the top programmable calculators



#40

Hi, I wonder how to follow the list of top hp programmable calculators: hp-65, hp-67, hp-41....
What's your oppinion? Thanks


#41

My list, in order of introduction:


HP-65     after all, it was the first.
HP-67 after all, it was the second and for expanded capability.
HP-97 a 67 with a printer, easy documentation.
HP-29C small, portable, and 98 lines of programming.
HP-19C as above but with the convenience of a printer.
HP-34C has the minimum number of registers in my opinion for a
truly handy machine.
HP-41C, the ultimate of course in RPN
CV, CX
HP-15C the size, programming and pocket factor. To bad it
didn't have LEDs.
HP-42S the second ultimate but I need my clock!

HP35S excellent come back but I need polar functions and a
clock.



#42

George; Is that a keyboard map for one of your programs on the wallet in the photo with the 41s?

My list:
1)Prologue
2)41c
3)41cv
4)41cx
5)Decadence

I wonder how Viktor Toth would answer this thread?


#43

Yup,

I used that until i figured out how to create labels for blank overlays such as this:

#44

The best:

HP-67/97 LED Wonderful

Sharp PC-1600 LCD Not HP But... Fantastic !!!!

Geoff Quickfall you are the number 1 in photographing our girls in sensual positions ;-)
When I can create PlayCalc (Playboy of the calculators) you will be the photographer number 1. :-)


Edited: 18 July 2009, 4:39 p.m.


#45

Saile,

;-)

#46

yessss...play calc with these old ladies...!!!!!
But look, I know each one is unique and wonderful...but... would you say that the hp 29c (that was born one year later) is in the line aftewr the ho 67?... same thing with 34c....
What is the line with only the "top" in programming capabilities?


#47

I am really amazed at some of the replies here! What criteria are you using to make these selections? I think it is necessary to set a few baseline specifications to appreciate what does make a great programmable rather than picking the best model of each generation.

Also, not one of you has mentioned the HP that I think is the closest they got to the "perfect pocket programmable". Actually, I've been meaning to start a thread on the "perfect HP" to get this being discussed but haven't finished my opening text yet. Maybe tomorrow...

Mark


#48

You are right Mike..!!
An maybe this could be a nice debate once we can settle the basis to compare each model...
Which one are ypou talking about?

#49

Give me some criteria and I will narrow the list down.

Obviously, for me, the most important calculators, as evidenced by their use by me, are in this order:

HP-41CX
HP-42S
HP-01

They accompany me to work. I wish the 42S had a clock, it would actually replace the 41CX if it did. I don't use the modules or HPIL as much as I used to and its profile is much slimmer for my flight bag.

On another note, what would the criteria be:

BEST LED PROGRAMMABLE
BEST LCD GRAPHING
BEST LCD NON GRAPHING
BEST HPIL CAPABLE CALCULATOR
BEST TIMING FUNCTION CALCULATOR
BEST CONTROLLER
BEST CALCULATOR THAT IS EASY TO USE
BEST CALCULATOR IN EACH FAMILY
BEST OVER ALL CALCULATOR THAT HP EVER BUILT
BEST RESTORABLE OR FIXABLE CALCULATOR
...

This could go on forever, but for me, each calculator that I mentioned in the first post twig my interest and have their reasons for being in my expanded list. Of course that is all personal by definition.

Cheers, Geoff


Edited: 18 July 2009, 8:54 p.m.


#50

Agree with Geoff... this is the funny thing.. and probably the driver to make us write here... but please, let´s go on beacuse at the end of the line we will be closer to understrand some interesting aspects of our own choices...
Mark, you put the seed and now is growing...


#51

I would simplify:
increase power no matter costs, instead of producing cheaper calcs for more people. Thanks

#52

Well, briefly, the sort of things I would be thinking of are:

Does it have step insert/delete?
Does it have label addressing?
Does it have subroutines?
Does it have continuous memory or offline storage?

Those are only a small part of my "master list" for the "perfect HP" and I would want all of them to be true for a particular model before I would consider it in my top programmables list. However, I would make an exception on the last point if the step memory was small and as a consequence, only small programs were possible. You will note that I am not including anything like "historical significance" or "personal significance" because they can be more subjective.

