My Calculator

Casio fx120 Calculator

Casio fx120 Calculator purchased in 1978

I was just answering the feedback from Protons for Breakfast this weekend when I reached for my calculator to work out the skin depth of microwaves in a steel plate.

And all of a sudden I realised just how long I had had this calculator by my side. I recall buying it in Lewis’s Department store in Manchester in the summer of 1978, with my first girlfriend Janice PIlling at my side. As I recall, it cost £28. It was just few weeks before I headed off to university, and she persuaded me to buy the fx120 with 10 digits of resolution rather than a cheaper version which cost a few pounds less. I thought about all the calculations this calculator had helped me with – in laboratory classes, projects, exams, my PhD and beyond – and how I had  eventually come to understand all the buttons on the front – even the mysterious [HYP] button.

And in that moment I was filled with admiration for the engineers who created this device. It has suffered all kinds of spills and knocks throughout the years, and it still works perfectly. Indeed, it is possibly the best value object I have ever purchased.

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4 Responses to “My Calculator”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    I still have the calculator I bought for my A levels, and inside the case it still has a googly-eyed sticker you gave me for good luck – for university finals, I think. Modern calculators have the logic the wrong way around. Long live old Casios!

  2. Michael T Says:

    Interesting to read this. I too have an FX120 which I got around 1978 for my A levels, and mine still works perfectly 35 years later. Not the fanciest compared to others in school with their HPs and Sinclair programmables, but it got the job done. What a fine machine.

  3. Conway Says:

    Did you ever race calculators? 69 factorial; back in the early eighties of my O and A levels nobody could get a new calculator without going up against the current class champion. Enter 69! at the starters command and first to come up with the answer was the winner!
    BTW: my first calculator was a Casio fx-350.

  4. hiteshrao698 Says:

    Casio fx120 is old model,now technology grown up,v can find so many latest calculators,here u can find one of the best modern calculators @

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