HP-15C and beyond



#2

I would like here to publicly thank Mr. Paul J. McLellan and Mr. Joseph P. Tanzini, coauthors of the HP-15C implementation, as learned on their article titled "Scientific Pocket Calculator Extends Range of Built-in Functions" in the May 1983 HP Journal.

This article turned to be a very pleasant reading, and authors revealed themselves competent mathematicians and extremely skilled developers.

Thank you both for "our" HP-15C.

-- Antonio


#3

HEWLETT-PACKARD Journal May 1983


#4

Why can't HP resume production of these calculators, in view of the powerful latent demand for them? surely, they can easily start production again, without much development cost, maybe upgrade the display component, and other key electronics.


#5

Quote:
Why can't HP resume production of these calculators, in view of the powerful latent demand for them? surely, they can easily start production again, without much development cost, maybe upgrade the display component, and other key electronics.

A few hundred or even a few thousand geeks and collectors on eBay is not exactly evidence of a viable market.
Yes, they would sell a lot more than that, but unless they have the hard data to back that up they aren't going to bother.

Also, people vastly underestimate what it takes to develop a new product, even one that supposedly can reuse existing components and techniques.

Dave.


#6

HP has demonstrated most recently (with the 35S) that they can develop an RPN calculator based on an old design and sell it to the masses. I agree that the 15C is one of the most USE-ABLE calculators HP produced. They are still producing the form factor in the 12c, so why not a 15c? Beyond the collectors, the longevity of the 12c shows that the form factor would sell to "the masses." I'm a bit baffled why they decided to produce the 35s as they did. Was there demand for it (other than the 33s being a dismal design)?


#7

Quote:
HP has demonstrated most recently (with the 35S) that they can develop an RPN calculator based on an old design and sell it to the masses. I agree that the 15C is one of the most USE-ABLE calculators HP produced. They are still producing the form factor in the 12c, so why not a 15c?

a) The code is (supposedly) gone, they'd have to re-do it.

b) Having sales success in one market (finance) does not automatically translate into renewed success in another market (non-I/O scientific programmable)

c) It would compete against the 35S (i.e. it's a non-I/O scientific programmable)

d) Are people these days really going to be happy with that meager 10 digit screen? It's satisfactory for the finance market, but very restrictive for the scientific/programmable market.

I personally think they'd do much better turning it onto a lower cost non-programmable scientific first. Test the re-newed market for that form factor, and then perhaps think about a more powerful programmable model.

Quote:
Beyond the collectors, the longevity of the 12c shows that the form factor would sell to "the masses." I'm a bit baffled why they decided to produce the 35s as they did. Was there demand for it (other than the 33s being a dismal design)?

Yes, there was massive demand, and HP knew it. The 35S was designed to capture the regulated exam market. It is uniquely positioned in that respect. Without that market I doubt the project would have happened.

Dave.

Edited: 11 Dec 2007, 7:35 p.m.

#8

Quote:
HP has demonstrated most recently (with the 35S) that they can develop an RPN calculator based on an old design

Actually, the 35s doesn't demonstrate that at all. Nothing in it is based on an old design. Only a little bit of the cosmetic styling gives a nod to the original 35.

#9

Hi, Antonio --

I couldn't agree more.

Readers of the linked document found at the HP web site may also note the HP-16C article. Both articles are also available on the MoHPC CD/DVD set, if you don't have broadband to download the 9.6-MB color scan of the full magazine.

-- KS


#10

I was so unkind not linking the article!

Luckily, someone else did.

Thanks.

-- Antonio


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