Have a new 49G+ in my hand...



#2

I have a 49G too (and 48GX, 48SX, 41C, 41CV, 41CX, 32Sii, 42S, 16C, 15C, 12C, 11C, 10C, etc... alot of them).

You can only compare the 49G+ to the 48 and 49 series because it would be apples to oranges otherwise.

The 41's display, keys, and processor are totally different than the 48 and 49 series. So what if each can add 1 and 1... I can do that on a TI and Casio too.

Anywho, the 49G+ is DEFINITELY better than the 49G in all ways. The 48 series has a better keyboard (layout and tactile feel), though. The keyboard layout is exactly the same as the 49G, just without the rubbery, squishy keys (thank God). The cursor keys are round with a metallic look (covered plastic to be sure) and seem to work quite well. The keys have a lightly audible click (the 49G has a muffled clunk).

The 49G+ screen is way better than anything before it, though it could've been better considering the technology used in PDAs (it doesn' need to be color, just sharper).
The screen is pleasantly larger than the 49G and easier to read, though not by too much.

The 49G+ definitely runs faster than the 49G, which is also nice. I found myself waiting on the 49G, where the 49G+ zoomed through. :-D

The G+ is lighter in weight than the G, though the G+ is just a tad bit wider (not enough to worry about).

The G+ takes 3 AAA batteries, and a CR2032 backup battery - G does not have this.
Inside the back it says:
"Memory Backup Battery!! Please don't remove the main batteries while you replace it."
That kinda blows - having to keep track (and buy) a backup battery.

Since I just got it today, I haven't tried everything yet.
I will more than likely retire the two 49G's I have and use the 49G+ instead - unless it crashes and burns.

So, there it is...
(BTW - these are my opinions and maybe not yours. Respond all you want, but the 49G+ is not life and death - it's a calculator. Period. The 41 series is NOT coming back either. Unless we can force HP to do our bidding or come up with enough money to create our own calculator company, we will just have to play the hand we're dealt.)


#3

The 49G+ is definatley an improvement over the G.

Though the keyboard is better than the G in feel, the keys don't always register though which is irritating. The arrow buttons could stand to be bigger too.

The format option in the system tests menu now actually formats something, the SD card(if present) without asking for comformation....so dont hit it. Also, format the SD card to FAT16 with a computer, the calc chopped about 25% of the available space off when it formatted it.

The CR2032 will probably last for years, so there isnt much to worry over with that.

How about we all put in five dollars and start our own RPN calculator company?


#4

:-D

I forgot about the really great leather case that came with it! MUCH better than the plastic cover of the G.

I just updated my ROM with the 1.22 version with is supposed to help prolong battery life and some other things.(?) I like to keep current if I can.

It would be great to have the ear of HP when they create a new calculator. However, it appears that HP has become IBM... IBM created the PC, but sat on their asses while other companies at the time pushed forward gaining market share leaving IBM scrambling to catch up. Once you lose that edge, it might never be attainable again.

At least HP is creating new calcs. Even if we don't agree on the specifics, it's something. I thought that after the 48, HP was done altogether (be TI came on so strong).

Hmmm...


#5

Druthers:
If we started a calculator company (or could get Hp to design our spec'd calc), it would be based on the 48. It would have the 48's keyboard and OS, but LOTS more mem, bigger screen, better I/O, and an old-school leather case (like the 45 had). It would rock.
Flash mem for updating the OS would be cool, plus it would have "advanced" features built in. Like a Sys-Rpl compiler, and even ML tools. Yeah... that's the ticket.


#6

everything (except for the keyboard) exists in the 49G+ :-)

#7

Quote:
Unless we can force HP to do our bidding or come up with enough money to create our own calculator company, we will just
have to play the hand we're dealt.
Or else just stay out of the game. That's what I've chosen to do, at least with regard to new calculators. I'll continue using the older models until they wear out, and then either switch to another company or else (more likely) stop using calculators altogether. Unless HP drastically changes the way they're doing things (and I don't expect that to happen), I'll never again buy anything new from them.

#8

"drastically" apparently means "quit making a calculator without a large ENTER key in the old normal position"

Ignoring a 99% improvement because of a litmus test will definitely keep you on the sidelines.

