Remember When....



#6

....HP was tops in education? I was cleaning up my garage office and came across these publications from 1989. Forgot I had them.

Cover with 22s

Cover with 32s

and an advert inside for the 28s overhead...

A 1990 edition had an advert for the TI81. How things quickly changed after that. :(

Edited: 14 June 2007, 10:05 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#7

Sure things changed. They always do.
But remember that TI is just out to make the $$$. HP still make the best calcs. If they could get their marketing on track, they could clean up.
Nice scans :)

#8

That projector must be a great rarity. I've never seen it on eBay. In fact, I've never even heard of it. (It's not mentioned in the Museum's 28C/S page or it's associated feature list.) The ribbon cable in the picture appears to terminate in the LCD display area. In a normal clamshell of course, there's no easy way to remove the LCD. I suppose the connector on the LCD end could contain a CCD camera. The flat ribbon cable is consistent with that idea. But more likely it's a specially modified 28S. At the price they were charging, that would have been feasible. does anyone know more about this setup? Did you ever see one?

Regards,
Howard


#9

You're right Howard. The calculator and overhead are a single unit. I tried getting one of these in 1990 when I started teaching, but the $500 was a little steep for the department. I haven't seen one around ever either.

Chuck


#10

I've seen a HP 28S on Ebay with pin connectors where the LCD should have been. It was discussed some time ago in these forums. I don't believe we ever deduced what the anomaly was- I think this solves it.

No other overhead display was sold with it- only the apaparently HP modified calculator.


#11

I'm the current owner of this one. My understanding was, that it has been used to test different kind of LCDs, the connector would exactly math the picture though. It looks like the "real" 28 is inside the box and only the keyboard is in the 28 housing.

I'll try to put up a picture later today...


#12

#13

That does indeed look like an engineering prototype. But you can see that they probably had to do exactly zero engineering on the calculator itself in order to implement the overhead adapter. They already had the external display adapter as part of the prototypes.

I'll bet the overhead thingy is quite rare, but I'll bet your prototype is rarer still.

Regards.
Howard

#14

Quote:
... I tried getting one of these in 1990 when I started teaching, but the $500 was a little steep for the department. ...

More than "a little steep" for most departments. Predatory pricing is exactly why HP didn't survive in the education market.


#15

Quote:

More than "a little steep" for most departments. Predatory pricing is exactly why HP didn't survive in the education market.


Palmer, if HP priced in a predatory way it would now rule the education market! Predatory pricing refers to low prices that undercut competitors and drive them out of business. Maybe you meant to say "Premium pricing"?

Edited: 16 June 2007, 1:41 a.m.


#16

How about "not very smart and quite ineffective pricing?" 8)

I think they must have been used to ruling the market and charging high prices for everything. That they would get undercut by TI, with machines that were clearly inferior technically and quality-wise must have seemed unlikely to them.

Back in the day, all their stuff was expensive, from instruments to calculators to computers. It must have been a hard transition for them to make competing in commodity businesses. The finally got it, to judge by the printers and PCs - the two major businesses they retained in the transition from the old HP to the new. But I can't help thinking that the old quality approach and the steep prices were different aspects of the same phenomenon.

Regards,
Howard


#17

They probably priced it based on expected sales: "We'll probably sell about 1000 units, so the price will have to be $500.00 per unit."

"How do you figure we'll only sell 1000 units?"

"Well, at $500.00 a unit, that's all we can realistically expect to sell."


#18

:-D Marketing at its best! ;-)

#19

Quote:
That projector must be a great rarity. I've never seen it on eBay. In fact, I've never even heard of it. (It's not mentioned in the Museum's 28C/S page or it's associated feature list.) The ribbon cable in the picture appears to terminate in the LCD display area. In a normal clamshell of course, there's no easy way to remove the LCD. I suppose the connector on the LCD end could contain a CCD camera. The flat ribbon cable is consistent with that idea. But more likely it's a specially modified 28S. At the price they were charging, that would have been feasible. does anyone know more about this setup? Did you ever see one?

Regards,
Howard


There was a HP28S with the overhead adapter on eBay some time ago and someone asked on this forum what it was for.

Dave.

#20

Yes, I've seen one, and there was a cable where the LCD would normally be. No camera.

#21

Chuck --

Nice scans; thanks! I never knew of these publications.

As for the overhead-projecting HP-28S, though, I'd say that using those tools to teach calculus would have been a waste of effort and money. It takes valuable instructional time to learn how to enter symbolic equations on the HP-28 or any other device. Because of the small screen and no Equation Writer, the entered expression doesn't match what is on the board or in the textbook. The wrapped-around single-line results obtained on the calculator are hard to read, with nested parentheses and lack of sub- and superscripting.

I suppose the point is to be able to check one's answers after doing the symbolic calculus by hand, but, well...

And the price! Assuming no educational discount, 30 x $235 = $7050 in 1989 dollars was the minimum "entry fee" for getting the special projecting unit at no additional charge. Hope that none of those pricey calculators disappeared or got broken.

One of the HP-28C's I won on eBay several years ago was in mint condition with the original packaging. The price tag on the box showed $220 or so. I suppose that the hapless buyer expected a modernized HP-41, and found it to be something completely different that (s)he had no idea how to use.

-- KS

Edited: 15 June 2007, 1:13 a.m.


#22

Quote:
Nice scans; thanks! I never knew of these publications.


Thanks Karl. I found out the publication is still active. Here's the link to their home page: MACE

CHUCK

#23

Chuck,

Do you know if the content of these publications is available anywhere? If not, is there any chance of you scanning and posting the contents at some point? I'm sure it would be much appreciated by all.

Thanks,

Bink


#24

Hi Bink. I could scan the three that I have, but I'd need to contact MACE for permission and copyright concerns.

Chuck


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