April 14, 1865: Abraham Lincoln Is Shot
On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a supporter of the Confederacy and of slavery, shot Lincoln as the president and his wife watched a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The president died the next morning, and Vice President Andrew Johnson entered the nation’s highest office.
Chronicle the life of the 16th President of the United States with American Experience’s Abraham Lincoln biography.
Photo: An 1863 daguerreotype of Lincoln, at the age of 54.
The Posse Comitatus Act is the United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) that was passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction and was updated in 1981. Its intent (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) was to limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the state laws.
The Act, as modified in 1981, refers to the Armed Forces of the United States. It does not apply to the National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state’s governor. The United States Coast Guard, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is also not covered by the Posse Comitatus Act, primarily because the Coast Guard has both a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission.
Observe your cat. It is difficult to surprise him. Why? Naturally his superior hearing is part of the answer, but not all of it. He moves well, using his senses fully. He is not preoccupied with irrelevancies. He’s not thinking about his job or his image or his income tax. He is putting first things first, principally his physical security. Do likewise.
The HP-12C is HP’s longest and best-selling product, in continual production since its introduction in 1981. Due to its simple operation for key financial calculations, the calculator long ago became the de facto standard among financial professionals. Its popularity has endured despite the fact that even a relatively simple, but iterative, process such as amortizing the interest over the life of a loan – a calculation which modern spreadsheets can complete almost instantly – can take over a minute with the HP-12C. The 1977 October edition of the HP Journal contains an article by Roy Martin, the inventor of the simple method of operation used in HP financial calculators, which describes, in detail, the mathematics and functionality built by Professor William Kahan of UC Berkeley and Roy Martin that is still in use today.
Later HP financial calculators are many times as fast with more functions, but none has been as successful. The HP-12C’s programing mode is very intuitive and works like a macro operation on a computer. Basically, the keys one would press in the calculating mode to arrive at a solution are entered in the programing mode along with logical operators (if, and, etc.) if applicable to the solution. After the programing is complete, the macro will run in the computation mode to save the user steps and improve accuracy. There are 99 lines of programmable memory on the HP-12C.
Over its lifespan, the processor’s technology has been redesigned to integrate all the circuitry into a single chip and to refresh the manufacturing process (as the foundry could no longer manufacture the necessary chips, having moved on to making higher-density chips). However, HP’s market research found in the late 1980s that the users did not trust results obtained too quickly and so the CPU speed was never improved from the original 200 or so kHz. In the late 1990s, the CPU was changed to a 3V process and the battery was changed to a single 3 V cell.
In 2008, HP modified the design so that new production runs contain an ARM processor which runs an emulated version of previous chips. This has brought advanced possibilities such as flashing new firmware, not previously possible. HP also released a software development kit (SDK), making it possible to make new and custom operating systems. The calculator runs 20 times faster on most benchmark operations. This version is colloquially known as the HP-12C+ although HP does not market it as a different product.
The HP-12C is one of only four calculators permissible in the Chartered Financial Analyst exams, the others being its sister, the HP-12C Platinum, and the Texas Instruments BA II Plus and BA II Plus Professional.
Often referred to as a tool for “Old-ie Time-ies,” critics of the HP-12C claim its early 1980s technology and style are antiquated. Proponents however, are quick to note that the HP-12C continues to be both the de jure and de facto standard of high finance.
Not a day goes by I don’t use my HP-12.
2011 FBI National Gang Threat Analysis
Just one more reason I carry a gun.