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Okay, now. So maybe I'm just out of touch...

Has anyone REALLY heard definitely that HP is exiting the calculator market?

All I have heard, so far, is one reference here to hpcalc.org, which responded (perhaps apocalyptically?) to news that the Xpander was axed....

Believe me, big companies always have their own internal struggles. Xpander was a product that NEEDED a serious evaluation of its market. It failed to pass the test of a product that really met its intended market's desires. Add to that, that HP's mobile computing division has plenty of palmtops either ready to go, or in development.

Neither of these things, to me, signal HP's giving up on calcs. It MAY mean a re-emphasis on financial calcs, or a redesign of Xpander to be more than a crippled but trigonometry-savvy palm-pilot. Or any number of options, including the possibility that a calc division might be subsumed into the palmtop/handhelds development group, but still delivering calcs.

So is there any official word from HP? Any weird marketing thing from HP like a clearance sale? Any resumes from ACO personnel on Dice.com? Surely a few insiders on the mothership have come out and stated that nothing new is planned, that TI and Casio have won, that the board voted to relocate the calculator division to Antarctica....

If no, aren't we just grieving for the OLD HP again, the one that gave us the professional tools, NOT the one that produced the 6S and 39G and Xpander?

If YES, then I'll weep too; not that HP has shed some of its roots-- but that HP was too stupid to recognize the marketing blunders that were theirs to correct, and having lost their way, decided the effort was too great (and the market too small) to justify pursuing it with more purpose.

And then I'll possibly start my own calculator company. ;-) Or at least cheer on the one that thinks a lucrative and prestigious bit of market still exists for serious dedicated numeric computing devices.

So. Point me to the info, fellow web-citizens. Lead on!

And perhaps we should be working with Calculated Industries for a new one, they seem flexible and strong at specialization but would have volume concerns. They have a new low cost product in Walmart these days. The quality of this QC calc in it's leather case I have in my desk seems high.

so frank, you've got me curious, what is your "QC calc"?

It is a speciality calculator made by Calculated Industries of the US though the instrument made be made in Taiwan. They make a number of specialized calculators, electricalc which includes the US NEC rules where they apply and does volts, amps, etc, and several models of construction calcs, and others. Heres the web site: http://www.calculated.com/

Great Idea!

I checked out the site. There's a "Product Idea" submission page(!!!!)

Thinking I've nothing to lose, I blithely agreed to the disclaimer and posted them the following hasty summary. I'll keep you posted if I get any response. (Meanwhile, you all might want to reinforce the notion that such a beast might sell . . . )

-----------------------------------------------------------

IDEA:

A ~512 Kb programmable, PC-connectable, shirt-pocket calculator with a two-line display and a configurable keyboard/user interface. (Roughly, an HP-41C/42S substitute.)

Since Hewlett-Packard has discontinued its HP-41C and HP-42S calculator lines, calculator hobbyists have been yearning for a suitable equivalent. An available, supported, fully programmable machine with some form of PC interface (infrared or wire connector) and an "open" architecture would satisfy a lot of calculator users.

The ideal machine would include a simple numeric keypad, with configurable and menu keys, a two-line alphanumeric LCD display, and something like 512Kb or more usable, low-power memory. Users should be able to program the "behavior" of the machine to the point that it could be made to emulate RPN (stack-based) or "algebraic" operating modes.


END-USERS:

Programmable calculator users (engineers and scientists) who feel abandoned by Hewlett-Packard.

Interested parties would pitch in on workstation compilers and simulators, allowing users to mock up new or modified programs on the PC, then download them to the calculator.

If the hardware were made available, the interest group would cooperate on "open source" projects to make the device more widely usable. Any "kernal" features which the manufacturer could provide (trigonometric functions, display and key entry subroutines, PC I/O routines, etc.) would serve as building blocks for several full-featured manifestations of the calculator's evolving software base.


COMMENTS:

Visit the "Forum" sections at the Museum of HP Calculators (www.hpmuseum.org) to get a sense of people's longing for a programmable, shirt-pocket portable.

Hi fellows,

what I´ve heard in Sweden HP calculators will die out in a near future. Is that in accordance wth the information You have in US. If this is true we dealing with technology and sciense will suffer a great loss. You know, yesterdaay my old heavely used HP15 just failed to respond to ENTER pressing.

What to to if HP is stopping the manufacturing of calculators. Only one answer - slide rule!!! Nefer a Casio or Texas calculator.

I´m one of the first users in Sweden of HP35 (with the confusing x^y) in Sweden. Ever since HP has been my way of calculation (the natural way) up to the present HP49 (with its unfortunately very bad manuals).

Ps!

Maybe I misunderstood this forum???

Jan-Olov (and all concerned);

Rumors are sometimes right, but more often wrong!

UNLESS and UNTIL HP "throws in the towel" OFFICIALLY, I personally am going to choose to believe the following:

HP is going to make calculators until the end of time. (A 10-series financial model will, in fact, still be manufactured somewhere in the galaxy as long as "money" in some form is being used as an exchange medium.)

As far as coming out with new models we enjoy and respect, well, we can AT LEAST expect that HP will make competent and accurate appliances that effectively serve the markets HP attempts to target. These markets are GOING TO BE students, ordinary consumers, businesses and sales professionals.

The models will mostly be inexpensive, algebraically-oriented, programmable, menu-driven, and graphical, pretty much LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE'S products. If HP wants to differentiate itself in calculator markets (though it is by no means clear that they WANT to be different), they will leverage technologies they lead in... maybe make a color-inkjet calc, or one that you scan over your homework paper and it OCRs and then grades the results.

If some HP folk (CEO-type) have their way, you'd buy an HP calc that would satellite its questions to an HP Network center, distribute the computing task, and download the answer back to your calc via a cellular link. Each keypress would result in a debit to your credit-card account, on file at HP. Luckily, the Marketing department is probably competent enough to survey consumer resistance beforehand... and recommend instead "new cool colors" for the 6s....

In any case, don't call time on HP. It is true they DON'T anymore emphasize what we came to value in the older iterations of calculators... but that does NOT mean that HP is leaving the calculator market.

Indeed, someday, somehow, they might even surprise and delight us again (hey, I am still open to that possibility).