non-calculator collections


Besides calculators, what other collections do users of this forum collect? ...just curious...



I collect dust :-)

Seriously, though--I used to collect coins, but sold most of my modest collection about 20 years ago to help finance my first house. Unfortunately, I was in college when Bunky Hunt tried to corner the silver market and wasn't paying attention. For a short time, my silver dollars, silver half dollars, and silver quarters were worth about four times what I ended up selling them for just a few years later.

Now, I collect maps of all types: topo, highway, aeronautical, geologic, atlases, National Geographic, star charts, etc. Very few are worth anything more than face value…I just like looking at them. I have at least 3,000 individual maps and perhaps 30 atlases, plus some computerized maps. My collection is only partly organized. Yet another project I need to get to. As a civil engineer and geography buff, collecting maps seems like the natural thing to do.

I also collect pins from places I visit, but I only have about 100 of those. Most of these are on a hat I used to use for hiking before it got too heavy.

I guess I collect books, too, but not in an organized fashion. I read about 40 books a year, mostly history, science, etc (and maybe one novel every other year). My wife reads maybe 30 books a year, mostly fiction. Some books we buy, some we get from the library. Several years ago, when we had about 1000 books, my parents decided to sell their house and buy a smaller one. They had at least 5000 books and didn't want to move them all. They took membership in the Book of the Month Club very seriously! They gave me first shot at their library and I took about 1200 books. Some are still in boxes because I don't have enough bookshelf space.

I have had a subscription to National Geographic since I turned 5 and have kept every issue (I'm 44 now). Several years ago, I went to a used book sale and added the previous years back to my birth.

I "collect" waterfalls. By that I mean, when we travel, I like to see and photograph as many waterfall as I can. I actually started a database of waterfalls in California, but my plate has been too full to work on it much. Besides, a woman by the name of Ann Marie Brown wrote a very nice book titled "California Waterfalls" which serves my purpose just fine.

That's enough of my life story.



Wow! Those are fun! Especially the books and maps, by my own tastes...
I have all my college textbooks related to my degree (EE), and most of the others. But I hardly have a "collection" - especially compared to something like yours. However, I was in an old bookstore night before last and it had a collectibles section, where I picked up a nice hardbound "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, and a nice edition of "The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes" with lots of cool, old-style drawings. Neat!



One of my prizes is "Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa". Hard to explain, but one of the funniest books I have ever read. The author (George W. Peck) was a newpaper publisher and later mayor of Milwaukee and governor of Wisconsin. The book is based on columns Mr. Peck wrote for his newspaper. The central figure is the "Bad Boy", a mischievious young to mid-teenager. He gets into all sorts of trouble, but of a kind MUCH less serious than we hear about today. He mostly pulls pranks on people. His father is the main victim, but so is the grocery man he tells most of his adventures to.

I actually have two copies of "Pecks". The first copy is the one my father read to me when I was a kid, and my grandfather read to him. It was printed in 1900, which is even 12 years before my grandfather was born. The second copy my wife bought me for Christmas several years ago. It was printed in the 1880's and is in better shape.

I also have some old Roman coins my wife got off e-bay from a dealer back east. Several of the coins show the figure of Constantine. They're actually not very valuable because they are not very rare and the condition is so-so (my wife spent about $30 for seven coins). Even so, it's really cool to have them. I help teach sixth grade sunday school at our church. The first half of the year deals with church history, and the coins are a big hit since Constantine is considered the first Christian emperor, though how Christian he really was is open to debate.



I just counted. I have 180 old bottles that i either dug up while excavating buildings or traded my duplicates for. They are on 12 shelves in my enclosed porch windows and provide quite a bit of privacy. Most came out of 100 year old privies. My favorites are an 1880's "Kellogg's" Kentucky whiskey bottle with a screw cap made of only-god-knows-what, a blue triangular "Owl" brand poison bottle, and a +/- 1890 blob top "XLCR" (excelcior) mineral water bottle from right here in river city; it's deliciously primative.

I also have a rather extensive collection of Plomb (not plumb!) tools, half of which i inherited from my dad. Since they comprise most of my english wrenches; i guess they are not a collection. They are just beautiful old greasy or rusty tools. My favorites have "VB" ingraved on them.

My ex wife (aka the formerly lawfully wedded mistake) said that i collect women. I can think of at least three ways that that is a filthy thing to say but with what i had to pay to get rid of her; it certainly rates her low on (at least) my scale of desireable collectables.


Yes, well, you know the saying:
"Why are divorces so expensive? - Because they're WORTH IT!"



When someone here posts an economic opinion such as "it's worth it" i assume he has worked it out on an RPN HP calculator and i always believe him (or her). In my case i'm sure. The price of her shrink bill & prozac and my ear plugs used up all my discressionary income.

