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HP-16C is the only HP calculator for programmers. However, some calculators, such as the HP-42S, has incorporated its functions.

The company SwissMicros (aka RPN-Calc) has released clones of the HP Voyager series.

My questions are:

Have any Lainon been hepled in their programming by using a HP-16C or any other HP calculator?

Has any other companies released calculators for programmers?


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What is a "calculator for programmers"? I use my TI-36X Pro for everything.


>What is a "calculator for programmers"?
A calculator that's especially suited for programmers:


> Numbers and Bases

>The HP-16C could display numbers in Hexadecimal, Decimal, Octal and Binary formats using a standard 7 segment display. The hex digits displayed as AbCdE with the "b" and "d" in lower case so they could be distinguished from "8" and "0". Because some bases (especially binary) could result in very long numbers, a windowable display was provided along with an indication of more digits to the right and/or left. The display could be shifted a digit or a window at a time.

>Configurable emulation

>Rather than being content to just do basic binary math, HP designed the calculator to be configurable to match the computer the user was currently working with. The word size could be set to anywhere from 1 to 64 bits. And the calculator could be set to perform unsigned, 1's or 2's complement math. Once set, the HP-16C would do math like the user's computer, including setting the overflow and carry flags.

>The HP-16C also provided floating point math. Two conversion algorithms were supplied to convert between the HP-16C floating point format and the (then proposed) IEEE format.

Seems pretty useful.


honestly I don't know why TI is still making new models, they already perfected the calculator with the TI-84


I very much enjoy my HP-48SX.


The Saturn architecture is very interesting:


I don't know... a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop can do all of this and more.

If I'd need these to help me while programming, it means I'm at a computer already. I can just fire up a python or racket prompt and do my calculations.

These were made for a time when computing was expensive and you needed to launch batch jobs to make a computer do calculations, so it made sense having a reduced computer on your desk or in your pocket. Nowadays? Not so much IMHO. But kudos for the nostalgia value.


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Wouldn't a programmer simply write a calculator program suited to their purposes?


i use ipython



Good points, little grasshoppers! But what if you need some independent way to verify that your computer is right? Never forget the Pentium FDIV bug.

And a smart phone has to be booted. And has plenty of distractions. But not a calculator. B-)


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If you want a calculator for programmers Sharp is a better brand. I recently bought one of these. They are programmable in BASIC and have 4K ram.




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>Unicode on a calculator.
Those poor engineers.


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Why is that bad?

And consider this, dear thread. The HP-12C financial calculator was released in 1981. It is still the business standard. In 2003 the platinum edition was released. They also released HP-17Bii+.

I'd love to have a HP-12C original edition. I will probably get the HP-16C too. Because I really love calculators. Portable, reliable, long battery life, quick and demanding. The opposite of a "smart" phone. The perfect tool for making mathematical inquiries. The perfect tool for the programmer.


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Damn that looks pretty cool, but seems kinda tedious to do anything beyond the most basic functions.
My dads got that one, somethin went wrong with it last year so he had to get the platinum edition, he said it felt a lot cheaper.

I got this one when i started college.i like it, some buttons are kinda annoying though. Its slow when inputing numbers so it wont recognize the first digit of a number sometimes. Ive barely scratched the surface on what it can do though.


Sweet machine you got! I've got the 20s. Learned yesterday that it's programmable. Lainon to the challenge!

The 12C "1981" are still sold. So you may buy one for your dad as a christmas gift. (However, it may make the platinum be sad.)


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There's plenty of 16C on eBay. Also the old, good 3-battery 12C.

But I'm considering getting this baby as a birthday gift to myself. It got a SD-card reader. I will probably be able to both use it as an aid during programming and for financial calculations.


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>No base 12


Why would you use anything but 2^n bases, besides base 10?



nigga, thats only for mental arithmetic


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π is 1 in baseπ


How would a non-integral base work though?


