HP-71B (RPN), Found something interesting


I just bought an HP-71B, because of the EPROM in it. Turns out it's not an EPROM. It's a ROM. And it has a program that turns the 71B into an RPN calculator. DEFINED keys and all. Also might have some sort of programming, since it has an editor and REPORT function.

Now, to ID the program. The basic program seems to be WBLEX or WB. Here are the programs on this ROM chip:


Anyone recognize the program? I have begun by executing RUN RPN and it does run RPN calculator mode, with redefined keys. Have to decipher the template for this and will report back. It's protected fits into a 32K ROM.

Edited: 10 July 2006, 9:21 p.m.


It's Richard Harvey's "Workbook 71" spreadsheet, file manager, and report generator. I bought the one that came on microcassette. It's an impressive work for one hobbyist to have done, but I wouldn't call it professional. The manual is about 3/8" thick, printed on one side of the paper only.


Pretty straight forward to figure out the RPN. Works very well. Functions are:

LOG10        LN           STORE          LAST X
Now to figure out the spreadsheet functions.

Edited: 11 July 2006, 9:23 a.m.


You may have another ROM in the computer to make it act like a 41, but that's not part of Workbook 71 at all. The address for Richard Harvey in the manual is Box 5695, Glendale, Arizona 85312 USA. Hopefully someone can get in touch with him to either supply a manual for MoHPC or give permission to copy it for everyone.


Message "WorkBook 71", sent at 17:45 EDT on 18-Oct-05, could not be
delivered to r_harvey at 17:45 EDT on 18-Oct-05 because the recipient
mailbox is full.

Sender: hbo@egbok.com
Subject: WorkBook 71
From: Howard Owen <hbo@egbok.com>
To: r_harvey@*******


I'm wondering if you are the same Richard Harvey (of Glendale AZ) that
wrote "WorkBook 71" back in the 1980s? A friend of mine has offered to
let me place a copy of that program and its documentation online at
retrocalculator.com, the site I run dedicated to old calculators and
computers. He was circumspect and correct in stating that he wouldn't do
so without a release from the original author. If that's you, I'd like
to ask if you would be so generous to allow me to make the program
available to the HP calculator collecting community? I will not charge
any fee for the software. In fact, at the risk of being even more brazen
in my request that you give away a piece of your commercial catalog
albeit one that probably doesn't garner any revenue nowadays, if you
still have the source code, releasing it under the GPL or other open
source license would guarantee the software stayed free.

Regardless of your decision, please accept my thanks for taking the time
to consider my request.

Best regards,

I forget at the moment who was offering the software and documentation, but I assume that it was a reader of this forum.


You say:
You may have another ROM in the computer to make it act like a 41, but that's not part of Workbook 71 at all.

I reply:
It may not be part of workbook but it most certainly is on the ROM, with workbook. It is a ROM, not an EPROM. This program is in the ROM and the only ROM on the 71B that I tested. The RPN functionality is on the ROM. I provided the complete list of programs on the first post.

Edited: 11 July 2006, 3:31 p.m.


Can you use the RPN functionality without that ROM plugged in? Some 71 owners had other things hardwired inside so they didn't take up ports. I remember the EduCalc catalog even showed a service where you could send in your 71 and they would put 256KB of RAM inside so you'd still have all your ports.


I assure you I can tell what is in a ROM and what isn't.

  • I listed the ROM contents, in my first post
  • I performed a CAT on the port the ROM was plugged into and can see the RPN program
  • There are no other ROMs in any port
  • The RPN functionality is NOT there, unless I plug in the ROM
  • If I insert the ROM, I get the functionality
  • If I, then, remove the ROM, I "lose" the functionality
The ROM contains the program that gives the 71B the RPN functionality AND it also contains WB or WBLEX, whichever you prefer.

Edited: 11 July 2006, 7:14 p.m.


I listed the ROM contents, in my first post

I'm sorry, I missed that RPN BASIC one in the list the first time around. The rest of them are all part of Workbook 71, but RPN is not-- at least not on the one I have.

I assure you I can tell what is in a ROM and what isn't.

Is the module's plastic package identical to that of normal HP ROM and RAM modules?

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