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EEVblog #904 - Hewlett Packard HP85 Professional Computer

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1979, a screaming 613KHz clock, killer graphics, and it's a Hewlett Packard, it doesn't get much better than this!
Dave powers up the the classic HP85 Scientific / Engineering Professional Personal Computer and has a play around.

Thanks for doing this one, Dave.
I have noticed one thing about computers today is that I don't really lust after them like I did back in the day.
It's like there is such a homogenization of tech these days that today, it's all more or less the same.  The sheer diversity and imagination and attention to detail of late 70's early 80's HP tech was just lust-worthy all by itself.  And the manuals!  The manuals were fantastic--actually worth reading!

Note for the unaware, HP BASIC was lightyears more useful than any other BASIC.  No, it's not C++, but you could certainly do real work with it.  You could very much make the best use of the small amount of memory you had via indirect calls, etc.

Nice machine.

I repaired a HP-9100 for a collector a few years ago. These are the first programmable scientific calculators. You could see it a bit as the great-grandmother of the HP-85, it is more a calculator as a true computer. But the 85 is a bit the same I think.

If you can get your hands on one of those for a tear down then do it. They are aw-sum. Over 1800 diodes and over 500 transistors. The first teflon multilayer pcb to make the  ROM, core memory etc. There is no service manual. I managed to repair one of the 3 he had. Two had broken CRT's. I got far with an other, using a round CRT I could fit more or less to see if I could get it working again before hunting down an original CRT, but it turned out to have a corrupt rom or something like that. There are no service manuals, only some schematics hand-drawn by a collector. for a lot of pictures of the inside of a B model. the A model

I used to have one in the 80's, or to be precise, my father had one but I was playing (as in programming) with it.


--- Quote from: PA4TIM on July 22, 2016, 07:34:33 am ---If you can get your hands on one of those for a tear down then do it. They are aw-sum.

--- End quote ---

I had one lined up locally and saw it in person and knew it was going up on ebay. Sadly it went for a few $k


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