HP50G Equation Writer - What it can & cannot display?


Hi All,
Just curious about the Equation writer built in to the 50G, & its ability to symbolically display and manipulate visually represented equations, 'notebook style'.

Whilst we know the 50G has 'templates' to fill in Summations, Integrals, Roots, Matrices etc. & combinations thereof, as well as work with symbolic variables.

What about other forms of Mathematical symbology and their syntax?

For example:
Product & Cartesian Product, where the upper & lower bounds are defined in a similar way to the Summation & Integral templates.

I know when you look at the 'character set' the symbols are there in ASCII form, for keying in.

If the built in Equation writer IS lacking in its ability to fully display ALL forms of possible equation and their syntax, does there exist for download a MORE complete Equation Writer that CAN?

Just curious.


Juste a rapide image search on Internet:

Are you looking for something similar, but with Vector Cross Products or other specific math's notation ?

Edited: 20 Sept 2012, 5:43 p.m.



From Wiki's Mathematical Symbols section example:


= (1+2)(2+2)(3+2)(4+2) - = 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 = 360

means the set of all (n+1)-tuples


Can the above be represented and manipulated as shown within the Equation Writer?
Just trying to get a feel for this machine :)


I think there is no PRODUCT function in the 50G.
You have to program it. For example

 -> a b c d
b c FOR x
d a x = SUBST EVAL *
'PI' STO @ you can use the big PI symbol - 88.5 Bytes

'k' 1 4 'k+2' PI

-> 360



You can use this formula with the equation writer but there is no 'pretty print'...

Note that this program works in symbolic also :

'k' 1 4 'k+2+a' PI

Note also that in RPN mode it easy to modify the program to use formula like this

'k=1' 4 'k+2' PI

but then i get an error in algrebraic

'PI(k=1,4,k+2)' dont work

For the Cartesian product, i seems easy to program this with the gofer list library installed.

PS : However, it seems to me that there was a function 'product' on the 48 ... I must be wrong because i find no trace of this in the AUR

Edited: 21 Sept 2012, 5:45 p.m.



Obviously there is a 'graphic' Sigma symbol for summations in the EQW. I am quite surprise that there is no PI 'graphic' symbol nor 'product' function on the HP-50g.


This is potentially my point.
When you compare the HP50G to it's contemporaries.. N-spire cas for example, it has 'templates' for most forms of symbolic manipulation. The original N-spire cas came out only 1 year after the 50G.

Did HP really only upgrade the Hardware from the Saturn based 48 series, & apart from a few tweaks, NOT bother with the operating system & its user interface?


there was no real CAS on the 48 series, nor infinite integer, symbolic matrix, symboliv vectors and a lot of other things ...
All of this came with the 49G wich was of very interesting calc but with an awfull keyboard and screen cover (the fisrt one at least)

In my opinion the lack of PI function is just a curious thing in the near 900 commands of the 50G and is not significiant. It's easy to write one, and i don't search but i am pretty sure you could find a sysRPL program or library to do this

The real problem is that there is no more evolution of the 50G OS since many year and (just my opinion) that there will be no evolution in the future.

It's a pity because it is such a beautiful, powerfull, pratical and efficient operating system in very good hardware (keyboard, high contrast screen, robust case ...)

what do you call 'template' on the NSPire?

For an idea of the "look and feel" of 50G in real usage, here is a video example :


(go to 2mn40 to see the HP50 part)

or this


(goto 5mn 30)

Edited: 22 Sept 2012, 6:33 a.m. after one or more responses were posted



There has been no ROM update for over three (!) years now and it is most

unlikely that there will be one as, according to some forum members, the HP 50g

is a "dead horse" (TM).

There is not much interest in the HP 50g by the Hewlett-Packard Company.

The only evolution available for this machine is my OSE/MLP and the additional

extensions that I wrote and which I presented at last year HHC 2011 in San Diego.

Here is the video from last year HHC 2011:

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

Additional videos of the additional extensions:

HP 50G Full Command and Function Reference incorporated into the O.S.

HP 50G Multi Lingual Pack - Using GUIMES and the Equation Library

HP 50G Multi Lingual Pack - Advanced and integrated CAS help





P.S. Those who feel offended by me "beating the dead horse

aka 50g" (TM by TW) simply ignore me.


what do you call 'template' on the NSPire?

Take a look at the following image... It is from the N-Spire PC software that emulates exactly what you get on the actual N-Spire screen...
These are the Equation templates that you can choose from. If you look closely, the icon below the highlighted one, and to the right of the 'summation' icon, IS for entering a 'Product', in the way I was querying at the top of this thread...

When you look at these N-Spire templates, Just how 'impoverished' is the Hp50g's EQW by comparison?


It seems to be a very different 'philosphy' on the 50G

You have all this stuf (and much more,except PI ) but for exemple if you want a symoblic matrix of equation, you have to use both MATRIX WRITER and EQW

Here is a small video with a non sense equation to show how it works. Note it is far more easy to enter the equation with the real calc than the emulator

EQW example

Edited: 22 Sept 2012, 8:45 a.m.


Did HP really only upgrade the Hardware from the Saturn based 48 series, & apart from a few tweaks, NOT bother with the operating system & its user interface?

Yes. HP almost stopped making calculators. Do you know about the cancelled HP Xpander? (And now Casio has the Classpad).

I guess TI is probably putting and order of magnitude more money into calculator development. HP's calculator reputation has been seriously damaged by previous CEO decisions. Let's hope Meg Whitman will actually choose to give more support to HP's calculator development.

Of course with the release of the 39gII we hope something better is on the horizon. A quote from mr. Wessman: "The 39gII is the start of a brand new, platform independent codebase for HP graphing calculators. It was developed, designed and written completely in house as a modern, flexible system." (from this message here).

Alternate solution:

<< -> a b c d << a b c d c SEQ PILIST EVAL >> >> and then store as PROD or PI or something.

(PILIST actually has symbol of PI. This solution thanks to Tim Wessman from this message)

To use:

simple product of numbers e.g. 1 to 5:






= 120

product of squares of numbers e.g. 1 to 5:






= 14400

product of inverse of numbers e.g. 1 to 5:






= 1/120 (or 0.008333.. in APPROX mode)

Can also be used as: 'PROD(n,n,1,5)' etc.


I think the equation writer don't use ASCII form for special character... Seems to be vectored design.

I think all agrebarics objects can be use with equation writer.
You can also generate the grob (image) of an equation, or matrix in a 'pretty print way' in RPL

What function is this 'cartesian product' on the 50 ?

PS : prehaps one limitation is that vector and matrix have to be edited with the MATRIX EDITOR, so you can't enter matrix or vector in the equation writer. But if i'm not wrong you cannot enter a constant matrix directly in an algebraic, you must use rpn notation (or variables). So if there are limitations, they are not in the EQW but in algebraics objects

Edited: 20 Sept 2012, 5:56 p.m.

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