How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

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catdude
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How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by catdude » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:36 am

I wonder if y'all can satisfy my curiosity. Awhile back I heard somewhere (it may have been on Bogleheads, it may have been elsewhere) that it's fairly common for people to have, and to use, their HP-12C financial calculator for decades. Pretty remarkable given the planned obsolescence of consumer products in our economy. I had mine for about 30 years, which I thought was fairly unusual ... I bought it in the mid-80's, when I was taking accounting classes, and kept it until a few years ago, after I had retired. It could've kept going quite a bit longer, but I decided to replace with the 12C Platinum (which is notably faster).

Anybody want to chime in on how long they've had their 12C?
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Valuethinker
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:40 am

catdude wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:36 am
I wonder if y'all can satisfy my curiosity. Awhile back I heard somewhere (it may have been on Bogleheads, it may have been elsewhere) that it's fairly common for people to have, and to use, their HP-12C financial calculator for decades. Pretty remarkable given the planned obsolescence of consumer products in our economy. I had mine for about 30 years, which I thought was fairly unusual ... I bought it in the mid-80's, when I was taking accounting classes, and kept it until a few years ago, after I had retired. It could've kept going quite a bit longer, but I decided to replace with the 12C Platinum (which is notably faster).

Anybody want to chime in on how long they've had their 12C?
At least 28 years although I have had about 3 in that time.

When my father was about 73, I gave him a replacement to his HP Financial (even older) whose powerpack was dead. He was "dead chuffed" as we say in England ;-).

There's an ap which simulates it on the ipad. In fact there is an Android version as well ;-).

Chip
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Chip » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:47 am

I think about 33 years, though I lost one and had to replace it. I still use it daily.

chknlips
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by chknlips » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:01 am

My HP-11C is at least 30 years old.... I use it regularly. Don't forget to change out the batteries every other year of so to prevent corrosion.

They certainly made durable calculators back then!

ShowMeTheER
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by ShowMeTheER » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:27 am

16 yrs

RickBoglehead
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:58 am

40 years or so.

mw1739
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by mw1739 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:18 am

Mine is relatively new at 11 years. I thought I had lost mine so I bought a Platinum edition, but then I found it so now I have one for the office and one for home.

Retired2013
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Retired2013 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:23 am

33 years and still use it daily.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by treypar » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:26 am

I have two HP 12c's for over 30 years and still use them daily.

2 bits
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by 2 bits » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:33 am

33 years +/-.
I also inherited one during that time which was likely older. It seems that was the one whose display failed.
Still use it occasionally.
Think I will change the batteries this week.
I sometimes think that I am living the life of which my immigrant ancestors dreamed.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:34 am

25 years and I still use it daily.
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Bengineer
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Bengineer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:49 am

I've hat its relative, the HP-15C for 36 years or so. Still going strong. What great calculators they are! Thanks for the "check the batteries" note up-thread. Still good after maybe 10 years, no corrosion.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by bpp » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:53 am

Never had an HP-12C, but I wish I still had my HP-11C, bought in the early '80s. Would still be using today it had I not lost it some time in the '90s.

ubermax
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by ubermax » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:06 am

I've had two with the first purchased probably mid 80's when calculators were allowed on the actuarial exams - the first one had "made in USA" stamped on it and at some point didn't respond to new batteries - instead of trying to get it repaired I bought another which I still have , it's stamped with "Brazil" - it's been a great calculator and I may spring for that Platinum edition, it sounds pretty good .
Last edited by ubermax on Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

abner kravitz
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:08 am

I've had mine since 1985. I also have a mock 12C on my i-phone, which I use much more frequently. It looks and works just like the real thing (at least for the calculations I use) - I think it cost around $10 a few years back.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:19 am

I was issued my 12c by my second full time employer in 1981. I’m sure it was not new at the time - I inherited it from someone who had left the department. They let me keep the calculator when I got RIFEd in the mid 1999s. I still use it regularly as my only calculator. So it is 37+ years old.
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ArcticMike
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by ArcticMike » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:25 am

On a related note: I've been using my HP 200LX 'Pocket PC' for 30 years as well. The keys are very durable and similar to the HP 12C. It runs DOS, has an adequate display and functions perfectly as a calculator and small database device. Great unit for use on my desk.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by 22twain » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:29 am

chknlips wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:01 am
My HP-11C is at least 30 years old.... I use it regularly.
Same here. I also have an app that simulates it on my iPhone, but I prefer the real thing when I'm at my desk where I keep it. I have to be more careful using the app because the touchscreen buttons are closer together and don't give any tactile feedback.