Gene


#9

Quote:
Ignoring a 99% improvement because of a litmus test will definitely keep you on the sidelines.
Better to sit on the sidelines than play for a team I don't want to win...

The [ENTER] key makes a good "litmus test" because it show's HP's real attitude. They clearly aren't fully committed to promoting RPN above all else, and it's that attitude that makes me wish for them to fail.

#10

Oh my God!

I'm as "old school" as anyone, but when you ignore new technology (good or bad) you continue to live in the past.

Obviously, not everything new is good (to your point), but it ain't all bad.

I like to know what's going on, who's doing it, and how it works. I think HP can kick start their calc division if they would listen to us (the ones who use and know their products). However, until the right person (someone with the vision and the "nads") steps up to the plate at HP, we will probably get 49G+'s... which is at least better than TI-clones like the 9G, 9S and 30S. Yuck!

Something is better than nothing, even if it's not exactly what we want.

:-D


#11

is the most recent calculator a move TOWARD what I want or AWAY from it?

When the 49G came out, I was one who vocally publicized a nickname for the color of the case as "FHB" on c.sys.hp48 (search googlenews if you want to find it). I disliked the 49G from the start. I thought it was a hoax.

Now we have the 49G+.

Is it a step in the right direction? yes, no question.

Can I hope that the next machine is another step in the right direction? Sure, no reason not to do so.

Don't criticize HP for making baby steps toward what we all want.

Gene


#12

Quote:
Don't criticize HP for making baby steps toward what we all want.
Well, Gene, I'm sure you feel that way because you view HP as a bunch of good guys trying to do the right thing, and you're giving them the benefit of the doubt. I, however, see them as traitors who have betrayed HP's traditions, its customers, its founders, and the founders' descendants. You think they're trying to head in the right direction and want to be patient with them; I think they should be on their knees confessing their treason and begging forgiveness, and I've seen no indication of that.

#13

Wayne, this is not done in our culture today. No one has humility or even sees the need for any. Do not expect a major corporation to publicly atone for their alleged transgressions. Do hope, however, for a quiet turnaround in goals and philosophy. If they begin again to produce superior products, that is way good enough for me.

I for one see the 49G+ as definitely a step in the right direction, for one who sees (power-hogging) red LEDs in a romantic light.


#14

Quote:
Do not expect a major corporation to publicly atone for their alleged
transgressions. Do hope, however, for a quiet turnaround in goals and philosophy.
That's why the [ENTER] key issue is so important to me. What clearer indication is there of a "turnaround in goals and philosophy" than that? Here's how I see it:

Old HP: "RPN is superior to any other entry system; let's use it proudly."

"We pioneered the use of RPN in handheld calculators; we built our reputation with them; and we'll always give precedence to our own inventions over those of our competitors. Being developed by HP means it's automatically better than everyone else's inventions and we'll never back down from that!"

"We built our business selling audio oscillators, gas chromatographs, etc. Our products should be designed to appeal to people who are comfortable with that level of technology, not the dimwits who are afraid of programming a VCR!"

New HP: "Who cares if anyone uses RPN or not? RPN, algebraic, what's the difference -- all that matters is whatever will make us the most money!"

"All the other calculator companies make algebraic calculators. We don't want to be different; and that big [ENTER] key makes it obvious that we're different! Let's shrink that thing and de-emphasize RPN as much as possible so we can attract more business. Loyalty to our company traditions is insignificant compared to making money!"

"A lot of people are used to calculators with a little bitty [enter] key down in the bottom right-hand corner. Let's make ours look like that, too, because we don't want to lose customers who might be intimidated by something unfamiliar. Remember, we're targeting morons who wouldn't know a skateboard from a spectrum analyzer."

I haven't seen the "new" HP give any evidence of a turnaround, quiet or otherwise, back toward the "old" HP attitude about RPN. It's still not the default mode on new calculators, the keyboard layout still favors algebraic entry and there's still no clear, deliberate effort to steer customers away from algebraic entry and toward RPN.


#15

I think you're being a bit too rough on HP. I think that the small enter key on a calculator that uses both rpn and algebraic entry will increase the number of people who will use RPN in the long run. Many people (myself included at one time) are scared away from rpn and don't want to take a risk by spending the money on a RPN only calculator. The new calculators give us the option without buying two separate calcs. More people will try out rpn now, many of whom will probably decide it's far better than algebraic and stick with it. I think it's a great idea.

