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Kurt Weiske's other blog.

Retro tech enthusiast, photgrapher, and systems guy.

Blogging like it's 1999. Static blog generation, talking tech...

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Wed, 06 Dec 2023

How it all started.

I picked up a Casio FX-3600p calculator on eBay recently.

I took a calculus class in college from a professor who inspired me. He'd grown up in a world where people did calculations by hand, and he saw calculators as tools that would free mathmeticians from grunt work and let them do the theoretical work, the dreaming. He required students to spend a little more and get programmable calculators. We spent the semester getting to know our calculators and getting to use them to do all of our heavy lifting, so to speak.

Before that class, I mostly used computers to play games. After that class, I saw calculators and computers as tools to do the repetitive, error-prone work and started programming in earnest.

I was a poor college student, so I picked the Casio - it was the cheapest option available. Other kids splurged on the HP 41CV or HP 71 calculators, which I would have loved to have. I have an HP 41 emulator on my phone, that's the closest I'll come to one.

The FX-3600p is a lightweight compared to today's graphing calculators - it could store two programs in memory and each was limited to (I think) 38 steps. That was enough to store equations and let you run through several iterations to graph it, saving a ton of time.

It does have its charms, though. The calculator I received arrived in great shape, and the original lithium CR2025 battery is still going strong.

posted at: 18:04 | path: | permanent link to this entry

The End of Putty?

I'm working with Windows Terminal on my Windows 11 desktop, and it's a nice environment. I can run my WSL terminal, Powershell and DOS command shells in one tabbed interface. I loaded my public keys into my profile and am using the SSH command in Windows to connect. After years of relying on Putty, I'm thinking I might not need it anymore. I'm starting to use tmux with my SSH sessions, I suppose I could cheat and open several SSH sessions at once in different tabs under Windows Terminal.

posted at: 16:42 | path: | permanent link to this entry