Hewlett Packard HP-21
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The HP-21 was a scientific calculator produced by Hewlett Packard between 1975 and 1978. It was designed as a replacement for the HP-35, and was one of a set of three calculators, the others being the HP-22 and HP-25, which were similarly built but aimed at different markets.
As with most HP calculators then and now, the HP-21 used RPNentry logic, with a four-level stack. It also had a single user-accessible memory register. As was normal at the time, memory was not preserved on power-down. A physical slider switch toggled between degrees and radians modes, which was an unusual feature. It had a 12-digit LED display, which was less than the 15 digits of the HP-35. Because of these fewer digits the HP-21 (and similar calculators such as the HP-25) could display 10-digit floating point numbers but only an 8-digit mantissa with a 2-digit exponent when scientific notation was used. A Shift Key provided access to functions whose legends were printed on the fronts of the tall trapezoidal keys.
Its HP development codename was Pumpkin, and it was a member of the Woodstock series. Its US price was $125 in 1975, $80 in 1978.
Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH61339. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.