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Re: Very Best Calculator

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On 7/25/97 Valerie wrote:
>When my 41CV died for the last time, (I had it fixed twice before), I
>replaced it with a HP32SII...It has been the rugged, reliable calculator I
needed. 
>Those folding ones make me leery. 

Right on, Valerie. I like my HP32SII fine, and laugh at my son's "fold-up".
But surely the best calculator is still the HP11C?

The HP11C came out in the early 80s. That was the pinnacle of calculator
design. It's flat, black, turned sideways so the display can be big and
clear and so there are only 4 rows of widely spaced keys. There are enough
programming steps and memory registers to load in some beam design formulas,
and the batteries are cheap.

You can find "pi" quickly (yellow function,in the middle, at the top) and
"Rectangular to Polar" (for right triangles - it's the blue function, middle
key, second row). It couldn't be arranged any better for arithmetic, and
what's a calculator for, if not for arithmetic?

Of course the programming is limited, compared with the 32 and 48, but what
are computers for? The computer's on every engineer's desk these days, and
programming's a lot easier there than on a calculator.

I just turn to the computer to do a quick spreadsheet, or pop up MathCad to
do anything intellectual.

The HP11C is just a beautiful machine. The perfect calculator. I dread the
day mine wears out, 'cause they've been out of the stores for years.

I can also tell you what the best slide rule was, if anyone's interested...