HPCC Conference



#15

Here is the information I finally got from the HPCC group on their conference with the HP Reps.

Hi Richard!

Oops, maybe you should have been included on the
conference mailing list. Eric Smith is setting up a
permanent conference mailing list for the future,
try to get onto it (eric@brouhaha.com).

HP intend to continue in the calculator business!
But the new people plan to create _only_ designs.
The actual implementation and manufacture will
_all_ be subcontracted to large Chinese calculator
makers. This seems to be a compromise between those
senior HP managers who think that still being in the
calculator business is an anachronism for HP, and
those who think it is a traditional HP product line
and should not be abandoned.

Two new business models made this way are in the works
and should be released about Christmas or New Year. HP
told us the model numbers, but asked us to keep this
stuff confidential for now.

They also said they would continue with RPN - part of
the discussion concerned the suggestion that a new name
should be used for RPN - HP Logic System or something
like that, since the name RPN is used by the other
makers as a way to frighten potential customers.

Many of us at the conference felt that this is a bit
better than nothing, but that the traditional users who
depend on HP quality are likely being abandoned :-(

Hope this helps! :-)

Regards,

Wlodek


#16

That's interesting. I think we all knew there wasn't going
to be a determined return to RPN-centric, cost-be-damned,
zero-compromise calculator design from HP, but I think the
fact that the team can focus only on design, and with RPN still on the table, we may see something good in the future, especially if what you're looking for is just an upgraded 42S or 32SII. Chinese contractors CAN do good work,as long as you make quality a priority. There's a lot of leverage in newer technology since HP's last serious designs and if some of the previous momentum can be recaptured and applied in this new environment good can result.


#17

I agree with Steve on this. After some uninspired outsourced designs, HP at least realizes that they need to offer something different from the rest of the market.

If they outsource their manufacturing, it won't bother me, as long as they put the value where it really belongs. They must offer the elegant (learning curve, but easy to use) interface that is unique to HP calculators, with hardware specs that make us remember the old days. I'm talking about high quality materials, good displays, tactile key feedback. If we're lucky, maybe they'll even do double-molded keys (I doubt it, but there is always hope).

After all, a lot of the end-of-the-run HP calcs made in Indonesia were nothing to write home about as far as build quality is concerned. Near the end, Indonesia produced a lot of junk with poor print registration, bad key feel, and poor fit/finish.

I'm choosing to be optimistic and I hope HP doesn't let me down. If they make a noble try at achieving their prior standards, they'll attract some of my lucre.

- Ed

#18

Any news on a possible HP32Sii replacement? (i.e. a grown up scientific but not graphical?) Or is the HP48/9 going to be the only option for the short to medium term?

From the posting it seems HP are more interested in serving the business market. Perhaps they see this as more profitable.

Glad to see RPN (HPN?) has not been rejected. If RPN is used as a dirty word by some competitors I doubt if HP would put their name or initials to a renaming of it in case HP's name was dragged down.

HP had been doing 'design only' calculators for some years (I don't think ACO made any production stuff). When was the last calculator made in an HP owned factory?

#19

HI;

it's good reading Wlodek's message.

Anyway, I want to add some impressions of mine about these new calculators.

I sincerely hope they are something more than the new Hewlett-Packard models that did not come from ACO: if I am not wrong, they are the HP6S, HP30S and HP10BII. Is it necessary to say what I want to say?

Cheers... (sob!)


#20

Just to add to the comments...

I just bought a new, in nasty plastic, package HP-10B.

It is very disappointing because of poor key feel, the click on release as though they are sticking and faulty, and the colours for the shifted keys is poor aesthetically and poor visible contrast. The overall finish seems cheap and I wouldn't buy another of that type!

So I have now found an older 10B with original colour and wish I hadn't wasted my money on the new one.

I'm now looking for a buyer....


#21

I know what you mean Gordon.

A few months ago I posted a message here regarding my new, 2002, Indonesia-built 19BII. I found a 1996 model at an electronics store that was still in the box, and its fit and finish are miles ahead of the 2002 model.

I was able to sell it on eBay, however...most people out there won't know the difference!

B.

#22

I'm not opposed to the 30s as it is- it's really quite well suited to the lower level educational market. and for the price range of calculators, it's got an edge in quality and feel. Really! It's NOT a 32E, a 41CX, nor a 42S. but it IS a lot better than the TI30 series. It would be nice of there was a bit more programmability in the solver apps.

It'd be nice if it had even the minimal keystroke programming of the 20S.

but- *for a non-programmable, algebraic, non graphing* calculator, it's *not* a bad product.

I just- like many of us- wish is was rpn and programmable.

I will say that the lack of a real instruction manual has turned off a lot of potential users in classes I take.

I've got a few people turned on the 20s, one to the 48g. none to the 30s- and that's simply the lack of a manual.


#23

Hi;

Christoff wrote:

for a non-programmable, algebraic, non graphing* calculator, it's *not* a bad product.

I do not own an HP30S, but I had one in hands for a week plus a couple of days in the beginning of this year, and I wish I could by one, believe me. I looks as if it is in between the low-cost available calculators from other manufacturers and the well know HP traditional technology. And you're right: if it is an RPN-based and is programmable (graphical?), it would be a different product, and I'd surely have one. Something like an HP32S in a new fashion...

