What is the next platform?



#7

With the recent announcement of Dell's cessation of the Axim PDA series, I think a reasonable question is; what is the next platform for calculators and calculator simulators? Are we destined for example, to run Free42 on a cell phone for (insert favourite deity here) sake? Free42 on a blackberry?

I don't pack a laptop every day. The Dell Axim is like the 41. It is a venerable product, the standard if you will. Sony, Apple, Toshiba have all left the PDA market. These are large players who drop in and drop out of markets all the time. It is interesting, but not really surprising that they have dropped the PDA. Not so with Dell.

From a marketing perspective, I actually see the potential for growth in the calculator business. If the PDA does in fact, get phased out as a form factor with the rush to newer, cooler technologies.

Interested in others perspectives. HP-50 forever?


#8

I still like the palm platform even though I had an Axim 50v for some time and the VGA resolution on that screen was amazing. I still prefer palm.

However, some sort of convergence is inevitable. People just won't carry a laptop, cell phone AND a PDA and an iPod.

Not going to happen.

Perhaps the iPhone will be a convergence product, particularly if Apple opens it up to third party applications.

Music, internet access, cell phone, lots of built-in apps, etc.

We'll see.

However, for dedicated number crunching, there is no way around the calculator. Who needs dedicated number crunching abilities? Certainly accountants and financial people who evaluate deals at a lunch table. :-) Students, certainly. Professional scientists, technicians? Harder to say. If there were a big market for calculators in these areas, they would have sold better.

Gene


#9

Quote:
People just won't carry a laptop, cell phone AND a PDA and an iPod.

Actually, not only will they, they do!

Two trips back, I carried a cell phone in my left pocket, plane tickets in my left cargo pocket, wallet in my right pocket, A laptop over my shoulder, A 5 Mpx digital camera,and two calculators in my bag. This time I left the graphing calc behind.

I see guys with exactly the list you mentioned--routinely--in the airport, on the plane etc. A good number now have the PDA/cellphone merged and the calculator is gone, but the ipod and the laptop still travel. The ipod is tiny, and the laptop is huge. They are for such different purposes.

What is the last thing I bring, only if I really need it?

The laptop. I leave it home as often as possible.

#10

I've been batting around this hypothetical in my mind for a while now, not that I'm necessarily interested in trying to produce one. I call it a PDX, essentially a PDA with extended capabilities and a keyboard that can either be folded or slid out. With the keyboard retracted it should be the same size as a modern PDA only thicker.

The big drawback will be power consumption, but anyone who has owned a PDA can tell you can popping it into a charging cradle is an easy habit to make. 1-2 weeks between charges should be achievable.


#11

Quote:
essentially a PDA with extended capabilities and a keyboard that can either be folded or slid out.

Zaurus SL-5000/5500/5600/6000?


#12

Not quite. I'd like to see a nice calculator keyboard slide out with full sized keys.

#13

I hope the next platform is SMALL and dedicated.
I don't need a scientific calculator in my phone, I don't need it in a PDA, I don't need it a notebook, I don't need it on my PC, I don't need it in *insert new fangled tech item here*

What I do need is a dedicated scientific calculator with no fancy stuff. One designed to do the job, and one that I can take with me. Something I can really slip in my shirt pocket, my back pocket, or on my wrist.

No I don't need a color screen, I don't need graphing, I don't need fancy programming.

And no, a Voyager is not small enough IMHO, so I hope the next platform is smaller again.

Dave.


#14

Understood. But the question here is hypothetical and dealing with advances beyond the same graphing machines that have been around for the past 15 years.

In terms of what most people around here would actually like to use... HP would do very well to make a 15c with a two-line display in a cast magnesium case slimmed down to 0.25" or so. Package it with a good manual, price it around $75, sit back and watch engineers buy at least two each.

That's the reason I don't want to mess around too much with big graphing machines. I only ever use the things if I'm sitting down at a desk. My workhorse is the 11c I carry in my shirt pocket every day.


#15

Quote:
HP would do very well to make a 15c with a two-line display in a cast magnesium case slimmed down to 0.25" or so. Package it with a good manual, price it around $75, sit back and watch engineers buy at least two each.

Exactly my thoughts: the calculator is coming back into favour for small to moderately sized calculations. For anything more complex, MATLAB, ADS, Eagleware, R etc. is the best choice : so for professional use, the graphing calculator is a bulky irrelevance.

Experience has also shown us that PDA soft-calculators don't provide the user experience on a touch screen - and programming is not fun.
Gadget wise most of now carry a iPod and a cell-phone even though the cell-phone has a MP3 player, but like the PDA calculator, it's not the same as a dedicated device. We are seeing just as much divergence through multiple smaller lower cost devices - as convergence with higher cost multi-use device.

If HP make what Hugh suggested, I would get one for home and one for work, as well as starting a deluge of orders for other engineers at work.

#16

Or would they like even better, as I do, an "HP42SX", an HP42S with a bit more memory and a redesign infrared port that works not just as a printer port but as an interface to communicate with other devices such as a computer so as to download programs, etc. The HP42S already has a two-line display, is more powerful and user friendly (almost intuitive to use) than the HP15C, and as an added bonus is compatible with the best machine (not just a calculator) ever built, the HP41CX.

Regards, Thor


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Voyager Platform for the 21st Century Norman Dziedzic 24 4,099 03-03-2011, 12:34 PM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  DIY Calc Hardware Platform Donald Williams 0 576 06-04-2010, 02:28 PM
Last Post: Donald Williams
  Circuit Cellar: HP20B, repurposing a development platform Hubert Weikert 7 1,677 10-26-2009, 01:45 AM
Last Post: Walter B
  The 20b as a development platform Bruce Bergman 32 5,499 06-12-2008, 06:22 PM
Last Post: DaveJ
  HP 15C emulator for the Palm OS platform? Richard Ghost 2 764 04-08-2002, 10:25 PM
Last Post: r.j. bied

Forum Jump: