Next HP Calc?



#25

OK, I'd like to pose a question to everybody. When is HP going to introduce it's next calculator? What features will it have (or should it have)?

Personally, I'd like it to have a size like the 42S, with RPN (or maybe switchable algebraic/RPN) with a lot of scientific functions and a few financial functions; programmable, expandable (like the 48) and capable of storing programs outside the calc (like the old 41C series). C'mon everybody...let's get a discussion going on this crucial issue for us HP users! Frank


#26

Hi, I would like to see a calc with up to date features in the body of an old one. Why are they making cars, refrigerators, toasters, ... all in the historic design and not the HP calcs.

Stefan


#27

if they would make a 42s with the memory and expansion capabilities of the gx, it would be the best thing you could get. (hint hint hint hint hint hint hint hint to corvallis)


#28

Yeah!!! John's got the right idea!!! That would be great because the GX, as good as it is, is sometimes too large. And get rid of the funky colors on the GX. Us old timers liked the classic colors! Frank

#29

Yeah, like a 10C. I don't think HP will ever go back to older designs. A 10C-like calculator will be very expensive to make nowadays.


#30

A metal frame, like the 10C has, would be an important step for future HP calculators. The plastic construction in current calcs (especially 48) is not really stiff and makes strange noises, if the halves are pressed together a bit (smoothly).

I have never seen a 41 or a 71 with such a strange feeling, if you hold it in the hand.

#31

For the 25th anniversary of the HP-25 (i.e., the year 2000), it would be fitting to put out a shirt-pocket-sized, programmable LED calculator (maybe even a resurrected Woodstock package), perhaps with -32S features, and at least 8K of memory. (The "HP-25 Squared"?)

The LED version would be for collectors and afficionados. A thinner (Pioneer style) LCD version could serve as an HP-42S replacement. Both should have HP-48G-style IR I/O.

And give back the colors of the original HP-27 -- the most gorgeous handheld ever produced!

C'mon, guys -- there's still a market for a communicating, programmable, super-portable number-cruncher!

#32

How about.... Desktop calc like HP-91/97 Good use on desk... with-> Large display, computer hot link In this unit have a removable pocket size calc.. hp-25 or 42S size... could be like a Windows CE (Jordana 420?) but hate to lose hp keys....

#33

Frank - HP will announce a new calc on the 18th at ceBit in Germany. Maybe someone who reads German can navigate around the site a bit better tahn I and find some better pictures but try http://www.hewlett-packard.de/kaufen.html as a starting point! Note that these are 'made for HP' not *true* HP's (dare I say they look like they were made by TI? :])


#34

Here a short translation of the page

http://www.hp-shop.de:80/hp/gratis.asp?mscssid=174699

In my opinion this calculator will be a VERY cheap thing, maybe to get market shares in the low-cost market, where TI is very strong (here in Austria and maybe in Germany too). The picture is very small, but looks like a very cost-effective (cheap made) construction. Not the real McCoy for me. Here the translation. Sorry, if my english is not sufficient.

Calculator with fractions

The HP6S and the HP6S Solar are two new scientific calculators by HP, which will be used by pupils in math but also by adults when doing scientiffic calculations.

The HP6S is available in two versions: with Battery (blue calculator) with solar and battery (silver calculator)

Ypo can get one of these two for free when placing an order during CEBIT (Mar. 18-24)!


#35

The tiny HP-6 / 6S calculator image can be obtained at:

http://www.hp-shop.de:80//hp/assets/images/tr_aktion2.gif

(I think I see an "equals" key . . . )

#36

Looks like a Casio to me. Any idea who is building them for HP? I'll probably get one anyway just for kicks.


#37

I hope you'll get a free pair of sunglasses if you buy one. Have you seen those colours?

#38

Ok, I am going to date myself... I still believe that the best calculator ever made by hp (particularly when considering the competition at the time) was the HP41C/CV/CX. Although far less powerful (mathematically) than the current machines they had the unparalleled ability to communicate with the outside world. Their four ports and their HP-IL interface allowed communication and control that is as yet unmatched (even by full blown PC's) and allowed this control to be performed in the field far from reliable power sources. I would like to see this sort of communication/cotrol capability to be reintroduced in a new generation of machines. Although the serial and i/r interfaces allow for some external communication, there is a limit on the number and types of devices that can be controlled. With the various HP-IL development kits and interfaces the HP41 (and 71) could communicate with just about anything that was capable of communicating with the outside world.

Ok, so I won't get what I want...

