Professional applications for the HP 50g



#14

Hello,

some might remember my presentation I gave at HHC 2011 or have seen it on YouTube

HHC 2011: HP 49g+ / 50g O.S. Extension Pack



In this presentation I said:
"Minimum development effort needed to create customized and professional solutions targeting at different industries through specialized equation libraries (e.g. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Physics, Statistics, etc.)."

A first attempt toward this is a professional data set for the TreeBrowser (first presented at HHC 2007) with over 500 Electrical Engineering Equations (including variable descriptions, units and pictures) covering the undergraduate curriculum for electrical engineers in most universities.

A preview of it is available at my website

http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de/EnglishSeite01.htm#ElectricalEngineering


As an aside remark:

Some "old" fellows might remember the plug-in cards by Sparcom for the HP 48GX or EE pro by Sparcom / da Vinci which were - amongst others - a reason for the success of the 48 family (and which are still sold today).

Ironically EE pro is available for years with any sold TI-89 / TI-92 Plus / Voyage 200 and guess which company took HP’s position in the calculator market (which they gave up without any needs (as we all know), by the way) ?

And there is nothing in regards to software from HP for their graphical calculators as there is from TI at their website:

http://education.ti.com/calculators/downloads

Some might also remember that there was an attempt to bring EEpro to the 49g+ in 2006, but eventually it never happened.


Now, the Electrical Engineering data set for TreeBrowser will not be as functional / powerful as EE pro was for the 48GX. But missing things could be added ...

Also note that my code is totally unrelated to any existing HP 48 / HP 49 software - a data set is just a bunch of lists. Creating a data set is not sorcery, just labor-intensive.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Regards,

Andreas

http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de




P.S. This is not meant as an advertisement. It is meant of what is *possible* now with the existing platform and that improvements could be done *fast* and *easy* which I have shown already with my 'MultiLanguagePacks', the 'O.S. Extension Pack', the 'HELP for *all* commands incorporated into the O.S.' and now with this Electrical Engineering data set for my TreeBrowser (TB is included in the MLP / OSE).

Now, given the fact that the HP company has known this for years, but did not had any interest in updating / improving their top-of-the-line machine remains a mystery to me. What’s not surprising is, that they keep loosing market-shares (according to NPD, HP's share in the graphing calculators market is less than 5%)

The new platform of the HP39gII is interesting, but the 39/40 series were always "closed" machines (much more closed than open) and this is still light years away from the functionality the HP 50g offers. And if it breaks compatibility then things won’t become easier. Last but not least: What will it cost at which estimated ROI compared to updating the existing platform ?

And continuing in rushing out immature and buggy products (although common nowadays) looks rather like milking the cash-cow-customer instead of bringing quality products to loyal customers.

P.P.S. Since this forum is - at least - still read by HP people, there is no excuse for not doing anything ...


#15

Thanks for sharing

#16

That looks great!

#17

Not to be gloomy, but I think part of the problem is that calculators are no longer HP's bread and butter. I'm not sure what TI's bread and butter is nowadays, but making a name for themselves in calculators seems to be a priority.


#18

Hello,



This is, of course, right. It is neither the bread and butter of TI.


And, of course, it is known, that TI is a much smaller company.




TI: Rank 167 on Fortune Global 500, Revenue US$ 13.966 billion, 35.100 employess

HP: Rank 9 on Fortune Global 500, Revenue:US$ 127.24 billion, 349,600 Employees

(But keep in mind that this might not necessarily mean anything: Enron was Fortune Global 500, too.)



In consequence it than would mean to shut it down instead of keeping a zombie alive.

Is there a “Plan B” if the new entry graphical calculator is not fulfilling its expectations ?

Or is their future in rebranding calculators, which they still have in their portfolio and sell as a HP calculator ?

What a shame for a company, which says from itself that they invented it.

“HP rebrand” instead of “HP invent”.





FYI:

“TI's calculator business has generally accounted for about 5% of TI's annual revenue and profit. The unit had a profit of $208 million on revenue of $526 million in 2007 -- the last year in which the semiconductor giant broke out results for its education business. (Since 2008, the results have been folded into a larger segment.)”