Two of the four rubber pads/feet have fallen off, but it still works fine.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

stan1
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by stan1 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:33 am

Also about 33 years for my 11C I think. I expect it will last the rest of my life.

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CyberBob
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by CyberBob » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:35 am

I've had an HP-11C since 1983, so 35 years.
Still works like it did day one. Built like a tank.
RPN FTW!
Last edited by CyberBob on Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

tim1999
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:36 am

Never had one. I don't do any tasks that necessitate having one.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Boglegrappler » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:49 am

I've had mine since they were introduced. Online sources say that was 1981, although I have an inclination to think it might have been a bit earlier. My memory isn't that precise.

They were fantastic at the time because the battery life was very, very long, they did all the present value and discounting that you needed to do discounted cash flows and bond valuations, and they fit in your shirt pocket without much bulk.

I don't use mine as much anymore, but its' still on my desk.

badger42
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by badger42 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:53 am

I kept mine for about 10yr then gave it to my dad as a backup for his 11C. I just use a RPN calculator app or, for larger data sets, a spreadsheet.

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Ged
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Ged » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:00 am

I have a collection of HP calculators of which the oldest one is an HP 41C. It was built in 1980.

The 41C was used on early Space Shuttle flights as a supplement to the onboard flight computers that were short on capacity for certain work. It still works, although I've had to have the battery pack rebuilt.

The testing that went into these classic HP's was absolutely fanatical. Many are known to have perfect software - no bugs or errors. The human factors design is the best I have ever seen for an electronic product.

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hand
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by hand » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:03 am

About a decade... my boss in my first real financial job had one and opened my eyes to its wonders as both a tool and a signalling device (all the cool kids had one!)

Also guarded jealously - my copy of "An Easy Course in Using the HP 12C and Other HP Financial Calculators" which is an incredible instruction manual written (and illustrated) by people who obviously both understood the calculator and cared deeply. Sadly, not something I could imagine being written in today's world of disposable electronics and frequent software updates.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Bnjneer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:42 am

I have an HP41CV and HP41CX. They are both over 30 years old and I use them at work and home for engineering work. During this same time, my coworkers have had to replace their calculators many times in the same span of time. The early HP's were and are the best.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by tacster » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:49 am

No 12C, but I still have and use the 15C that got me through engineering school over 30 years ago. I like it so much that I also bought the app emulator for my Android phone.
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Abe » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:55 am

I use the Texas Instrument BAll Plus (Business Analyst ll Plus). It's more user friendly than the HP-12c. I started using financial calculators years ago when I was buying mortgages at discount. You can still buy them at Walmart for about $30. One of the best investments I ever made. It's not only good for discounting mortgages, but also all kinds of time value of money calculations.

edit to add: Hewlitt Packard also makes the HP 10bII Plus Financial Calculator that sells for around $30 or $35. I understand it is also more user friendly than the HP-12c.
Last edited by Abe on Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by montanagirl » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:00 pm

Never had one but sure miss my TI ba-35. The last one I bought wss larger in a stupid way (flare at the top) and not as reliable.

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Hayden
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Hayden » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:09 pm

30 years. I was so sad when it died.

doug1022
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by doug1022 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:11 pm

20 years and still use it daily

ubermax
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by ubermax » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:12 pm

Boglegrappler wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:49 am
I've had mine since they were introduced. Online sources say that was 1981, although I have an inclination to think it might have been a bit earlier. My memory isn't that precise.
1981 is about right and they cost over $200 at the time as I recall .

lhl12
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by lhl12 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:14 pm

I have used one for going on thirty years. However I had to buy a new one recently and I find the build quality noticeably inferior. The rubber pads have come off, certain keys won't "fire" unless pressed in exactly the right way, and I have had issues with the display. My recent purchase was made in China, though I don't know when that shift in manufacturing occurred.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by bogglizer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:16 pm

29 years for the 15C. I had a 41C when they came out, along with every single accessory, but got rid of it at some point. No idea how long I've had the 12C. Also use the 15C iPhone app. They were going to restart production of the 15C a few years ago, but I don't think anything every came of it.

