The HP-32S still holds a soft spot in my heart, even though it only had 4 registers. I have fond memories of writing a nonlinear solver for finding an azeotrope curve during a Thermodynamics final. Despite the increase in power, memory, pixels and features the HP-32G that followed never could steal my heart away. Here's to you, HP-32S.

What's your favorite programmable calculator?

Do NOT post duplicate answers; vote up instead, and add comments if you want to relate specifics.

+17  A: 
Bob Somers
One of the ways I learned programming was with TI BASIC. I had all sorts of utilities and programs that I wrote on my 89 in my spare time. Sadly, it was stolen halfway through my senior year of high school and while I replaced it with the new 89 Titanium I never was able to recreate all my utilities
Kyle Cronin
+5  A: 
Nathan Feger
+8  A: 

TI-83+ was the best. TI BASIC was great.

TI-83+ calculator showing two sine waves superimposed on a graph.

TI-83 plus

thanks for adding pic adam
I still have the one I bought back in high school and break it out a couple times a month. Hands down one of the nicer calculators that I have worked with.
I love this one, we bought it during high school for a very nice price to use for math lessons. Lasted me all through university and still works to this day despite having hit the floor on numerous occasions.
Stefan Thyberg

TI-85 is how I cut my teeth on programming. It was quite a joy to figure out how to get timely keyboard input from it for my game (esp when everyone else struggled in that area).

10 years later, I still used it, wrote a program to analyze mortgage / down payment / interest rate, and ascertain interest paid , what monthly payments would be, etc... Unfortunately, dropping it can sometimes make it lose its memory :-(

+11  A: 
Lee Baldwin
I absolutely loved this calculator (also bought it in 1990). I was completely broke afterward, but the sheer power of this baby kept me happy. RPN 4 LIFE!
Richard Morgan
I've still got mine, plus the huge manual that came with it.
I use my old 48SX as an alarm clock. Still working, though I've cracked it open a few times. I'm using a 48GX with Meta-Kernel as everyday desk calc, can't beat that keyboard touch!
+2  A: 
+7  A: 
Pat Notz
Oh yes, good old 32S. Twice gotten stolen, everytime bought again.
christian studer
In my day we had to feed are calculators with magnetic tape, uphill, both ways, in the snow!! ;)
+5  A: 
Geoffrey Chetwood
That's not a calculator so much as it is a specialized hand held computer.
@Rob: Indeed it is huge, but it is a graphing calculator.
Geoffrey Chetwood
Depends on the definition you use, some people ( cite the QWERTY keyboard as a charicteriazation of the TI-92 as a computer as opposed to a graphing calculator.
However, the TI-92 is functionally identical to the TI-89.
+4  A: 
It wasn't the fastest at calculating log and trig functions. I had one at school and managed to "overclock" it by soldering a variable resistor to the tiny PC board in place of a fixed resistor. I managed to make it about 50% faster! :-))
Mike Scott
The 57 was my first and I still wish I had it. I nearly failed high school history getting it to play blackjack in 50 program steps!
+3  A: 

Python's interactive prompt


TI-83 - don't regret buying it

+4  A: 

I have an HP 49g+ that I love. It is fast and feels good in my hand. The newer 50g is almost the same calculator, but I hear it has an even better keyboard.

As far as programming goes, the standard languages on the calc are:

  • RPL
  • sysRPL
  • Saturn Assembly
  • HP Basic for algebraic mode (I may be dreaming this one up)

Some non-standard languages that run on the bare hardware are:

  • HpGCC
  • HPLua

For math I just stick with RPL, and for games/non calculator stuff, I use C.

Wow, GCC and Lua -- that's pretty cool.
Pat Notz

For me it always be my first programmable calculator the HP-34C. It has "continuous" memory, so when you don't loose programs and data when you switch it off. It also can solve integral and has root finding.

+1  A: 
+1  A: 

I programmed on the TI-83 in Trig/Analyt. The class shared calculators so we picked a victim every week and we'd program the calculator so when it started it would say "Susy Q likes Billy Joe." It was a pretty silly little joke that kept the few of us entertained when we should have been studying.

Zee JollyRoger
+2  A: 

I've always loved my HP 48gx

+6  A: 

Casio CFX-9850: I was the coolest kid in class with the only color calculator.

