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Old 5th September 2011, 08:23 AM   #1
Blue Mountain
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HP reissues classic HP-15C calculator

Hewlett-Packard reintroduces the classic HP 15C calculator.

Quote:
Our classic 15c Scientific Calculator is back by popular demand! This limited collector's edition features the same intelligent design and compact size as the original, plus it's up to 100x faster. Packaged in a keepsake gift box, it makes a great gift for scientists, engineers and collectors.
I had a similar calculator (HP-16C "Computer Scientist") about 25 years ago. When it died a few years later, I couldn't bear throw it out because it was such a neat little device. I still have it in a drawer, and I still have the manual. It was programmable, which meant I could write simple programs on it, and recall and run them later. The 15C is also programmable.

And I liked RPN. Having your last four results in a stack was useful.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:09 AM   #2
Complexity
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Loved this calculator.

Love RPN.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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My 16C is ready for the next (first) time I need to convert dec to hex.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
...snip...

I had a similar calculator (HP-16C "Computer Scientist") about 25 years ago. When it died a few years later, I couldn't bear throw it out because it was such a neat little device. I still have it in a drawer, and I still have the manual. It was programmable, which meant I could write simple programs on it, and recall and run them later. The 15C is also programmable.

And I liked RPN. Having your last four results in a stack was useful.
You weren't a programming colleague of mine back in the 80s were you? One of my colleagues came back from a trip to the USA brandishing a HP16, and weren't we envious! Mind you, you could do with one now since your mental arithmetic is so bad, they were released in the early 80's - and the 80s can't be 25 years ago, that would make me old.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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RPN is still great. And plenty of smart phone calculator apps can do it.

My first and only HP was the 28. Fully programmable and did graphing.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:33 AM   #6
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I still use mine. I thought I got it in the 90's, though.
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Old 5th September 2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Hp 15c

Hey, this is real news! I have had mine, and it's original cover, since they came out. Can't remember when that was, but it finally failed only a couple months ago (still works intermittently). I will certainly replace it with a new one if I can.
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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Ah, calculators...
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Our classic 15c Scientific Calculator is back by popular demand! This limited collector's edition features the same intelligent design and compact size as the original, plus it's up to 100x faster. Packaged in a keepsake gift box, it makes a great gift for scientists, engineers and collectors.
What, no pocket protector?
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Old 5th September 2011, 10:34 AM   #10
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Old 5th September 2011, 12:43 PM   #11
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It is frustrating that in general calculators have become a race to be the cheapest. I have an old HP-12C from high school, I looked around on the internet, they are going for $200 new.

I'll probably have to pick up one of the 15C's. I do prefer RPN.
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Old 5th September 2011, 12:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Complexity
Love RPN.
RPN is God.

~~ Paul
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Old 5th September 2011, 01:05 PM   #13
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So that's why they axed the touchpad
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Old 5th September 2011, 01:07 PM   #14
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What they need is a reboot of their popular rpn scientific and financial calculators with the same high quality durable casing and tactile keys with new e-paper displays. Possibly upping the durability with new materials.
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Old 5th September 2011, 01:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
What they need is a reboot of their popular rpn scientific and financial calculators with the same high quality durable casing and tactile keys with new e-paper displays. Possibly upping the durability with new materials.
e-paper would be irritating slow wouldn't it?
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Old 5th September 2011, 01:24 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
e-paper would be irritating slow wouldn't it?
The smaller the screen, the faster it goes afaik. There are also algorithms for updating only a portion of the display, especially in the case of going from a blank area to a drawn area, as would be the case in number entry.
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Old 5th September 2011, 01:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
So that's why they axed the touchpad
HP is pulling out of personal computer production completely.
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Old 5th September 2011, 02:03 PM   #18
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I still have a working Brunsviga calculator, which I occasionally use to demonstrate the basic principles of arithmetic to my grandchildren and their friends.

I also have a collection of slide rules dating back to the 1950s Ė including circular ones. Most maths teachers of my acquaintance havenít a clue about their use, or even how and why they work. My argument is that the batteries donít go flat.

Bring back log tables!
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Old 5th September 2011, 03:57 PM   #19
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Anyone know when the 15c actually goes on sale?
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Old 5th September 2011, 04:30 PM   #20
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I hope it is better than the reissued HP12C. I've had nothing but problems with it - keys not working, sticking, etc.
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Old 5th September 2011, 11:17 PM   #21
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Yay!!!!