By the way, one of the reasons why I said I was surprised by the original nominations is that no one included an RPL machine! I know why RPL isn't popular but even if you don't like it, you can't deny its power and the massive feature set built into the 48 models and onwards. By most definitions, those machines would be the ultimates - although my nomination for the perfect HP is not one of them by a long shot!

Mark


#53

Quote:
By the way, one of the reasons why I said I was surprised by the original nominations is that no one included an RPL machine!

I think that's because we don't actually rate them that highly, Mark. Powerful, yes, but too complex, a design that places orthogonality/consistency over convenience, too big, not a great keyboard, unengaging documentation. Fine for a maths teacher or a schoolkid who's got no alternative, but not for engineers and scientists.

Nope, when I want to do some computing, I use a computer, but when I want to do some calculating, I reach for my trusty 41.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#54

I am quite a fan of the 28S.

Plenty of memory for most purposes.
Very nice keyboard and layout.

Really awful battery door.


Pauli


#55

I'm in partial agreement with you there, Paul. The 28S's form factor was comparatively uncluttered - although I never had one, I was quite fond of my wife's 18C which was similarly laid out. Plus, it came with much better (imho) manuals than the later 48 series - in fact, I found some of the 28 books quite useful in getting my head around some of the subtleties of the 48's.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#56

Yes, the 28s is a good calculator. Like its very felxible RPL and good conversion library. The 48 familie is to bulky and often and to hard to use/learn with many bells and jingles. Only the absence of I/O is something I really miss on the 28. Almost everything later used in the 48 came from the 28. It is a milestone in the HP-history and after 20+ years still compatible IMHO.

#57

Oh, easy. In terms of absolute power with maximum ease of use, it's the HP-41CX. In terms of engineering design - both mechanical quality and keyboard layout, it's the -67.

Just my 2c, of course.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#58

Quote:
Oh, easy. In terms of absolute power with maximum ease of use, it's the HP-41CX.
Les

Cough!!!

Ignoring the machines with their computer bias like the 71B, surely the 41 series have the distinction of having the largest feature set that needs to be typed in character by character and therefore, the smallest proportion of functions that can be entered directly from the keyboard?

Also, the Alpha key has that nasty pivot mechanism which means you have to push it down on the right hand side and for people with large fingers, you actually need to angle your finger to push it with the narrow tip to get full travel. I am not a fan of that key and I don't really understand why HP didn't make all those top keys individual with normal travel because the 41 has a lovely keyboard otherwise.

I know the 41 series are very popular and I understand some of the reasons behind that but ease of use? No, I don't think it deserves plaudits in that direction.

Mark


#59

Quote:
I know the 41 series are very popular and I understand some of the reasons behind that but ease of use?

It was significantly easier to use because it displayed program steps as alphanumerics, rather than the row/column code used by the non-alpha machines. Coupled with the ability to fit many more functions by the use of the [alpha] key you so revile, it was a significant leap forward in ease of use. Pretty much the sweet spot, for many of us.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#60

Quote:

It was significantly easier to use because it displayed program steps as alphanumerics, rather than the row/column code used by the non-alpha machines.


Right. In it's context, the 41C was very easy to use. So I guess it's a matter of whether you allow the historical context to be taken into consideration when compiling a list like this. Another way to say that might be whether you live in the past or not. :) (Like me, btw)

Regards,
Howard


#61

I'll bet there are a number of us nostalgic calculator aficionados who live in the past. I see nothing wrong with that ;-) -- JeffK


#62

Indeed. It's almost a requirement for hanging out here. :)

Regards,
Howard

#63

Quote:
Right. In it's context, the 41C was very easy to use. So I guess it's a matter of whether you allow the historical context to be taken into consideration when compiling a list like this.

No, I'm saying it absolutely has a better capabilities/awkwardness ratio than the RPL machines. I have a 48GX, and I've tried to love it, really I have, but life's too short and I've got things to do. The 48GX stays mostly in the drawer, while the 41CX is always on top of my desk, right by the keyboard.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#64

Ahh, gotcha.

I guess I agree. The 48GX isn't easy to use for a beginner. Neither was the 41C, but you didn't have to go as far to learn to program it.

