The Hewlett-Packard 9100A
is an early computer (or programmable calculator
), first appearing in 1968. HP
called it a desktop calculator because, as Bill Hewlett
said, "If we had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by our customers' computer gurus because it didn't look like an IBM
. We therefore decided to call it a calculator, and all such nonsense disappeared."
The unit was descended from a prototype "green machine" produced by engineer Tom Osborne
, who joined the company when HP decided to adopt the project.
An engineering triumph at the time, the logic circuit
was produced without any integrated circuits
, the assembly of the CPU
having been entirely executed in discrete components
. With CRT readout
, magnetic card storage
, and printer, the price was around $5,000 ($ in today dollars).
The 9100A was the first scientific calculator
by the modern definition (i.e. trig
, and exponential
functions), and was the beginning of Hewlett-Packard's long history of using reverse Polish notation
entry on their calculators.
- Hosted at the Computer History Museum.