I like to think of myself as fairly normal but there are things that happen that remind me I’m an enginerd. It’s a sad day. Sigh. Time to lay to rest my Hewlett Packard 32s RPN scientific calculator. I have come to this sad realization over the last few months as use of the 5, 8 & 9 buttons has become intermittent and it’s spreading to the 3. My dad bought me this calculator when I was in 9th grade. It’s seen me through high school, college, and 10 years of work – 18 years of solid service and I only had to change the batteries twice. It’s like letting go of my security blanket. I’m only letting go because it’s gotten so bad and it’s with much reluctance that I lay it down.
After a little search, I found HP makes a shiny new 33s model that’s an RPN scientific calculator (I’ve been using RPN for 18 years, I can’t go back to a regular calculator). It’ll take some getting use to, but hopefully it will provide just as faithful service as my 32s. I’m still going to mourn its passing so healing can begin.
For you non-enginerds, RPN stands for Reverse Polish Notation. You enter numbers and functions in a different order which makes long strings & intermediate functions a lot easier than a standard calculator. As your eyes are now glazing over, I’ll end the explanation there.