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Coolest Calculator Ever - and now you can have it!
Karl-Henry Martinsson    

HP-48SX I have been using HP calculators since the mid-70's, when my cousin (who worked for Hewlett-Packard in Sweden) brought an HP-21 to us. When I was in 8th grade and we finally were allowed to use calculators during math class, I purchased the HP-15C, a programmable scientific calculator. In 1987, when I was in high school, the HP-28C was released, and I got it as soon as it came out. The next year I upgraded to the improved HP-28S (32kB instead of 2kB and a 1 MHz processor instead of 640 kHz). Both were clamshell designs. I also got a HP 82240B infrared printer, which used thermal paper.

In April 1990 I was getting the HP-48SX as soon as it came out. I could use the same infrared printer I already had, and I also got an expansion memory card (128 kB, I believe). I used this calculator for many years, and still have it, even if it is not working fully, due to a faulty on/off switch (which seems to be a known issue on these old units). My next project will be to open my calculator and fix this problem...

The HP-48SX had a serial port, built-in Kermit file transfer and infrared communications. There was a large set of programs and utilities available on several bulletin board systems (BBS) and later on the Internet. Most notable were Joe Horn's Goodies disks. Many programs can be found at hpcalc.org.

Back in the late 1990's I found some emulators that let me run a HP-48 on my Windows computer. It required a ROM image from the original calculator, which I of course still had. Then in 2000, HP released the ROM images for free downloads. Very cool!

The emulators have evolved, and now everyone can get a HP48SX, or it's successors 48G and 48GX, on their desktop. It is actually very simple. You just need three small downloads to do this:

* The free Emu48 emulator by Christoph Gießelink

* A HP-48SX ROM image

* A photo realistic skin, for example this one by Arno Kuhl or the one to the right by Growik

Simply unpack the Emu48 installer and run it. Put the ROM image in the Emu48 directory and use the convert.exe program to convert the ROM image. Then copy the files for the skin into the same directory. Launch the program, and you have a really cool calculator. Everything works, including programming! More skins, as well as other programs, can be found at hpcalc.org.

HP calculators, with the exception of the business models (designated by a B in the model name) use Reverse Polish Notation (RPN). It is a faster and better way to calculate, especially more complex computations, but can be confusing to non-engineers/technical users. I highly recommend to learn this, though.

So go get this calculator for your computer and start playing!



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http://www.bleedyellow.com/blogs/texasswede/entry/coolest_calculator_ever
Mar 25, 2011
43 hits



Recent Blog Posts
171


We are the IBM Champions
Wed, Dec 3rd 2014 7:39p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
This morning I received a mail from IBM telling me that for the second year I was selected as one of the 96 IBM Champions. Last year I was very surprised to be selected and to be in the company of so many of the experts in the ICS/Lotus community that I for years looked up to […] [read] Keywords: ibm lotus community
221


Happy 25th birthday, Lotus Notes!
Thu, Nov 27th 2014 12:45p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Today is the 25th birthday of Lotus Notes. It is the program responsible for me moving to the US, as well as being my career for the last close to 18 years. So, as you can see in the picture above, I am toasting this amazing software in IBM blue colors, courtesy of Curaçao Blue. […] [read] Keywords: ibm lotus notes
129


Gone fishing. Or rather gone scuba diving.
Sat, Nov 22nd 2014 1:05p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
I am currently away for a little over a week, taking a vacation in Curaçao. So no technical writing for a little bit. See you in December. [read] Keywords:
217


Free Code – Class to read URL name-value pairs
Thu, Nov 20th 2014 10:28a   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Here is another little code snippet I want to share. I use it all the time in my Lotusscript-based Domino web agents, and I figured that other could benefit from it as well. It is just an easy way to check for and read the name-value pairs (arguments) passed from the browser to the web […] [read] Keywords: domino lotusscript development
184


Verizon and AT&T are tracking all your online activity
Fri, Oct 31st 2014 2:45p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
As you may have read lately, Verizon have implemented a system that adds an HTTP header item in all web communication that originates from mobile phones on their network. Each phone/user get their own unique ID, which is transmitted to every website being visited (except if SSL is used), no matter if you have privacy/anonymous surfing […] [read] Keywords: mobile network
277


Nokia is dead
Wed, Oct 22nd 2014 8:05a   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Microsoft is taking a page out of IBM’s playbook and is killing off the Nokia brand. Future models of the smart phones in the Lumia series will be named Microsoft Lumia. Last month the Nokia Lumia 735 and 830 were launched, and they will probably be the last phones branded as Nokia. The mobile division of Nokia will […] [read] Keywords: ibm microsoft mobile




108


October Community Webcast – Wednesday October 15
Mon, Oct 13th 2014 9:05a   Karl-Henry Martinsson
This Wednesday it is again time for the monthly ICS community webcast. This month’s guest speaker will be Luis Guirigay, IBM SME for Social, Mobile and Cloud. Below is the description of the webcast agenda. Never before has there been more opportunity for IBM Notes Domino Enterprises! Join Luis Guirigay to learn about the latest […] [read] Keywords: domino ibm lotusnotes notes community mobile
88


Microsoft skipping Windows 9 – jumps to Windows 10
Tue, Sep 30th 2014 12:40p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Microsoft unveiled the next version of Windows at a press event in San Francisco today. Surprisingly the successor to Windows 8 and 8.1 will not be called Windows 9 as everyone expected. Instead Microsoft jumps straight to Windows 10. One reason for this, according to Microsoft, is that the new operating system is such a big leap […] [read] Keywords: microsoft
134


Free Software – Password Reset for Notes/Domino
Wed, Sep 24th 2014 12:41p   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Earlier this year I was asked to research some alternatives for a web-based password reset function at my work. One of the larger support burdens are users who forget the passwords, especially in the first few days after changing it. We have a 90 day password lifespan, then a new password need to be picked. Some […] [read] Keywords: domino notes notesdomino password
77


#ThrowbackThursday – Worst Practives at Connect 2013
Thu, Sep 18th 2014 6:05a   Karl-Henry Martinsson
Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan returns with a brand new Worst Practices at IBM Connect 2013. This session alone is almost worth the cost to attend Lotusphere/Connect/ConnectED. There is a slight skip towards the end, when I had to switch batteries. Otherwise you have the whole session, including the warm-up performance. [read] Keywords: ibm lotusphere




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