I've been on the prowl for an HP-16c for quite some time to add to my rather large calculator collection. My daily driver for the last 25 years is an HP-32SII. Simple, rugged, reliable, and does everything I need it to do.
I stumbled on a kit that runs an emulated HP-16c and took the plunge. It was about 1/4 of the price of even the cheapest original devices on eBay and with an aluminum frame, it looked worth a try. Plus, there's something cool about assembling things yourself.
If I'm being honest, about 90% of the time, I'm on PCalc on my iPhone when I need a calculator.
But there's value in a device made to do only one thing. Also, it's fun. I don't have to explain my art to you Warren!
It does a lot of programming things and not a whole lot else
It was really the only mainstream calculator targeted at programmers, and it is loved for its one-button base conversion. Vintage Assembly programmers (like yours truly) to a lot of
While it does almost everything an Assembly programmer needs, it curiously lacks ANY scientific functions other than square root and 1/x. This is fine, and I know that cramming functions onto 1982 hardware was quite a task.
Luckily it has a reasonably robust programming environment. So let's write a quick program to do exponents. I happen to do yx quite a bit and it would be nice to have on this thing.
I wrote this out on paper but keeping with my trend of sparing you from deciphering my handwriting...
Enter the programming mode with
P/R and you probably want to clear the program area.
To use this remember we're doing yx:
- 2 Enter
- GSB E
That's it. Pretty easy right? Give it a try.