I would like to see the new machine have the same basic configuration as the 48 but shorter and narrower (can be deeper if need be) with i/r and serial ports, at least two *(preferably three or four) ports, and a larger (resolution wise) display (physical size can be the same -- just want more pixels). I think color would be nice but is not needed, and a good, easily accessible instruction set for those people who want to develop in assembler. Of course it HAS to be RPN or I won't by one (dual mode is ok as long as RPN is available). Faster would be nice, but again, for me, this is not the most important issue. To me what makes an HP desirable is the interface, the build quality, and the user comunity support.

It would take a lot more thought to actually spec out exactly what I would like in the calc, and then of course there are cost issues -- can the machine still be produced for under $300 -- but in general what I want is a new high end machine in the old HP tradition.


#39

The HP-48G is, in fact, mostly empty space -- that big round back serves little purpose beyond smoothly fairing the battery compartment into the rest of the unit. One could, I would think, move the electrolytic capacitor and the coil (I think that's what it is) along with the batteries, and line 'em up in a long tube alongside the keyboard and display.

Also, moving some of the keys to either or both sides of the display could provide a more "square" or "horizontal" overall format (a` la HP-10C series). (Softkeys on the sides of the display might be cool -- select stack entries with the push of a button, vertical menus, etc.)

Thus, HP could simply reconfigure the HP-48G with, say, 1Mb of memory, a thinner case, and a different keyboard layout, and provide a substantially more "shirt-pocket-portable" calculator, with even more power than available at present. (And bring back VISIT!)


#40

What I would like to see is an HP with the functionality of the 48G in a more ruggedized case. Add a high speed data link capability to make it more useful for logging data and perhaps add rubber grips to the sides to facilitate one handed use. Make available an inexpensive link hardware and software for pcs. Making the IR link capable of reading barcodes would make it a viable entry as a data logger as well as a calculator. (Maybe future "tricorders" will carry the HP logo ;-) )

#41

Frank: I commend you for initiating this debate. May I suggest (for the supposed new model) to have a 4-level stack RPN, instead of the infinite stack of the -28 or -48 ? Thanks


#42

Thank you, Andres, for participating in this timely discussion. My goal is that if we make our desires clear, perhaps the folks at HP will listen and "give the people what they want"!

#43

I say a 41cx, but make it look like a pontiac fiero.....ahh the big 80's styling in its finest!

#44

Personally, I'd like to have a 41CX with the calculating and graphic capabilities of the 28S or 48GX. RPN of course (alternate algebraic mode isn't bad at all, though). Something similar to the 42S but expandable and able to communicate via RS232 or similar. If enough ports are provided, the library of functions and formulas found in the 48 could be optional (in a ROM module), leaving much more RAM memory available for programing.


#45

Gee, there must be an echo in here. Sounds like what I said. See, Raul and I are thinking alike on this one!

#46

My crystal ball says:

1. The next HP financial calculator will be more powerful than the HP 17BII. Of course!

2. It will look like the ever popular brick-type HP 12C. Please...

3. Better graphics display than the HP 17 BII. At least they should have improved the matrix display so they will look much better!.

4. Not made in Malaysia or Indonesia but Italy, Germany or U.S. (Okay!, I do have colonial mentality. I can't help it that I'm quality conscious.

Oh well...

#47

I think HP should develop a basic scientific OS for their new PDA, leave it OPEN-SOURCE so that people can improve upon it and finally, develop a killer-looking graphical interface that looks back on the all those gorgeous HP calculators but make it in a class by itself.

Of course, they should make it expensive enough so that we can salivate on its image before we get enough money to buy it!


#48

Your remark is right on re: HP's pricing of their new calculators! It's an important point which should be considered by HP in any move they make.

I know I lusted after an HP-97 while playing with my HP-21 & -29C -- for years, in fact. I even mail-ordered the manual, 'cause it was the only component I could afford . . .

Then I traded for one a couple of years ago -- the first one I'd ever seen in person. I was shocked to see how SMALL it actually was! Almost disappointing. I also realized I had no real use for it finally, having more "power" in my pocket with an HP-42s.

I agree, the next "calculator" should (unfortunately) not be a piece of hardware so much as an RPL environment for a Win CE device or "Palm Pilot". PDA's are getting small enough that with the addition of a (perhaps highly configurable) HP user interface, they could provide more versatility and value than would a purpose-specific unit. Calculators, as such, are probably dead, and their golden era is so too.

Thanks for the insights!


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