I too will really miss the large Enter key, but it's a small price to pay to keep new rpn calculators coming.


#16

Yes, you're right Samantha. HP, like any other company, has to appeal to as many customers as possible since expensive calculators are no longer competitive due to the existence of cheap computers.


#17

After a retinopexy for my retinal detachment and a vitrectomy you should imagine how "my view is..."

Marx Pio
Sometimes laught and pain are the same thing...Tears.

#18

I see and agree with at least some of your points. But I think that RPN is defined by "arguments first, operator last", not by the size and location of the ENTER key.

Regards,
James

#19

Quote:
I'm as "old school" as anyone, but when you ignore new technology (good or bad) you continue to live in the past.

People use the phrase "live in the past" as if there's something wrong with that. There are some parts of the past (including some from before I was born) that are much better than the presnt equivalents. If I could find a place that combines the manners, morals and customs of Victorian England with 1980's American technology, I'd happily spend the next 30 or 40 years there.

#20

There seems to have been two product lines of late -- some new stopgap models (6s, 9g, 30s) and the latest releases. I'm talking only about the latter.

Not having owned an HP-49, I may be oversimplifying when I say that the 48GII and 49G+ are really 49G's with some new features: SD card memories, faster processors, larger screen (49G+) & USB connection (49G+). Maybe the most important aspect of their implementations is behind the scenes: the shift to an off-the-shelf processor [ARM] and away from Saturn.

The other new models all seem to be incremental upgrades of previous products: The 12C Platinum, the 10BII, 17bII+, and the 33s (a gussied-up 32sII). Again, the 33s has moved away from Saturn (as, I presume, have the others.)

That's great, as far as it goes. The new (that is, "latest") calculator unit has hit the ground with incremental upgrades to previous models while essentially outsourcing their processor design and manufacture. The new product line's feature set and user interfaces have been largely built by translating existing software investments (made primarily by precursors in the "old" H-P) to new platforms.

Where to next? I don't expect anything soon, but I wonder what they'll come up with (if, indeed, anything) as the next really new product or line from the calculator division.


#21

BTW, the 12Cp doesn't have a nut core anymore. Even the 'normal' 12C has been redesigned a few years ago.
The 48GII & 49G+xyz seem to use kinda Saturn emulation layer between the ARM core and the 49G OS.

And I'm not sure about this point, but IMHO the 48GII doesn't have an SD card slot.

Raymond

#22

No, I'm not talking about red LED displays. :-)

What would a "wow" machine have after the 49G+?

Make a list!

Gene


#23

Fix the problems new to the 49g+. Bad keyboard, lack of full support for subdirectories on the SD card, communications support for other OSes, Kermit ASCII transfer and/or source code transfers with Xmodem. IR to the printer with the range of the 48 series, communication via Serial IR. Bring back RS-232 and add a host USB port as well as the device USB port.

Fix problems inherited from the 49G. Unwanted mode changes and any remaining bugs/problems.

Market a high-speed hand-held sized printer customized to go with the calculator, as well as with previous calculators. Maybe have Martel customize the MCP8830 so that we can be sure that it works well with all HP calculators capable of sending to a printer.

Market a good shirt-pocket-sized scientific calculator.

Market a very basic RPN calculator suitable for use as a "first calculator". Just +, -, *, /, and +/-. Maybe square root and a memory register with M+, M-, MR, and MC. Get them "hooked on RPN" before they're indoctrinated into using those arcane algebraic interface calculators.

Regards,
James

Edited: 28 Oct 2003, 2:29 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#24

Fix the problems new to the 49g+. Bad keyboard,

Gene: According to people with units purchased today, this has already been fixed.

lack of full support for subdirectories on the SD card,

Gene: Fixable with a ROM upgrade. I consider this trivial. :-)

communications support for other OSes,

Gene: Perhaps, but even though I am a mac person, this may not happen. After all, why hasn't Microsoft made Access for the Mac? Sometimes, those of us with Macs just deal with life.

Kermit ASCII transfer and/or source code transfers with Xmodem. IR to the printer with the range of the 48 series, communication via Serial IR. Bring back RS-232

Gene: This is rumored to be on the 48GII. Macs killed serial and third parties created USB to serial converters. Don't see why that can't happen here.

and add a host USB port as well as the device USB port. Fix problems inherited from the 49G. Unwanted mode changes and any remaining bugs/problems.

