Archive for December, 2011

EDTECH 501: As of then…

I was in eighth grade when I fell in love with—and got into trouble because of—a …calculator. This grey HP beauty that my mining engineer/surveyor father used and treasured was a formative part of of my affinity towards technology. It was wieldy by today’s standards, and featured popping buttons with color-coded functions.

My father was impressed with its ability to remember complex strings of entries and was fascinated with the full color user manual, all 120 pages! My friends were impressed with the ability of the display to spell a “swear word” when I typed in 7734 and turned the device upside down (that happened only once in class – the teacher confiscated the distracting gadget and my dad had to come retrieve his $200 calculator).

You can try out the HP-25, which was the same device but did not include the continuous memory. This link will take you to a Java simulation from the Museum of HP Calculators (Hicks, 2010). The applet code (Leinweber, 1998) is public domain. The simulation is not completely functional, but you’ll easily be able to perform basic mathematical functions. Mouse over for tool tips (displayed on the title bar of the window).

References:
Hicks, D. (2010). HP-25C. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from The Museum of HP Calculators: http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp25C.htm

Leinweber, L. (1998). HP Calculator Simulations. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from HP Calculator Museum: http://www.hpmuseum.org/simulate/simulate.htm#java25

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