50G--End of the HP calculator era? Say it aint so, Joe!



#2

Hello all,

Just wondering, with all this discussion of how the 33s is no longer in production and the 50G may be the end of the line (and I mean the end of HP's calculator line), am I hearin this right, HP's calculator days are at an end?

Has HP released an official word?

Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 10:51 p.m.


#3

Why do you think this is so? Didn't Tim just talk about the 39gii and the general direction they are heading? Sounds like an interesting product to me.


#4

The post by Antonio Petri (UK) in the "HP 33s out of production?" thread seems to say that the scientific calculator line is going bye bye. Unless, this is something of a misconception.


#5

I was talking about the scientific programmable calculators, not the graphic ones and it was just an opinion. The 35s is the only left, because the 15LE will go out of production soon if it hasn't already. The 35S is a 6 years old model, so we might expect to see it discontinued at some point. Nobody knows whether it will be replaced by another model or not.


#6

Quote:
I was talking about the scientific programmable calculators, not the graphic ones and it was just an opinion.

This isn't strictly the response you are looking for, but as long as there are 30b models, there will be opportunities for the WP-34S to proliferate. Based on that platform, this machine runs rings around the 35S and perhaps anything else HP has done in the non-graphing scientific calc "space" (with the possible exception of the 42S for its incomparable dot-matrix LCD and soft-key menus).

Jake


#7

I know! and, in fact, my 30B is finally on its way, I have just ordered it yesterday! I have played a bit with the emulator and now I love it. Will need cables and stickers soon...

#8

Quote:
Why do you think this is so? Didn't Tim just talk about the 39gii and the general direction they are heading? Sounds like an interesting product to me.

It does sound very interesting and I find it wonderful and exciting that the calculator group at HP is actively developing new products.

If it's true, though, what everyone here says about the size of the group, I don't see how they could possibly *also* be developing a 50g/CAS/programmable machine successor.

I would suggest you need 4-5 people and two years to pull this off.

Just my 2c.

#9

I don't know what HP's future plans are, but it should be no surprise that handheld calculators are not required for a career in engineering and science. They are interesting tools but an anachronism in the working world and have been for two decades. I use free42 far more than my actual 42S.

And most engineers under the age of 40 don't use HP calculators. The market must be less than a tenth of what it was 20 years ago. I have observed young engineers using powerful TI graphing calculators as basic four-function machines. They have their place in high school, university, and certain exams, but there are very limited reasons to need one in your professional career.

The 50g is fun to play around with, but every function is better handled on your laptop.


#10

Not only that but, with the development of DocumentsToGo by DataViz for all platforms (PalmOS, Linux/Android, RIM/Blackberry and iOS/iPhone) folks have a good chunk of MSOffice, especially MS Excel on their handheld/smartphone. So, yes, the under 40 crowd is not appeased by the toys we grew up with such as HP calculators (even the ones with LED displays).

Edited: 5 Mar 2012, 11:59 p.m.


#11

Quote:
So, yes, the under 40 crowd is not appeased by the toys we grew up with such as HP calculators (even the ones with LED displays)

I would not generalize that, Matt...

I for myself are well below 40 years old and still use an HP 48 GX in office every day - and not only as a high level "four-banger". It was also my trusty fellow in countless university exams and projects.

Only recently I used it to solve a nonlinear system of equations for a short stress report that I needed to prepare. That, for example, is much easier on a calculator featuring something like the Multiple Equation Solver of the 48 GX. Excel instead can only accept assignments but not equations making this task much more complex. Of course there are other great tools like Mathcad, Maple, etc. but they are expensive (even for most small companies) and really not required for such tasks.

So bottom line for me:
There is still good use to be made of powerful calculators, even today. They are powerful enough to solve rather complex tasks and handy enough to have them around everywhere.

However, I agree that calculators do not have the same stand in engineering today than a few years ago. Not even in college where we still used them intensively.

Regards,
Timo

Edited: 6 Mar 2012, 5:09 a.m.


#12

My apologies.

#13

Quote:
with the development of DocumentsToGo by DataViz for all platforms (PalmOS, Linux/Android, RIM/Blackberry and iOS/iPhone) folks have a good chunk of MSOffice, especially MS Excel on their handheld/smartphone
These products don't last though, and then you have to transfer your stuff to another one, maybe learn another system, etc.. I've had some of the same programs I use all the time in my HP-41 for 20+ years. The modern stuff just can't compete in that way!

I have a 50g also, and although I never really learned to use it, I had kind of hoped it would be made for many years, like the 41 was made for ten or so and should have been continued longer.

#14

Quote:
The 50g is fun to play around with, but every function is better handled on your laptop.

If that's true, then my laptop has a serious defect: The SIN key somehow got lost.

I suspect that just the tasks have changed. Industrial automation has arrived at the engineers offices: The ones who know how to solve something are programmers, the ones actually solving are users with a grade (and a laptop).


#15

Thomas; Agreed, and my laptop's enter key doesn't work right either. That poster also forgot that a lot of people do math away from an office, without any kind of engineer, on their feet, without laps or laptops.

#16

Quote:
They are interesting tools but an anachronism in the working world and have been for two decades.

The machines we know may be anachronistic. But successors could be so smart that the high-end scientific becomes relevant again.

Here're a few possible ingredients:

- easy to use grapher to satisfy high-school needs (it sounds like HP is starting right there)

- programmable in a modern programming language (like Python)

- connected via WiFi and able to exchange data/programs with a popular desktop math system

- desktop-quality CAS abilities (so you can rely on getting answer and not potentially wasting your time on the calculator)

I don't think the days of mobile math systems are numbered. They're just beginning again in earnest, thanks to the app revolution.

Apps, where experimentation is simpler and the pool of ideas greater, are showing the way. Yet, I think there's still appeal for a dedicated device (and for high school and exam use, dedicated devices will remain a necessity for a long time to come). So I'm expecting dedicated HW products to soon distill the best ideas from the app world, pick up fresher HW, and receive a major update.

(I don't know the latest TIs, but from the sound of it, they're already doing this; though "TI style" may be a hindrance here...)

Edited: 6 Mar 2012, 6:43 a.m.

#17

Quote:
And most engineers under the age of 40 don't use HP calculators. The market must be less than a tenth of what it was 20 years ago. I have observed young engineers using powerful TI graphing calculators as basic four-function machines. They have their place in high school, university, and certain exams, but there are very limited reasons to need one in your professional career.

The 50g is fun to play around with, but every function is better handled on your laptop.


I am an electrical engineer and well below 40 myself. I have to agree that there are only very few colleagues of mine who use an HP calculator. And although I have guite a few of them, including a 49g+, the 15C is the one I use most. As others have already described, this is due to the amount of other tools available for more demanding tasks. If I want to see a graph, the calculator just isn't the easiet way to do this anymore. I mainly use the calculator for simple calculations that hardly go beyond using trig functions and logarithms. And the 15C is the best machine for the job in my opinion. I sometimes pic up the 42s for complex number calculations as I find it a lot more comfortable than the 15C for that.

The 34s has the potential to become my main calculator in future. I am well impressed with it! The only thing that I haven't warmed up to yet is the way it handles complex numbers. I still like the 42s better for this. This is partly due to its display, allowing real and imaginary part in one line, and partly to the way you can switch to complex numbers without even thinking about it. Everything from the stack, to registers and functions is exactly the same as it would be for real numbers.
Maybe the next model in the WP series could do something similar?

The 49g+ is mainly a really nice toy - I can't remember putting it to any serious use at work.

Cheers,
Harald


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