HP Marketing Strategy



#38

I don't know if anybody from HP checks these messages out, but I would like to open a discussion on how to best market the HP calculator line. (a future one, anyway)

I have read the discussions on PDA vs. PC vs. Handheld Calculators and I understand the premise that the calculator is not a strong future contender. Some say they are just commodity items. I just disagree. Just look at TI. They are selling a large number of calculators, especially through the educational market. Some of these are about in the same cost range as the HP's

How would you market, advertise, and sell calculators ? Who is your target consumer, how do you reach them, etc ?

I think that there is a market out there but it has not been reached yet. It does not just consist of us retro-minded folks who bought our first HP in the early '80's.

What are your thoughts ?


#39

It's a good question, especially in light of my recent experience with an HP digital camera.

We found a "Photosmart 812" (4MP) on sale at Circuit City and it looked right, so we bought it. I then picked up a copy of "Digital Photo" (or whatever) to compare what I just paid with prices from the mail-order houses. (I know that's a bit backward, but I don't always exhibit patient buyer behavior!)

Amazingly, I found: no articles reviewing HP cameras (not surprising in a single-issue sample), NO HP advertising (a bit puzzling), and not a single mail-order outfit offering HP's (!!??!!??) They've got whole sections devoted to Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, you name it -- NONE of them offer (or, at least, advertised) HP's. Even in a single-issue sample, that seems bizarre. (The only mention of an HP camera that I could find is a single-line entry in a product comparison table.)

I'm going to buy a few more magazines, but that made me wonder whether & how HP plans to play in the Digital Camera marketplace . . .

(Not that I'm disappointed in our purchase -- the camera seems fine, given the tiny bit that I've found time to use it so far.)


#40

I think they only sell cameras as additional product for theis photo-style inkjet-printers (i.e. like canon or epson). So the orders do - so its a "have to" product if you want to sell printers. In Germany sometimes you can buy a bundle of printer and camera.
But the cameras are not build or developed by hp. I think its a kodak or so.

Regards
Thomas


#41

The HP912 (which I bought when I still worked at HP) is a Pentax camera but with some HP electronics inside. The same camera was sold by Pentax as the EL-2000. I expect their current models are also produced in a similar arrangement. The first generation of "HP" cameras where made by Minolta as far as I recall - HP wasn't at all involved in either design or manufacturing.

#42

I think there might be some snobbery in play. The camera magazine(s) have been around for a long time, and the Nikons, Olympuses, Pentaxes, etc. of the world have been their bread and butter from the beginning. They can't be bothered with these new upstarts!

Check, instead, the newspaper ads of the Circuit City/Best Buy places. They have a lot of HP and Kodak (not previously known for high-end cameras, either!) digital cameras, at just about the best price/pixel. (I have an HP 318 and am quite happy with it - to the extent that a few megapixels suffice. I was taking real film pictures a week ago (with my ancient, but still very good Pentax ME) and pointed out to my digital friends that I was using my 20 Megapixel camera!)

Somehow ($$$$$ usually work!), HP and Kodak have convinced the retailers to feature their digital camera products.

I suspect HP will have to use a similar strategy (incentives to the retail outlets - and perhaps, rebates to the customers) to get new calculators in front of the populace. Especially, to displace (or at least match) the prominence that the TI 8x series gets.


#43

I read that the original North American Television Standards Committee (NTSC), in the 1920's or 1930's, went to the movie industry for advice on what kind of resolution television should have - just as in recent years, the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has developed standards for digital television. After the electronics experts explained to the film experts the relationship between picture resolution and signal bandwidth, the movie people said television needed 100 MHz for an acceptable picture. Since this was more bandwidth than the entire usable radio spectrum at that time, the electronics experts did their own research on human vision to find a practical bandwidth. They learned a lot about how the eye sees including color perception - information that was used years later for the compatible color TV system - and came up with the 4.5 MHz signal (in a 6 MHz channel) that has served pretty well until today.

#44

Right -- I had no trouble finding online prices for the model in question. (In fact, the Circuit City sale price was better than the best online quote!?!?)

