Carl C spent some time in the late 1980's at a software firm that developed avionics and global positioning systems for military and civilian customers. In their employ, he frequently visited Schlockdeed Corp, a customer with a contract to develop a new generation of jet fighters for the US military. Due to the top secret nature of their work, security was a big deal there.

Whenever Carl entered or left the facility, he had to pass through the security office to get clearance. They would thoroughly inspect his briefcase, jacket, lunchbox, and just about everything short of a full cavity search. Despite the meticulous nature of daily inspections at Schlockdeed, some of their "security measures" bordered on the absurd.

During this era of Sneakernet-type transfers of information, it wasn't uncommon for a programmer to take a box full of floppy disks to and from work every day. Schlockdeed had a rather lax policy regarding disk transportation even though it would be a super easy way to steal their secrets. Subcontractors like Carl would be issued a "media pass" after passing the initial background check to work with Schlockdeed. It was a card that allowed them to carry any number of floppy disks in and out of the building without question.

Carl's tenure was uneventful until he decided to bring his beloved HP-41CX calculator to the office. They were working on some complex algorithms and drawing up equations on a chalkboard was taking too long, so Carl hoped to speed up the process. During his morning inspection, Bill the security guy pulled out the HP-41CX and immediately had a concerned look come over his face.

Bill reached for the radio on his shoulder, "Paulie, we're going to need you. We have a situation." Carl became extremely confused. Had the 41CX been known to be used in bombs? Was it April Fool's Day? "Sir, we need to send you to our CIO for secondary inspection. Right this way," Bill motioned.

Carl's face flushed as he wondered what kind of trouble he was in, especially since "trouble" could quickly escalate to handcuffs and holding cells. He also wondered why a Chief Information Officer would be doing secondary security inspections. Bill led him to Paulie's office, which housed a portly man with a sweet 80's mustache. The nameplate on his desk identified him as the Calculator Inspection Officer.

"I'm gonna need to see yer adding machine there, buddy," Paulie said, holding his hand out. Bill placed the HP-41CX in his palm. He gave it a closer look and grunted, "I'll have to confiscate this from you. It's got internal memory in it, y'see, so you could potentially use it to sneak secrets out. You can have it back at the end of the day, but don't let me ever catch you bringing this here again!" Bill led a calculator-less Carl back to the main security office.

On the way, Bill explained how programmable calculators were strictly forbidden in the facility. Paulie was in charge of enforcing this policy and took his job very seriously. If Carl wanted to bring a calculator, it would have to be a very basic model. Once Paulie approved it, an "AC" (Approved Calculator) sticker would be placed on the back to allow its entry. Feeling discouraged without his HP-41CX, Carl resigned himself to inhaling chalk dust for the rest of his time at Schlockdeed. At least he had a media pass, so he could still freely take floppy disks in and out of the facility.

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