HP RPN Calculators

The DM42 and calculator musings by Tim Gray

So first, why the heck do I even need a calculator? How does someone my age end up using a calculator when iPhones, Wolfram|Alpha, and Excel exist? And why would I spend a decent amount of cash on a physical calculator based on a 30-year old design and not buy a much cheaper and more capable modern design?

This will be a long and rambling post… you have been warned.

Tim Gray's post was a short trip down memory lane.

These days, I don't have much use for a scientific calculator, much less one that uses RPN (reverse polish notation). However, when I studied electrical engineering at Georgia Tech in the late 1980s, the HP and I were inseparable. I would not have made it through my basic electrical engineering courses without my HP and RPN. My HP was a gift from some friends at Drew University (where I was studying Physics), who wanted to be sure I was prepared.

I think my HP 28S (or was it an HP 48S) is somewhere under a box under another box under yet another box at my mom's house in Florida. Or maybe they were tossed decades ago. I do have 42s RPN app on my iPhone.

NOTE: I looked around the house and I found my dad's HP 12C. He was an accountant.