For whatever reason, the magazine advertisers just don't quote HP's.

My "market research" consisted of posting a question on this forum a while ago: "What features do I look for in a digital camera for use in eBay sales?" (The answer from several folks: at least 2MP, a macro mode, a USB connection, and an LCD screen for instant review.)

A few folks went on to praise their HP cameras, so the rest was easy -- especially when we saw the sale price on the model in question. (My wife was suspicious of an HP recommendation coming from this forum, but then Oprah praised an HP camera, too, and so then it was O.K!)

#45

you go to a camera manufacturer, don't you. HP is not a camera manufacturer. They make specialized equipment. They are not a consumer electronics manufacturer, for the most part. Even their PDAs aren't mainstream.

Nikon's, Canon's, etc bread and butter is cameras. It makes sense that they would get the majority of attention. You can bet one thing for sure, if HP had a superior camera than these others, it would be covered.

I own a Nikon digital.


#46

The HP 812 (and others, I suspect) has a Pentax lens, and prominently advertises this fact. It looks as if the HP folks outsourced the part(s) requiring specialized expertise in order to make a relatively high quality CONSUMER electronics product.

No, it's not pro-grade, but it appears to be a good, simple-to-use camera.

#47

My brother in law bought a "name brand" digital camera with 3or 4 MP. My lower end HP 2.1 digital looks just as good, cost 1/7th the cost, and I don't worry about it being dropped, scratched, etc

#48

I own a Canon Ixus. This is a simple use camera too. This is that what I want, if I use a digital camera. Canon allows you to connect their cameras direct to the printer without PC. And HP follows that idea. Not all photoamateurs own a PC. And they don't have to.

And it's easy to use - that's it.

Thomas

#49

With the advent of the PDA, the fate of calculator market is sealed.

PDAs will eventually be the preferred consumer electronic device. It will be your music source, radio source, cell phone, camera and calculator.

For someone who has a PDA, there is NO NEED for a calculator.

Calculators will have a life, only as long as PDAs are costly. But PDA prices are dropping rapidly. Soon, everyone will have one. Think not?

Well, I've been to Japan recently. Japan is years ahead of the U.S. in terms of consumer electronics. You know the new rage picture phones? They have had them for years in Japan.

Everyone over the age of 10 has a cell phone. Eventually, the U.S. will catch up. People are finding that phones don't have to be tiny devices. They are currently putting them in PDAs and PDAs are a great platform for calculators.

I currently carry a Siemens SX56 Cell Phone PDA and that is my working calculator as well. And I'm an HP collector. Imagine what non-collectors will prefer.

The only calculators that will exist in the future are desktops and very cheap handhelds. Cheap being defined as below, say $20. Think HP can put out a quality (that we expect) calculator for under $20? Think again.

You know, I can actually recall people saying,

"The CD will never catch on" and "FM will never replace AM" and I've heard that people actually used to say, "TV will never replace the radio." How many vinyl records have you purchased recently?

Now, for some chit-chat. I have said for years that I should have been a calculator designer. There is always something else that I would put in any calculator that has come along. Or, that there is a different way I would have done this or that.

All that is needed for anyone to fullfil that destiny is to have a programmable box, suitable for a calculator. Well guess what? A PDA is that box.

With PDAs the best calculators that have ever been conceived can and will be designed. It is a neverending quest for the perfect calculator and the box doesn't have to change.

Think about it. A box not much larger than the size of a 15C, that holds GigaBytes of program, RAM and storage, is currently available. It comes in color, plays your music, calls your friends, takes photos and holds any variety of calculator that you like.

We may like the nice HP buttons, the functionality, the reputation, the RPN the, the, the. But these are irrelevant concerns for the future consumers of the world.

The business model for producing consumer electronics is not governed by a few serious collectors. It is governed by consumers.

Edited: 18 June 2003, 3:13 p.m.


