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HP-41 Expandability Then and Now… TI?



#6

HP-41 has always amazed me with its capabilities and expandability, even today it is the most used calculator I have and yet still so much to learn which MCODE being the next. Especially it was a great tool while I was doing my graduate work in a cryogenics lab at NIST in early 90’s running various lab instruments on HP-IL and GP-IB, collecting data and analyzing. It was always ahead of its time and nothing since was developed with such expandability, I guess until now…

I was reading about “TI nspire” and “TI nspire Lab” which gives you five ports – three analog and two digital – the TI-Nspire Lab Cradle allows students to use up to five sensors at one time, including high-sample-rate sensors. In addition Verneir provides many different both digital and analog sensors and software to collect and analyze data. Amazing machine! So much more potential…

nspire lab

Vernier software and sensors for nspire

I think once HP’s instruments and measurement division (which is Agilent now) had great influence and source of inspiration on their calculators’ product line with quality, reliability, expandability, software, etc. There was a lot of synergy between the two, with the Calculator division to gain the most. The separation of these divisions to my opinion was a significant setback on quality, innovation and capability of their calculator line.
Unfortunately started with a pessimistic point of view, I am hoping that HP Calculator Division will make the executive decision to choose to gain back the market once more with innovation, quality and customer service over slow death.

Edited: 14 Feb 2012, 12:46 p.m.


#7

TI has a long tradition with student lab equipment (all build by Vernier), starting with the CBL. The main point here: It's education grade equipment, not professional. I had a lot of fun playing around with my CBLs, CBRs, and sensors, but I wouldn't run a hospital or nuclear power plant with the technology.


#8

Agreed that TI has a long tradition with student lab equipment, but having said that they are also very strong in industrial test and measurement equipment and growing in that segment. Just purchased National Semiconductor which gives them access to analog devices, and has their own fab to develop the IC's they need. nspire is the first device I noticed that is field portable combines DA and calculator to support such wide group of sensors although as you mentioned the sensors are education grade and not professional. TI also develops proffesional grade industrial sensors. If there is market out there (which I think there is) it is only matter of time to come up with an industrial grade handheld device which combines both a powerful graphic calculator, DA and data analysis capability.


#9

Quote:
Agreed that TI has a long tradition with student lab equipment, but having said that they are also very strong in industrial test and measurement equipment and growing in that segment. Just purchased National Semiconductor which gives them access to analog devices, and has their own fab to develop the IC's they need. nspire is the first device I noticed that is field portable combines DA and calculator to support such wide group of sensors although as you mentioned the sensors are education grade and not professional. TI also develops proffesional grade industrial sensors. If there is market out there (which I think there is) it is only matter of time to come up with an industrial grade handheld device which combines both a powerful graphic calculator, DA and data analysis capability.

TI was huge (actually #1) in analog long before the NS purchase. I worked for TI for over 10 years and believe me, they knew how to do all kinds of analog in-house in their own fabs well before that purchase. They bought NS for the field sales channels and applications groups, not for their design nor mfr. expertise.

#10

Don't count HP out quite so fast.

Take a look here...

Cheers,

-Marwan


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