HP's imminent break-up


I disagree with the writer here - "But in this era of cloud computing, bring-your-own-device, software-as-a-service and cell phones on which the entire functional set of an HP-12c calculator can be purchased as a $15 app on iTunes, HP is an anachronism, hoping the world will stop spinning."

more details here http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dealbooks-mistaken-call-to-break-up-hp-2012-12-17?link=MW_home_latest_news

An HP-12c emulator on an iPhone is just not the real thing, period.


Me too! There is nothing like using the real thing. Having it on a phone is convenient but if you're like me, you have your HP calculator with you more than your phone!


Me too! There is nothing like using the real thing. Having it on a phone is convenient but if you're like me, you have your HP calculator with you more than your phone!

I prefer tangible calculators to apps. It this generational? I am 35.


Not just generational, in my opinion. My oldest son graduated from college 2 years ago as a business major. He and his fellow students all had TI business calculators. Real ones. Yes, they had apps on their phones also, but for real work they always picked up a real calculator. My next two sons are both in college, majoring in engineering. Both use real TI graphing calcs for their engineering work, not the multiple calculator apps they both have on their phones. My 4th son is a junior in high school. For math and science, he doesn't use a calc app on his 5th generation iPod. He uses an HP-35S (alas, in algebraic mode). I don't think it's just my kids that use real calculators. The apps have their place when you don't have a real calc at your elbow, but I am never at a desk where there isn't a real calculator within arm's reach, and I find that much faster, and less error-prone than accessing an app and fumbling with the touchscreen keyboard or tiny phone buttons.


Absolutely agree. The apps are fine when a calculator isn't around, but for day to day work nothing beats the real thing. Note that there are a lot of areas (gov offices) where smartphones are simply not allowed so the only choice is the "old-fashioned" calculator. I think there will always be a small market for the handheld calculator.


My comments are not particularly directed to David.

Re HP breaking up, I don't know. A while back I read they were "out of the calculator business". That doesn't seem to be the case either, so who knows.

As to other aspects. I always thought that the expressive capability of the English language was quite amazing, so re all this talk of "apps", they are programs, aren't they? Why not so describe them?

Possibly it is generational but I don't have any sort of a cell phone, let along one of those "smart phones". I do have an old HP 11c, which I used to use extensively. Also have a 50G, which I'm not yet on "speaking terms" with. One of these days, or so I keep telling myself. Also, while their application might be limited, in many cases, a couple of decimal places aren't sufficient, I still find myself fascinated by the slide rule, even though I was never all that handy with them.

In conclusion, while the 30-06 cartridge is more than 100 years old, and all sorts of cartridges that supposedly were great improvements have appeared, the 30-06 round remains because it works. It works today, in the haunting fields or on the target range, just like it always did. Maybe this last in generational too. If that is the case, so be it.

Edited: 19 Dec 2012, 6:37 p.m.


Al, you're correct - "apps" are simply programs. These particular applications or "apps", for short, have come to have a more narrow meaning though. They are typically more compact programs than a personal computer-based version of the same program, able to run on the more limited resources of mobile phones and Tablet computers. So the ever-fluid English language has once again added yet another new meaning to an existing word. "Hijacked" the word, in a way.

Since you mentioned you have a 50g, I'd encourage you to get to know it - I think you'll like it. It allows you to write some really nice programs that can descriptively prompt you for inputs and give you descriptive outputs via a pop-up box. A far cry from the old days where there was no alphabetic capability and you just had to remember what the inputs and outputs were for all your different routines you had programmed!

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