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This is the blog of the Calcultro account, the personal study of art and culture within the greater Boston area. Here you'll find posts on art appreciation, current events, art history, and other random musings motivated by my personal interests or those of friends or family. Enjoy.
The successor of B3-21, the Elektronika B3-34 wasn't backward compatible with B3-21, even if it kept the reverse Polish notation (RPN). Thus B3-34 defined a new command set, which later was used in a series of later programmable Soviet calculators. Despite very limited abilities (98 bytes of instruction memory and about 19 stack and addressable registers), people managed to write all kinds of programs for them, including adventure games and libraries of calculus-related functions for engineers. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of programs were written for these machines, from practical scientific and business software, which were used in real-life offices and labs, to fun games for children. The Elektronika MK-52 calculator (using the extended B3-34 command set, and featuring internal EEPROM memory for storing programs and external interface for EEPROM cards and other periphery) was used in Soviet spacecraft program (for Soyuz TM-7 flight) as a backup of the board computer.
By 1976, the cost of the cheapest four-function pocket calculator had dropped to a few dollars, about 1/20 of the cost five years before. The results of this were that the pocket calculator was affordable, and that it was now difficult for the manufacturers to make a profit from calculators, leading to many firms dropping out of the business or closing. The firms that survived making calculators tended to be those with high outputs of higher quality calculators, or producing high-specification scientific and programmable calculators.Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard (HP) had been developing a pocket calculator. Launched in early 1972, it was unlike the other basic four-function pocket calculators then available in that it was the first pocket calculator with scientific functions that could replace a slide rule. The $395 HP-35, along with nearly all later HP engineering calculators, uses reverse Polish notation (RPN), also called postfix notation. A calculation like "8 plus 5" is, using RPN, performed by pressing (Source: en.wikipedia.org)