#50

I also use a PDA and cell phone with built-in calculators. It is not a replacement for a good calculator. No one I know uses those calcs for more than 2+2 math, due to the poor user interface. I work in R&D engineering, and everyone still uses a handheld calc (in addition to PDA's) around here. (I do use a stylish belt clip and leather case, like my 41CV)

I don't think that you have to produce a $5 calculator to compete. After all, all cars don't cost the same as a Hyundai or Kia, all watches don't cost the same as a Timex, etc) Even TI sells a range of calculators at varying prices. I also remember when folks were saying that the (mini-van, SUV, etc) would soon be the only car on the road. That didn’t come true either. Many people don't like a compromise, do-it-all part-way device. I believe that there is still a market out there. I am not sure how big, but it is there.

If you produced a good calc at a little more than there price, say, +$5-10, and gave people what they WANT, you could even take market share from the $5 crowd. (even with RPN) Throw in some PDA-like features and you might make another gain. Of course all of the die-hard HP fans would buy one (or more). The bottom line is they haven't figured out the proper marketing for this product in the last two decades. That was way before the PDA came to the public’s eye.

My point is, if TI and others can make a decent calc for <$10 (as well as $100+), you should be able to use the same shell, display, and processor, and add good keys and RPN for $5-$10 more.

I for one, do not use my PDA for calculating since I hate the stylus, display, and the calculator programs stink. (Besides, THEY can cost $10-$20 as well.) You'd be surprised how often folks ask to borrow my HP48GX in meetings (by PDA-toting colleagues), so I don't think the need has gone away.


#51

I too am a practicing engineer. Have been for 28 years. I remember people saying, "electronic calculators won't replace the slide rule. They are too slow and you make mistakes." I even remember my first experience with calculators. I did calculations 2 or 3 times just to prove to myself that it was correct.

You are looking at this from a collector point of view, not a consumer electronics manufacturer point of view. People will use, what they are trained to use.

Like I said, I too am an EE and I rarely, if ever use a calculator at work. And there is NOTHING that you can do on a 48 that can't be programmed (eventually) into a PDA.

I didn't say the calculator would be outmoded today. I said the future.

#52

because:

HP selling calculators is what Peter Lynch called "di-worsification". (the mutual fund manager from the 1980's who did very well with Fidelity Magellan).
Many companies in their decline become obsessed with "diversifying". Lynch said they should keep doing what they did originally, and what the management calls "diversify" Lynch calls "diworsify" and he said when a company diworsifies then run for the exits (as an investor).

HP IS CLEARLY DIWORSIFYING. They say screw calculators and their owners (and other things that made the company great) and now they will sell HP Cameras, HP Toasters, HP Vacuum Cleaners, etc. Lynch says it is to "diworsify" because they aren't any good out of their core area, and they need to stick with their core area. In other words, NIKON OLYMPUS AND PENTAX WILL KICK HP'S BUTT. And I would never buy an HP camera (or anything else diworsified) just out of spite for their mistreating the engineering calculator line.

= = = = > > > >

Mike says everybody will just get a PDA and talk on their calculator/cellphone/PDA/car-wash/popup toaster/microwave oven that they tote around with them. That's EXACTLY what I don't agree or buy into. The merchants want to throw all the stuff into one box, and it all works like garbage, but its all-the-garbage-in-one-box.

I say no way, give me ONE GOOD THING (ie a calculator) and give me ANOTHER GOOD THING (ie a cellphone) but dont stuff them all together. That whole concept is ridiculous. Who has time to use junk like that. And when it busts (and believe me, it will bust) then you have NOTHING, instead of like if you have a cellphone AND a calculator, then you still have one of them when there's a breakdown.

I CONCLUDE THAT the HP "RED BRICK" is still EXACTLY where the truth about calculators resides. HP-34C, HP-15C, HP-41C, etc. Try to sell me a combination toaster/microwave oven/calculator/cellphone/DVD player and you'll never make the sale (with me) and the companies just look silly to propose such junk. IF CONSUMERS BUY IT (and that's the main strength of the argument) that's only because the consumers have become exceptionally mentally retarded at this juncture. The people who buy crap like that is just Mr. Beevis and Mr. Butthead, and actually they don't buy it they shoplift it so how much money does Carly make on THAT.

