||The 9100A was the world's
first programmable scientific desktop calculator.
Really a desktop computer, the 9100A combined Reverse Polish Notation
(RPN)a system for representing mathematical expressions without
the use of parentheseswith a special algorithm that could
handle trigonometric and logarithmic functions. HP
sold the 9100A as a calculator because at the time the perception
was that a computer had to be big to be credible. Bill Hewlett said
"If we had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by
our customers' computer gurus because it didn't look like an IBM.
We, therefore, decided to call it a calculator and all such nonsense
The 9100A is now recognized throughout the industry as the first
desktop computer. In December 2000, Wired Magazine named
it the first personal computer.
- Read an article about the 9100A
originally published on HPNOW, an internal HP web site.
- See an original ad for the 9100A
that appeared in Science magazine. (PDF, 1.27MB)
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