TI Converts an HP fanatic


I have been using HP Calculators since the HP-35 and even used a 9830 when they were new. I have a pretty good collection of different models and always scoffed at those made by TI. But, we just bought my son a new TI-83 Silver for school and I was playing with it. These are really very nice units, maybe not the same ergonomics, but the ease of use and the logical way they work for routine operations is very very impressive. It comes with software for both PC and Macintosh computers. Overall, I was impressed. If HP re-enters this market, they cannot use a warmed up 48 series. The TI has become a remarkable unit. Any agree?


I agree.

I just bought my son an 83 Silver as well. These are fantastic calculators with SUPERB support from TI.

I've owned and used a 45, 55, and 41CX. I even bought six of the British hoard of new 41CXs when they were still cheap. I guess I'll keep them for all the fanatics in a few years.

HP dropped out of the race and will NEVER catch up. NEVER!

(((like posting Corvette news on the Porsche board!!!))


"HP dropped out of the race and will NEVER catch up. NEVER!"

You really think?

Thr 39G+ sounds like it will be good for kids to me. Has some nice features like a 75MHz processor. It also has a very intuitive interface.

We'll just have to wait and see.


As an "HP fanatic", does the acronym RPN mean anything at all to you? Another thing, the last time I checked, the TI-83 series can't even take a derivative of a function or do symbolic integration. I went from an 83+ to a 49G, and I will never go back; I don't even like my 89 as much as the 49G. TI dominates the market because they are weasels; they make mediocre products with loads and loads of support and promotion (sort of reminds me of Microsoft). Sorry to be so blunt, but I hate TI calculators with a passion. You can have your "SUPERB support"; I'll stick with quality and RPN.


I have about every HP and TI graphing calculators made and if you are talking about quality, i think TI win the race! I have in my hand a TI-86 for a lot of year without any problem with it even if heavily use. You don't like them because you have a passion hating TI for long but thinks change a lot since the TI-55 cracky calculator!

The TI-89 with RPN application is very difficult to beat in terms of usability, physical quality, support, ease of use.

But yes, you were true: between 1970 and 1990, TI introduced a lot of mediocre, cheap, cracky, uninspired calculators, but their graphing line are simply the best, and not only for students.

But yes, i confess it, for every day calculations and fun of using them, i will never echange my HP-41 system or 25C for anything graphing TI or HP sharp or casio did!!!


"The TI-89 with RPN application is very difficult to beat in terms of usability, physical quality, support, ease of use." BULL...

The keys are awful in tactile feedback, location and colouring. No sign of usability design.
The new hp 49g+ runs rings around any calculator.


I have a HP-48GX and a T-89 and they are very diferent but they are, IMO, quality products over casio than can please a scientist like me. Screen and processor is better in TI but keyboard and "extra feature" (sound, time etc) is for HP. But i never had any HP screen problem nor TI keyboard one

20 years ago, TI were more affordable but HP were better calc. Today the difference is only a question of choice between RPN or ALGEBRAIC phylosophy. And as a matter of choice, no one can tell another that he made the good choice and the other is in the dark side.

So the competition that begun 20 years ago between TI and HP users is now over without looser just winners that presents good products to their respective customers...

Edited: 14 Sept 2003, 11:39 a.m.


"The TI-89 with RPN application is very difficult to beat in terms of usability, physical quality, support, ease of use." BULL...
I wholeheartedly concur. Every implementaion of RPN on the TIs has been nothing more than awkward.

When I say bad quality, need I mention the fact that the TI-89 has no x-root button? I personally do not enjoy having to type inverse powers. Why is there no button for the base 10 log, and why are the trigonometric functions all secondary!? Do you actually think I want buttons for x y z and t removed from the rest of the alphabet (do I even want a button for y z and t)? I could go on, but I'll just sum it all up by saying that TIs suck.


Greetings to the crowd,

let me jump in to the debate. I see that the uproar is whether a TI graphing calculator or an HP graphing calculator is better for your kids to learn math.

I just cringe when you guys say "....has got excellent support and a 75MHz processor". My view: Your kids aren't learning any math, they are just buying more outlandish modern software trash (Windows XP) and then having to call "tech support" when it doesn't work worth beans.

My viewpoint: Get your kid a restored HP-34C (or HP-31E) or an HP-32S (OK HP-32S is the most reasonable selection) and get the kid to LEARN SOME MATH not how to CALL TECH SUPPORT.

