Hp 50g too young for the hp-museum?


Hello visitors or posters,

I've the impression, that there are only a few members which are interested in the hp 50g (in this forum). Maybe I'm wrong.

The problem is for me, the main forum owned to hp is not any longer attractive for me(it is my own decision (I don't like to tell why, because forum-bashing isn't a good idea)). The older comp.sys.hp48 by google might be a better forum, but you cannot be a member only for this forum, you have to be (if I understand in the right way) "google"-member. In one of the recent posts I have read that it is difficult.
I appreciate the forum as great treasure of information for the hp48/49/50 serie, but I can use it only passiv for information search.

So it would be nice that the hp 50g community get here a new home for active discussions about that calculator.

I wish some reactions wether it's good or not.

EDIT: necessary because of missing parts of text.


Edited: 4 Mar 2012, 8:19 a.m. after one or more responses were posted



...but you cannot be a member only for this forum, you have to be (if I understand in the right way) "google"-member. In one of the recent posts I have read that it is difficult.

Difficult? Becoming a "member" of google (including its various services from googlemail to google+) is no more difficult than registering on this forum here. You fill in a form with name and eMail address, accept their terms and conditions and registered you are. It's probably more difficult to un-register...
A question of personal nature is of course if you _want_ to be registered with google. That you have to decide for yourself (for me, google is just acceptable, twitter and facebook are not in terms of user-data gathering).

And regarding "too young for the museum": For me personally, everything with an LC display is too young for a museum. There are of course museums that exhibit contempory pieces. This one here seems to draw the line somewhere in the 1990s, but the forum does not block any discussions about modern calculators.


Edited: 4 Mar 2012, 7:47 a.m.


For me personally, everything with an LC display is too young for a museum.

It would be hard to sell the idea that the HP-41 is too new for a museum around here. :)


The first LCD calcs date back to 1973 - which is when HP calcs went to more-or-less mass market.

OK, the 50G is way younger ;)



you don't need to become a "Google member", of course.

Just forget about Google Groups and the other Google stuff,

and look for a free news server.

You'll only need to provide an eMail address for registering.

Then you can use your favourite offline news reader,

which is much better than using the cluttered web interface IMHO:-)




Hello Max, hello Ray,

please waste not so much time in discussing about with/not google.
I've a lot of fun with the hp 50g, and I only wanted some reaction wether it's usefull here posting about experiences with that machine or not.

If I follow Max's statement about his personal view, he will tolerate that stuff, but he is not interested in that machine, because it is really too young for him.

I'm coming up this question in the title, because the calculator aera is not very long. Let us start in 1970, only approx. 42 years. So even a hp 50g is a beginner... ;-)



You will not disappoint anybody in this community if you start a discussion about the RPL machines. They are interesting enough for many of us even if the museum does not cover them to the same extent as the older models.


I would like to know about other users experiences and recommendations for specific news readers/servers.

Thank you,


So it would be nice that the hp 50g community get here a new home for active discussions about that calculator.
The part of the RPL-community which likes to read and write here already does exactly that.

You sound as if you had some hundered people in your back eagerly awaiting an invitation ;-).


Hello Thomas,

cit. "You sound as if you had some hundered people in your back eagerly awaiting an invitation ;-)."

I hope you aren't disappointed because there is nothing behind me. But of course I can imageing, that others have made similar experiences like me.

I feel encouraged by your and other posts to support as far my knowledge is in overcoming problems with the RPL-machines (limited to user-RPL, which is a spellbinding feature).

I'm still hoping for a calculator (with CAS, user-RPL) which is hardcoded specific for the built-in processor. Velocity matters,...



I'm still hoping for a calculator (with CAS, user-RPL) which is hardcoded specific for the built-in processor. Velocity matters,...
And so does reliability. HP currently has very limited resources for the development of new firmware. These folks are great, no question. It's just they are too few people, and we have seen reduced beta test periods, leading to desasters like the 35s. Also, not all went well with the 15C LE. Other calculators have problems, too.

Imagine you'd have two people rewriting the most current 48g firmware from scratch, giving them a test period of three month and no opportunity to officially update the software afterwards ... would you buy such a product? Would you still want it? :-(

Unfortunately, HP is into the market of financial calculators and wants to reenter the educational market. There's certainly not much capacity for a graphing monster.


CAS, yes. Coded for ARM, yes. User RPL, no. It's the 39gII.

It's of course possible that they could someday offer a version that implements User RPL, but I'm not holding my breath, as that doesn't seem to be their focus now, and realistically it's not clear that there are more than a thousand people in the world that want RPL.

If they did develop a new calculator with User RPL, I expect that it would NOT have System RPL, as they would build on top of the 39gII innards.

The only time my HP calculators have had high velocity is when they've been on a passenger jet with me. While I can wish for the calculators to have higher speed, I don't really have any actual need for that. For any lengthy calculation I use Wolfram Alpha, Mathematica, or write a C or Java program for my laptop.


By the way: The 39gII has NO CAS!!!!


But it's based on one so a CAS version is not impossible to imagine. Think of the (European) 40gs!


Just a few data points to throw in here for comparision, the "addition loop test" (http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/articles.cgi?read=1002) on the 39gII when I checked it last week (using BCD reals), was around 580,000. This is using the user language. Savage benchmark returns essentially instantly. This is around a 62sec userRPL program.

From the link:

50g, sysRPL (bint): 124,445

50g, userRPL (real): 31,849


Edited: 4 Mar 2012, 9:15 p.m.


The reports (including you-tube demos) of the HP 39GII lead me to believe this is the most exciting new HP calculator in several decades. The only problem? I haven't found any place to buy one in the USA.

It's great to see the HP magic return. I'll be ordering as soon as it becomes available.


Only in Asia at the moment.

Those expecting it to be a 50g replacement may be disappointed, but we did address many of the shortcomings of the 38/39 series.

This includes things like being able to create user named functions/variables (such as defining HEIGHT and WEIGHT and they act as built in), comments in user source code that don't disappear, easy creation of custom applications with multiple views, full unit support, support for strings, string manipulation and integer operations.

Oh, and it has the fastest graphing engine on any calculator - period.

The only downside is that this is a new platform and code base so of course it has not been anywhere nearly as thoroughly tested as one that is 20+ years old. The upside is that bugs are many orders of magnitude easier to fix, and we will be able to do many more exciting things with it that simply aren't possible emulating the saturn (or based on saturn code).

Anyone who says otherwise just isn't looking far enough into the future. :-)


Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 12:44 a.m.


My real concern is it is not RPN :-(
Nice to know it is first available in Asia.
hpnut in Malaysia


With new calculators having equation entry as it is written on paper, I think that RPN/RPL is dead for such high-end graphical interface calculators. I know this hurts many people on this forum (which is about historic calculators after all), but we have to face reality. As much as we can talk about the effeciency of RPN, this is about ease of use. It is easier to see the whole equation - you can check it for errors and go back and edit it, you do not have to re-do the whole calculation if you make a mistake.

It is not that ALG (and thus TI) has won, because it is not that type of entry either. It is more correctly called an "equation entry", and that was seen already in the HP-28C.

On some calculators featuring this type of entry, there is already some advantage - e.g. if you have done a series of calculations where each one is dependent on the answer from the previous step and you wish to change a value several steps back, you can move the cursor to the desired step and change a value and it automatically cascades the answers all the way through to the end.

Something that I would like to see is being able to create a function and use it as if it was a normal function of the calulator. E.g. if I want a function "BART( )" that takes a number as an argument and gives an answer the same way a built-in function would (like "SIN( )"), e.g:

i.e. not just being able to write a program that prompts for inputs.(the 50g can do this, but I have not come across others)
From a description by Tim Wessman on another website, the 39gII does this too: "The user can create and define functions and they work as if built in".

For more comments from Tim Wessman on the 39gII see: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Calculators/Hail-the-48GX-Emperor-of-the-Universe/m-p/5427901#M10590

My hope is that the HP team can expand on the 39gII to include the kind of functions found on the 50g (CAS, equation writer, solver, the many built-in functions, etc.).


The TI-92 and its descendants can define functions that behave like built-ins. You cannot do symbolic manipulations with these but in approximate mode they are indistinguishable from built-in functions.

Edit: I stand corrected. :-)

define s(x)=sin(x)
returns cos(x).

It might even be possible to return a symbolic expression from a program. This is very similar to the RPL approach.

Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 8:46 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


I don't do TI. Apart from two or three 70's & 80's models, I do not have any. I had an NSpire 2 touchpad for a while, but sold it.


Get yourself a TI-92 plus, just for fun. In my opinion it's a fun machine.


