By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
I smiled widely when I saw the Wall Street Journal’s article about the HP 12c financial calculator turning 30 this year. I smiled because I still have this calculator and yes, it still works! My father purchased it in the 1980s and I have kept it long after his 2001 passing. I also smiled because of the “hello” message (pictured here in this article) that took me down memory lane to my childhood when I used to practice spelling out words such as this whenever the calculator was not in use by my father. Of course this calculator was designed for more serious business but try telling that to an 8-or-9-year-old!
Sales of the very first HP 12c’s began in 1981, is still a handy tool for financial analysts and business professionals worldwide, and is still HP’s best-selling calculator of all-time. The current price for this classic calculator is $78 from HP’s website, so it’s no wonder why HP users value it beyond it’s obvious super duper capabilities such as, “It runs on an unconventional operating system called “Reverse Polish Notation,” which eschews parentheses and equal signs in an effort to run long calculations more efficiently”. Standard calculators cost approximately $10 and even HP’s rival, Texas Instruments’ BA II Plus- which is the only calculator that test-takers are allowed to take during the CFA exam, is a mere $28.
What is amazing is that my calculator is between 20 and 30 years old, and since 2001 I have not had to change the batteries once- so I can only imagine how few times if ever my father had to change it. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I still had and used this calculator 30 to 40 years from now?
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Rights Reserved.