Totally unrelated to the article, but it’s interesting to see how subtle changes to fonts can make OCR systems completely fail. ABBYY FineReader 10 (which is by far the best OCR program I’ve found), was utterly unable to read any of the bold text on top, or even recognize that it WAS text.

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The new HP-41C has more than any handheld calculator HP has ever offered. More capability, flexibility, ease-of-use features and options: Memory Modules; an “extra smart” Card Reader; a Printer; The Wand — a new input device; and Application Modules.

Truly, the HP-41C represents a new standard of design for all handheld calculators.


It features over 130 functions and offers up to 400 lines of program memory or 63 data storage registers —expandable to 319 registers or up to 2,000 lines. And for power, ease-of-use and efficiency —RPN Logic.

It communicates. The HP-41C’s alphanumeric capability lets you label programs, functions, variables, constants —and prompt for data with words or sentences.

“Customize” it. Reassign any standard function, any programs you’ve written, or programs provided in the Application Modules —to any keyboard location you want. (Blank keyboard overlays let you notate these assignments.) Continuous memory. Even when turned off, the HP-41C retains all your program, data and key assignments.

Enhanced programmability. No complicated language to learn. And alpha capability lets you label programs with easy-to-remember names. HP-41C also features: up to 6 levels of subroutines; 10 conditionals, and 56 internal flags; specific loop control; indirect addressing; local and global branching.


Memory Modules. For storing programs and data. Can increase capacity to 319 registers or up to 2,000 lines of program memory.

“Extra smart” Card Reader. Records programs and data back onto blank mag-cards. Lets you load programs in any order. And to protect your work — programs can be run but not reviewed or altered. Accepts preprogrammed HP-67/97 mag-cards.

The Printer. Portable, quiet, thermal operation. Prints all the HP-41C upper and lower case alpha characters, plus it lets you create your own special characters. Does high resolution plotting routines.

The Wand. Unique input device. Enters programs and data by reading “bar codes” much like those found on many grocery items. The Wand and bar-coded programs will be available with HP-41C software in early 1980.

Application Modules. A growing library of preprogrammed solutions to a wide range of problems.


HP-41C is a synthesis of the latest state-of-the-art technology and HP human engineering. It’s powerful, easy-to-use and flexible enough to solve a multitude of problems. And it’s backed by comprehensive reference and training materials — including a full range of software.

The HP-41C —no wonder it’s a whole new standard in personal calculators. And at just $295* for the handheld unit, it delivers unprecedented capability for the money.

For details, send the attached coupon. For the address of your HP dealer, CALL TOLL-FREE 800-648-4711 except from Alaska or Hawaii. In Nevada, 800-992-5710.


  1. arby says: July 22, 20119:50 am

    I don’t remember if I got the barcode reader or not, but, I had the calculator, printer, card reader, a couple of memory modules and the clock module. I even had the book that showed you how to hack the calculator to get more functions.

  2. Toronto says: July 22, 201110:18 am

    I had one briefly. Sold it and bought a Ti SR52 (then later upgraded to a ’59 when it came out.) I loved programming those things.

  3. Terry says: July 22, 201110:33 am

    In 1974 I paid an even $750 for an HP-65, about what my HP Pavilion I’m using right now cost me, but in 1974 dollars it was a bundle. And the program packs were all extra. Nevertheless, of all the electronic tools and gadgets I’ve had throughout my life, that was by far the only one I actually loved more than a member of my own family.

  4. Michael C says: July 22, 201111:42 am

    When I was 16 I received one as a christmas gift. I learned most of tech basics from this unit. I still have it,though the batteries are shot and the AC is dead. I keep for memories…….

    Weird I know..

  5. Mitch says: July 22, 20111:34 pm

    Got one of these for a high school graduation present. I used it constantly in college until it died. Now I wish I would have taken the time to repair it – it’s impossible to find a decent RPN calculator these days.

  6. Les says: July 22, 20115:34 pm

    I still have my HP-41CX and 41CV, and they see daily use. I haven’t used the card reader in years – the rubber wheel has probably gone gummy – but the 82143A printer still works.

    Mitch, don’t give up hope – there’s a rumour that HP are about to reissue the HP-15C.

  7. Har says: July 22, 20117:49 pm

    I borrowed HP-25 from friend without manual book. I learned programming using “HP Journal” magazines at library.

  8. Don F says: July 23, 20114:36 am

    @Mitch: I have a modern RPN calculator . . . on my iPod touch.

    (Yeah, “There’s an app for that.”)

  9. John Savard says: July 23, 20117:28 am

    It is a shame that the technology hasn’t continued. One can buy very expensive music players and cell phones that are compact computers – and for a while one could buy cheap graphical programmable calculators made in China – but except for the TI-92 and its successors, which did symbolic math as well as numerical calculations, there just hasn’t been the demand for mere calculating devices to make improvements in this area.

    So you can’t even get a $99 laptop that runs an operating system comparable to Windows 3.1. Either you go all the way to Vista or the MacOS, or you are locked into a walled garden.

    Maybe someday it will be possible to buy a pocket calculator that runs Linux.

  10. RSweeney says: July 23, 20111:39 pm

    The HP-35C was my first calculator I bought after college.
    I programmed it for complex vector/phasor math for EE.

    Still works, still use it, still love it.

  11. Ray M says: July 23, 201110:22 pm

    @John – I’ve got one of those. It’s called Android. 😉 And, yeah, I had a 41C but I pitched it a couple of years ago after it sat unused for a couple of decades.

  12. AndrewH says: July 25, 20117:26 am

    Use my ’83 41C everyday, only issue is the ÷ key which may or may not work the first time it is pressed.

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