My Favorite Calculator (HP 48G)

I have been taking an advanced statistics course, and most of the number-related work is done in SPSS. However, we occasionally need to check answers or do simple calculations outside the software. My $5 four-function calculator is nice, but after a few taps it gets frustrating to me.

And, oddly, I have been unable to locate any halfway decent (free) calculator apps for the iPhone.

So, I decided it was time to dig out my old scientific calculator. The one that got me through high school and college. I loved that thing. It is the Hewlett Packard HP 48G.

Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) grows on you. But why I love the 48G is a different topic. (Although I never figured out if the term RPN is racist. Even if it is, it’s OK because I’m Polish.)

Anyway, the calculator has been in storage for 10 or 15 years. I just bought some new batteries for it and turned it on. Unfortunately, half the keyboard didn’t work. I started to poke at it with a screwdriver, thinking I’d open up the keyboard and clean some grime off it. But then I remembered that this is the 21st century so I did a Google search. I found this fantastic guide to cracking the case.

Thanks to Han “Duong” Solo (I think that’s his name) for the excellent work authoring the guide.


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