HP-49G, HP-48G+, 'college student' calculators



#8

Hi,
For those curious about the 'new' HP calculators
here is a quite detailed link about the HP-49G

http://www.exrom.com/hp_49g_press_rel.htm

Apparently this unit replaces the 48G+ . Anybody got opinions?
To me, it looks like 48G+ is so-so and 49G is worse.
Neither is a thing I can just walk up to and
get some quick trigonometry, or formulas evaluated with.


A CLOSE PARALLEL..... when they money-manager-types
(seen in 'Dilbert') took over Heathkit, they didn't
entirely bankrupt it...... they focused exclusively
on academic products such as textbooks and learning
aids (for community colleges). They still sell
community college books & things to this day, even
though they brutally threw out everything the standard
customers wished to buy.


Looks like HP is doing the same thing? All I see in their
article is "colleges, high schools, colleges, high schools,
HP cirriculum for math class" etc etc. They figure a sucker
is born every minute, and half of them will enroll
into a math class ? Instant guaranteed market.

Kind of like what Heathkit did. For those who
actually wanted a product to use, tough tomatoes
they won't be too interested with your needs.

One possible problem with this scheme is that TI
is already doing it, with the TI-89 . Considering
how incompatible these different calculators are,
you'd think maybe the professor would rather
focus on the academic cirriculum, than on paying
out loot for gimmicky new calculators ?


#9

That article is nearly 4 years old. The 49G has come and gone already.

Spicey


#10

... as Spice_Man (Spicey?) mentioned.

The "new" flesh are the HP9S and HP9G, and I feel as mentioning someone else's place when typing these ID's. The so expected (good?) news are about to come, like mentionen in this thread.

I'm seriously considering the possibility of writing to HP Complaining Wall (?); wht do you think? Would they read a Latino's mail as seriously as they read yours?

My biggest question is: do these guys read our posts in here? Accepting the fact that they read, would they assume they read?

If so, what in the h... are they waiting for?

Just my thoughts.

Cheers.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil


#11

I'm sure some smart marketing or development people at HP are lurking in this forum.

The problem is, they probably don't think that we're a majority. HP calculators have always been kind of in the background. HP never put their full muscle behind them. When you go to a typical store to buy a scientific or graphing calculator, what do you see? What I see is TI, Casio, and maybe Sharp.

I think it is smart of HP to have the option of algebraic notation, but not in place of RPN. If HP could kind of ease people into the RPN, they would soon realize that it is less error-prone and really not all that hard. After that, people would discover that HP calculators are rugged and well-built. From there, the word would get around and people couldn't get enough of them. When I was in high school math classes, the TI-81 had just come out. The thing was magical to us. The teacher used one to teach with, and had an overhead projector to go with it. Soon, it was kind of suggested that our work in Algebra I would be much easier with this miracle machine. So everyone went out and bought one, except me. I bought a TI-85, which I still use today in my Electronics Engineering classes. However, it is getting to the point that the graphing part is no longer useful, only the scientific part.

Now, imagine what might have happened if HP were the one to woo schools into their clutches... HPs would be everywhere instead of TIs. Of course, they would have to make them more user friendly too. I love the RPN, but the rest of my 48GX was kind of a nightmare to figure out. Not intuitive at all, even for a senior-level engineering student. Don't believe me? Try to do symbolic integration on it. There is a (obscure) way to do it.

-Jeremy


#12

Hi, Jeremy.

I'm an Electrical Engineer and, believe-me, at the time I learnt Symbolic Integration it was obscure even without a calculator... Imagine what should a tool be able to perform if it is designe to support obscure activities. It should be an "obscure" tool, indeed. I tried MthLab once, and Integration happens in a hidden form, if you accept this as so (I remember using an old version, not sure about which one). I heard about Mapple and never used it. I am trying to find Mathematica (is it correctly spelled?) and try it.

If you have a palm or a portable to run any of them, you still have to buy and install them. What amuses me is that you can perform a full Memory Clear in an HP48/49 and still have all resources available; not even a (beep), memory search, P.O.S.T., system load, graphic environmetn load, then you are ready to check if your Math tool is already there or, if it's a friend's computer, search for its existence.

I know palms do not restart everytime they are switched to ON, but I heard that the best math tools some of them have are the HP selected calculator emulator... Funny, isn't it?

I'm a portable-math-tool guy, I do not care if the tool is algebraic or RPN, it must be a good tool. Slide rules are neither RPN nor algebraic, they simply rule (wow!). I also program in C/C++, and it demands algebraic notation knowledge. No way out...

What I know is that whatever the HP48 has, it's written and described somewhere. I'm a bit lazy, but I remember doing some symbolic handling in the HP28S and found it a "must have" at the classroom (I was at the University at that time). Symbolic integration in the HP28S is only achieved by expanding the final expression as a Taylor equivalent to the symbolic result, final prcison expressed by the number of terms. Weird... but efficient. I learnt a lot with it.

Later the HP48SX enhanced integration process and allowed symbolic results. The HP49 is even better.

My first calculator was a TI57, and I'm sad not having it anymore: the case was destroyed. I still have the electronic "guts", say, teh PCB with the all-built-in IC and LED's display. I connected a 9VCC battery a few days ago end it worked instantaneously! I just have no idea about the keyboard matrix connections, but I'll not work on it for now, maybe in the end of this year. This TI57 is algebraic (whatelse is new...), LED display, has 8 storage registers and 50 program steps, subroutines granted and merged codes (up to three keys per step). Something to be kept.

At the time I was given this calculator, symbolic integration was already obscure...

What expects us in the future?

Cheers.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil

#13

"Now, imagine what might have happened if HP were the one to woo schools into their clutches... HPs would be
everywhere instead of TIs. Of course, they would have to make them more user friendly too."

I was a grad student at Ga Tech in the '90's. As of 1998 or so, incoming freshmen were required to purchase an hp-48.

#14

Maybe the calculator business is like car insurance (at least here in Texas) - way back when, teachers didn't want students to use calculators but now I think they are required (like car insurance) so there is a built-in market for anyone who's willing to compete.


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