HP 50g info



#2

A long term user of HP calculators (occasionally also present at this forum in the past) I am now looking for a successor for my 48G (to give the old fellow some rest to maintain its near pristine condition somewhat longer). I waited for the Prime to arrive but, aimed at the education market, it seems that HP's new creation only marginally supports RPN. Needless to say on this forum that full RPN functionality is really a must for me, so I decided to turn to the 50g instead, provided the 50g offers enough improvements over the good old 48 series. My main concerns are speed, handling of complex numbers and RPL programmability. My questions are therefore:

1) How does the speed of the 50g compare to that of the 48G(X)?
2) Are complex numbers handled in the same elegant way as on the 48 series? That is, does the 50g automatically return a complex (or imaginary) answer when a function yields such an answer for a specific argument, without the requirement of being in some "complex mode" like the 15C (example: sqrt(-1) yielding the number i and not an error by default).
3) Is the 50g programmable in RPL in the same way as the 48G?

Thanks in anticipation for any answer.


#3

I use the 50G, and I'm vey happy with it. I also have the 48GX.

1) Quite a bit faster
2) Yes, complex numbers are handled in the same "elegant" way
3) Yes, same RPL (and more commands)

Plus, the 50G CAS is very good and fully supports RPN.
Plus, more memory than the 48GX!

(I also like the Prime, but alas, it is still too buggy to recommend for serious work).


#4

Thanks for the info. Just the answers I was hoping for. I think I am going to order a unit then.

#5

IMHO, you'll find the 50g a more than worthy upgrade from the 48GX.

Quote:
1) How does the speed of the 50g compare to that of the 48G(X)?

It's more than twice as fast for ordinary User RPL programs, and MUCH faster than that for ordinary keyboard operations, since the entire "outer loop" (stack-oriented user interface) was rewritten for speed. Once you get used to using the 50g, the 48GX will feel agonizingly slow, especially editing RPL programs, which is fast and easy on the 50g.

Quote:
2) Are complex numbers handled in the same elegant way as on the 48 series? That is, does the 50g automatically return a complex (or imaginary) answer when a function yields such an answer for a specific argument, without the requirement of being in some "complex mode" like the 15C (example: sqrt(-1) yielding the number i and not an error by default).

Yes and no. The 50g's "default" modes include Algebraic, Real, and Exact, all of which are different from the 48GX. But once you toggle these modes to the "correct" setting, they stay that way. After turning on RPN mode (it takes 3 keystrokes), complex mode (1 shifted keystroke) and approximate mode (1 shifted keystroke), -1 sqrt returns (0,1) as you'd expect, and will continue to do so until you change modes again. Note: All three modes are visibly indicated in the display, so you don't have to wonder what mode you're in.

Quote:
3) Is the 50g programmable in RPL in the same way as the 48G?

Yes and more! The User RPL program editor has the same look and feel, BUT it's a zillion times faster, and has extra features like search, and search-and-replace. Also, unlike the 48GX, the 50g has a complete built-in System RPL program development system, so you can write RPL programs that run much faster than User RPL, and do things that User RPL can't do.

Warning: There are many other differences between the 48GX and 50g. If there are any 48GX features that you can't live without, be sure to ask about them here before getting a 50g. But the 50g can be thought of as a 48GX on steroids, not a complete re-think of RPL; the large 48GX feature set is almost entirely a subset of the much larger 50g feature set. For what it's worth, I moved from the 48GX up to the 50g many moons ago, and have been very happy with it.

Hope that helps!

-Joe-

#6

Quote:
1) How does the speed of the 50g compare to that of the 48G(X)?

I use the 2500-iteration improved Savage Benchmark for speed comparisons:

<< RAD TICKS 0.
1. 2500. START 1. + sqrt SQ LN EXP ATAN TAN NEXT
SWAP TICKS SWAP - B->R 8192. /
DEG 800. 2. BEEP >>

'SB' STO

My HP 48SX takes 200 seconds, my HP 48GX takes 118 seconds, and my HP 50G takes 65 seconds to finish, after the USER RPL program SB above is started. If one directly accesses the ARM9 microprocessor that emulates the Saturn in the 50G, the 50G is capable of blindingly fast speed.

Quote:
2) Are complex numbers handled in the same elegant way as on the 48 series?

There are no differences.

Quote:
3) Is the 50g programmable in RPL in the same way as the 48G?

Yes, with the benchmark program above as an example. The HP 50G has more object types than the SX/GX. The SB program above uses a decimal point in each number to avoid them being processed by the HP 50G as integer object types, which would significantly slow execution. In the SX/GX that doesn't matter...they don't have that object type.

I abhor my HP 48SX and GX machines, in comparison to the HP 50G. I especially dislike the slow speed, the horrible Epson-card proprietary and very expensive memory card system, the terrible LCD quality, and the slow speeds of the SX/GX machines. I also hate that it is impossible to upgrade the firmware in the SX/GX machines. The 50G has none of those deficiencies, uses cheap SD cards, and includes a very powerful Saturn and ARM9 development library (see chapter 6 in the AUR below) in firmware. The 50G can also be supplied power through the USB connection, for very long runs without depleting batteries.

Check out the 693-page Advanced User Reference Manual.

Version 2.15 is the last official HP-50G firmware.


Edited: 20 Oct 2013, 10:50 p.m.

#7

I was coming back to answer after thinking on this one for a while, but everyone else has already said it all. I have the 48GX and the 50G, and the 50G is my always-carry calculator now. Much faster, and the cmplx and RPL will be VERY familiar (ie, the same).

#8

Thank you all for so much information. I just ordered/reserved my unit (can't wait to pick it up tomorrow at the dealer).


#9

Please let us know what version of firmware is now present in recent HP 50Gs (execute VERSION command). IIRC, the original 50G came with either version 2.06 or 2.08 firmware. Then version 2.09, followed by the latest version 2.15 (in 2009) were made available.

I will say something that is negative about the HP 50g: The date/time display (hh:mm MMM:dd) in the upper right of the display is in the most idiotic format that could have been contrived...time value has no display of the seconds, and an incomplete date display omits the year and has the month (only a three-letter display may be used for the month) separated from the day of the month by a colon. Complete idiocy, completely non-conventional, and far inferior to the simple but complete date/time display (mm/dd/yy hh:mm:ss) of the 48-series. I suspect that someone invented this nonsense without option to alter it just to be different...to put their mark on the 49G+/50G like a tom cat, no matter how odious the result, no matter how unprofessional the appearance

Also, the alarm function is erratic and unpredictable for actual time of execution...which is said to be an uncorrectable artifact of the emulation of Saturn on the ARM9 platform.

Finally...the cheap minuscule rubber feet of the 50G easily come unglued and disappear...without any possibility of replacement feet from HP. My 22-year-old 48SX and 17-year-old 48GX have original feet still firmly in place.


Edited: 21 Oct 2013, 11:25 p.m.


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