hp 65

first programmable handheld calculator, 1974.

the hp65 is a very fine machine and well made. it has 100 steps of merged keystroke program, 9 registers, conditional branches and subroutines making it more powerful than many modern machines.

the 65 has a built-in magnetic card reader/writer. programs can be stored on magnetic cards. there is no continuous memory. the right side of the machine has two small slots. push a card into the bottom slot and it is pulled through by a small motor and read into the machine. the program is then ready to use. the card is then removed and slotted into the upper slot which slides across the front of the machine above the letters A through E. the front side of the card shows the program definition of these buttons.

a comprehensive set of supplementary libraries are available as pacs of magnetic cards. some from third parties.

using the mag cards is way cool. as a means to load up program libraries it totally blows anything else away. the magnetic card libraries are themselves tiny. a small plastic box holds something like 40 cards plus some blanks.

unfortunately the nameplate is missing from the front of this particular example.

the hp65 came in a protective plastic box with a selection of standard program libraries, a leather pouch and mains adapter.