Gene: Fewer bugs remain than you might believe. The mode changes are a pain, I agree.

Market a high-speed hand-held sized printer customized to go with the calculator, as well as with previous calculators. Maybe have Martel customize the MCP8830 so that we can be sure that it works well with all HP calculators capable of sending to a printer.

Gene: Might be on the shelf. good idea!

Market a good shirt-pocket-sized scientific calculator.

Gene: The 33s is coming and, despite how it looks, those who have held the unit believe it to be very nice. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Market a very basic RPN calculator suitable for use as a "first calculator". Just +, -, *, /, and +/-. Maybe square root and a memory register with M+, M-, MR, and MC. Get them "hooked on RPN" before they're indoctrinated into using those arcane algebraic interface calculators.

Gene: good idea too. Just a tradeoff problem I think...how many of these would sell? Unless they do it, they'll never know...but how many of these do you have to sell at $12.99 before you make enough $$ to make it worthwhile? Yes, you'd probably get some incremental sales later, I agree...but hard to tell in advance!

Good ideas! Keep them coming!


#25

Quote:
Fix the problems new to the 49g+. Bad keyboard,

Gene: According to people with units purchased today, this has already been fixed.


I've seen the posts, but I've also seen a lot of posts that say that
there's no problem, just press harder. To me, this is much like saying
that a car starts just fine, you just have to spray starting fluid into
the carburetor every time. It occurs to me that the posts that say that
the problem has been fixed might be from folks who always press hard,
and so don't even recognize the problem, so I'll wait a bit before I
send mine in for a replacement.
Quote:
lack of full support for subdirectories on the SD card,

Gene: Fixable with a ROM upgrade. I consider this trivial. :-)


Same here, I look forward to it. But I wonder why HP didn't include it in the first place.
Quote:
communications support for other OSes,

Gene: Perhaps, but even though I am a mac person, this may not happen. After all, why hasn't Microsoft made Access for the Mac? Sometimes, those of us with Macs just deal with life.


But this isn't an Apple or Microsoft product, it's an HP product.
Wouldn't it be useful to a wider market it it included support for more
OSes? And not just Apple products, there are a lot of linux users out
there. And what about those handheld devices, Palm or whatever?

Ok, maybe it isn't feasible for HP to write communications software for
every possible OS, but perhaps they could make information available and
support "open source" projects.

Quote:
Kermit ASCII transfer and/or source code transfers with Xmodem. IR to the printer with the range of the 48 series, communication via Serial IR. Bring back RS-232

Gene: This is rumored to be on the 48GII. Macs killed serial and third parties created USB to serial converters. Don't see why that can't happen here.


But, as near as I can see, except for higher-speed RS-232 and the
"improvements" made in the 49G, the 48gII will actually be inferior to
the 48SX and 48GX that I already own.

Despite anything Macs may have done, I believe that RS-232 is very much
"alive and well". RS-232 has significant advantages over USB. For
example, it's more "peer-to-peer", while USB is more "client-server".
RS-232 is simple and easy to design for, but USB seems to require a
driver specific to each and every device and host.

All too true that many new PCs seem to lack any RS-232 port, so USB is
indeed welcome. But I'd be a lot happier if they managed to keep an
RS-232 port and make the USB device port an addition.

A USB to serial converter may have been useful if the 49g+ had a host
USB port and a driver for the 49g+ were available, but I don't see how a
converter could help with the 49g+ as it actually is.

Quote:
and add a host USB port as well as the device USB port. Fix problems inherited from the 49G. Unwanted mode changes and any remaining bugs/problems.

Gene: Fewer bugs remain than you might believe. The mode changes are a pain, I agree.


Of course, since ROM 1.20 for the 49G has never been released, we
haven't had much time to find out what has and hasn't been fixed.
Quote:
Market a high-speed hand-held sized printer customized to go with the calculator, as well as with previous calculators. Maybe have Martel customize the MCP8830 so that we can be sure that it works well with all HP calculators capable of sending to a printer.

Gene: Might be on the shelf. good idea!