I love RPN!
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Old 6th September 2011, 12:56 AM   #22
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The first calculator I used was RPN (my Dad's Sinclair Scientific), and I find it difficult to use a 'normal' one. I also hankered after an HP calculator from seeing the ads in Scientific American (if I remember correctly). I eventually got a 32S celebrating HP's 50th anniversary in 1989; it lives in my desk drawer, and I do use it from time to time, and it's still on the original batteries.
Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
HP is pulling out of personal computer production completely.
They've said they are considering it.
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Old 6th September 2011, 03:32 AM   #23
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I see Zigurat beat me to the xkcd strip, but seriously, what the hell is the point? For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster. You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons. Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
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Old 6th September 2011, 04:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I see Zigurat beat me to the xkcd strip, but seriously, what the hell is the point? For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster. You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons. Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
Huh, so there is - RPNCalc on the Android market.

Still, people buy antique cars too
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Old 6th September 2011, 04:50 AM   #25
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I still got my HP-10C.

It's been without batteries for some 20 years (if not more), but I still haven't entirely gotten used to the workings of conventional calculators.
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Old 6th September 2011, 05:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I see Zigurat beat me to the xkcd strip, but seriously, what the hell is the point? For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster. You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons. Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
Ask Harley-Davidson.

Nostalgia sells.
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Old 6th September 2011, 05:39 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster.
.
No. The reissued HP-15C is priced at $100. I could get an Android for that price, but only by signing a contract to purchase an additional $1800 worth of telecom services ($50/mo for 36 months.)

Quote:
You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons.
Link, please.

Quote:
Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
Howie mentioned nostalgia. I say "hobby." I see people in my office spending thousands of dollars to sit in a noisy, cold arena and watch grown men bat a flat piece of rubber over an ice surface for three hours. It's called a "hockey game" and it's extremely popular in this part of the world. Other places have baseball and football. [snark]Bloody boring waste of time if you ask me.[/snark]

People are willing to spend money on things that interest them. Some of us are interested in technology. It's just as unfair to label those people as "stupid" as it is for me to label the ones who spend money to attend sporting events as "stupid."
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Old 6th September 2011, 07:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
The first calculator I used was RPN (my Dad's Sinclair Scientific), and I find it difficult to use a 'normal' one. I also hankered after an HP calculator from seeing the ads in Scientific American (if I remember correctly). I eventually got a 32S celebrating HP's 50th anniversary in 1989; it lives in my desk drawer, and I do use it from time to time, and it's still on the original batteries.


They've said they are considering it.

I built a Sinclair from the kit in "Practical Electronics Today".
Cost £16.95 at a time when an equivalent Casio was about £100.

Some years later , I succumbed to the allure of an HP41C in Salt Lake City. $413.00 ! But gosh, I had some fun with that.
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Old 6th September 2011, 07:46 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I see Zigurat beat me to the xkcd strip, but seriously, what the hell is the point? For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster. You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons. Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
I use my HP almost every day. I don't have, or want a smart phone. I like physical buttons. When I do use a smart phone, I spend half my time on the backspace button because I pressed the wrong virtual button. I've had the same batteries in my HP for I have no idea how long - maybe 5 years? When they run low I have weeks to replace them.
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:08 AM   #30
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Zooterkin-
http://myproffs.co.uk/index.php/news...top-making-pcs
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:17 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Paul W View Post
I also have a collection of slide rules dating back to the 1950s Ė including circular ones. Most maths teachers of my acquaintance havenít a clue about their use, or even how and why they work. My argument is that the batteries donít go flat.
I remember some scifi story where the ship's navigation computer died, so the crew had to do all the calculations by hand. They used abacuses, not slide rules, IIRC.
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:17 AM   #32
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I have still working 15C and 16C. Some of the best calculators HP ever made.

The 16C was the only calculator I know of that could be used for UNIVAC mainframes (which I worked on in the 80s). It can do 36 bit word, ones complement (actually, "word" size from 1 to 64 bit, one or twos complement). Most "programmer" calculators in the day were 32 bit, twos complement only.
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:25 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Paul W View Post
I also have a collection of slide rules dating back to the 1950s Ė including circular ones. Most maths teachers of my acquaintance havenít a clue about their use, or even how and why they work. My argument is that the batteries donít go flat.
Ah, good old slide rules... I used to have an Otis King Patent Calculator (a slide rule wrapped around a neat little cylinder). Still got the working HP67 I used in my first job (calculating skin-fold anthropometry measurements). The card reader doesn't, but I could fix it... maybe one day The HP67 was replaced by a Commodore PET, which was much more fun (Star Trek games, etc).
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
No. The reissued HP-15C is priced at $100. I could get an Android for that price, but only by signing a contract to purchase an additional $1800 worth of telecom services ($50/mo for 36 months.)
You are joking, right? I can buy an Android phone for less than £50 with no contract.

Quote:
Link, please.
The sad part here is that I don't even need to direct you here, since someone already linked one example over an hour before you posted.