While having some tolerance for the derivatives of the Red Brick HP-LED calculators (32S, 32Sii, etc) there is no advantage to overcomplicating the works, and indeed, that is exactly why I would AVOID buying those units. Too much junk . Too tedious to figure out.

I know a 10 year old kid and I want him to get a headstart in math. Although later he would probably do best with a 32Sii, for starters, what's the best ticket? A 31E . Why? Because its straightforward with not too many buttons. I want him to gradually go thru and learn what all the different buttons do (what's "x to the y", whats "log") etc.
When he's learned all of them, I'll graduate him to a more complicated calculator (perhaps a 32S) .

Where does the 49G fit into all that? It doesn't. Its got so much garbage thrown into it, that it is truly just garbage. Huck it out the driver's side window while I'm going 85 mph, for all I care.

And as long as Carly and her mafia goon squad keep cranking out manure like cameras and toasters and vacuum cleaners, I'll just not patronize them thank you very much. Thank God for eBay and the internet, as mentioned before, it allows us to run circles around these indecent corporations when they refuse to serve their customers.


#53

I am confused now.

Mike says that he would want a real camera, like a Nikon digital, and to heck with the cameras from HP the maker of superior travel luggage and golf clubs.

BUT Mike also said he wants "all in one stuff", like a combination cellphone/camera/calculator/electric shoe polisher.

Now I am all embarassed because I dont know which is the real story or who is right and who is wrong.

But Mike why own a kick-butt Nikon digital camera ?

I mean you could have a combination Kinpo calculator/camera that sports a 4-function calculator with equals button, and a black and white imaging chip that sports 50 x 75 pixels ? What more could you
want than that ?

Anyway sorry that I do not understand your position, guess I only understnd mine. Thats human nature.


#54

I don't think Mike said he wanted a combo device, he just said that's the way the market is going. I think his argument is pretty good. They talk about disposable cell phones - that takes care of the problem of servicing the unit when it fails. And if you happen to be someone who needs a cell phone and a calculator with you all the time - who wants to carry two things?

I just wonder if there isn't a place for a general purpose pocket information device with a high quality mechanical keyboard with high contrast soft legends on the keys - maybe at a higher price point, given the higher manufacturing cost.


#55

WHAT IF I am talking on my HP cellphone calculator, and its about a business problem, and I need to type the numbers in that the person is giving me over the telephone.

What do I do? Do I hold it to my ear, or do I hold it in my hand ?

What if I need to toast a bagel at the same time (using the built-in toaster oven) while I do the calculations using the numbers that he gives me over the telephone (so that I wont be hungry by the time the call is over). Can I run the toaster oven simultaneous with the cellphone and the calculator ? Does it also have programming steps so that it will autodial the telephone numbers and not burn the bagel ?
Does it also have some buttons for sine and cosine, and 1/x or was that less important than the built-in autodial directory ? Is it on a nested pulldown menu?

Do I also have built-in formulas incase i forgot that

area = pi * r ^ 2

after all, its not reasonable to expect me to REMEMBER things like that.

#56

Reading InfoWorld (and perhaps elsewhere), much is being made about the fact that GM is standardizing on a multifunction handset rather than on a PDA.

The thinking seems to be that the PDA is the worst of both worlds: the complexity of a workstation and less convenient input capability than the average cell phone. The character recognition capabilities still seem problematic (certainly in the WinCE generation installed in my iPaq) and the folding keyboards are Mickey Mouse in the extreme.

The cell phone / camera bundling is, I think, interesting. It combines two devices whose I/O needs are readily accomodated in a small package: numeric keypad and a mic / speaker for the phone, a lens and a viewscreen for the camera. And sending pictures over telephone lines? (That's sort of what the Internet is . . .) I think there's a future in this combo. (Note: the DOD doesn't want contractors walking aboard a submarine with a photo-capable cell phone!)

The Calculator? I think there's still a limited market for a specialty provider offering a customizable system in a quality, purpose-built but connectible package. (It doesn't seem like a large company like HP, driven by shareholders' aspirations, belongs there.) For The Rest of Us (er, Them), a calculator application with a phone-oriented keypad (!) and a few soft keys on a multipurpose handset seems about right.

