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MTC Rocks!!! I made my own HP-41CX overlay !!!

KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
edited February 2011 in Your Masterpieces
Ok, this might not be the regular scrapbooking project but I am so happy about it!!!

First, please allow me to give you some background, as this is a memorable event for me.

A week ago, I received one of the best gifts I have ever received: a vintage HP-41CX calculator.

I'm an engineer and during university time I had the pleasure of using one of these classic calculators. The HP-41 series calculators are the best, if not the best, calculators ever produced.

While at university I borrowed an HP-41CV from my brother, he is an engineer too (a brilliant one, and I am short describing his passion for study and engineering). He was ahead of me and probably thought that loaning that calculator was a way of encouraging me to do my best at university. Or maybe there was no polite way of saying no to a younger brother desperately asking for that calculator!! I was so proud using that little computer, it was like having a Ferrari, so to speak. Unfortunately it was stolen before I graduated so I have a sad memory of losing that calculator and particularly, my brother's one.

I always missed that machine. At points I thought of buying one from eBay, just to revive those days. But as you know, life gets in the way and priorities don't seem to accommodate for old stuff not strictly needed...no matter how much you would love to have it.

Well, last week (so some 25 yrs after university), an engineer in my company stopped by my office to discuss a project we have been working on. This guy is smart, fast thinker, friendly and amazingly enthusiast as no one else. He happens to be a manager too and, yes you are right, that's a rare case!!! I did notice in previous meetings that he still uses an HP-41CX, a rare sight these days. Strangely, last week he had a Casio model and when we went on checking some calculations, he was struggling with the keys and finally said "I can barely work with this thing, I need my HP!". We both laughed, he told me he had the HP back at home or something. I told him he was lucky to have his and the story about the one I lost at the university.

Later that day, he stopped again by my office and said "I have a surprise for you.". He pulled out a dusty, HP-41CX !!! and told me he had it lying around. The rest is history. I have spent a few hours during the last days cleaning it and fixing some internal issues with electronic contacts. The 41CX is now working nicely and I have been having fun reading old manuals and using it again. What a wonderful way of wasting one's time !!! :-)

HP-41 connoisseurs are familiar with keyboard "overlays". They are used to facilitate access to the many functions that are not assigned to keys. You can find some of the original overlays on eBay, and even some new aftermarket blank ones.

Just for the sake of fun, I decided to use a picture found online and then created the overlay in Photoshop. This morning I used MTC to import a jpg copy and then after only 3 trials to adjust the size to the exact fit, our Cricut produced a perfect overlay !!!! :-) I am impressed with the precision and detail of the cut.

Thanks to MTC, one of the finest pieces of software I've ever seen.

Here are a couple pictures ! Please contact me if you are interested in the files...not of much general use I admit.



  • debzdebz Member Posts: 3,310
    Now that's just cool. I so love to see stuff like this being done with the software/cutting machines.

    Do you just use paper for the overlay or are you going to use vinyl?

    I'm the dork who likes that you made it say "make the cut" on the screen. I used to love making words out of my calculator with the numbers (remember I prefaced this sentence with I'm the dork...)
    Deb http://krapikreate.wordpress.com/ Cutting with 24" KNK Maxx, Silhouette SD, Expression, Cameo, and Zing Team KNK Designer
  • JinJin Member Posts: 1,694
    I love your story! What a nice guy to let you have his calculator that he doesn't use. You did a great job with the overlay! Did you show it to him?
    Lettering Delights 101: How to use Lettering Delights. underacherrytree.com is my blog and you can find my LD/MTC/Silhouette tutorials there or you can find me on Facebook! :-)
  • SydneysMomSydneysMom Member Posts: 1,860
    Isn't it great?! Looks very nice!
    *** 24 Inch Black Cat Cougar For Sale – SOLD *** Silhouette SD For Sale - Please PM me if interested ***
  • GaTechGalGaTechGal Member Posts: 898
    edited February 2011
    Ain't it fun to be a geek? But your desk is WAY too neat to be an engineer. ;-)
  • Calgalcre8sCalgalcre8s Member Posts: 2,901

    Great Job!!! =D> =D> =D>
  • CaseysAngelCaseysAngel Member Posts: 14,967
    Love my mtc. great job.
    Christy http://everdaylittlethings.blogspot.com/ Cutters: Craft Robo, Cricut Expression, and the absolute BEST A BLACK CAT COUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    Hehe, thanks for the comments! I wanted to thank MTC with the words on the screen!

    I used paper but I plan to use card stock... I haven't used vinyl, I may have to ask in the store for it...any brand or type I should look for?