I have one of these. It's insanely powerful. Two 700-ish page manuals cover most of its features. Very fast. Can work on stupid-huge numbers (2^512, anyone?). Has convenient directory system for managing variables, notes, data, and programs from different problems and projects.

It does kill batteries while turned off (keeping the RTC and clock alive), but man, what a machine. And for only 60 USD.


Nah, they've made some nice improvements. I have a TI-nspire CX CAS. The higher-dpi color display aids greatly in graph visibility and the CAS is really nice to have. It's really not that much more expensive and even with the upgraded display still gets weeks of battery life, so I'm glad I opted for it when my 84 died.

Graphing calculators are nicer than smartphones because they tend to include good, integrated software, so you don't need to worry about tracking down a decent CAS or graphing utility. Also, they have physical buttons. However, there is not a single application for a graphing calculator that I can think of where I wouldn't rather just be using Mathematica or Maple on a real computer with a full keyboard. Here, graphing calculators have the benefit of portability. But they're not as portable as phones.

Basically, dedicated calculators these days fill a very small niche where you need something smaller/more portable than a laptop, but for some reason you can't or don't want to use a smart phone.


Any good calculators using a language better than BASIC? I saw a Python one, but it was overpriced and had a tonne of soykaf I don't want, and probably has a soykaf battery life.


I have an HP 48SX.

It uses RPL, which is like a Forth, but with some Lisp features like GC.


Kyoot! :3 <3

Do you use it for debugging while programming?

And the HP Prime seems delicious. Too bad that it A) has no SD slot B) seems to be lacking in the RPN department.

Whatever. I guess that an HP-16C will do.


I haven't really used it all that much.

I should really start though.


I really need the manual for mine, but I'm not sure I feel like paying to have a flash disk shipped to my house.

Has anyone here already bought this: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cd/cddesc.htm

If not, I may buy it and make my copy available here.



Dat solar charge panel tho


corporate mandates


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I bought recently a Casio FX-991ms (pic related). It's great for programming, as it can calculate on base 2, 8 and 16 (besides 10) and supports the usual logic operations. Plus it can do defined derivatives and integrals, solve equations, matrices/vector operations and complex numbers.

I also have an HP-50g, but its power hungriness make me prefer taking the Casio with me.


What's your model? Maybe we can find the .pdf for free somewhere on the wired.


I had already looked around for that.

I managed to find the manuals for sale cheap and just bought that.


I own a Tandy PC-8. I don't really do anything with it though...


Calculators are pretty much embedded computers you can program however you like. Write an OS (in assembly, or whatever language you have a compiler for), or write applications to run on top of the pre-existing OS.

>TI series

TI-83/84, Z80-based, huge community. There's the standard BASIC games and whatever, but the fun comes in with operating systems like KnightOS

TI-89/Voyage 200, m68k-based, also a large following. Faster hardware, more memory. The 89 also has a computer algebra system, so it's pretty useful if you don't have a computer readily available.

TI Nspire, ARM-based. Someone got Linux to run on their nspires. Neat stuff.

Just get a programming cable, and have fun. The TI series are the easiest to get into.


HP has a line of RPN (keystroke and/or saved-program) programmable calculators. The only ones still in production are the 33s and 35s, but many users dislike them for a variety of reasons.

If you want to homebrew an RPN calculator, buy the HP 30b, and flash the WP34s firmware onto it. All you need is an FTDI/CP2102 USB-serial converter that you can find on ebay for like $2. ARM processor, Free toolchain (arm-none-eabi-gcc), open source firmware.

I'm not a fan of RPN on a calculator, but I use orpie on my laptop on a day-to-day basis.

HP also sells graphing calculators like the 83/84, and with computer algebra systems like the 89/Nspire. Theses are the 48/49/50/prime series, but I have no experience with these.


Not really large in the homebrew community. Classpads are their 89/Nspire/50g competitor. 9860s are their 83/84 competitor. The 9860 has faster hardware than the 83/84-series (god bless SuperH), but the community is lacking in documentation and accessible programming hardware.


