In my talk at HP Norway, I covered my history as a calculator enthusiast. I got my first calculator (a TI-57) when I was 13 and my first HP calculator (HP-41CX) a few years later. I started collecting as an adult, and in 2008 eighty-nine of my ninety calculators got toasted when the building where we had our offices burned to the ground.
A couple of months before the fire, the Norwegian national TV interviewed me and showed my collection. Lots of people saw it. Shortly after the fire, the TV host Petter Skjerven came back to do a “part 2” where he asked me how I felt after the fire. We were standing in the ruins when I told him I felt great.
A couple of weeks before the fire, I had a dream where I had all HP-calculators ever made in mint condition. That saddened me – because the game was over. You see, the point about collecting the calculators, apart from actually using them, is to COLLECT – not to HAVE. So, I had 8 years of fun behind me when the fire struck. And then I had at least 8 years of fun ahead. It felt great. After that second show, people started sending me their old calculators. And now I am almost beck where I was. Except my HP-01 is hard to replace. And my HP-37E had the lowest serial number recorded. Priceless. Oh well. I started to rebuild my collection, and I have calcs now that I never had before – like the gifts I got from HP after my talk; an HP-70, an HP-25C and an HP-10. All rare items.
One important personal point I touched upon in my talk was how I am driven by feelings. The feeling for the unknown, the feeling of learning something new, of discovery, of the vast sea of interesting knowledge, the thrill of learning Einstein’s theory of relativity before I got my first calculator, the excitement of making a self-modifying program on a TI-59 that I borrowed from a friend of mine. The joy of synthetic programming on an HP-41. And the nerve wrecking feeling of reading aloud when I was in high school. The thrill of girls, of the first job, of travelling abroad, of meeting with interesting and amazing people. The emotions, the fun. This is what drives me. And collecting old calculators rejuvenates many tingling, captivating and entrancing rushes. I love it.
This a big reason why I make music, artwork, meet and talk to new people, travel, read, play, point my telescope to the stars and live life as I do. I am a feeling-junky. This is also why I blog.