple-integrals ... multivariable statistics ... *cough*) but it's not my intention to enter flame or "mine is bigger" wars so let's agree to disagree. Rest assured however that if we were to enter a public match to see who would get the results of manual (run-mode) computations faster and easier the HP-71B would leave any 41C or 42S eating the dust ... :D

Regards from V.


Edited: 16 May 2012, 4:37 p.m.


#30

Valentin:

And forget about the complex stuff. The 71 is just easier to use.

With the larger keypad, better display, better alphanumerics, etc.

Also do not discount "flash value." When I whip the 71 out it always gets attention. And not just from professionals. The women love it...

#31

Quote:
Perhaps you forgot such things as the 15-level command stack which will allow you to recall up to 15 previous calculations you've made, edit them on the fly, the recalculate the edited expression at once by just pressing [End line].
Yes, I do keep it in 15-level all the time. I only use it as a calc though when I'm doing a lot of complex numbers. I don't like the algebraic, and that for example ATAN(...) takes so much of the display, so even using the command stack can require a lot of scrolling. To speed that up, I have the [g]CTRL and [g]ERRM keys assigned to going backward and forward 15 character places at a time, and a few other key assignments to make it easier to get around and edit lines. I have various key-assignment files for the different things I do, with their overlays, so to do functions like the ATAN as above, I either have to spell it all out, or get out of USER mode and remove the key overlay to see such labels. Actually I have one of three key overlays on it all the time: the "home" overlay, the do-everyting-text-editor overlay, and the Forth overlay. For all three sets, nearly every shifted key is re-defined.

Edited: 16 May 2012, 6:11 p.m.


#32

Garth: Does ATAN impress the women? The big stick 71b does.


#33

I don't think my wife would be impressed with any of it. Maybe if it could mow the lawn... Running the card reader on my TI-59 in the school library in 1982 turned some heads though.

Our soon-to-be daughter-in-law has excitedly been counting down the days until the wedding. Our "kids" don't seem to think anything from the early 80's could be impressive since they can't wirelessly access the internet on it, but it was quick to use DDAYS on the 41 to find out how many days left. She's a computer-science major. Her sister graduated last year in the top 1% of her class at Cal Poly, Pomona in mechanical engineering, and thought her TI graphic calc was the cat's meow, but later admitted being very impressed with what I showed her the 41 could do.

Edited: 16 May 2012, 6:40 p.m.


#34

You would need the 48GX for internet access.

#35

I would certainly be happy to trade you a blank port cover for a RAM module. I have a few extra. Just let me know.


#36

Would you be interested in trading port covers for HP71B INTERNAL ram modules? I have a bunch of them.


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