The MCP8830 looks pretty darn close to me, but there are a few things
that I'm not sure of, and it's not exactly cheap from what I've read.
Quote:
Market a good shirt-pocket-sized scientific calculator.

Gene: The 33s is coming and, despite how it looks, those who have held the unit believe it to be very nice. Guess we'll have to wait and see.


But at a rumored size of 6.2 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches and weight of 4 ounces,
it seems uncomfortably large and maybe a bit heavy for my shirt pockets.
Quote:
Market a very basic RPN calculator suitable for use as a "first calculator". Just +, -, *, /, and +/-. Maybe square root and a memory register with M+, M-, MR, and MC. Get them "hooked on RPN" before they're indoctrinated into using those arcane algebraic interface calculators.

Gene: good idea too. Just a tradeoff problem I think...how many of these would sell? Unless they do it, they'll never know...but how many of these do you have to sell at $12.99 before you make enough $$ to make it worthwhile? Yes, you'd probably get some incremental sales later, I agree...but hard to tell in advance!


Well, besides use as a "first calculator", I'm sure that there are a lot
of people out there that never use the "scientific" operations on a
calculator. If they could be weaned away from the "algebraic input"
model, such a calculator might suit them just fine. Maybe it could be
made cheaply enough for HP to give it away as a "promotional item", and
encourage people to at least try RPN.
Quote:
Good ideas! Keep them coming!

Keep asking. I expect that there are some not so good ideas, but I also
expect that there are other good ideas out there.


Regards,
James


Edited: 28 Oct 2003, 2:31 a.m.


#26

PS:

This one may well be a bit of a stretch, but just in case there's anyone out there with a really large-capacity SD card who actually wants to store more files on the card than FAT16 allows (somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000), if the 49g+ doesn't already have it, add support for FAT32.

Regards,
James

Edited: 28 Oct 2003, 7:30 a.m.

#27

I know the 48GX can have plug in cards and ram expansion, and the 48GII does not. Both have serial.

In what other ways would the 48GII not be up to snuff with the 48GX?

Its faster, has a good CAS built-in, etc.

Compared to the 48SX, I would think it is vastly superior.

?

Gene


#28

Quote:
I know the 48GX can have plug in cards and ram expansion, and the 48GII does not. Both have serial.

In what other ways would the 48GII not be up to snuff with the 48GX?


Isn't that enough?

"With its 128KB memory (80.7KB available to the user)..."

My 48GX has 128KB memory (over 124KB available to the user), *before*
adding any card.

With only one 128KB card merged, my 48SX has 160KB memory (over 157KB
available to the user), and I can still add and merge another card.

But I grant that the much higher speed of the 48gII's RS-232 may be a
big advantage in many cases.

Quote:
Its faster,

But for "real work", either my 48SX or 48GX is fast enough for me.
Quote:
has a good CAS built-in, etc.

Maybe great for students, but I haven't noticed that the CAS helps me at
all. If anything, it adds complications to things that work well on
the 48 series. And I don't have any need for grey-scale grobs, fancy
fonts and styles, GameBoy type applications, etc.
Quote:
Compared to the 48SX, I would think it is vastly superior.

I'll grant that the faster RS-232 could be an advantage, but other than
that, I suppose that it depends on the target market. It may be fun to
play with, but I already have the 49G and 49g+ to play with. And when I
want to get something done with a minimum of hassle, I have the 48SX and
48GX.

No, I'm not inclined to purchase this one.

Regards,
James


#29

Well, it depends on what that RAM is used for! If things that take up ram on the 48GX are built-into the 48GII, then the ram isn't as much of an issue.

But it depends on what each individual uses the machines for...you appear to need/want lots of ram.

Others may not.

That doesn't make the 48GII inferior to the 48GX for everyone.

Make sense? :-)

And...I like my old 48GX too. But I'll be using the 49G+ most of the time...when I'm not picking up my 12c.

Gene


#30

Ok, not inferior for everyone, but by no means vastly superior for
everyone either.

I forgot to mention that it looks to me as if the 48gII's ROM really is
ROM, not "flash ROM". What if, by some remote chance, it just happens to
have a bug? It seems to me that the only way to fix it, if it could be
fixed at all, would be to add a library, using up a bit more of the RAM
available to the user. Surely having the user download and install a new
"ROM" must be a lot cheaper than replacing the calculator. Is flash ROM
that much more expensive than ROM? Oh well, I know that every ROM in the
48 series has bugs, and I haven't found them to be any real problem for
what I use them for. Let's hope that they did as well with the 48gII as
they did with the earlier 48 series calculators.