Jose Vega
This is an awesome calculator. I created a bunch of graphical games for this back in high school and, embarrassingly, a comprehensive website dedicated to it.
+1  A: 
+3  A: 
+7  A: 
I had and have and still prefer to almost any alternative an 11c. I wanted a 16c, but the price difference was non-trivial. Did you note that HP brought our a faster version of their financial calculator from that generation?
that looks infix... if it's postfix, I'm going to get one on ebay come hell or high water...
It is RPN, so that's what you want, right? I got mine minus manual and missing the HP16C badge in the upper left on ebay a few years ago for ~90$ if I recall correctly.
It's definitely postfix (RPN), as you could guess from the `ENTER` key. One of my all-time favorites!
Ben Alpert

HP-41CX was what i used in college. powerful, alpha numeric, indestructible. i just recently took the programming books to my office, including the book on 'synthetic programming', which had instructions for entering a special mode accessing advanced programming features.

it takes 'n' sized batteries!

but i would have to say my favorite is the legendary HP-65 which blew my mind when i saw it at a friends in the mid 70's.

james creasy
+1  A: 

My first serious calculator was an HP 24S that my parents bought at Wal-Mart. I loved that thing so much.

Later I replaced it with an HP 32S-II that I still have to this day.

Robert S.
+1  A: 

Favorite calculator: the HP 50G!

The most powerful calculator, ever.

It's beautiful.

Instantly let you know, "it's pro." Feels great in your hand. The keys have a very satisfying tactile "click" (unlike the 49G, which had cheesy keys). It can do everything the wonderful HP 48, in all its varied forms, can do (over 2300 built-in functions+any you wish to add), great equation libraries and many, many constants predefined, PLUS does graphics, has much greater capacity both internally (2.5 MB) and externally (with swappable SD cards holding gigabytes of programs and data each--you'll never run out of room), and it has a USB port, a serial port, and an infrared port. Has HP Solve (plug in what you know, solve for any variable) and Computer Algebra System (CAS)--both very good. Redefineable keyboard and menu keys. RPN is awesome! But if you're not sure whether that's your bag, it's switchable between RPN, algebraic, and "textbook" modes--your choice. You can change all sorts of flags to customize everything to work exactly how you want it to. Comes with connectivity software to hook up your computer--easy to load programs (lots of games, too). With available ROMs you can upgrade it to take advantage of future improvements. You can write software for it on your desktop, if you're into that, test it on the free emulator (looks and works exactly the same as the real calc), and then load it up. Or you can program right on the calculator, if that's your thing. You can program it in C (using HPGCC), User RPL, System RPL, HP Basic, Saturn Assembly, and ARM Assembly. Best of all, it can be had for $85 new and in the sealed packaging on eBay (nearly half the retail price). BTW, the old HP 48 progs can be converted to run on the HP 50 with a free utility (HP 49G programs run on it natively). I've used mine every day at school for a month, and only just now replaced the AAA alkaline batteries. (Thinking of switching to rechargeable Li-ion.) Scientific functions, statistical, financial, logic, unit conversions, matrices, algebra, trig, systems of equations, integral and differential calculus, you name it. Or customize with all your own stuff. Plays Wolfenstein, Dune, Pac-Man, Tetris, and other games for when you're bored, and you can use it as a TV remote. What more could you want? Oh yeah--snazzy leather(-ette?) case. Accept no substitutions!

--Mike from Shreveport

Glad somebody mentioned this one.

My favorite programmable calculator is any PDA running Windows Mobile... end of list.



Running on an EEEPC.

I thank you.

+1  A: 

I have a TI-59 with a printer stand that I still use on my desk at work today. It has magnetic strip recording of programs. It only has 1k of memory, pretty limited but I do my every day calculations on it and have a paper trail of what I did if I need the numbers a couple of hours later. I love this machine. If it goes I don't know what I would do.

Joseph Kraig

The TI 99/4A, well it sure felt like one. I sure liked it better than the HP 98/30. ;^)


But now I really do like my HP 50g. There are a few things that I miss that the TI 89 Ti does, but the errors in the libraries and some of the machine's programming is not one of them.

Also, I do wonder what the profit margin on these things are? I do not believe that the 50g OS has been updated for several years now, so I am thinking that bucks are making a nice profit. Given that, why the heck can't one get the real manual (ok it's nearly 1000 pages) with the calculator? Bigger box and all that would add to the cost a bit, heck it is all done outside the states any more, so costs should be very low. HP could even a with and without the detailed manual package.