Speaking of money well spent; I FOUND A WORKING 38C AT THE FLEA MARKET TODAY FOR A BUCK!!! Sorry for shouting. I'm just all happy and excited.


Congratulations db! Finding a working 38C (for a buck?) is an awesome thing! (me, I really like the little kick my heart does when I find something I have been scouring the earth for)

I like to read about how other people find calculators - kinda gives me hope, y'know?



Congratulations for starting one of the most interesting threads of this forum in recent times.

Fred: If you would like to write about your HP-related story, I expect it to be as interesting as your books-related story. If I may ask - please write.

DB: nice posts, my lack of experience on the subject does not allow me to write anything about your expensive experiences (lucky me...). Anyway, i´m happy for your 38c finding. I myself bought four of those in a calculator repair shop (about $7 each).

This forum gang is a bunch of great guys. Makes me proud just being a frequent reader.




I will try to write up my HP story and post it in a day or two.

It is a story full of danger (those darn TI's), intrigue, and lots of number crunching.



Fossil watch tins, and lisence plates of states I've driven through.


Mugs. Simple, cheap, but nice coffee-mugs. And women. The main reason why I have so little time for my calculator collection. <G>



I have a small collection of slide rules (only about 2 dozen so far).



I collect TRIANG MINIC SHIPS!and have a collectors web site dedicated to these ships at if you want to find out what these are.

Laurence Carr
Classic Calculators (UK)


Slide Rules. The URL of site showing my little collection is "".

I also say I collect "billetes kapicua". I dont know how to call they in english. I am talking about "money papers" with serial numbers that can be read from left to right or right to left with the same result. For example "56444465".
Ok. I really have only one. But it's the biggest "collection" that I have seen ;^)



and, by the way, it's "capicua", not "kapicua" ! :-)

Best regards from V.


I collect Pinball machines. I used to collect stamps, SF
firts-editions, camera gear, etc., but found that most of
these areas are dominated by profit-motive, and are ultimately a bit pointless (I mean that, for example,
stamps are no longer just a utlilitarian object, but a
good portion of their "purpose" is to sucker collectors
into spending more money).

Pinball machines are actually quite afordable, and whatever
time and effort I put into restoring one directly translates
into increased resale value. They are VERY fun to play
and it is very rewarding to bring a trashed/abused game
back to life. And, I get to use all my grade-12 electronics
skills, which have otherwise been obsoleted by the modern
style of electronics design (which has come to resemble
software rather than hardware in most senses).



I don't know that I would say that I am a calculator collector. Debatable.

I am a slide rule collector and a gun collector.

One aspect of calculators vs slide rules, is that if you are generally familiar with slide rule operation you can pick up the operation of a new one in a matter of seconds in most cases. Even with a few specialized scales you can learn most inside of an hour. (There are exceptions.) After living with my HP 28S and HP 48SX for some years, I am finding it will take days to really learn the TI, Sharp, or Casio programmables I recently picked up.

I am already finding that I do not like the fact that I don't seem to be able to set up a simple program that has a user interface like a function button. For example, on my HP 48SX I write << INV SWAP INV + INV >> and then 'PARA' STO. Now I can put two numbers on the stack, push PARA and I have the parallel combination. Can't seem to do this on the algebraic types. You have to call up a program and then enter values. The odd thing is that I have slide rules with this function. Now with something like 2300 functions on the 48 series, you'd think they could have included this one. It's not even in the EE PRP Pac. Now if they saw fit to put this on a slide rule where the number of available functions is rather limited by the available real estate and the cost of engine divided scales, you'd think it was useful enough to be included among 2300 functions.


Hi unspellable,

See how easy that program was for you to write? That's why it is not included---cause it's so easy to do!-^)

Besides, it gives you the chance to feel satisfaction at having made your own useful program.





All you say may be true of my HP 28S or HP 48SX, but it does not seem to hold when I come to an HP 38G or a TI 83 or a Sharp 9300C or a Casio fg7300.


Well, since I started this thing:
So far I have:
and a non-working 45

Unspellable: also,

Sig P228
Taurus 608
Para c7.45
S&W 629
S&W 1006
Taurus 650
S&W 1076

Mossberg 500
Savage 110 (.308)

Soon to be getting a Kimber Stainless Target II in 10mm!


