Skip to comments.[Vanity/Geek Humor and Otherwise] RPN Jokes?
Posted on 03/27/2014 6:18:30 PM PDT by re_nortex
My recent post (my other car is a cdr) brought forth the best of the high-functioning geeks that inhabit this here space. Since the thread veered off (as they always tend to do) into general computer language humor, mostly dealing with Lisp, I got to thinking about RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) and the Hewlett-Packard calculators that were popular in my post-college days working in IT around 1971 or so.
Are there other FReepers that still like RPN over infix notation for math? My trusty old H-P has long since departed (wish I still had it) but I've found RpCalc to be a nice tool when I want to have an RPN calculator in GUI form.
Using an RPN calculator means nobody will borrow your calculator a second time.
"Can I borrow your calculator?" "Sure." "Where's the equal sign?" "There isn't one. You put in the first number, press enter, put in the second number, and press the sign." "You do it."
I never could get the hang of RPN, even though it was supposed to be “faster” with fewer keystrokes.
Word of the day today was “infix”
TI vs. HP set the stage for a whole lot of other "Holy Wars" that followed in the dawn of the tech era: vi vs. emacs, big vs. little endian, BSD vs. AT&T Unix and more. Since I had Lisp programming language background, RPN came easier to me so I had to slow down and think a bit when I had to deal with the TI notation.
I’m glad I had no typo in my post, because if I did, I’d want to do a post-fix, and Free Republic doesn’t support that.
That brings back memories of circuits class! I can’t recall if I had the CV or the CX but i recall it cost me about $200 which was real money back then (1984).
I recall non engineers asking to borrow it and having similar conversations.
My 5 years elder brother and I were both engineering students. In 1971 he had a $400 HP with RPN. In 1976 I had a $79 TI with algebraic. Both could do the same calculations but worked differently. When did RPN leave the market? I never noticed it.
Geez, just the picture takes me back to college freshman year (1971). That calculator was ultimate status symbol....but was as powerful as today’s throw-away calculator.
Another word that I'm accustomed to in its computer language sense is Sigil. Because I'm one of these:
...I do a lot of "sigiling". :)
I have a vague memory of seeing ads for HP calculators that let you choose infix or RPN. But once I was actually a professional and had the coolness of an actual computer at my fingertips with a real live 24x80 screen and QWERTY keyboard, I never looked back. My old calculators just gathered dust and battery leaks, never to glow their numerals again.
This article from 2007, implies that HP was going to release a handheld, A New HP Calculator for RPN Nerds, but, alas, the link it points to is dead.
Can today’s cheap throwaway calculators solve simultaneous equations?
As of 2011, Hewlett-Packard is producing the calculator models 12C, 12C Platinum, 17BII, 20B (financial), 30B (business), 33S, 35S, 48GII and 50G (scientific) which support RPN.
When I last used a programmable they were getting enough steps to be able to program the math for such a thing. Maybe by 2020 there will be Linux on $5/$10 machines with QWERTY and some crude color graphics. If the whole world hasn’t gone to hell that is.
50G has “The choice of efficient RPN, Textbook or Algebraic data entry”
I don’t know where they actually put the = sign.
Big hp/rpn fan here.
I had the 41cx, an 11c, and a 15c, then later the 48g & 49g. Loved them all.
Now I’m running the free apps go41c and droid48 as my favorite calculators on my motorola moto x.
No joke, but I use an RPN calculator every day. I have an HP calculator emulator loaded on every computer I own, including my iPhone. My 22-year old HP48SX works just fine, too.
I had one 30+ years ago. I suppose it ended up in the abyss of the kitchen junk drawer, or was lost in a move, but I sure miss it. I would spend extra time with it just for fun. :-]
Something to do with being at one with the “thought” process. I don’t know why it was called “reverse entry” because it’s the annoying equal sign that’s a$$ backwards, heh. That equal sign has been a pet peeve ever since.
I don’t use a calculator enough to justify tracking down a RPN calculator, but my old friend comes to mind whenever I open the primitive calculator on the computer.
2 + 2 = 2 ENTER 2 +
It just has more substance and meaning that way, lol. I’m sure you understand.
Thanks for trip down Memory Lane!
But then there's also one that has 4 bids and is at $10.
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