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Not a programming calculator but there wasn't programmers in 1912.

So far I've learned the trick of subtracting and multiplying, but dividing is a whole different thing...


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I've still got one of these from my childhood. Good times.


84+'s TI-BASIC is very haphazard and poorly designed / implemented, the entire OS is terribly optimised, thrown together like it was written by a series of college interns with no oversight, and its processing power is sorely lacking, a z80 running at either 6 or 15mhz (or ez80 in the new CE models, with a slight improvement, but they have to deal with full-colour screens in software, so...).

of course, these are issues that TI never bothers to address (the nspire's OS is so poorly written that, even though it's running on ARM, it's still beaten by the z80 models on some accounts.

the best model they've produced was the 89-Titanium, running on a motorola 68k, but they've basically phased it out recently.

the world of calculators has no hope for moving forward, honestly


Are there any deep tests of calculators? :3

Also, it would be nice to create the calculator I want. Why not let it have functions for rational trigonometry too?


Cute! What language does it support? Can you write something for us, please?


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Yesterday I got myself an HP-48G from a pawn shop. I've been learning how to use it and I must say, it's pretty neat.
Modern abaci sure are dank



ptpython you heretic


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Standalone calculators suck, hard. So hard they are become unusable after you try something better.
The best calculator I've had in my life was an HTC Wizard running Windows Mobile 6.0 and this: http://en.smath.info/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=1120
You can find a PDA with WM 6 for, like, 50$ or so and it will simply destroy any piece of overpriced dedicated hardware.



PDAs are cool. But how long time does it take to start up? And operate? ;-)


Windows mobile was painful to use but you could mod it. Even Apple copied some ideas from some paid gui for iphone 2G. BTW I think the matplotlib or maple on a subnotebook would be more sane decision in 2016.


I used to use a TI-89 Titanium, but it got lost/stolen, so I've been thinking of picking up one of the snazzy new TI-Nspire calculators. It's actually pretty convenient to have a physical calculator nearby when programming so you can double-check your work and flesh-out/test your modelling without having to write an entire test suite.


I have an HP 48G, HP 50g, Elektronika MK 61, and TI 84 PLUS CE. I use them in about the order they're listed, with my 48G being the most precious to me because of its excellent battery life and because I'm much more familiar with the 48 series than the 50 series, partly because the 50 series has no printed documentation, which is an unfortunate sign of decline.

The TI calculators are slow and BASIC is rather terrible. The Elektronika machine seems to be slightly inaccurate, with 2 taken to the power of 3 returning 7.9999993 instead of 8, after 3 or 4 seconds. I'm not certain if this is simply a peculiarity of my particular model or something all of the machines experienced. I doubt I'm operating the machine incorrectly. It's still an interesting device to own, regardless. Elektronika generally is. It's programmable, with around 100 steps or so from what I recall, but I've done much of nothing with this functionality lately. There's actually complex games for the device. Russian engineering never stops amusing. The HPs are, of course, the best and most capable of the lot, with nice battery lives and more features than I'll ever use for practical reasons.

It's a shame that RPL doesn't offer any metaprogramming capabilities, but machine code amends this. All of the machines are programmable in their respective machine codes, which are all documented well.


i unironically use the scheme repl whenever i need to do calculations


So what's the trick?


Interesting to note that later model, Elektronica 85C, had encryption capabilities and was used by police and banks. Interesting application for this type of hardware.


I use an HP 35s. Not as nice to look at as the 16C but the buttons feel good and it has a lot of useful features. I don't use much of the "scientific" stuff. Generally I do base conversions for networking or maybe some trig if I'm doing radio things.

I use it the most for very pedestrian things like when I'm calculating my bills or playing a tabletop game with friends. I have it because I prefer RPN to other algebraic notiation.

If I use my computer instead, I use dc (1) or whatever REPL I happen to have open.


I have an old TI-Programmer that's older than me.