Hi, unspellable:

unspellable posted:"I am already finding that I do not like the fact that I don't seem to be able to set up a simple program that has a user interface like a function button. For example, on my HP 48SX I write << INV SWAP INV + INV >> and then 'PARA' STO. Now I can put two numbers on the stack, push PARA and I have the parallel combination. Can't seem to do this on the algebraic types"

Assuming you consider an HP-71B as being of "algebraic type", you can do it as simply as this:

10 DEF FNP(X,Y)=1/(1/X+1/Y)
then you can instantly use it right from the command line or in calc mode, like this:


say, i.e. just like any other built-in function. As you can see, you may use the result of an FNP as input for another FNP. If you want to reduce typing, you can assign "FNP(" to any user key, so you would only need to press said key, key in your arguments separated by a comma, then press ENTER to get your parallel equivalent computed and displayed, the 71B will automatically close the parenthesis for you (in Calc mode). I guess this is as simple and convenient as it gets.

As for the SHARP models, assuming they are programmable in BASIC you can do something like this, for most models:

10 "=" INPUT X,Y: PRINT 1/(1/X+1/Y)
where the "=" means this small `program' is assigned to the shift-equals key, so in DEF mode you would simply press shift-equals and there you are, a "?" would appear, just enter both values separated by a comma, press RETURN or ENTER, and the parallel equivalent is computed and displayed. It's reasonably straightforward, don't you think ? If the particular model's BASIC does allow user-defined functions, the technique for the 71B above applies, too.

For one-argument functions, there's an even simpler solution for the SHARPs: suppose you want to compute exp(-x*x) for any given argument x. The 'program' would be:

Then, in DEF mode, you would simply key in your x and press shift-equals. The value already in the display will be read into variable x, without asking you anything, and the computed value will be displayed, like this
    2  [shift-equals] -> 0,01831563889
This is as 'button-pushing' as possible for those models ...

Best regards from V.



I write it on HP 48SX:

<< -> x y << x INV y INV + INV >> >> 'PARA' STO

and use it like:

Set 'SYM' flag ON.

'PARA(3,5)' [ENTER] [EVAL] or 3 [ENTER] 5 [PARA] or 3 'A' STO 5 'B' STO 'A' [ENTER] 'B' [ENTER] [PARA] [EVAL] etc...

Try it with 'SYM' flag OFF.


Ps. To Valentin:

"...*FNP(FNP(3,5)-FNP(1,4))" it's unworkable, but I see, what are you want! (Change '-' to ',' and it's will be correct.)



I'm not a HP collector, only a most devoted user. I have had my 48sx since the day it was introduced. (Before that a 41cx.) I have made a number of short convenient programs, like 'STSM' which sums everything on the stack, 'REAL' and 'IMAG' which separates the terms in a complex, 'TRIAN' which gives the area of a triangle from three known sides. This has been very convenient in my work with site maps, etc. Otherwise, I collect Aristo slide rules - I'm supposed to have the most important private collection of those. Then, I have collected Art-Nouveau items, from jewelry to furniture, now unfortunately become a most expensive field which I can no longer afford (I started in the early 60s). I also used to collect Leica items, now also too expensive. To this other interesting subject below: I'm also divorced. However, I'm wondering about how many other divorced men still have joint bank accounts with their former? Keys to each other's homes? Keys to each other's cars? Being welcome to the former wife's beautiful country side residence (incl. her excellent cooking) every weekend? Well, those are some of my privileges...lucky me? (We are both 68 and she's still my only love...well, besides my pristine 1965 SAAB MonteCarlo...)


I'd have to agree with John--I'm not a collector of HP stuff. And I don't care what anybody says about them: I both like, and use, my 49G.

As far as collections go, I collect N scale model railroad cars. Mostly Micro-Trains Line, but I collect others, too. I've also got a few engines and a half a dozen or so structure kits. One of these days they'll all stop being a collection, and will actually be trains running around on an actual layout instead of hiding in their boxes and sitting on my display shelf.



Never heard of it! From your e-mail address, I see that you are in Norway. Was that model ever imported to the US? Also, is the engine 2-stroke or 4-stroke? I think 1965 was the last year that Saab made the smoky 2-strokers...


Most MonteCarlos were exported to the US. Mine spent some years in Denver before being shipped back to Scandinavia. It has a 2-stroke engine with three carbs. Rather than running on an oil mix, it has an oil tank under the hood with a pump that injects oil into the bearings. So it doesn't emit any blue smoke. Among the standard eqpt was a dash board with 'professional' instruments, a Nardi wood and aluminum steering wheel, a pull-out map table for the navigator, etc. These cars are now very rare, mine is the only one in Norway. Since this was at a time before electronic calculators, I still have my Stevens Rallye Calculator on the navigator's table, plus a nice Curta.


Seems to me I've seen mention of this same '65 SAAB Monte Carlo at the International Slide Rule Group.


My other equally geeky collecting hobby is Star Wars Lego sets. Just the Classic stuff, none of that Episode I or Attack of the Clones schmaltz. The major difference from HP calculators is that Lego is *still making* cool sets. Naturally, my wife thinks it's crazy for a 40 year old to be collecting either, but hey, it's the engineer in me...

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