Daily use of a Classic


Does anyone in this forum still use any of the Classic calculators on a daily basis? As you can see by my earlier post, I recently purchased an HP-80. I have been considering using it at work. I do most of my number crunching on my PC, but I am still tied to my HP-12c for some quick and dirty calculations. I would love to switch to the HP-80, but I don't want to burn it out - if that's possible. Any thoughts?


I have a 48GX at home and at work. The 48 at work gets used a lot for unit conversion from old property deeds. The 48 at home does not get used often. If I need to do some calculations at home, I reach for my 42S or my 41CX. These are the 2 that I use the most. They are the easiest to program for things on the fly.


I say use it!

I have seen many classic (35,45,55,65,70,80) models that obviously saw very heavy use in their day that still work. I doubt that you'll wear your 80 out. From what I have heard, the LEDs dim with time, but I think that is due to age more than use (experts, feel free to correct me on that). The ON/OFF switch probably sees the most wear and tear. If you take the machine apart and clean and lubricate the switch once in a while (instructions available on request), the calculator should work for a long time.

PS - the above advice is guaranteed to be worth what you paid for it, so follow at your own risk :-)


I use a 28C at work all the time, and a 97 on my desk at home. I also have a 12C and a 41C in use. My 16C was my companion at work for many years and became obsolete about 10yrs ago. And on rare occasions I dare to travel with my 15C, if I know I have to deal with complex numbers (quite common in eddy current NDE). I'd like to be able to keep a more precious machine at work, but I'm too scared about theft. I never worried about wear and tear.



Good evening Michael,

Using a different Hp calculator every single day of a month is my objective.

However, there are times where quality and reliability push me to use the same model every day on a long timeframe.

And this model is the Hp 80 (version 1). The keyboard is not cluttered, keys are contrasty, no need of a gold bezel to do finance calc, NiMh rebuilt batteries that last hours, ..........and.....guess what.....correct answers to my everyday problems.

If you seek a reliable no-fuss calc, stick to your Hp80, it has calculated my house monthly loans and the number of days my daughters have lived till today.

And yes, it can also calculate logs, nth root of numbers and do linear regression...

Get a nice leather case, charge the battery and enjoy !

And congrats from another Hp80 lover !


Michael Barry wrote:
> but I am still tied to my HP-12c ...

I have news for you :-) The 12c is a classic calculator. Have you read the manual? Even on brand new 12c calculators, the examples still use late 70s era interest rates, etc. BTW the manual itself is classic as it still carries the early 80s copyright (and still gives advice on changing the batterieS, rather then the single battery used in the "new" 12c).

Anyway, to answer your question, I use my "classics". I love my HP-97 (I loved it back when it was new and could not afford it, now I have 3 and use them regularly). Of course I also use my HP-41CXs and my HP-19Cs (I used to own an HP-19C back when it was state of the art, but had to sell it to buy my HP-41C, which I still own). Now, thanks to eBay I have my HP-19C back.

BTW although not calculators as such, I still use my HP-85 and my HP-IPC in my "retrolab"

Best Regards




"To Retrolab sou inè poli omorpho, Yassou !" ;-)


Translation : "Nice Retrolab !"



Traslation: Thanks




I carry my 15C daily. Even use it for calculating gas mileage.


Two of my engineering colleagues use LED-equipped HP calc's (21, 35) -- which they bought in the '70s -- on a daily basis at work, hooked into a plugged-in charger. I have showed both of them how to build or buy new battery packs.

-- KS


I have a 45 on my desk at work. It is the one I use most of the time.
I have no problem with it and although it is older than me, it does nearly all I need from a calculator. I have a dozen other hps in the drawer of my desk but the 45 (I guess the engineers' equivalent to the 80) is the one on the desk. The others just come out once in a while.


PS: when I am stuck I usually take the 49g+. It is also the one I use for fun


> Does anyone in this forum still use any of the Classic calculators on a daily basis?

Absolutely. To me my HP41cx's value is in its practical usefulness, not nostalgia or historic value (yet). Since most interfacing to instrumentation was taken over by my 71 and other computers, I definitely would not pay the 1986 price again today for another 41 and various modules, but it is nevertheless a very good unit that gets daily use.

One thing I wrote for the 71 was a full-featured, veratile text editor. I used to do a lot of typing on the 71 until they discontinued it, and then I decided I better not wear out the keyboard because there wouldn't be any replacements coming. I never have had any key problems though.


I carry my 11C every day in my bag. Sometimes I give it a rest and take my 32SII instead. For seriuos programming I use my 41CV at home.


I love the horizontal orientation and the great screen contrast of the Voyagers: HP15C at home, HP11C at work.



Until recently I carried an HP10C in my briefcase at work but I recently replaced this with an HP11C as I was all too often frustrated by the limited conditional tests and absence of subroutines.

At home on my desk I have an HP34C and an even older (circa '79) HP32E on the shelf just above, both are still used regularly...

Mike T.



My first post here, I think ... although I have been reading silently for some time - many thanks to everybody for all the precious information so far!

Yes, I too am using classic (mostly HP) calculators daily and it does not seem to harm them much.

I'd love to be able to really use them for my work (mostly engineering software development and consulting with some flying in between) - but the machines we work with perform more computations in one second than a classic calculator in 100.000 years, and the customers tend to be in a bit of a hurry novadays!

On most days I take a HP-25 with me, which I think is my favourite among my small collection of classical pocket calculators.
Today I have a 48SX in my bag (not a real "classic" in my opinion, since it has an LC display!). Incredible thing, the 48, I always feel a bit sorry, that I waste its capabilities on summing up working hours and other ridiculous tasks.

Greetings, Max.


When I am involved in a project which requires frequent conversion of units -- which sometimes cannot be "neatly handled" in a spreadsheet etc, then I put my 11c or 15c as primary on my desk. With the "User" feature, I have 5 one button routines (plus one more with R/S if the machine is at line 000). That they are all in a row (top row) makes it even sweeter. It is just so *satisfying* to use in that context--more so than any other machine--even the 48, which I can have a soft menu to do the same thing, takes too long to "set up" to do this, and it is somehow less satisfying.

I waffle back and forth for primary on the desk. For some weeks, I'll really enjoy the 27s--especially if I am working with a bunch of equations---so cool on that machine! Other times, I will be on the 48gx. Then I'll go for a long time on the 32sii. Occasionally I'll even be infatuated with the 30s (I know--how!) for its huge clear display and "direct" equation method).

And the 20s also.

I have a 45 which I need to rebuild hte battery for, and then it will live on my desk!

I think it is in some ways good for the brain to go back and forth between using the 30s style, to RPN. It is good for the head because it keeps you thinking of ways to set up the problem in your head, rather than merely punching buttons....




I have around half a dozen HP41 machines that get used all the time (one upstairs, downstairs, workshop, each car). I also use HP97 and HP9100 desktop machines.

When my company went public, I gave an HP80 to one of the finance/stockbroker guys that we worked with. He showed it to a friend, etc and I wound up supplying over a dozen people with them. Sadly, MANY of them had offices in the World Trade Center...


Well, I can't claim "daily" use, but my 97 is on my desk at work, as is my 34C. At home, I've got a 31E.

Those are the units I put to use for the odd calculation. Norm has convinced me: if it don't have LED's, it ain't very "classic". (But then, I've never had a working 41, and so haven't yet fallen under its spell.)

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