|The HP 12c financial calculator is a rare thing these days: It has lasted three decades doing exactly one thing, and still does it very well.|
Remarkably, the latest 12c is even a little bit better than the previous version. Processing speeds have been greatly improved on recent models -- from what the company told me, not by design. Basically, the company could no longer source chips that were slow enough to meet the original spec. Either way, if you get a 12c made in the past year or so, you should notice a vast improvement in speed. The once-legendary 12-second calculations such as interest rates and internal rates of return now run as fast as simple addition and subtraction. That's a major improvement. The rest of my beloved 12c remains blissfully unchanged. The keyboard is the same idiot-resistant layout (that is, idiots can't figure out how to use it), and the memories still function blazingly fast. Most importantly, it can still handle the tough pickup lines. Enter "07734" into the calculator, turn it over and show that hottie you're eyeing the "hello" on your screen and it works eeeeevery time. What you don't get
If you set out to do a calculation you have no business doing, the 12c won't allow it. And if you can't see the wisdom in that, you deserve your fate. Bottom line
Personally, I think nationally mandated 12c literacy -- where every deal has to table out in this calculator -- would be the best way to stave off looming financial disaster. And that H-P deserves all the love for keeping this gem in production for so long. Unlike other valuation tools such as computers, spreadsheets, trading algorithms, Web sites, economists, CEOs and regulators, when the 12c says it's true, it is still true. Plus, the thing comes in a nice gift box. What better present for a declining age? >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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