RCL 40

edited June 2020 in General

At the 13-Jun-20 virtual meeting Mark Power suggested that we think about producing an update to the book "RCL 20" (https://www.amazon.co.uk/RCL-20-People-Dreams-Calculators/dp/0951073338) with a new verson, tentatively titled "RCL 40" as it will soon be 20 years since the first.

I think this is a good idea and have started this thread for people to suggest topics they think should be included.

A quick brainstorm on the call came up with:

  • simluators and emulators - probably the first major 'thing' since RCL-20
  • repairs - the history / background to the various replacement circuits and kits now available
  • the SwissMicros story

and I'm sure there are many more, which is where this thread comes in.

Lastly - and this is my personal opinion so feel free to challenge - I think a strength of 'RCL 20' was that each chapter was the work of a single person. So I suggest that the above topics would be best written by a key individual (either directly or through being interviewed) rather than a group of contributors - otherwise it might end up a Wiki rather than a book.


  • Good ideas!

    Smartphones are new in 20 years, so emulators will also include apps. Free42 seems to me a milestone. Eric Smith's nonpariel and the extraction or recreation of calculator microcode is in the window too, I think.

    The embedded emulators by Chris Chung are notable. There are doubtless other hobby-quality builds and kits, as the prices of PCBs and microcontrollers have fallen and there's so much open-source tooling, so the barriers have lowered hugely in 20 years.

    The Prime deserves a chapter!

    The HP-15C Limited Edition is notable: there was a campaign, it happened, there were difficulties, there was negative commentary, and it will probably never happen again.

    The WP34S and other repurposing projects are notable! The HP-30b family is probably worth a story too: we've seen much deeper into the team and the workings of HP the company. We've learned that code has been lost, and we've seen the issue of calculators which are emulators and calculators which are re-implementations. Some calculators have been relatively open, others not.

    Perhaps the story of the DVD collection is worth telling too, in RCL-40?

  • EdSEdS
    edited June 2020

    Here's a timeline of HP calculator introductions - quite a few since 2002, although we already had scientific, business, and graphical categories, so I'm not sure what we can point out as being new. Perhaps the high-performance ARM machines are new in this period? So a review of performance might be of interest. Perhaps memory and program capacity has also increased a lot?

    hp30b - HP Calculator Financial : 2009

    hp20b - HP Calculator Financial : 2008

    hp35s - HP Calculator Scientific : 2007

    hp10s - HP Calculator Scientific : 2007

    hp50g - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2006

    hp39gs - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2006

    hp40gs - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2006

    hp8s - HP Calculator Scientific Calculator : 2005

    hp39G+ - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2004

    hp33S - HP Calculator Scientific Calculator : 2004

    hp48GII - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2003

    hp49G+ - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2003

    hp17BII+ - HP Calculator Financial Calculator : 2003

    hp12CP - HP Calculator Financial Calculator : 2003

    hp9S - HP Calculator Scientific Calculator : 2003

    hp9G - HP Calculator Graphing Calculator : 2003

  • I think having an history on these peoples and on what they have done would be great:

    Ángel Martin - HP-41 - machine code guru

    Monte Dalrymple - HP-41 - NEWT & 41CL

    Diego Diaz - HP-41 - Clonix & NoV modules

    Hans Brueggemann - HP-71 - FRAM71 & FRAM71B

    Bernhard Emese, Tony Nixon & Harald Pott - HP LED calculators - hardware/software simulators

    Michael Steinmann & David ? - SwissMicros - DM Calculators

    Geoff Quickfall - Unpublished HP Repair Guide - Great story teller

    Eric Rechlin -  hpcalc.org - HP Archivist

    Eric Smith - Nonpareil simulator

    Jean-François Garnier - HP Calculators & HP-IL Simulator, PIL Box

    Christoph Gießelink - HP Calculators & HP-IL Simulator


  • Thanks Sylvain. I have most (not not quite all) of these and you have allowed me to fill in some names that I didn't know.

    Draft contents will appear sometime in the near future.


  • I sought, and received, some input in this thread:

  • As well as the machines listed above (up to 2009), there are also these which I think come after 2009 and that are still available in the UK from https://www.calculatorsdirect.co.uk/ProductList.aspx?make=26&title=make :

    • HP10bII+
    • HP10s+
    • EasyCalc 100
    • OfficeCalc 100
    • SmartCalc 300s
    • HP39gII - HP Graphing Calculator
    • HP Prime G1 & G2 - HP Colour Touchscreen Graphic Calculator

    That site also still has the HP82240B Infrared Printer available at a reasonable price.

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