#57

Mike is right! There is no future for HP calculators as we know them from yesterday. They will certainly be replaced by PDAs. The comparison with slide rules is also right. HP calculators will only live in our memories and in glassboxes of a few nerds (us!). Please be honest, do I look weird to other people when I tell them that I collect HP calculators?
They almost always say: Why do you need that old junk at all?

One can make a lot of money on eBay today buying and selling that "old junk". This has nothing to do with the usefulness of calculators today at all.

We love our old HP's. Norm loves his HP34C's. I love my HP67. But, we have to admit: the story ends here. Any calculator's functionality is 1/1000 of the funcionality of any PDA today, or a funcionality of a NOKIA 3650, ...

Mike's post (the subject one!) was written on a basis of reality. Other posts have been written on the basis of our feelings for old HPs (on the basis of our heart). Period.

Nothing of this will prevent me to collect old HPs, learning how to repair them, trying to conserve some old forgottten knowledge, talk to my friends (everybody) here and feel thankful to the curator of moHP who have given us such an opportunity to "meet" each other and share the same feelings ...

#58

Caveat reader: all that follows is My Humble Opinion,
I mean no disrespect at all to anyone's opinions, much less Mike's,
and I don't claim I'm in possession of the one and only thruth, or that I'm necessarily right and Mike's necessarily wrong. That said, let's begin:

Mike posted:

"For someone who has a PDA, there is NO NEED for a calculator."

That's your opinion. And I'm not so sure you believe it 100% yourself. Don't you ever grab a calculator for a quick math ? Or will you make us believe you actually care to use your PDA to find a percentage, add up something, etc ?

Myself, I do use and need a calculator frequently, not for very complicated things but for such things as computing taxes, discounts, costs, and the like. Such computations require the reliability only a good keyboard interface can provide, and I find PDAs most
uncomfortable and unreliable in that aspect.

"Calculators will have a life, only as long as PDAs are costly. But PDA prices are dropping rapidly. Soon, everyone will have one. Think not?"


Think not. Not everyone does like and use PDAs, even if they were given for free. But everyone must use some sort of calculator for most everyday math chores, even if simple.
Most people make do with 4-bangers, some fortunate people use their 32S, 42S or whatever. But if you've got a suitable calculator at hand, you never reach for a PDA.


"Well, I've been to Japan recently. Japan is years ahead of the U.S. in terms of consumer electronics. You know the new rage picture phones? They have had them for years in Japan."


Yes, and kids play Pokémon over the phone, so what ? Japan's always been a consumer's craze, where people crave and rave for all kind of gadgets we would consider just plain stupid, to say the least. And ? Are you implying that local Japanese fads are the thing to copycat in the US ? Come on !


"You know, I can actually recall people saying,
"The CD will never catch on"


A little biased, don't you think ? Don't you also recall people saying "Quadraphonics will never catch on" or "DIVX (the original DVD rental system) will never catch on", or
the many other fads that never did actually catch on ?
And who's saying PDAs will never catch on, anyway ?


"All that is needed for anyone to fullfil that destiny is to have a programmable box, suitable for a calculator. Well guess what? A PDA is that box."


Fine, go on. Let us know of your progress, please.

"Think about it. A box not much larger than the size of a 15C, that holds GigaBytes of program, RAM and storage, is currently available. It comes in color, plays your music, calls your friends, takes photos and holds any variety of calculator that you like. We may like the nice HP buttons, the functionality, the reputation, the RPN the, the, the. But these are irrelevant concerns for
the future consumers of the world."


Sure. Seems to me a book case of the "Hog's Principle", which reads as follows:

     "If something's good, more is better"

Sometimes, just the right thing is far better. I would never exchange/trade you a single, fine HP-15C for a box choke-full of those wonderful gizmos you describe.
And what's more, let's see 20 years from now just how much is my HP-15C worth, and how much is your choke-full box of today's PDAs' worth. That also applies to many other classic HPs as well. Care to make a bet ?

"The business model for producing consumer electronics is not governed by a few serious collectors. It is governed by consumers."


