My First HP Calc to Fail


Hi all, from a frequent reader and rare post-er. I have many RPL machines; my first was my trusty 28S, 23 years old and still going strong (I guess I got the kind without the failing battery door :). Because I loved it so much I bought a 49G back in 2002 or thereabouts. I wanted to love it too but in all honesty I didn't like anything about it; the rubbery keys the misplaced ENTER key, the horrible screen and all the other issues that I am sure make this calculator a singularly unloved object in this forum. Over the years I tried to "correct" my decision to by this piece by buying a 49G+ (better screen) and a 50G (EQN library yay!). Well, in the process of consolidating my collection I dug the 49G out of my garage and put new batteries in it and -- you guessed it -- it failed to turn on. (The ON/C/CONT/OFF button had for years been getting harder to register a key press so I pretty sure this is the problem.) I was very slightly sad. But here is what I have to say: this 9 year old calc, used sparingly, failed where a heavily used 23 year old one has not. Say what you will about the 28S (and I know what many of you might say), it still works after all this time. Does anyone else have a similar story to tell?


The moral of the story is clearly "use all your calculators regularly"!



All my HP48SX / 49G / 49G+ and 50G works fine :D

And also my 30 years old Casio FX-602P , the best ever Casio calculator and precursor :
Casio FX-602P
Nota : you can find an interesting HP41C program and its 602P version here (clic on "regle du jeu") : KIBUR

About the 49G, I removed the plastic protection of the screen long ago and the screen is perfect now. I don't like at all the keyboard feeling of the 49G.

When I use sometime my HP48SX I love the so sweet keyboard feeling.
My prefered calculators are now the 50G and my so old Casio 602P. The 50G is near perfect for me (but I would love a better screen resolution and 48SX keyboard feeling)

About the 48/50 series keyboard, perhaps I'm alone but i have no problem with the small Enter key and prefer the keyboard disposition and readibility of the 50G far better that the 48. The keyboard feeling is not so sweet that the 48SX but remain correct.

Edited: 7 Sept 2011, 3:31 p.m.



About the 48/50 series keyboard, perhaps I'm alone but i have no problem with the small Enter key

Me too.

I think what some people don't realize is that the Space key, which is right next to the Enter key, often acts like an Enter key in RPL.

Like, if you wanted to enter X+Y, you could type

X Enter Y +

but you could also type

X Space Y +

So, often, the two together act like a pseudo-double wide Enter key.

The advantage of keeping them separate is you need to use the Space approach when entering expressions in situations where you don't have access to the stack (eg., in the Matrix writer)


Like you Gilles, I have a Casio FX-602P (progressed from a 501P) and I agree that it's a beautiful machine.

But, since the topic is failing HPs, my 602P failed 20 years ago after passing through an airport scanner. I'm not convinced the scanner was to blame, but it was working one side and not the other. And it didn't just stop working, it went bonkers. Typing 2 + 2 = would come back with 37 and other weird nonsense. I still have it though because I'm too fond of it to part company, and I've since come to realise that it's not a bug, it's just a less accurate algorithm than some other calculators use ;-)

So, almost back on topic, twenty years ago I replaced it with a new HP 48SX, my first ever HP. And I don't need to tell anyone here what happened after that. If anyone had told me then that twenty years later I'd have dozens of HP calculators I'd have said they were mad. But I now know that it is I who am mad. Happy, but mad.

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