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Abe
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Abe » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:17 pm

montanagirl wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:00 pm
Never had one but sure miss my TI ba-35. The last one I bought wss larger in a stupid way (flare at the top) and not as reliable.
You can get the Texas Instrument BAll Plus (Business Analyst ll Plus) at Walmart for about $30. I believe it's very similar to the BA-35
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by RadAudit » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:18 pm

At least 30 years.
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wmackey
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by wmackey » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:21 pm

I've only had my 12c's (yes, plural) for about five years. However, My 11c (Scientific) goes back to ~1985. It was my second 11c. HP replaced the first one free of charge after it was destroyed in an EMP blast.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Celtic » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:45 pm

First 12c lasted about 20 years. Used daily. Keyboard died and I replaced it (this was about two years ago). Sadly the keyboard on the replacement has already died. When I get a chance I will buy a replacement. In the interim I use PCalc on my iPhone (in RPN of course!)

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by beyou » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:14 pm

I have TWO of them, not sure when I got them, but decades ago. I would guess they are 25 and 30 years old respectively.
Both work great except having to replace those darn batteries once every few years ;-)

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by catdude » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:54 pm

Abe wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:55 am
Hewlitt Packard also makes the HP 10bII Plus Financial Calculator that sells for around $30 or $35. I understand it is also more user friendly than the HP-12c.
I recall giving the 10bII plus a tryout many years ago. I didn't care for it, mainly because it didn't have RPN. Once you get comfortable with RPN it's hard to use a basic arithmetical calculator. After a week or so, I went back to my trusty 12C...
catdude | | All generalizations are false, including this one.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Chip » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:05 pm

catdude wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:54 pm
Once you get comfortable with RPN it's hard to use a basic arithmetical calculator. After a week or so, I went back to my trusty 12C...
Another nice feature of RPN is that it makes your calculator less likely to "walk away". I take two calculators to my Tax-Aide volunteer gig -- the HP-12C for me and a "regular" calculator for my clients. Anyone who tries to use the 12C gives up fairly quickly and hands it back to me, lessening the chance it might go out the door.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by mariezzz » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:36 pm

ubermax wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:12 pm
Boglegrappler wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:49 am
I've had mine since they were introduced. Online sources say that was 1981, although I have an inclination to think it might have been a bit earlier. My memory isn't that precise.
1981 is about right and they cost over $200 at the time as I recall .
Back in the days when HP and other companies made products that last. $200 in 1980 would be about $625 today - but you also need to factor in that it was cutting-edge technology in 1980 (and that slide rules were only starting to be phased out).

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dm200
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:39 pm

Can get app that does the same thing

https://download.cnet.com/HP-12c-Financ ... 68179.html

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:06 pm

Using a minor academic monetary award I bought a factory reconditioned 11C. It's still going strong after 35 years. Actually the award was $100, which to me wasn't minor at the time, but was small enough it wouldn't materially affect my student debt.

It does have a minor dent in the metal part around the display, and one key is imperfectly inscribed - just a little bit of the character missing at the bottom.

Not long after I bought it I took a 3-week 3-semester hour intensive business statistics course during winter break. The formulas were easy for me, but I probably also saved around 20% of final exam time not having to write down intermediate values or place them into memory. The push-up stack makes that automatic, which meant I was able to calculate every answer twice.

Calculate twice, pass once.

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squirm
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by squirm » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:13 pm

I studied with a hp 48g, I still have the calculator but use the virtual version on my phone.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by rkhusky » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:21 pm

Still use my 15c.

GibsonL6s
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by GibsonL6s » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:26 pm

My dad (RIP) gave me a 12c when I was going off to college in 1981 to study finance. The manual has a car loan example at 14% interest lol

I still use it and hope to pass it on to one of my sons

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by Boglegrappler » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:34 pm

1981 is about right and they cost over $200 at the time as I recall .
My recollection is that that cost around $90 from the discounters. We wanted to get one for all our associates and called down to purchasing and they quoted a price that was half again as much as what we'd seen advertised in the NY Times, and said it would take a month to get them. Our leader, who was a close associate of our CEO said "maybe if we bought from the places that didn't provide free concert and sports tickets we could get a better deal", and pointed out the advertised prices. Added: just wasted some time looking at the NY Times time machine and found ads from November 1982 showing them at about $110, and saying that they were a new model.

In any case, they were great machines. The utility of the "stack" and memory was quite high in the days before the PC had arrived.

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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by zxllxz » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:45 pm

I've had and used daily my HP 10C since it was released in 1981. It replaced my HP 32E (LED) which was a battery hog.

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MastersChampion
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Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Post by MastersChampion » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:18 pm

My 11C is 34 years old and works perfectly.
I can remember being a poor EE student about to purchase it thinking "boy I hope this thing is worth the money."

I NEVER imagined I'd be appreciating it some 3 decades later! I just wish I could have afforded the 15C.

BTW, I'm surprised by how much my kids don't want anything to do with understanding what RPN is.

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