I'll have to try one then :)


Edit: I stand corrected. :-)

Your luck - I was just going to correct you when I saw your 'Edit' when clicking on 'Quote'. ;-)

The TI-92+ (and Voyage 200) was the most powerful calculator TI has ever made (and also no HP calculator can compete with it). ;-)



Hello Marcus,

I tried this with the hp 50g, and it functioned as well as with the TI calc.

\<< \-> T \<< T SIN \>> \>> 'B' STO

'B(X)' DERIVX you get COS(X).


Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 11:38 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


Not bad, even with a prgram in RPL, not just an algebraic expression. I assume that such an expression is stored in its RPL form internally, anyway, and just marked as 'algebraic' so it is properly presented to the user.


Hello Bart, hello Marcus

Your opinion is hard for me, because I love programming in user-RPL. But unfortunatly I feel that your antizipation might be come true, sooner, then i would like.

A missing feature would be, if there are no programming abilities,
how to work with functions wich are defined in several regions:

| x^2 for x <= 2
For example: f(x) = <
| 3*x for x < 2

Even it is programmable (with an if-then-else branching) in the Hp 50g, but you can't deriviate automatically, because the CAS don't recognize it.

With special functions I tried to solve the following problem:

If I have integral with a Delta-funktion (equiv. problem integrals with a Heaviside function, or the connection between the Delta function is the deriviat of the Heaviside function), then I programmed a special integrating-function (with the help of the MATCH command),
that handles the equation:

INT(A;B;f(X)*DELTA(X-Xo);X) = f(Xo)

Of course it's a very simple problem, and normally it's not worth typing in the integral and the keying for the program, but it shows where the problem is.

For me there would be a CAS-system useful, if it has the power "learning rules", than it might be not necessary for an programming language in a normal sense.


Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 11:40 a.m.


Hi Peacecalc

You can do this way :



give ->


IFTE is deriviable....

Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 4:12 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Good catch Gilles

It is also possible on HP28C/S Calculators the IFTE behave the same way. No IF ... THEN ... END statment or branching are needed, only pure formal user-function.


Hello Gilles,

thank you very much for your hint!
but a little fine-tuning is necessary, if you want a real funktion:

'B(T)=IFTE(T>2;T^2;3*T)' DEFINE

You get:

'B' RCL 
\<< \-> T 'IFTE(T>2;T^2;3*T)' \>>

This will not works as assumed (and deriviation not, too):

'X' B ->

| T=X

It is more elegant to insert an EVAL in the little B-proggie.

\<< \-> T 'IFTE(T>2;T^2;3*T)' EVAL \>>

and now it works smoothly and you get immediatly the result from a deriviation:

'B(X)' DERIVX -> IFTE(X>2;2*X;3)                 



You are right, but I must say that I don't understand why :

« -> X 'X^2' » 'F' STO

« -> X '3*X' » 'G' STO

« -> X 'IFTE(X<0,F(X),G(X))' » 'H' STO

« -> X 'IFTE(X<0,F(X),G(X))' EVAL » 'I' STO

{ 'H(X)' 'I(X)' 'IFTE(X<0,F(X),G(X))'}


@ give

@ { 'd1|(IFTE(X<0,F(X),G(X)),{ X X })' 'IFTE(X<0,2*X,3)' 'IFTE(X<0,2*X,3)' }

An EVAL is needed here.What explanation?

Edited: 6 Mar 2012, 9:26 a.m.


Hello Gilles,

May be it is the mixture between algebraic and RPL structures. In the
machine all formulas are represented by RPL form. I've this in memory out of a discussion, where I wanted to programm an piece of software, which deriviate RPL formed terms in user-RPL, because I thought avoiding the transformation between RPL and algebraic terms and back.

But the HP software engineers were thougher than me. Every algebraic term is represented in RPL form in the machine.

The EVAL has the only effect to perform the substition into a full algebraic term. I think Bernard Parisse who developped the CAS mainighly stated in a post about another subject in another forum, that "ERABLE" the mother of the HP 50g CAS, will do less changes of term when possible (that means on the other side, the user has to decide, which ways he will go, on the other hand this feature minimizes the main problem of every CAS: blowing up the size of terms with every change, when they are not simplificated in the right way).

This seems to me, it's a developper philosophy decision.



I think RPN works very well with "text book" equation entry. The HP50g already has both, and there are times when either have advantage. I think it would be a mistake to eliminate RPN to focus purely on equation entry.


