HP calculator spottings

In a NASA Perseverance Mars landing context, here’s an HP-15C Limited Edition, on the desk of Miguel San Martin, a NASA Chief Engineer and JPL fellow:

via Andres on the HP Museum forum

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While doing my military conscription duty as a clerk I automated the payment of salaries for the regiment with my HP28S. (Each class of conscripts and officers had a different payment rate, so one needed a bit of computation to figure out how much cash to order.)

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And if you are saying “Excel…?” the most extreme tech in the regiment office before I arrived was a typewriter.

The 28S is pretty capable: did you use sophisticated capabilities? A (younger) colleague of mine had one, at one point, and I was quite jealous, but HP calculators have never been cheap, and it was a very long time before I bought one.

What “sophisticated capabilities” you refer to? AFAICR it was basically multiplying and summing vectors what I needed to do.

I dimly recall it could handle vectors and matrices - could it also do symbolic algebra?

Yeah, it had that. Also some calculus.

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