To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the HP-12C financial calculator, HP are producing a limited edition of this classic calculator along with a reproduction of the 15C scientific calculator. Launched in 1981, the 12C became the de facto “badge of honour” for any self respecting businessman. Still a cult classic with fans the world over, it’s the longest selling HP product.
There’s some great reminiscing going on over at HP’s The Next Bench, including interviews with 12C’s creator, Dennis, who demoed the calculator to Bill Hewlett thirty years ago.
Pictures from the HP Museum by David Hicks.
Young’uns raised on Casio and Sharp calculators will be surprised that these use Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) for the entry of formulae, rather than the more usual “1 + 1 =” approach. RPN would say this is “1 ENTER 1 +”, if I recall right.
I remember my father having HP calculators – they had little red LED displays before LCDs appeared – and him showing me how RPN worked. And the way the buttons kind of rocked back rather than simply pressing down. Glorious and I want one. I shall have to keep my eyes on the HP’s UK site – the standard 12c is available but I’d be more interested in the 15C which hasn’t been around for years.
It’s good to see that HP can produce something that lasts longer that the TouchPad.
Tom and Andy interview Mike Reiners from Casio America, who’s brought along the Casio fx-CG10 aka Prizm graphing calculator. This calculator is a long way from the 9-digit, 8-segment LCD calculators I used in my school education as the Prizm comes with a hi-res LCD color display (216 x 384 with 65k colours) making it the “first” full colour graphing calculator. There’s no touchscreen but there’s a little joypad for navigation.
You might be thinking that a colour display will munch through the batteries but Casio’s new Blanview LCD is extremely frugal and 4 alkaline AAAs will give 140 hours of typical use. Which is great because you really don’t want to run out of juice in the middle of an exam.
The video also demonstrates the use of a Flipbook, a series of photographic images which demonstrate an effect, such as acceleration or simple harmonic motion. The Prizm can then help the student understand the nature of the effect.
The Prizm won Design & Engineering Showcase Honors at CES in 2011. Congratulations, Casio.
Children today just won’t know the joy of putting in 5376606 and turning the calculator upside down.
Available now for $129.99 in Best Buy and on-line.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.
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