Sure. That's why we are seeing more and more garbage products all the time, designed to not last, produced as cheaply as possible in China, Taiwan, or somewhere else where labour costs are as low as possible whatever the quality, of abysmal physical characteristics, and instantly obsolete.

I rest my case. And my HP-15C will be with me long after you've thrown your 23th PDA to the garbage bin.

Best regards.


#59

Not everyone does like and use PDAs, even if they were given for free. But everyone must use some sort of calculator for most everyday math chores, even if simple. Most people make do with 4-bangers, some fortunate people use their 32S, 42S or whatever. But if you've got a suitable calculator at hand, you never reach for a PDA.

I have a IIIx & 2 IIIxe's with 5 calcs on them(all are RPN). I never reach for the PDA when I need to bang out some numbers. Actually the PDA calcs are more of a interesting diversion than a real tool. The only thing I really use them for is converting HMS->HR or the reverse. I have a GPS unit for my PDA.

Chris

#60

Bravo, Valentin! Your comments are right on target.

Quote:
Sure. That's why we are seeing more and more garbage products all the time, designed to not last, produced as cheaply as possible in China, Taiwan, or somewhere else where labour costs are as low as possible whatever the quality, of abysmal physical characteristics, and instantly obsolete.

"American components... Russian components... Everything made in Taiwan!!" -- Astronaut Lev Andropov (from the film "Armageddon").

-Ernie

#61

Excellently stated, Valentin .

These people running their PDA's dont even know how to solve a problem. Recently I was solving a problem involving vectors of a moving item where a little cable is wrapped around several pulleys.

It was unclear what forces and torques were created as the item rotates.

What was my PRIMARY TOOL ???????
A PENCIL AND PAPER !!!!!!!

Once I created a formula, what did I use to evaluate and plot the formula ? MY 34C !!!!!

DID I SOLVE THE PROBLEM, with pencil, paper, and a 34C ? HELL YES!

If I give you the same problem, and you have your PDA (and presumably no pencil and no paper) can you solve the problem?

HELL NO! I'll just tell U right now U could not solve the problem. That PDA is great for trading e-mail and watching streaming downloads of Beevis and Butthead, but when there's work to do, it will be useless.

The PDA thingy is garbage. The traditional calculator (HP was best) built back in the late 1970's is serving generation after generation, that's how great and useful an item it is .

It is not obsolete, it is completely useful to this day.

PDA's are garbage. Thats 2 things I wont own, a PDA and a cellphone. Gee I am so dumb, I dont want a bone marrow tumor above my right ear. What a loser I am, everybody else has a bone marrow tumor above their right ear, and I don't. I feel so left out.

Ever occur to you that these big nasty corporations are run by the nastiest, meanest, most evil Ford/Firestone creeps the world has ever seen, and that your stupid PDA is just bait to give them your money? The less money you give them the better. All they sell is worthless trash, and that trash is worthless for solving simple vector algebraic problems like I solved the other day with my paper and pencil.

- Norm


#62

There's nothing keeping someone from implementing a good, easy-to-use, scientific/engineering programmable calculator application on a PDA.

Most of the emulators that I've seen share the fault that they try to simulate a calculator keyboard, taking up all-too-valuable PDA screen space with fancy but illegible renderings of (nearly microscopic) virtual keys

As much as I like to hold my 34C (and other models), it's hard to argue with the utility of a collection of easy-to-use applications, integrated in a single configurable device (whether PDA or handset).

I'm afraid that the future lies with capable, general-purpose hardware running user-selected and user-configured applications. But that doesn't mean it has to have such a sterile, unimaginative feel. Eliminating ALL keys in favor of a touch screen is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

A row of quality soft keys along one or more edges of a PDA or cellphone screen would make it a much more "tactile" device, without sacrificing flexibility. (Maybe something more like the Xpander, with a basic numeric and navigation keyset, a touch-sensitive screen, and some soft keys for customization?)


#63

http://www.palm.com/us/products/handhelds/tungsten-c/


also saw another brand (maybe it was a Windows CE platform) at radio shack, that also had many buttons.