So there is money in this market segment and what did HP do in the last five years to get their piece of cake ?

Wasn’t there time enough to do at least a little update to the 50g with some really minor effort ?

And if only some minor effort would have been given to it *after* HHC 2011, there would be an improved and modernized HP 50g by *now* available and hitting the shelves, signaling into the market that they are still there and having the most capable graphical calculator (with RPN as a USP instead of hiding the most natural way of entering numbers / calculations) ...




Regards,

Andreas



http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de


#19

To bring the HP50g back to the market and make a TI-comparable product the following things are necessary:

- higher display resolution
- dynamic geometry
- spreadsheet
- easy to read manual
- hpcalc-stuff (especially statistic-applets)
- 3D graphic improvements for visualizing vectors, straight lines, planes or spheres which need in the analytic geometry
- the implementation of analytic geometry calculations
- plot of functions with parameter
- scrolling of plots
- easy file management
- easy data transfer between PC and calculator
- last but not least a HP supported network or platform for graphic calculators like the Ti-sides.


#20

Hello,



> - higher display resolution

Can be done *fast* and *easy* with the existing platform. (Less than 6 month.)



> - dynamic geometry

> - spreadsheet

Was available in beta ROM 2.10-7 (11/2006 !), then got dumped.



> - 3D graphic improvements for visualizing vectors, straight lines, planes or spheres which need in the analytic geometry

> - the implementation of analytic geometry calculations

Not sure what you mean with this.



> - hpcalc-stuff (especially statistic-applets)

Not sure what you mean, but otherwise could be programmed easily.



> - plot of functions with parameter

Is available as far as I understand.

> - scrolling of plots

Is available.

> - easy file management

Is available, depends how you look at it. Is using a SD-card too complicated ?

> - easy data transfer between PC and calculator

Is available.



> - easy to read manual

This is really expensive and needs knowledge and expertise.

> - last but not least a HP supported network or platform for graphic calculators like the Ti-sides.

This is going to take years and will need continuous investment for a longer period with uncertain success if the investment will ever come back. Nothing for a management that changes in a yearly rhythm, like the management of the calculator division. Nothing for short term share holder orientated value. (BTW: The situation reminds a lot about how GM has been treating Opel for years and look where and how Opel ended up.)





Q.E.D.: The problem is not the used technology.





Besides a lot of other problems (challenge is the word to use nowadays ;-), the problem is getting back into a market that has been given up a long time ago and now wondering that others have taken that space. And that it will require long-term investment of time and money just to get a foot back...



Regards,

Andreas

http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de

Edited: 14 Feb 2012, 6:18 p.m.


#21

I'm not sure if the HP50g can do it already, but I'd like to have the ability to define and render a solid using a 2D function swept about an axis.

#22

Hi Andy,

1.

Dynamic geometry and spreadsheet in ROM 2.10-7 are only rudimentary programmes and not sophisticated. The competitors already have programmes whose features are comparable to Geogebra .

Besides: Where are the manuals of dynamic geometry and spreadsheet for ROM 2.10-7 ?

2.

As an example of 3D-Geometry there is a screenshot of Cabri3D, which is used by TI Nspire CX; that is the "state-of-the-art" 3D-Geometry on calculators.

3.

Examples for analytic geometry calculations:

- the length of a vector or a line segment

- the midpoint of a line segment

- solving vector equations

- intersecting angle or distances between vectors, straight lines or planes

4.

Dynamic plotting of a parameter function f(x) = a*x^2 for various parametres, e.g. for "a" between -5 and 5.

Generally:

In my view HP will stop the 48/49/50 series because they don't have enough staff to maintain or to update the (immature) HP 50g and at the same time to initiate the new HP 39gII platform.

To my mind the entire manpower will solely be employed for the HP 39gII. It is impossible to operate two fundamentally different platforms (HP 50g and HP 39gII) with only two HP engineers.