I agree. Both have advantage. And both can be mixed

2 *









Or just the down arrow if i prefer to use the equation writer.
RPN logic is very interesting for manipulate and combine some parts of equations


RPN logic is very interesting for manipulate and combine some parts of equations

... and, like RPN, is abble of displaying intermediate results in complex expressions;

That not possible on pure AOS, 2D text-book formula entry systems, as on most of the actual calculators.


Hello Tim,

this can only mean: the hp 50g is an ancient calculator because of his "old fashioned programming abilities". No, he isn't too young for that forum ;-).




Are there any plans to publish information on the internals of the 39gII so that it could be re-purposed as was done with the HP20B?



Now, is there anything that can be said about the keyboard? Tactile feedback? Rotate & click?

If true - is there a way to repurpose it (perhaps using the mini-USB port)? That would explain some statements above ;-) Well, it misses a large ENTER key, and its dimensions are ... umhh ... large, but the display looks promising and a bridge connecting two keys can be built always ... Hmmh, its dimensions remain large :-/


There is nothing to prevent anyone from loading a new firmware onto the thing.

The problem is that you will have to put an operating system on it, write drivers for all the peripherals, figure out how to upload onto it, and in short redo everything from the beginning. That is a serious undertaking even if you can find a lot of the stuff from other websites using the same chip.



Thanks, Tim, for your response. What about the keyboard?


I believe that the keyboard uses the same technology as the 10bII+. It does not have the same feel as the 30b, or 15c LE, but it is not bad at all in my opinion. The keys take somewhat more force to operate as compared to those models, but do rotate, and give more of a "pop" than a "click". I do not think any metal domes are involved.

(Tim, correct me if I am wrong as a response to Walter's message above and I will delete this message.)



I for one see no trouble posting about the 'babies', though most of the 'old guys' here - including myself, I'm lurking around since 2001 - feel more comfortable talking about some 'grannies', like the ones from the HP45 till the HP41 (a 'teen'?) and the Voyagers. Fact is that some (not most) of the main subjects discussed here relate do maintenance, i.e., how to keep the 'grannies' singing and dancing (I hope I am not loosing focus...), and after the clamshells (HP28C and ahead), maintenance has been reduced to a few enhancements and repair attempts.

As for the calculators, the new ones have the advantage of allowing some in-deep programming, something a few fortunate ones could only find in the HP41 series. Up till these days, there are a couple of guys here programming in low-level and building modules for the HP41. Most recently there's a lot of activity related to the WP34S mostly because even the 'old guys' are having the chance to open it, add a Xtal, mess up the circuits, connect it to a computer, upgrade it... All we most like to do! And this is cool!

I can only tell you that regular contributors will not bother having posts related to the new calculators. But chances are that such topics will not find as much interest as the ones we got used to, so if you have not too much replies in such subjects it does not mean people are being inconsiderate, instead that it is probably out of their immediate interest.

You see, I do not speak for all contributors, but I guess most of them may feel like this, too. So...


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 4 Mar 2012, 1:21 p.m.


The older comp.sys.hp48 by google might be a better forum, but you cannot be a member only for this forum, you have to be (if I understand in the right way) "google"-member. In one of the recent posts I have read that it is difficult.

For some reason, Google has been trying hard to blur the line between Usenet and Google groups. Many people seem to believe that Usenet is "part of Google" and that you need to be a Google member to access Usenet. That is completely false. Usenet predates Google by decades and in fact older than the Internet itself. Google Groups is one of many ways to access Usenet, but it's not the only one (and not the best one, IMHO).

To read and post to comp.sys.hp48, you need a newsreader (google for "Usenet newsreader" and find one that you like) and an account at a Usenet provider. Your ISP may carry Usenet newsgroups, but fewer and fewer do nowadays. I can recommend www.eternal-september.org which is free and carries text newsgroups, including comp.sys.hp48.


(google for "Usenet newsreader" and find one that you like)

I just went through this recently. The Google Groups interface is changing for the worse and about once every 3-6 months Google Groups does not sync with the rest of the world (often can be a week or two outage).

I tested various readers (I went back to my first reader (nn (cli)) from the early '90s) and settled on Thunderbird for OS/X and NewsTap for iOS. Thunderbird runs on all platforms and is free. And most importantly it is actively developed. Most others are not.

I can recommend www.eternal-september.org which is free and carries text newsgroups, including comp.sys.hp48.

I 2nd that.

I can recommend www.eternal-september.org which is free

That's just too funny! Thanks for pointing out that free open (p0rnless) server! I've been suffering through google groups since my e-mail provider changed their usenet access policies.

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