Seems to me that this Tungsten C device, with the numeric keyboard, could be a decent platform for a calculator.


Of course, it's still not as nice as a proper calculator, but it is getting closer. Maybe a little more time and we'll see a proper hybrid (from the hardware point of view).

Then, it is a matter of the software......

#64

Valentin:

Quote:
Yes, and kids play Pokémon over the phone, so what ? Japan's always been a consumer's craze, where people crave and rave for all kind of gadgets we would consider just plain stupid, to say the least.

I've often thought that, as soon as possible, all new homes should come equipped with a central computer that can control all appliances and perform certain remote tasks like putting the garbage can on the curb for pick-up. And no keyboard or mouse, please! Just voice commands.

Can you imagine the following dialog?

You: "Open the microwave door, please Hal."
Hal: "I'm sorry, Valentin, but I can't do that."
You: "What's the problem?"
Hal: "This conversation serves no further purpose. Good bye, Valentin."

Sounds familiar? 8^)

-Ernie


#65

It would be controlled by Microsoft software, because after all Bill Gates is going to control everything so why not my toilet.

It will have embedded Windows XP and Intel microprocessors
(one extra for back-up).

Face it, you nostalgic calculator collectors, the old way of doing it, with a handle and a valve, is obsolete. The future is softkeys and pulldown menu's. Your toilet is no exception.

I want the toilet to have internet access and its own email address so that I can command it by remote control when I am not there.

And I want a firewire port and a bluetooth so that I can control it wireless from my PDA .

It should automatically notify me if there is any technical problems (low water pressure, plug-up, electronics malfunction, or need for a software upgrade OS to be downloaded and installed off the Microsoft home page).

But the important part is the PDA. That is the future. As long as I can control it from the PDA by pressing on the screen with a stylus, then it is acceptable.

You guys who think it should have a handle and a valve (and no electronics) are living in the past. That's not the way to do it, now that we have got PDA's.


#66

Quote:
I want the toilet to have internet access and its own email address so that I can command it by remote control when I am not there

You left something out: Every time your toilet flushes, its contents should go directly to Redmond, WA -- where it belongs.

-Ernie


#67

Yah !! And I want a big 12" pipe to come up out
of the ground and go thru a right angle section
and everything splats straight out of the front of Bill Gate's 6 foot wide TV screen .

BLAAAT! And hope he is sitting there to receive the delivery of that software.

Is that what we would call a download to a software port ??


#68

How about a "wastebasket" to store up a months-worth. Imagine Bill's wall when all that brown spam hits it.

But back to the subject: i like the pda/calculator idea. I can imagine a 3 line screen with a level of hotkey labels OR the fourth level of the stack, a numeric keypad, chs and stack manipulation keys but precious little else -- using off the shelf technology. Most everything else could be accessed through menus and the programming done on a pc. I can see it but i can't do it.

HP is not going to improve on what they have already done; they can't even keep up with their past. Right now there are platforms and programmers good enough to outdo the 42, and do it with mass storage. It will happen and i will finally buy one, but i'll keep using my 41 every day too.

Life is short; use sharp tools.


#69

Hi Dennis! Back in FLA and it was great meeting with you in CA. Let's stay in touch via email. HP charger works fine on the 25 and 25C and NOVUS in in my non-HP dispaly case. I will look for the 71 Bat door.

#70

Actually Billy G's TV is (was) a 4x4 matrix of 6 footers... I knew his toymaster when he was building the house.

#71

I agree, if only because during development and debugging, the phrase "take a dump" would apply in at least two ways . . .


#72

I know what a "download" would be for a microprocessor controlled toilet.


But more subtle is an "upload" for a microprocessor controlled toilet. Its when somebody in the high school stall next to you flushes the lit cherry bomb.

:o|


#73

It should produce a good old-fashioned core dump printout - the paper can always be put to good use.

(Turn it over and use it for note paper. What did you think I meant?)


#74

There is a Japanese compu-crapper with a built in bidet. It even plays a jaunty tune why you work. Personally, I don't like appliances that are smarter than me.


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