ANY PROPERLY DESIGNED CALCULATOR REQUIRES ZERO (0.00000) in the way of "TECH SUPPORT" because every button and every feature and every subtlety will already be NICELY explained and intuitively obvious to use.

Not only that, it will function flawlessly for the next 40 years (such as with an HP-34C) and be a flawless calculating companion even though you NEVER phoned any "tech support" or quoted how many hundred MegaSnertz or GigaHurtz the CPU had. Such as with an HP-34C.

Does your kid know the answer to Sin(45) in his head?
Does he have an understanding of what is E to the -1 power ?
Or is he just playing videogames, surfing the internet, drinking starbucks coffee and trading e-mail with his friends all thanks to his marvelous TI or HP piece of squash rot. ??

Either company's offerings at the present time are trash and an insult to intelligent people. Stick with the classic HP's that were discontinued by the likes of "Carly".

oooweeee babeeeeeee hubbbaaaa hubbaaaa *aaaaahhhh* gimme them RED LLLLLLLLEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDD's



- Norm


*sigh* Where to begin?

"I just cringe when you guys say "....has got excellent support and a 75MHz processor". My view: Your kids aren't learning any math, they are just buying more outlandish modern software trash (Windows XP) and then having to call "tech support" when it doesn't work worth beans."

WTF does Windows XP have to do with this? The 49G+ doesn't run XP. I'd hardly call it "outlandish modern software trash". It seems to be very high quality.

<snip luddite rant about being too complicated>

"Either company's offerings at the present time are trash and an insult to intelligent people. Stick with the classic HP's that were discontinued by the likes of "Carly" "

Are you nuts? How are excellant tools an insult to intelligent people?

I think you're trolling (I *hope* you're trolling).


If you dislike Starbucks, you might enjoy a recent novel by Kinky Friedman (country singer turned detective novel writer) called "Kill Two Birds And Get Stoned". If you are a Kinky Friedman fan, you might not know about this book because it's not necessarily stocked in the Mystery section, with all his detective stories in which he (Kinky) is the main charcter. This book introduces a new main character (a writer) and I found it at Borders in the Literature section, not the Mystery section.


Well, since that kid may soon have to sell ALL of his calcs to pay the upcoming coffee tax, he/she may truly get to learn math the old fashioned way. Who'd have thought politicians REALLY COULD do something beneficial for education?



...since that kid may soon have to sell ALL of his calcs to pay the upcoming coffee tax

Coffie Tax?? HUH? <panic>WHAT COFFEE TAX????<panic>



on good calculators for the kids :)

of course, at my rate of ingestion, it's more like 40 cents a day....


It was more-or-less a smart-allecky post by me, but the city of Seattle, Washington, has been getting a lot of media attention lately for the proposed 10 cent per cup "Espresso Tax" (I'm not kidding about this) that the city is estimating will bring in as much as 6 million dollars. I believe some of that money is to be siphoned off for preschool programs. It's that whole "anything for the kids" mentality, along with the previous post about education, calculators, and coffee, that made me muse whimsical.

If you think this is no big deal, imagine the posts we'd get here from Norm if they still made red LED calculators, and gov't started taxing those LED's "for the kids!" :)



I've used the TI86 and liked it, UNTIL I tried a 48G, then was hooked on rpn...then I finally found a 32sii, and the enter key center and large along with layout make them winners. For any students choosing an 89, I have to ask have you noticed the trig (both primary and arc) are all SECONDARY keys?? Count your keystrokes, I've done it on many calculations, enough to know that rpn is better for me, and rpn goes hand in hand with a dedicated key layout. That's just my opinion. HP will have to wow us with the new calcs, if they don't then I'll just pick up a 48gx as a backup for my 32sii and pray for longevity!


...then I'll just pick up a 48gx as a backup for my 32sii...

Better buy and use the 48GX and keep the 32SII in a drawer as RPN backup... ;-)


Actually I have both the 32sii and a 48G (no +, no X, no bloody A, B, C, D... sorry, wrong forum) and like him, I am using the 32sii as my workhorse and the 48G as backup. The 32sii LOOKS like it's used: a little smudging, dirt, fine scratches, etc.; the 48G is still new looking.

I still have my first HP, a 34C. I'd rather use that but due to age and wear, it's kind of dotty these days. In fact, that's what I like about the 32sii- it's remarkably like a 34C! For general calculating and light programming, not all night theoretical crunching, it's very "user friendly".


