Model: HP 16C
Type: Programmable programmer's calculator
Picture: HP 16c
Batteries: LR44 x 3
Lifetime: Introduced: 1982
Terminated: 1989
Notes: This calculator is one of HEWLETT PACKARD's landscape series of calculators, extremely (and I mean extremely) robust calculators and some of them were extremely successful too.

What I find really amazing about this calculator series is the design, which is actually quite timeless and very elegant. If one calculator series deserves a design award it's this one. Only HEWLETT PACKARD can create heavy duty casing with such elegance.

The calculators in this series are:

The HP 16C must really be one of the strangest calculators I own. It was meant for programmers; it can do all kinds of digital operations on binary, octal, decimal and hexadecimal numbers. And in all fashions. Rotates and shifts (with or without carry), 2's complements, masks, you name it - it's got it.

It is even programmable and knows all kinds of floating-point formats. But even so, I'm still at a loss to who actually needed a calculator like this?

Okay, some programmers e-mailed me that they actually do use this calculators and others e-mailed me they want one. So there must be a market after all. :-)
Well, in fact the HP 16C has its fans, Jim Tucker writes:


Yes, there are people in the world who (daily) use their HP 16C. I am a programmer (embedded systems, so I'm a bit-banger), and my 16C is rarely farther away than my back-pack, usually on my desk, near my keyboard. I should note that I have a TI Programmer, as well (somewhere), which I stopped using when I got my 16C (I have preferred RPN, ever since I learned it on my HP 65, followed by my HP 67). OK, I don't use ALL of the features, but hex-to-decimal-to-binary, and logical operations are my chief uses. Besides, it was a (treasured) gift from my (now) wife. I've even been (casually) looking for another, in case I loose this one!

Jim Tucker

For more information on this beauty please refer to the better sources, like The Museum of HP Calculators (link valid 2022-12-30).