I was born in a small log cabin in rural Pennsylvania… just kidding. I always wanted to be an EE and to design electronic devices. In the mid-70s I completed the first goal by graduating with a BSEE. I spent my working career designing industrial control systems instead of working at a PCB level of design. Now I’m able to spend some time and money pursuing circuit design. Unfortunately, I could only justify buying imported, mostly Chinese, test equipment. Since American English is my first language and I don’t speak a word of Chinese, learning all the features and shortcomings can be time consuming and difficult.

I always looked forward to HP products because they are well designed, rugged, full featured, and often have an Easter egg or two I didn’t anticipate. In 1972, the IEEE offered a discount on the HP35 to members and student members. I jumped at the opportunity to own the calculator that every engineer was talking about. It is still mind boggling the features it had for the time. I used it throughout college and when I started working professionally. I finally retired it about 30 years later for an HP48G to take my professional engineer exam. From time to time, I had the opportunity to use HP test gear and personal computers at work. Needless to say, I’ve had HP/Agilent/Keysight envy ever since while struggling with Radio Shack quality test instruments.

Some of my completed and work-in-progress projects include a 3D graphic display, a resistance reference standard, an 120VAC test board, a giant holiday marquis and an adjustable height workbench. The workbench has been a lot of fun because it includes mechanical design, woodworking, electronics design and testing, PCB design and fabricating and lastly programming.

In conclusion, my HP calculators are lonely for some Keysight companions and I miss that attention to detail that sets Keysight above its competitors.

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