When I first bought my ti89 5 years from now, i found the trig key placement quite annoying. But i started to operate the shift keys with the left thumb for hand held use, the way I allways used it. When you get used to this, you wont even think of the shift key operation, it becomes automatic.


Microsoft offers lots of support? Am I missing something?


point taken, Mr. Unspellable.

Microsoft does not have what we would call "customer support".

I heard they do have a 1-800 number that
you can phone if you are having difficulty.
There is
a tape recorded voice, which laughs hysterically
at you and repeats on an endless loop. Because
they can play that into hundreds of telephone
lines all at the same time, it keeps costs down
and profits up.


Well,You are indeed right.but really you don't have to be so harsh. I have a friend whom works in 2A systems, they are doing an app. And well that app modifies everything in the TI 83, and is as capable as a 49G os. I wouldn't change HP for TI,(i never Will),but when the app reach the market I'll be the first one to buy it. 2A Systems.
keep that name is mind.



At the risk of jumping in to an argument much like religon, politics or best new female rap vocalist (OK, maybe not), I will say that the new TI does run circles around my recent experiences with HP calcs. I purchased a new HP calc (30S) for my son for school. Within a year the calculator lay at the bottom of the dreaded junk drawer, because the 8 key no longer did. It also suffered from display issues. It was not a well constructed calc.

I bought him a used 83 TI, and I do very much like it, as does he. I don't appreciate the AOS, but the keys are large (for old eyes), seem well placed and the quality does seem to be there. I will not opine on the quality of the new HP's as I haven't yet seen them.

Thus far however, I think the old HP (the one I remember) and the new HP are completely different companies. One is market driven, the other was product driven. Different philosophies for different times. In today's WalMart world, large companies only know market driven- blame it on MBA's, blame it on globalization, but to find a profitable niche market for a quality product is tough for a publicly held company. Face it, the calculator market is being sandwiched between PDA's, cell phones, and laptops. I applaude HP for not abandoning the market YET.

My experience with HP's include my 48GX (good calc, but awkward interface), 41CX (the best!), 10C (great design - a classic) and 25 (RED LLLLEEEEEDDDDD's).


"I purchased a new HP calc (30S) for my son for school. Within a year the calculator lay at the bottom of the dreaded junk drawer,..."

AND you are right. That is a chinese cheapo that has a HP label on it. You should have bought a HP 32S, a HP 32SII or a HP 42S (very good), but wait...there is a new hope: you could buy either the new HP 33S or the HP 39G+ depending on the need.

"I bought him a used 83 TI..." oh, you already did that? Not a bad choise either, but not a HP.



TI hardware's quality is very good. You won't have a problem with the screen (scratches...) and the keyboard is excellent (hard plastic keytops...). Recent HPs have put the company to shame. I ran to buy the HP-10B-II and found that the product was impressive, until I physically typed on it - an horrible experience ! My fear for the new models is that they may use this kind of keyboard. I am the first to say that HP48s were nice machines, a little confusing for the old-time user, but still very powerful. Note also that Steven is talking about the TI83+SE, not the TI89. The latter has usability issues due to the cramped keyboard, one should go to the Voyage200 instead, very usable. Also, the TI83+ is very VERY fast ! Alas, its function set is limited, an example : its 1-character variables (reminds me of the lousy HP38G...). So, hardware wise TI rules today (2003). I hope no crappy keyboard (or short battery life) will prevent HP from jumping again in the race.


Pleased to see I stirred up the pot on this.

I offered my son an HP48SX, but it put him off and the school uses the TI and suggests it for home use. So we bought him one. I was hoping he wouldn't use it and we could return it for a refund. But it became clear we had to open it, so I did and I played with it.

I like the way it you set up graphing and I think it works naturally for a kid learning algebra and trig. The 48 entry of formulas is sophisiticated and slick, but maybe too much for kids in middle and high school.

I will stick to my HP calculators (35,41,16,75,71,48).
But, if HP intends to compete in this market today, they are going to have to keep costs down yet make a machine that appeals to GameBoy toting kids that expect a lot from their electronics.

I think us older guys grew up with unreliable electronics and products like the HP handhelds changed our view of things because they worked day to day and worked well. $395 in 1973 must be as much as a good laptop costs today. So, $100 and change buys a lot these days for kids.

I've never seen any of those prototype HPs that worked like a PDA or were PDA based. Pen and stylus devices are not permitted at the standardized tests and TI has done a good job of making a machine for classroom use.

