Anyone willing to read some HP41 cards?



I wrote a suite of stock broker apps for the HP41CX back in the early '80's. My calculator & card reader are long gone, but I have the software on mag cards. Is anyone able to read them for me, and send me a text file back? There are about 20 cards in the series of apps, and they cover stock volatility, option pricing, leveraged leasing, and specialized bond calculations. Boring stuff, but of sentimental value.

Many thanks



I should be able to read them out and at least send thermal listings from an HP printer. Aside from trying to scan said listings and OCR the results I don't know any easy way to get them into a text file.



I'll protect them as best I can, and get them to you. I have no way of knowing whether they are still good, but they have been in those cream-colored plastic card holders all these years, untouched, and appear to be in good shape cosmetically.

A print-out of the listings is, I guess, the only way, without specialized gear, and hopefully the OCR stuff works, but worst case, I type the darn things into my emulator app.

Now let me go and find the cards again, and I'll email you when I have them. Do you have one of those HP IL tape drive peripherals? I think I have 'em on that format too ...



Yes, I have the HP-IL tape drive, but frankly the cards are more convenient. Of course you can include the tapes too as a fallback if some of the cards are not readable.

David Ramsey
14475 Minnetonka Circle
Reno, NV 89521


My kludge solution (if you have the necessary bits):

Install a red-eye into the 41 then print to a 48 via IR. Upload the program from the 48 to computer via serial. You'll need to edit the file to get standard CR/LF termination if you need it for printing back to paper.



This is exactly what I do in these cases. Mostly because there is no intermediate media, and once we have the correct input program for the HP48, transfer is smooth. And after it is done, you'll have a fully ASCII compatible text.

I use an external battery pack with one of my HP41's that has the golden spheres. With four fully-charged, 2500mAh batteries, it works perfectly fine: reads many cards and 'prints' to the HP48 without the need of checking battery charge.


Luiz (Brazil)


I have everything except "computer with a serial port."



I am not quite sure about how safety precautions at post offices take place these days in the US, but I'd suggest checking for magnetic detectors that might erase or corrupt data in the magnetic cards if they are sent as ordinary mail. For what it's worth, if you have someone to take the cards personally instead of posting them would avoid such risks. If their contents are unique, the more care you take the better.


Luiz (Brazil)


I rather doubt the US Post Office does anything that might harm magnetic cards. For starters, you'd need some big degaussers. Besides, that might wipe out the magnetic stripe on the back of credit cards, all of which are distributed here by regular postal mail.

Places that worry about suspect mail (e.g. Congressional offices) usually do their own checking upon arrival.



As you see, I was not aware of that. I was wondering about the package being scanned for metal contents by using any device that would apply magnetic field. I know that residual magnetic field should not disturb magnetic cards contents, but once Murphy's Laws apply anywhere - unless something wrong happens that would not allow them to apply, but in this case they apply as well - I see now that I was jut being 'overcautious'.

Thanks for clarifying.


Luiz (Brazil)


My proposal is the following (I just did it this weekend, but for some HP-97 programs):

- read the cards into an HP-41 and print them to text files on the PC, using a PIL-Box

- mail those text files to an e-mail account that you can access from your iPhone, then read the programs into your i41CX app

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