HP50g for finance - an engineer lost in a world...

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HP50g for finance - an engineer lost in a world of hp12cs!

The HP 50g as an everyday financial tool.

As promised in a previous blog, we’ll elaborate a little bit on the HP 50g as a financial tool.

There is a significant number of engineers that end up in financial positions. Finance has some times a strong math content, and engineers are well suited for these tasks. Nearly 40% of my MBA class had engineer training like me. And most of them were using HP scientific calcs. At the time (beginning of the nineties), there were basically hp41c and 48sx calcs. I don’t remember to have seen any 42s at the time.

Most of them, being well-heeled, refrained from adapting their tools to the task and acquired a dedicated tool. In most cases, that was an HP 19bII; seldom an HP 17bII; never saw an student buying an HP 12c, although many of the professors had one and looked at the users of more advanced calcs with the same eyes you would use now with smartphone geeks.

The fact is that most of the technical calcs at the time ended up in drawers, when they were fully capable for the task- with just a little effort.

Well, it’s been several paragraphs and I have not entered into the matter yet!

Well, let's start with the basic tools yet. The most important is the custom menu. Although you can program any key in the calculator, the basic way of customizing it, is though the use of the 6 function keys on top. The system has a way of defining them, through a variable called CST. This variable is a list where you can store the functions, programs or variables that you want to assign to the function keys. The length of the list is not limited to 6: you can have several screens, and jump from one to the other via the "nxt" and "prev" buttons. So you are not limited to 6 financial functions!

You just need to activate these menu keys by executing CST in the keyboard.

Mine reads like this:

{% %CH %T DDAYS DATE+ BUS VAT TOTAL CAMB MKP%}

The 5 first are pure calculator functions; let's talk about the rest next day!

 

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