hp 41c/v/x calculator


Hey guys,
I have been bitten by the HP calc bug. Through some luck and a visiting a few garage sales (and one ebay purchase) I now have three 42s cals. Two are going to storage.
Now, I have been eyeing a 41cx model. I've read the museum's info on the thing and it seems pretty sweet. Now, from those that have used the thing, could it be used by a math student today? Nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia!
Seriously though, how capable is this machine? Any info would be helpful!!!



The 41 is an *extremely* capable and practical calculator. It came with a two-volume manual that is a modem of good design and writing - lots of examples, yet organized for reference as well.

The 4-level stack and keystroke programming model make programming easy and intuitive. And there's lots of additional functionality in the Math Pac and other modules. My opinion is that the 41CX was the "sweet spot" of engineering calculator design.


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



have a look at the HP42S' User's Manual, p. 166. It's gonna be a "reversed" process, but may give you a bit of taste for the HP41CX. Firstly think the HP41CX has no matrix, complex, number integrate and solve (many of these features are available in the Advantage module, but it is an expensive fellow). Then you remove some memory, say, about 2/3 of the original 7200 bytes user memory in the HP42S. Now you remove the graphic LCD and substitute it for a 14-segment alphanumeric LCD. Add I/O capabilities adn keep all real-number related math functionality, stack manipulation, numbered register (no variables availble) and programming style/language. Af few more specific diferences (ALPHA direct keyboard, time functions for the CX, etc...) and you have gone about 18 years back in time (for the CX) to catch an up-to-date, extremelly powerfull calculator. Wow! How did the guys do this at that time? 1979... Wow!

My US$ 0.01 (let me keep my pence)


You won't find a better calculator.


assuming a CX:

I've used a CX as a lab device (data input, printer output, timing, and calcualtions) for chem classes, for a calculus class, and "on the job" doing some inventory process design work for a local business.

I know someone (who frequents here) who uses one regularly in his professional life as a surveyor.

Honestly, having tried chemlab (oh, and physics) with the 28s, 48GX, and 41CX, I'll take the 41CX.much nicer timer use, great datafile handling.

If you can afford to (I can't) try to get an extended IO rom and HPIL (the HPIL part is cheap enough) as bing able to actually *move* data would be much nicer than having to hand record or type.


Welcome enlightened one. Enter the palace of function and longevity over modern marketing b/s.

"Seriously though, how capable is this machine?" - Very.

My own view is that the user interface of the '42 is slightly better than the '41 because of the 2 line display, assigned buttons function etc.

The '41 is much better for input/output and here the '42 is a let down.

You will find die-hard fans of both machines on this site but most contributors are big enough to accept people have different views.

It's a sad situation, but for day to day use I use an HP32sii as my 67/41/42/28 are now too valuable to me for every day use/abuse. The '32 is also a very capable machine but is held back by the tiny amount of RAM.


I think that, since the HP41CV got me through engineering school at the University of Illinois, it will probably work for today's students. Much is now done on laptops and pc's regardless. Whether they would want to risk losing/damaging it or not would be another matter. I also had to use a Math Pack and wrote a half dozen programs to fill the gap for what I needed at the time. It is still a very capable machine, but the 42S is probably a better choice for student life.

Now, the other part of the question is whether TI's marketing effort, which seems to have affected every school teacher known to mankind, would make it practical. (Do they get free calcs, or what ?) Most students that I talk to HAVE to use a TI-83, since the teacher has a file of programs geared to classroom use.

Perhaps, if HP were interested, the forum (I guess I'm somewhat volunteering you and your site, Dave. Sorry) could act as a generator of classroom friendly programs for entire math classes to make the choice of calc moot.


> Do they get free
calcs, or what ?

Yes, actually, they did. :^)

TI used to have a program back in the '80s that offered bundles of ~20 calculators to schools at a deeply discounted price and included a free unit with each bundle "for the teacher." Seems to me that EduCALC did something similar with HPs, but the TI program was offered directly to schools through TI's education channel.


Well, it can fly the space shuttle, fly the concorde, shoot tanks, drop bombs, calculate how best to nuke your neighbors, balance your checkbook, and play pinball... any thing else you need it to do?


The 41's are great calculators. I personally like it much better than the 42. Most people won't agree with me but I like the 97, 41 and the 48. I don't care much for the 42.

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