Originally Posted by roger View Post
I use my HP almost every day. I don't have, or want a smart phone. I like physical buttons. When I do use a smart phone, I spend half my time on the backspace button because I pressed the wrong virtual button. I've had the same batteries in my HP for I have no idea how long - maybe 5 years? When they run low I have weeks to replace them.
True, battery life is one area calculators definitely have the advantage. I wouldn't consider it worth the ridiculous price though.

As for not wanting a smartphone, why not? As already noted, you can get one for half the price of the calculator, and you can get them with physical buttons. Surely it would make far more sense to just buy a phone, install a calculator app, then never use it for anything else? Not only would it be cheaper, but you'd also have a handy computer in pocket just in case you ever wanted something other than a calculator.

Or if you're absolutely hung up on not having something that could be mistaken for a phone, you can get something like this. Or if you want bigger keys you can get something like this (under £100, and probably under $100 if buy in the US. We tend to get ripped off over here), and can even get a cheap keyboard to plug into it.

Like I say, if you already have an old calculator I'm not saying you should immediately rush out and replace it. But there's just no reason to get excited over HP trying to rip you off by charging insane prices for something so utterly obsolete. If you're buying it out of nostalgia that's one thing (although still a massive rip off at that price), but buying it because you actually want a calculator is just crazy.
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Old 6th September 2011, 08:41 AM   #35
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I have an HP 50G
I too am an RPN acolyte.

When in university, a lot of my friends had managed to get HP 48G's. I like those so much that when the 49G+ arrived, I bought one within a week. Of course, a few years later it up-and-died for no reason whatsoever, and HP refused to do anything about it (apparently, a more-than-$300 calculator can only be reasonably expected to last 3 years). But for the sake of RPN, I went and bought an HP 50 (what the 49G+ should have been in the first place).
But I bought it used, because with such a limited lifespan I wasn't keen on spending more than $100. One of the rubber feet has come unglued and fallen off, now it rocks and clicks on my desk when I use it.
By comparison, my other calculator is a Sharp 2-line display 469 function scientific. That sucker has lasted me for more than 10 years now. And only one battery change.
And it came with a paper manual, that I could use! I hate the CD-rom manual and the cheap pleather cases HP has now. The 49's had a nice padded pocket case, and a real manual. No having to race to a computer to see what to do. Marketing moronics 101, there.

In short:

RPN is awesome.

Hewlett-Packard product quality and support?
Decidedly not-awesome.


So, while I'm sure the 15C was a nice unit in its day, I wouldn't recommend spending the money on what is going to be a low-quality reproduction of antiquated equipment. Source out an original, or do like I do and collect mechanical calculators. It seems Paul W shares that anachronistic hobby.
ETA: looks like a few others do, too. I am jealous of your Otis, dlorde.
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Old 6th September 2011, 09:10 AM   #36
dlorde
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Originally Posted by X View Post
... I am jealous of your Otis, dlorde.
Sadly it was 'borrowed' in the early '80s and never seen again
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Old 6th September 2011, 09:59 AM   #37
RussDill
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I see Zigurat beat me to the xkcd strip, but seriously, what the hell is the point? For the same price, you can get a phone that can do everything the calculator can, but much faster. You can even get an emulator app so that it is identical to the calculator is every respect other than the actual physical buttons. Why would anyone waste that much money on a completely worthless piece of obsolete technology? I can kind of see keeping an old one on the grounds that there's no reason to get rid of something that still works perfectly well, but buying a brand new one is just plain stupid.
Feel (Buttons, formfactor, weight) - Check
Durability - Check
Battery life - Check

A smart phone has none of these things.
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Old 6th September 2011, 10:03 AM   #38
RussDill
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Originally Posted by X View Post
I have an HP 50G
I too am an RPN acolyte.

When in university, a lot of my friends had managed to get HP 48G's. I like those so much that when the 49G+ arrived, I bought one within a week. Of course, a few years later it up-and-died for no reason whatsoever, and HP refused to do anything about it (apparently, a more-than-$300 calculator can only be reasonably expected to last 3 years). But for the sake of RPN, I went and bought an HP 50 (what the 49G+ should have been in the first place).
I hate to tell you this, but the 48g/gx was the end of the line as far as HP quality was concerned.
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Old 6th September 2011, 10:15 AM   #39
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You will have my 11C (still with original case) when you pry it out of my cold, dead, clammy hands.

And I have dibs on Mom's original 41C.
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Old 6th September 2011, 10:23 AM   #40
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Just sold my old HP 11c. It was a great calculator for my engineering classes. I hated to see it go unused so I sold it. Sold for exactly what my parents paid for it in 1985. Worked like a charm after all these years.
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