I'm somewhat curious about the HP10BII. I downloaded the manual and read some parts briefly. It looks differently, and it visually resembles the Xpander (the top and bottom edges have the same curves); still having the Xpander in mind, even the HP30S has the same design for the top four function, coloured keys.

Well, let's take a breath and wait for the end of the year; may Santa bring us new HP calculators...

Cheers.


#24

I am really quite shocked about the cancelling of the 30s. For what it is, it's just so nice.

I guess HP just didn't push it, nor really care about it much.

Again- I think a real manual would have been the best thing possible. I got half way through a guide before realizing that it was cancelled. Now I have to wait for the new ones to make my mark- if it's worth it.

#25

I had my hands on a 10Bii yesterday for a couple of hours. There are (the financial) five keys across the top, lower-left (ON) & upper-left & upper-right still clears continuous memory, but ON & next-to-upper-right produces a display & partial keyboard test. You then run from the upper-left key diagonally down and to the right, "bounce" off the right-most column of keys, and diagonally down and to the left 'til you hit the bottom row (like a check-mark rotated counterclockwise, and note that this tests every row and every column, but not every key). Anything other than this yields a FAIL. After you've reached the bottom row, the display starts cycling, and so far as I could tell, everything but for an ON is ignored. This test seems to be undocumented in the manual (I didn't have that much time to play), and no other ON & top-row keys appeared functional.

As to quality, it stank. The design is interesting, but the silver facing around the display, and around the five financial keys, and a smaller grouping on the second row, all this silver is uneven, evidence of cheap plastic with silver paint (contrast with former technology, where this would be a piece of metal with a sheen, and there would be no humps or valleys). And my brief foray around the keyboard showed significant misregistration. Where my fingers would report one key press, I once got a double digit in the display, but much more often had that key press ignored (the "1" key was particularly troublesome for being missed). If I had to SWAG, I'd say ~1% mistakes, certainly enough that you'd have to be watching the display for confirmation of whatever you were doing, but perhaps not enough to return it for another....

Let's hope that the New HP (rumored to be internal design only, construction subcontracted to China) does better.

#26

I just found a 30s for my son at a local Office Depot. He likes it well enough -- I couldn't sell him on the merits of RPN, so it was the next logical, available HP choice. (His older brother uses a 48G+ in a calculus class that recommends the TI-83+.)

Discontinued? I'll have to go look & see if there are any more.


#27

Hi, Paul;

This is a bit off-topic, but in a sense, it involves calculators' usage in schools, and this is sort of subject that might be of interest for some of us in here.

I mentioned here a couple of times that I'm a teacher (university) and I encourage students to use the calculator as a tool, not a problem-solver. Our problems' solving is not a Hewlett-Packard problem, it's a Head-Power problem.

Now I read your older son uses an HP48G in a calculus class that recommends the TI-83+. I teach math and modern algebra (number theory) and I allow students to use any calculator they want to. I take a couple of classes guiding them in the calculators' usage to check for the final result, showing them the best part - finding a solution - cannot be done with the calculator. I have seen they take the calculators only in the end to conclude the calculus.

If they want to cheat and use the calculator to as a text-memory, I merely ask them how will they do without the machine: no batteries, broken calculator, memory loss, etc. Some of them understand and try their best to achieve final results only.

What's the procedure in the USA classes? Does it depend only on the teacher or the schools have their own standard procedure? I once read a post in here about it, but I don't remember when (as soon as we have the articles it's gonna be easier to find... Oh, yes, Dave; the CD's have just arrived!) and what was "told" about it. I'm curious to know if I'm doing something valued or not. I see the results immediately, but I don't know about my student's future as professionals.

Thank you


#28

Luiz-

I'm "back in school" doing some undergrad work for a third career. The stance on calculatrs is widely varied, as is the understanding of what they cna and can't do.

I have friends who are engineering majors who are shocked into speechless acquisitiveness by the idea that a pocket calculator can do matrices *at all* - let alone that ALL the non-graphing calcs that can do so are and most have been out of production for years now.

My (remedial course required for anyone who is out of school for >3 years) algebra teacher was cluless to the point of not understanding what I said when discussing order of operations and types of calculators (see the summer term threads). Current remedial trig (much more fun and useful as the prof is decent) sneers at calculator most of the time- but I think this is a geometers' reaction often enough.

My statistics professor (with whom I am also doing some extra calculus prep work) is an ex-programmer and thinks that if I can learn the material well enough to design and use a program to do it, that's great.

My chemistry professor thinks all calculators should be banned. This professor is overruled, fortunately. (This professor has a bit of a... fetish for preventing cheating. And this oddity makes for some very uncomfortable classes and homework assignments where I am left unable to check my work and determine if I have leanred the material!)

My experimental Psych prof shrugs and says that SPSS (statistics software) is faster, but if I like playing with stone age stuff, it's fine.

Not a representative sample, but this is what I deal with as a student. Obviously I prefer the approach of my stats prof.


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