In praise of the HP-41


In a time when real computers were beyond the financial reach of mere college students, the HP-41CX came to the rescue and made a difficult degree program manageable. I think if I were to be entering college today, I'd want nothing less than a geniune HP-41 hanging from my belt.

Do engineering students still walk around campus with calculators hanging from their belts?


... in their hands OR over the table, but I never saw any of them in custom bags so they can be hanged in the belt. I wouldn't, because they are easily stolen (nowadays? Be worried! There are students killing with rifles...). This is today.

I agree with all the rest. I knew about a dozen students at the campus that had free access to computers (three had one at home) but I was one of the many that had one HP41 amongst Sharp, TI and a few others. This is 1982.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil


In 1982...I was 16.
Although I have learnt RPN with a 34c in 1981, I didn´t liked it. So I had a Casio fx2700P with 38 prg steps.

I can´t believe it now!


ha! you lucky fellow. i am still trying to get my
hands on a 34c :-)

is the 2700p for sale? :-) x 2


Hi, Raul;

I was 21 in 1982. In 1979 I was given a TI57: 50 program steps and 7 storage registers. This was when I got in the University. In 1982 I bought an HP41C with one Memory Module. It took me the vacations to learn how to use it, but I read the manual from cover to back-cover, tested all possibilities and tried to master myself in the new RPN-fashion use and program. Man, it was a brain stretching activity...

Was your Casio an alphanumeric calculator? If I am not wrong, all of them were LCD, right? Still have it?

Cheers. (I added something to your HP15C's praise thread..)


No. I have not the 2700P.
I give it to a friend in the University when I recieved the fx200p as a gift, with 135 steps and four prgs.

I tried to recover the 2700p one year ago, but she had lost it in one of her five moves.
It must be really difficult to find one: I tried it mailing to Casio.. All I got is a scan of the Service Manual cover :-(



Sorry Luiz, I forgot: the 2700P is 8+2 LCD digits. I got it in 1982. Sure you remember these folder Casios's...



Raul wrote:

"In 1982...I was 16. Although I have learnt RPN with a 34c in 1981, I didn´t liked it. So I had a Casio fx2700P with 38 prg steps."

In September 1981, I was 17, already knew about RPN by having experimented with the HP-41C. I would learn of the 34C later that year, after my mother bought me the calc I picked out -- a Casio fx-3600P with 38 programming lines, which saw me through the first two years of college.

I still have the Casio, but the key contacts are not very good. It had some impressive features for the day, like integration (Simpson's Rule, like the 41C Math Pac), hyperbolics (not on the base 34C or 41C), and fractions (introduced with the 32Sii?)

In 1983, I compared the 34C and 15C, and bought the latter.

Perhaps Raul is my Doppelgaenger!


...perhaps my brother is: he had the 3600P! :-D



And more seriously... many of us lived the 80's being old enough, when the best programmable calculators have been made: so we all lived things, sometimes very similar.
And also the Spectrum (I had one), Commodore64, etc,etc.
As Luiz said in other thread: "What a time, what a time..."



I was 17 back then.
A friend who studied computer science in Cologne,
handed me a 33E for a few days.
After those few days, I didn't want to return it,
but of course I did. The HP cancer got me!
It must have been beginning 1981, when the 11C came out.
I immediately bought one, just to see that I wanted more,
and so I bought my first new 41C with Quad Memory,
soon followed by some extension modules.

We were three in our electronics class who had an HP-41,
and our math teacher had an 41CV.

That was funny when our math teacher set an exercise,
I solved it by a small HP-41 program,
and the teacher was very impressed,
because he nearly never programmed his HP-41...

Man, those were happy times.




I went to college between 1973 and 1978 in my native Lima, Peru. Many calculators then hanging from belts or being carried along with books. Also many slide rules!

At first I was one of the slide-rule-bound ones. Then I got a Rockwell scientific calculator, then a SR-51A, then an HP-25, and finally an HP-67. That's when I left college. After moving to Los Angeles, CA, I switched to the 41C in 1979.

Although I've had many calculators (many models, several brands), I have never found one that combines power and ease of use as the 41: the keyboard is simple and uncluttered; XEQ + function name isn't a bad compromise. At least, in my opinion, it beats the menu madness that has been prevalent in later machines, including the HP-32S.

Two years ago I was using a HP-49G (I no longer had my 41CX), with which I was never happy. I traded the monster for a 41CX, no money either way, and have had no regrets whatsoever.


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