by Susan Twombly, June 2007
In the early 1970s, the slide rule ruled. Then something happened: HP introduced the world's first scientific pocket calculator, the HP-35. Now, 35 years later, the legend continues.
Join us as we revisit a few milestones in HP's calculator history to celebrate 35 years of calculator innovation. Become a member of our new HP Calculator Club and vote for your favorite video in the HP Calculator Casting Call Contest. Read on to find out more.
Good things come in small packages. Weighing in at just nine ounces, this small HP-35 handheld calculator made a big impact on scientists and engineers. In fact, in 2000, Forbes ASAP named the HP-35 as one of the 20 "all time products" that have changed the world. As the company's first consumer electronics product, it also changed the course of HP's history.
A stroke of genius. With keystroke programmability, some deemed 1974's HP-65 the world's first handheld computer. Small magnetic cards held calculator programs that could be entered and re-entered to run again.
It slices, it dices. In 1977, the HP-01 Wrist Instrument combined a digital wristwatch, calculator and personal calendar all in one. Performing more than three-dozen functions, the HP-01 showcased HP's miniaturization excellence in a big way.
Earning a space in history. The HP-41C became the first programmable, alphanumeric handheld calculator in 1979. It was also the first flight-critical calculator used by NASA to land the space shuttle, without contacting the ground crew. According the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Sally Ride and several other astronauts used the HP-41C on a total of nine shuttle missions.
Turning the calculator industry around. In the early 1980s, HP engineers were tasked with creating another pocket-sized calculator, this time for financial applications. It had to be reliable and have a long battery life.
The HP-12C Programmable Financial Calculator fit the bill and changed the look and feel of calculators of the day with its signature horizontal layout. As HP's longest-selling calculator, the HP-12 looks just as it did 25 years ago.
Way ahead of its time. Back in 1989, the HP-48SX was the first calculator with two-way infrared communication between two calculators. Today, some calculators still rely on a cable to communicate.
These are only a few HP innovations. Read HP Celebrates 35 Years of Handheld Calculator Innovation to find out more.
There's one thing true about many HP calculator users: They're loyal! Once they pick up an HP Calculator, many become avid fans. And what better way to reward that loyalty than with a club you can call your own: The new HP Calculator Club. Anyone who owns an HP calculator can join. Just answer a few simple questions and you can have access to many things only available to club members, including:
Calculator games and Aplets. Learn how to create your own custom Aplets or simply download some ready-made ones.
PC/Mac screensavers and wallpaper. Customize your computers with HP calculator screensavers and backgrounds.
HP discounts and special offers. Access discounts and special offers on HP calculators and other HP products.
HP calculator fonts. Create learning modules and other teaching tools.
How do I create custom programs on my HP calculator?
That's just one of the many topics you may find on the HP Calculator Forum.
Custom calculator pouches. Personalize your calculator with a custom pouch, available in a variety of colors and styles.
HP calculator forum. Ask questions, share knowledge and chat with other Calculator Club members.
The deadline has passed, but the fun continues. We had a great response to our "HP Calculator Casting Call" Contest. As part of this nationwide competition, we invited entrants to submit short videos that captured their personal experiences and emotions towards their HP calculators.
We laughed, we cried, we picked eight finalists across four categories: best actor, best actress, best screenplay and best technical film. Each finalist in each award category will win an all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood, Calif., to participate in the HP Golden Calculator Awards ceremony on July 12, 2007.
But they also get a chance to win the Voter's Choice Award and that's where you come in! We've posted the winning entries for you to view and vote on. The winner, which will be announced at the Golden Calculator Awards ceremony, will take home an HP 50-inch High-Definition Plasma TV.
Thanks for 35 great years!