The HP-65 is arguably the most elegant and classic pocket calculator ever built.
Boasting many firsts, including being the first fully programmable hand-held
calculator with built-in magnetic card reader, it was used for course
corrections on Apollo, and was introduced as "The Personal Computer" when
keypunch machines were still the most common input device for mainframes.
While pricey, nearly $800 back in 1974, its quality and innovations garnered many enthusiasts, spawning clubs like the HP-65 Users Club and triggering medical recoveries (but that's another story!).
Gary Clouse reports:
The early HP calculators were legendary for their durability. there were stories of them surviving 40 ft drops onto concrete, exposure to the weather for several months, and being run over by heavy eauipment on construction sites. The circuit board and battery contacts were gold-plated to prevent corrosion. There was a joke among engineering students that if there was a nuclear war, the survivors would be HP calculators and cockroaches.
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