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HP17bII as the best all around financial calculator

Travelling has come back to my work schedule again. And then the need to pack a compact suitcase - at this time it will be a back pack. 


Crisis times make it mandatory to use low cost flights, and therefore only cabin-size luggage may be used. I have always been carrying several calculators with me - call me crazy but I want a financial, a pocket calculator and a good scientific. Please understand that none of them are really needed - it is just that I enjoy using them. 


For pocket calculator (the one that’s in my pocket jacket) I am using a HP15cLE, with several financial and date programs that make it an all-rounder - if slightly limited when ti comes to display and configurability. 


For scientific calculator, I am oscillating between the new HP Prime and the HP41CL - the latest trips I have been inclined to take the latter (which is now the calculator that I reach when I need to do some numbers). The keyboard pleasure that is following a logical reasoning with it cannot be overstated. But a plain HP41c would have not been good enough - it is slow, and very function-limited (in that respect, even the HP15c was an advancement over it). However, Monte Dalrymple’s design allows to have a calculator with all the functions ever developed for the HP41c, as fast as any other calculator (and much faster than the vast majority of them), while keeping the cozy keyboard and the high contrast alphanumeric screen. I have developed a number of financial programs that do everything a financial calculator can do, and much more. So I am covered on that side (which is my nowadays job). However…


Picture yourself entering into a meeting room where some results have to be discussed, or some investments analyzed, and laying your trusty, thick, old-looking HP41C. Remember that no one knows that it is a CL - for them is the calculator used by the old company engineers, that -for the most part - have already retired. You just cannot have any credibility. You need a proper calculator.


There are some of my colleagues without calculator, relying solely on Excel. But computer use in a meeting is plain rudeness - you just stop listening to others.


There are some others with a small, nondescript calculator. They can just utter guesses about what’s being discussed - their means only allow for very approximate numbers.


There are usually one or two fellow users with their old HP12cs.  These last forever and it is likely that they’ll retire with it. Some use the old HP17bII - it does not look as good and apparently they are much more battered than the 12cs. No one uses the 19bII anymore. Many have fond memories of it (an MBA colleague that is in my company after 19 years speaks about it with affection), but all died from the battery door syndrome. But I see no one using the 17bII+. 


It is surprising, since it is the best financial calculator around. It has all the basic functions, in an unequalled user interface. It can be run in RPN and algebraic, in a very consistent way. It has the best solver format - bar none. (The best solver belonged to the original 17bII, which had undocumented functions and a better solver algorithm). And in its menu system, there are mathematical functions, statistics, cash flows (organized in a clever way), and the best Time Value of Money calculator.


But in addition, it looks very nice! It is probably the best looking calculator around. Its silver metal livery looks well on the table, and also when put together with iPads and other Apple hardware  - although it is a little bit darker. 
Comments: 2
More about: HP17bII+

Comments: 2

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Re: HP17bII as the best all around financial calculator
I have the old model 17BII, it is true that the BII + looks better (more modern) and the display looks much better. I recommend you try the 12C, is addictive.
Re: HP17bII as the best all around financial calculator
Having used both, the most classy is the 12c - but...when doing real business, the most adequate is the 17bII+, IMHO, since you can see what you're doing. You need to have a pretty good memory and imagination to remember what's in each of the memories of the 12c !!
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