I sense a RPN/RPL flame war, one of the perennial topics here, hovering in the wings. Perhaps we should create a new thread if we want to pursue that :)

Regards,
Howard


#65

Quote:
I sense a RPN/RPL flame war

Naww. I can admire the elegance and orthogonality of RPL, its object-oriented approach, etc. It's a Thing of Beauty and a Joy Forever, as they say. It's just that most of my calculating needs don't merit all that sophistication or the learning effort. I think it's the same for most engineering/scientific types, and the resultant impedance mismatch between HP's RPL designs and user needs partially accounts for HP's decline in market share.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#66

No, please! I didn't want to start a RPL/RPN war at all. I didn't know it was a regular topic here either. All I was wanting to say was that in terms of sheer functionality, RPL can go places where none of the RPN machines can go. Whether it goes there elegantly or not comes down to personal viewpoint.

Mark


#67

Quote:
No, please!

Mark, I said "Naww", and I meant "Naww".

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#68

When I said "flame war" it may have given the wrong impression. Maybe this would be better: "RPN vs RPL is one of the topics people seem to enjoy discussing with vigor around here." I think such discussions reveal a lot about why people love the old calculators. But "Naww" is cool for me too :) (However what I would prefer in a discussion carries weight here only so far as my own contributions go.)

Regards
Howard

#69

The 48GX replaced my 28C (which replaced my Casio fx-7000G) - boy, what a difference. It saved me more than once in thermodynamics and maths (well, we could use and bring in whatever books and tools we liked - doing a quick numerical test on a symbolic solution helped for sure). I think this was the most advanced calculator (a pimped up 48SX), even compared to the 41/65/67, and other than speed issues and maybe size, I did not find a lot to complain about :)

#70

And here's my list:

  1. HP-41C, because it was a system, complete with a network and mass storage. And because its longevity and popularity gave rise to a vibrant community that produced tons of applications and hardware and software hacks. That community is still chugging along, with the PIL box the latest episode in a distinguished history of such creative hacking.
  2. HP-42S, for representing the highest degree of refinement RPN keystroke programming ever reached.
  3. HP-97, for being a marvelous, tough, compact, ergonomic little feline.
  4. HP-48GX, for being such a complicated and rich beast. The nerd in me loved learning RPL on my 48GX. It's also got some elements of a complete computing system, but fewer cool geehaws than the 41C. No doubt this is because PCs had thoroughly obliterated most low cost alternative computing systems by then.

If this list was about hand held computing devices from HP, the 71B would be right there next to the 41C, at the top.

Regards,
Howard


#71

In my oppinion, considering only handhelds (and no business programmable calculators), in 1988 HP split in RPL and RPN (2 first columns below). In the 3rd column: those models that, again in my oppinion, coul not replace previous released models...

State Who Not able to
of the stick replace previous
art to RPN? models

1974 HP-65
1975 HP-55, HP-25
1976 HP-67 HP-25C
1977 HP-29C
1978 HP-33E
1979 HP-41C HP-33C, HP-34C
1980 HP-41CV
1981 HP-11C
1982 HP-15C HP-10C, HP-16C
1983 HP-41CX
1984 HP-71B
1987 HP-28C
1988 HP-28S HP-42S HP-32S
1990 HP-48SX
1991 HP-32SII HP-48S
1993 HP-48GX HP-48G
1999 HP-49G HP-48G+
2003 HP-49G+ HP-48GII
2004 HP-33S
2006 HP-50G
2007 HP-35S


#72

Again, the previous table was destroid.... Let´s see now
From 1988 on, RPL an RPN were two different lanes... This is my list of top programmable calcs (handheld and scientific)


1974 HP-65
1976 HP-67
1979 HP-41C
1980 HP-41CV
1982 HP-15C
1983 HP-41CX
1988 HP-28S HP-42S
1990 HP-48SX
1991 HP-32SII
1993 HP-48GX
1999 HP-49G
2003 HP-49G+
2004 HP-33S
2006 HP-50G
2007 HP-35S


#73

Juan,

You need to surround your formatted text with [pre] and [/pre]:

first message:

In my oppinion, considering only handhelds (and no business programmable calculators), in 1988 HP split in RPL and RPN (2 first columns below). In the 3rd column: those models that, again in my oppinion, coul not replace previous released models...