Would I buy a TI for work? NO. I'll take one my HPs or use Excel.


I think us older guys grew up with unreliable electronics and products like the HP handhelds changed our view of things because they worked day to day and worked well.

If you think electronic devices are no longer unreliable, then the new HP will prove a sad disappointment.

When I bought a 82240B printer for my 48GX a couple of years ago, I added an HP6S to the order for my son, who would soon need a scientific calc for secondary school.

I was disappointed with the poor design, inconsistent key sequences and lousy documentation. In the end, he barely used the calc, but it hardly matters as it has now died, with two display segments failed.

I continue to have high hopes for the 48GII and 49G+, but I have to say, it's against the evidence of my own experience and others. Sad . . .


--- Les [http://www.lesbell.com.au]


I think us older guys grew up with unreliable electronics and products like the HP handhelds changed our view of things because they worked day to day and worked well.
I think I should point out that I am only 18, and, thus, my first HP was a 49G. I do not love HP for nostalgia's sake; I love them because they are designed for people who actually know something.

TI designs calculators for the average highschool student: conformist and uninterested. I'm fresh out of highschool; I can tell you guys first hand that teenagers couldn't give a damn about how good their calculator is. All they care about is if it's the one everyone has and (more importantly) what games can they get on it. You would be surprised at how many of these students just play games durring class (I know I used to do it). A previous author mentioned the voyage200 calculator; I'd like to see you use that on any test.

In my experience, TI calculators do the math for you; HPs help you along the way.


I have heard of RPN applications for TI but not aftermarket AOS applications for HP. Does this mean that TI users are now the better programmers, or just stuck with a lemmon and desperate?

TI has constructed some well built calculators but imho; if it is not RPN then it is not worth using. (Here comes that Jerry Pournell refrence) On the gripping hand; i just love my new old Corvus 500.


"I have heard of RPN applications for TI but not aftermarket AOS applications for HP."

Well ... HP 38G, 39G, 40G, and the new fast 39G+ ALL have Algebraic only operations. The 49G and the new fast 48GII and 49G+ have both RPN and Algebraic and you can even call one environment from the other using RPL> or `back-ticks`.

There are also several HP financial calculators with Algebraic only or both RPN & Algebraic (HP-19BII being the top-model)


I've several times posted my favorable impressions of my TI-83+SE -- most notably the extent of support and the cost of tools (read: FREE) for assembly-level (Z80) development.

That said, my next-to-last son is very happy with his HP-48G+, wouldn't have anything to do with a non-RPN calculator, and readily figured out how to translate the high school TI-oriented math exercises to his HP, and without the manual(!) ("It's not that hard to figure out, dad!") He has just carted the calculator off to college.

The youngest, however, is perfectly content with a TI, and he's is rather more involved with the ladies than in the AOS/RPN debate! Now, if I had it to do over again, (and if forced to choose), which one would I rather be more like?


Can't you have both ?

It is common knowledge that a strategically placed HP calc on the table next to you while studying will draw in attractive women in droves. :-)

(12345 to delete)


I quite often have to 'beat them off with a stick' (UK saying) when women realise I've got an HP calculator - NOT.


Well, let's just examine the evidence . . .

I have (at least) two sons. (Actually five kids.)

But as a counter example, Alex (the HP-48 user) is off to a school associated with Nintendo -- one that specializes in the art, science, math and programming behind video game production. (It's actually accredited, believe it or not!) Of his freshman class of 199, only 9 are women. (But then, he's been told not to plan on "having a life" for the next four years anyway . . . )

So, I'd say it's possible, but not always easy.


Computer programming. Even worse- *game* programming. all that realism, physics, the math behind movement. how silly! :)

That is one tough school. Of course it is accredited. Wish him luck for us- and tell him we expect a new FPS for the 49G+ ! (I'd prefer a civ I type game, but....)


Alex is big on RPG's. He and my youngest cut their video game teeth during that magical time when the technology wasn't quite up to full audio -- by reading all the plot & dialog text as it scrolled across the screen, they actually "learned something": both test off the charts in vocabulary and spelling. (Now the characters are speaking audio; I fear for the next generation!)

But it does look like a daunting program. (Regardless, I can't help feeling jealous of him!)


You just need to find your woman at the right place. I found mine in graduate school, also studying astronomy (although it took us a few years after school to get together permanently). She has an 11C (acquired about the same time I got mine), bought me my 41CV, and had a 32S LONG before I got mine!


to Mr. Brogger on that camping trip were we discussed publicly which calculator to take along to impress his friend of the female gender?????