I see two alternatives for you:

1.

Initiate a similar project for the HP 50g to the WP 34S project. Form separate teams for each "problem area" of the HP 50g an join the results of each team together to a new ROM.

2.

Turn to the new HP 39gII platform. The HP 39gII has got a higher-resolution display and can plot graphs very quickly. This platform is the future. And it is the only platform the small HP Calculator Group is able to maintain in the sector of graphic calculators. You can opt for the future and contribute lots of ideas for the HP 39gII:

- RPN

- CAS

- Spreadsheet

- various Aplets

- ...

- and last but not least: fight for the wider ENTER-key.

In your opinion the HP 50g is the greatest and best calculator because you know it inside out. But for a mainstream user, however, it is (sometimes) not worth discussing and too complicated and will remain that (see the many forum statements in the internet).

Yet no HP staff member will invest the time and effort to turn the HP50 g into a "cash cow". For that the competitors are meanwhile too far ahead. Only a higher display resolution and some equation libraries are not enough!

The HP 39gII series is the future. The HP Calculator Group will spend its entire energy on it and that is good so. The HP 48/49/50 series, however, is outdated, is death STOP, FULL STOP, FINISH!


#23

Hi Mike,



> is the future

The only thing that is certain about the future is that it is uncertain.

HP (and other companies, too) has dumped more than once products that were already on the market, for various reasons. Remember TouchPad/WebOS ?

But I understand your point.



> In your opinion the HP 50g

I do not think that my opinion matters.



> But for a mainstream user, however, it is (sometimes) not worth

> discussing and too complicated and will remain that (see the

> many forum statements in the internet).

Again, this has nothing to do with the underlying technology.

If you have a complex machine that you want to sell you need, for example, adequate documentation (and a lot more). This problems will not vanish if the technology used to create the product changes.

*If* this is not improved significantly a successor of the 50g will suffer from the same problems that the 50g is suffering from. Regardless of how much better/different the technology is !

That's why I wrote the 'Help integrated into the O.S.'



Let me try a metaphor:

It does not matter whether your car runs on gasoline or diesel (even Porsche is offering Diesel cars now ;-).
What matters is, if it takes you where you want to.





> Besides: Where are the manuals of dynamic geometry and spreadsheet
> for ROM 2.10-7 ?

Please ask HP :-)





> The HP 39gII series is the future.

Maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell.

HP’s behavior is unpredictable.

However, what do you sell in the meantime until (if ever) a successor of the 50g is ready ?

Like I said, updating the existing machine needs only minor resources and would generate extra cash *and* would slow down the loss of market shares. Regaining lost market shares is very, very expensive.





> You can opt for the future and contribute lots of ideas for the HP 39gII

I would love to and I know that the engineers are very friendly and helpful.

*But* those yearly changing management is not interested in anything ...

And a yearly changing management is more than just a poor management. It is a sign about a company problem and there is enough subject literature covering this topic and what it means ...

HP is simply *not* interested (read it again, if needed).

And besides that, there is no information available (officially) about used HW and SW, neither is there a SDK, documentation, etc. And these were the things that made the 48 family so successful: A wide variety of third-party-applications !




> Initiate a similar project for the HP 50g to the WP 34S project.

If there is someone with experience in the hardware needed to create a clone I am in for the software. But I am not a hardware guy. Everything that is needed is there, but just as in a puzzle it must be arranged properly.





Regards,

Andreas

http://www.software49g.gmxhome.de



P.S.

> The HP 48/49/50 series, however, is outdated, is death

> STOP, FULL STOP, FINISH!

This has been predicted for over twenty years ... ;-)

And I'd like to see quality products in terms of hardware and software instead of rushing out immature and buggy products (and then refusing to fix them) ...

Edited: 15 Feb 2012, 5:23 p.m.

#24

What is the underlying platform of HP39gII?


#25

Processor : CPU ARM9
Display : Grayscale LCD 256x128
Input system logic Algebra
Memory 256 Kb user storage

#26

STMP3770

TW


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