	State	Who	 Not able to
of the stick replace previous
art to RPN? models

1974 HP-65
1975 HP-55, HP-25
1976 HP-67 HP-25C
1977 HP-29C
1978 HP-33E
1979 HP-41C HP-33C, HP-34C
1980 HP-41CV
1981 HP-11C
1982 HP-15C HP-10C, HP-16C
1983 HP-41CX
1984 HP-71B
1987 HP-28C
1988 HP-28S HP-42S HP-32S
1990 HP-48SX
1991 HP-32SII HP-48S
1993 HP-48GX HP-48G
1999 HP-49G HP-48G+
2003 HP-49G+ HP-48GII
2004 HP-33S
2006 HP-50G
2007 HP-35S

second message:

Again, the previous table was destroid.... Let´s see now
From 1988 on, RPL an RPN were two different lanes... This is my list of top programmable calcs (handheld and scientific)

1974 HP-65
1976 HP-67
1979 HP-41C
1980 HP-41CV
1982 HP-15C
1983 HP-41CX
1988 HP-28S HP-42S
1990 HP-48SX
1991 HP-32SII
1993 HP-48GX
1999 HP-49G
2003 HP-49G+
2004 HP-33S
2006 HP-50G
2007 HP-35S


.....


#74

thank you Jeff...!!!

#75

One feature that HP later included in the 28S (and C?) that would have helped usability or ease of entry in the 41 was the ability to select commands/functions from the catalog. I hope I am correct in that fact - you can't use the 41 series catalog to enter commands can you? I would rate entry on the 41 series a little higher if this is possible.

A little side question if I may - I haven't found this in the manuals but is there a 41 series equivalent to the 48 series TICKS command? I ended up writing a program on the 48 instead of the 41 because of this when it probably would have been a simpler programming job on the 41.

Back to the main topic, I really must knuckle down and finish the text off for my "perfect hp" thread. Only then will it be clear why I am making the comments I am and the basis for my criticisms.

Mark

#76

Quote:
Ignoring the machines with their computer bias like the 71B,
Although I'm a big fan of the 71B, I don't really consider it a calculator, but rather a hand-held computer. When I want a calculator, I reach for my 41cx.
Quote:
surely the 41 series have the distinction of having the largest feature set that needs to be typed in character by character and therefore, the smallest proportion of functions that can be entered directly from the keyboard?
That's what the user keyboard is for. It had to be that way because of all the functions that would be coming that hadn't even been thought of yet, by way of plug-in modules and user-written programs. I seldom spell out a function or program name on the 41. It would be nice though if different user keyboards could be swapped out more nimbly like they can on the 71, for different applications.
Quote:
Also, the Alpha key has that nasty pivot mechanism which means you have to push it down on the right hand side and for people with large fingers, you actually need to angle your finger to push it with the narrow tip to get full travel. I am not a fan of that key and I don't really understand why HP didn't make all those top keys individual with normal travel because the 41 has a lovely keyboard otherwise.
I too have wondered why they put those on rockers, but I've never heard any complaint about their operation. When I press the ALPHA key, I push it to the right, not just straight down. Works perfectly.
#77

here is my list:

hp-65 the first one
hp-67 the next to follow, same concept
hp-41.. alpha
hp-15c
hp-28c RPL but powerfull
hp-42s
hp-48sx same RPL
hp-48g
hp-49g
hp-50g
hp-35s

#78

I am partial to the 34C. I have used it, the 20S, 32SII, 48G, 48G+, 49g+, 33s, 35s, and 50g.

I agree that the 48G series and 49g series machines are incredibly powerful and have been very useful to me many times, but I tend to like the smaller not so incredibly powerful but still very powerful scientific RPN programmables. This is because they are more easily carried, held, used, and stored, and yet still have a lot of calculating power.

At the time, the HP-34C offered just about the maximum handheld programming space, storage space, and some very powerful keyboard or keystroke accessible functions, like SOLVE and integration! Programming it, including debugging, after frequent use familiarized me with the keyboard, was very easy, especially after writing several programs.

For me, it did not begin to physically fail until about two decades later after I bought and used the stuffing out of it. And my only complaint was that the aesthetically beautiful LED display drained the Ni-Cd batteries all too quickly, but that was a symptom of the technology of the time. Also, a complaint still today, is that your "normal" small form factor scientific programmable has no I/O; I don't think anything fancy is required, only the usual USB connector would be more than super.


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