What I'll suggest for my father?


To all,
This isn't a debate over the merits of old HP's, new HP's or future HP's (right), the subject has plenty coverage already. My father used the calculators for thirty years, mostly while teaching statistics at college. He FINALLY did a big project using an HP-28C I bought for him when it was first introduced. He loves it, possibly more than his long retired 67. But now he wants more and ask me what he could get. I own a 48GX down to a 10B, plus the usual collection of in-beweens.

I'll divide HP's into two catagories - big ENTER keys and the current, almost missing, ENTER keys.

So, all things considered, when you see my posting in the Classified ad's, it's for my father. I figure another 28, an S version, because he likes it and a 48GX because I use it and have all sorts of stuff to go with it - manuals, hacker junk, experience. And ---- big ENTER key!


PS: This first one we ever owned (and still do) is a 45, purchased a few months after it's introduction. It was hot. Some guy got it from a friend and had more use for $50 than all the advanced engineering, scientific, slide-rule features. That's one rationalization I've yet to see for past, present & future HP's debated at this site: greater demand in the black market!


The HP 49G+ is fast in plotting graphs and every operation is snappy. Because it is new the support should go long long time to the future (it uses ARM9 emulating Saturn). The modern connections like standard Irda and USB at 115,200 speed gives 12*speed compared to a 48G in connecting to a PC. You will never go back when you try that! Plus there is that SD card for another means of data exhange or for further storage expansion if the internal 768KB Flash is not enough. The main RAM is 256KB, which gives plenty of room to operate on big things. The screen is 131*80 pixels. The status line is on all the time, while it gives you the maximum stack at the same time.

The ENTER key is small because that gives the change to make the cursor keys to work in the alpha mode, too! The new 49G+ has a tactile keyboard (the HP click) and a possibility to use "beep" on every key press to help a new use to adjust to the key press. The green and red shift keys give a good contrast on that beautiful light golden face plate.

It has both RPN and Algebraic operations and if you set it to the Approx. mode, it will be compatible with all the old HP 48 user programs. Except that it runs them much faster, like, say 4 times as fast. "Slow" operations: Inverting a large numerical matrix is "only" down to 50% time or 2*speed. Native operations (ARM9 at 75MHz) like Garbage Collection or binaries like #1 #1000 FOR k NEXT loop, are 7*speed. Plotting a truth plot is 3*speed. The new Parisse's MSLV for solving multiple variables problems is 3.5*speed. BUT again I feel that the connection to a PC at 12*speed is the most remarkable speed increase. VPN


I second that!

The screen is much better for old eyes.


The screen quality difference gets much smaller if you compare the 49G+ with the latest 'black/white' high contrast screens in the HP-48GX's

I played with some 49G+'s at the Aschwil meeting,
and I must say it's a really nice machine. Daniel Diggelmann showed me the keyboard issues, they are reproducable, maybe the next batch of machines will be better.

However, the 49G+ could be the real succesor of the HP-48.
At this point there are 'only' three known flaws: Keyboard reliability, ENTER key position & size, and HP-48 software compatiblity.
Keyboard reliability could be fixed (as written above),
but a major drawback (for me) is the keyboard layout.
Seems I have to build my own REAL HP-48GX+ at some time...



I think you are correct to consider the Hp28s or Hp48G series and pass on the newer calculators. At his age (and even mine) he will not appreciate the finer elements of these machines if he has to look for that DAMN tiny enter key that MOVED! The newer 49G+ doesn't have the HUGE library available to it yet that the 48G series has available to it NOW! And I suspect he probably has no use for the CAS or other extras (and if he does, the 48G series isn't that bad with the right downloads).

He may not even like the 48G series, if he is used to a 28c. Then the 28s would be an even more attractive solution. And best of all, these Hp's are actually affordable (especially after the exam bans have been announced).

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