    Yes, my friend was generous, that's for sure! I will give him some blank overlays, he probably doesn't know a thing about the Cricut ! lol

    About the desk... you have to see it when there are no cameras around !!! :-)

  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    My daughter has an iPod touch Santa gave her last Christmas. I am thinking Santa will have to bring me one, that little thing is amazing...check this out: http://www.alsoftiphone.com/i41CXplus/
  • cleversomedaycleversomeday Member Posts: 1,183
    Although I was a TI gal (never could get the hang of RPN) I can definitely understand the love of a calculator (we used to name ours). Great project, thanks for sharing.
  • neldanelda Moderator Posts: 11,637
    You know, I think I may have had one of those too - back in the mid-80s when I took college Calculus (physics major at that time, but lots of engineers in class with me).
    In Indy, blogging along at http://papercraftingwithnelda.blogspot.com/ Lettering Delights affiliate - order through here to give me credit! Cutters: using the the Silhouette SD almost exclusively these days!
  • katwmskatwms Member Posts: 480
    Ok, since you lost the one that belonged to your brother.....are you going to let him play with this one??? O:) :-D
    Kathy W. Like my C...t E and LOVE my 24" Black Cat Cougar and now a Cameo Follow Me on Pinterest
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    Cleversomeday, (I like that nickname!),
    Thanks for your comments, my engineering is in comp. science and industrial control, so a TI by heart too (although never worked formally as TI...ended up sucked in by the always churning wheel of big petrochemicals and big oil, lol). In addition to the 41CX, I loved the Casio FX-850p....I wish I had one now ! (no RPN, just plain Basic and a nice, big LCD screen).

    Nelda, that word sounds familiar..."Calculus" I mean....hehehe...can't remember a lot of that stuff ! ;-) But I still have my old Leithold book around, just in case, so fear nothing!! ( Dr. Leithold died in 2005; his extraordinary book I think will be around forever ).
  • SBryanWSBryanW Administrator Posts: 5,293
    Great job Kesh! Now for your next challenge... Using print and cut, create non-blank overlays!
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    I have been thinking in getting the manuals from eBay (I have just copies in pdf), a math module, put everything in a box and send it without previous notice to him. I would pay to see his face when he gets it.

    PS: As I said..."thinking" only.... ;-) ( I might do it...who knows....but just in case I will ask his wife if he has another one....I don't know that...hehe )
  • katwmskatwms Member Posts: 480
    I know how you feel, it is hard to let go of something that is still useful and has brings happy memories. My sister wants a cricut really bad and since I have bought a cougar I was "thinking" of giving her my cricut.
    Kathy W. Like my C...t E and LOVE my 24" Black Cat Cougar and now a Cameo Follow Me on Pinterest
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    edited February 2011
    Katwms, tell me a bit about the Cougar, I didn't know anything about the Cougar until today, when I saw CaseysAngel's signature...I went to a web page and saw the price is substantially higher than the Cricut's. I imagine there must be a reason !!! Lol, we only have a couple months with the Cricut and I am already thinking I need something bigger!
  • scrappinwithzscrappinwithz Member Posts: 2,717
    Great job Kesh. You would love a Cougar there are several threads here about them. They are the Cadillac version of a cutter!! I have the 24" one and LOVE it!
    My blog: http://www.scrappinwithz.blogspot.com Zenita S.--Dexter, MO-- Cougar!!! affiliate for MTC affiliate for Lettering Delights
  • amaslpamaslp Member Posts: 268
    Loved your story and to see what else MTC can do!! The possibilities are just endless :-)
    Ann A. South FL Photobucket
  • karen3912karen3912 Banned Posts: 3,182
    Kesh, tsk tsk again. You told me it is your wife's Cricut. I want to see something she has cut now. Sometimes husbands are so bad even mine. Who is also an engineer. An electrical one. Well that is where he started but he has a mind like a calculator. He can cost a complete power station down to the last cable tie in an hour without a calculator. He scares me. :-S
    Really well done on the overlay's! Now you will have to do them in acetate in print and cut so you can print the new whatever symbol's those overlay's are for. :-D
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    Karen3912, lol !!! Thanks for the comments. Hey, you all gave me an idea: back in January, one of my first projects was to cut printed cupcake tags ( I think I will post in a separate discussion with a couple pictures ). I searched on internet how to print in an inkjet and then cut with the Cricut and found the "hinge" method. After a few trials I became an expert cupcakes tagger!!!

    I think the hinge method might be perfect here !!!! omg...can't wait to print and cut it! :-)

    I will discuss with the Chairman of the Board and see if she wants to make some bookmarks this week ---my daughter and I already had it planned to make some nice ones with the Cricut! ...oh, wait, that's another "Masterpiece" I can post here, yeah!! :-)
  • karen3912karen3912 Banned Posts: 3,182
    Kesh! Your daughter is in on the cutter take over. :-S I could handle a son but a daughter. I really need to speak to the Chairman. :-D I can write a book on husband training and she needs a copy. Lol!
    You so need a Cougar if you are having this much fun. I can't sell you one because I am in Australia but I can say it. :)
  • KeshKesh Member Posts: 33
    Karen3912, hahahaha....you are probably right about the take over, she has it in the genes, from the Chairman !!!! I suspect your manuscript somehow is already leaked on internet and wife downloaded a copy long ago or, the only other plausible theory that could explain such high levels of brain manipulation is that my wife has received special powers from an extraterrestrial superior life form! ;-)
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