HP Makes Special Edition of 30-Year-Old 12c Calculator

HP MAY OR may not be dumping its PC business, and it may have messed up its hardware future in a post-PC world, but the company still knows what’s important. A new handheld from the Palo Alto company is set to rock the miniature tablet world. Behold: The HP 12c Financial Calculator 30th Anniversary Edition.

Below you see the 30-year old original (left) and the new version, side by side. The tiny calculator was used by bean counters who apparently loved its shirt-pocket size, accurate calculations and the fact that you can use it in CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exams (the other permitted calculator is the Texas Instruments BA II Plus).

I have a vague memory of owning one of these, although I’m not sure why. And I’m absolutely certain that I didn’t know how to use it. Put a scientific calculator in front of me and I’ll rip through cosines, tangents and non base 10 math as if I were still in school. But put the 12c on my desk my eyes will roll back in my head at the thought of Reverse Polish Notation and Zzzzzz. Uh. Sorry. You see?

The Anniversary Edition is exactly the same as the original, but for the writing on the front and a laser-etched production number on the back. You’ll be able to pick one up for $80, or around the same as a TouchPad (Sorry. Couldn’t resist).

The HP-12C turns 30, Goes Limited Edition. Thanks, Greta! [HP]