Time to provide details Paul. Heck, it might serve to get this thread back onto the HP vs TI debate. Did brand X work better than brand Y? Did it take the romantic glowing red LED's of a Topcat on battery power for her to see the real you?

Edited: 15 Sept 2003, 8:41 p.m.


I tracked down my original post -- I'm sorry if it mistakenly implied romance.

Actually, I'd tried, waving my empty hands in the air, to convey the quality of old H-P to my friend Nick and his wife over coffee during an earlier visit at his home in So. Cal. He & I later met with our respective youngest sons in the Eastern Sierra (Mono Lake region), and though I brougt along a fully-charged HP-34C, the subject of calculators just didn't seem to come up . . .


Please feel free to delete, mod down, up or postero-antero laterally.
I must admit that one girlfriend and I roamed the corridors of our large teaching hospital armed with dual HPs, 67s and our HP Rappaport-Sprague stethoscopes sneering at all the lesser lights with their cheapie Littmans (and probably TIs ;-)).
Gawd knows what it would cost to replace the HPs these days, hopefully I'll never find out as the stethoscope is indestructible but my 67 & 41CX are in need of the gentle ministration of Randy ;-).
This forum reminds me ever so slightly of a certain populous computer platform versus a more ummm, innovative platform forum, or indeed a certain trauma list forum when the LIttmanites demand that theirs is "the one true way" as we HP users sniff at their cheapie construction.
And don't let anyone get started on the 14" versus 18" tubing debate, that one can run and run, nearly as bad as the indefensible gun debate or the SUV debate on the trauma list ;-).
Ahh well, just my Pacific peso's worth.


Well, at the time of my internship, I thought Littmanns weren't sooo bad. I could hear things some reidents with their HPs couldn't, but then again this maybe was not the stethoscope's merit. In the meantime, however, my Littmann has almost completely disintegrated, and if I'd still work in Internal Medicine, I'd certainly have a HP by now...

Anyway, as for calculators, I always stuck with HP. My 15C was my permanent companion, it had all the formulas I needed on the go and is the smallest HP I know of - gorgeous! A long time since, though...

An yes, I am an Apple user, and will always be.

Cheers, Victor


I didn't even know HP made stethoscopes. So, out of curiosity, I search for info, and find out that HP has sold its patents to Philips, and is no longer manufacturing a much-loved product. (If there is a spirited debate over which brand is better, there is a cadre of devoted users on each side of that debate.)

Let me guess: I suppose the stethoscope unit didn't return the kind of profit that was respectable during the .com bubble [note especially the use of past tense], or that they don't fit the new corporate self-image. Now, where else have I seen the effects of that kind of thinking, I wonder?


Actually HP spun off its whole medical group a few years ago with the rest of the buisinesses that went to Agilent Technologies. Agilent then sold the Medical group to Philips where it is now thriving, especially in patient monitoring. The HP stethoscope went along with the rest of the product line and Im glad to see its still for sale! I was responsible for the sales and marketing of this item (amongst other things!)in the UK for a couple of years, it never sold in large quantities as it cost 20 times the price of a standard stethescope but it was of superb quality and did sell to the very top cardiologists which bought HP a lot of good will and probably contributed to the sale of lots of other equipment these people bought.

There were lots of "stories" circulating about this stethescope including a story about a solid gold one made for a doctor in Saudi Arabia in the 70's!


A link:





Regarding gold HPs steths, one of the more, shall we say, flamboyant cardiologists with what one could only describe as a borderline personality disorder here in Sydney had his HP gold plated some years ago and I still see him wandering the streets with it in the position du jour (believe me dear members, it varies more often than fashion ;-)).

I can't imagine that a solid gold one would be particularly useful as I would have thought that with gold being such a malleable metal that its ability as a conductor of sound would be less than stainless steel, but hey, what would I know ;-)

As for a spirited debate, well, that is certainly gilding (no pun intended) the lily, as it normally degenerates to a "is" "isn't" gainsaying 3 or 4 way slanging match between the "True Believers tm", the "Lovers of Littman", the meths drinkers and the corn circle society.

I guess it all comes down to what you are comfortable with, for me, I was lucky (or prescient ) enough to have always had HP steths and calculators and used Apple, others obviously feel they can get by with more, ummm, popular or disposable items. As "they" say, you pays your money ............

Cheers, and all the very best, Peter

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