The story of my first graphing calculator

:: random

While everyone in college was using TI, I was using an HP 38g. The story of its arrival is kinda interesting.

Summer of before my junior year of High School I was going through boxes in storage for a garage sale. While sorting through junk I found my father’s DuPont slide rule. He had attended my High School growing up and had the same math teacher I was going to have the next year so I thought it would be funny to pull out the slide rule when everyone else got out their calculators.

So the first day of class I brought it with, he instructed us to get out our calculators and when I pulled the rule from its carrying case the teacher chuckled and asked me where I gotten it. Told him it was my dad’s and he showed the class, explaining that he used to teach this same class with that very brand of rule.

The teacher then told me that if I could solve the problem on the board using the rule, he would give me the new HP 38g he had won at the teacher’s convention. So I went up to the chalk board, explained to the class how it worked as I did the problem and that was how I received my first graphing calculator.

I took that calculator to college with me and passed all my trig, calc, physics, EE and CS classes with it. It is now in a box in storage somewhere, haven’t seen it in years. I now use an HP 35s as my main calculator. I kind of hope both the calculator and slide rule are found when we go through boxes during spring cleaning. Would be pretty cool to show my daughter just how far things have progressed.