Although I've had the 49G for over 3 years, I'd still rather use the 48
series when I really want to get some results with a minimum of hassle.
The 49G gives me too many missed keystrokes, unexpected mode changes,
unexpectedly complicated results full of exponents and logarithms, and
so forth. And of course it won't print to the 82240B. But for all of
that, it is an interesting gadget and fun to play with, and if I didn't
already have the 48SX and 48GX, I'd be thrilled to own such a useful
tool.

It looks as if the 49g+ will fix some of the shortcomings I find in the
49G. In particular, it is expandable and can print to the 82240B. But
why is the range for printing only about 3 inches? Did I get a unit with
a defective IR transmitter?

Regards,
James


#31

Well, the "ROM" vs. Flash is the same as with the 48GX or 48SX.

I agree that flash rom is good, however...but that's not a drawback compared to the older 48 models.

Think I'll take my 41c to work with me tomorrow. ;-)

Gene


#32

Quote:
Well, the "ROM" vs. Flash is the same as with the 48GX or 48SX.

I agree that flash rom is good, however...but that's not a drawback
compared to the older 48 models.


Agreed, as long as the 48gII is as free of serious bugs as the previous
models.
Quote:
Think I'll take my 41c to work with me tomorrow. ;-)
For "real work", it's always best to use whichever tool works best for
you.

Regards,
James

#33

James M. Prange wrote:

Quote:
Market a very basic RPN calculator suitable for use as a "first calculator". Just +, -, *, /, and +/-. Maybe square root and a memory register with M+, M-, MR, and MC. Get them "hooked on RPN" before they're indoctrinated into using those arcane algebraic interface calculators.

No. No! NO!

Those damned M+, M- things are exactly the kind of inconsistent and arcane 'special case' functionality that make algebraic calcs so problematic! Instead, have ten memory registers, STO and RCL keys, and implement register arithmetic with the consistent [STO] [+] [n] notation.

If there is to be an entry-level RPN calculator, at least let it demonstrate the elegance, simplicity and consistency of RPN.

Best,

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


#34

While I'm not sure storage register arithmetic is a strictly "RPN" feature, I agree overall.

Since my HP-21 days (alluded to elsewhere) I can't help feeling a vague sense of distaste every time I see the typical "M+", "M-", "STO M", "RCL M" gang eating up space on a calculator keyboard, all devoted to one pathetic little register.

(Yes, the HP-21 only has one, but it's a heck of a lot more useful when it's supported the way that it is!)


#35

Good points, Les and Paul. STO and RCL would be better. I'm not sure how
many registers would be appropriate. My only excuse is that I think that
it's nice to have at least one place to stash a value away from current
operations, and as I was thinking cheap only one register
seemed enough, and I was looking at my little credit card sized
calculator and just copied the keys from that algebraic input little
pain in the neck. Considering how much trouble I have trying to use that
thing, I should've known better.

The 48 series has the STO+, STO-, etc. commands, but I rarely use them;
they've never seemed quite "natural" to me.

Regards,
James


#36

They're of less significance on a machine with RPL, ~infinite stack depth, and ~megabytes of program memory. But I just visited my trusty old HP-21 on its MoHPC page (sadly, I didn't keep my original), to rediscover that storage register arithmetic was implemented with separate shifted M+, M-, M* & M/ functions. Which kinda undercuts my original point . . . (But that made sense with only one "unnamed" memory.)

Actually, it's the HP-29C's implementation that I remember: merged keystrokes for "STO + n", "STO - n", etc. (Sadly, I didn't keep that one, either . . . ) In a machine with only 98 program steps, this was a great space-economizer.

By the time of the 32s (& perhaps before?) one could also do "recall register arithmetic" -- "RCL * A", etc. Another nice twist. So, on an HP with storage register arithmetic, "STO" & "RCL" only hint at the beginning of what's possible.

Did TI ever copy that feature? I just tried "STO * n" on my TI-55 (old red LED, minimally programmable) and my TI-83+SE and it didn't work on either.

(On the RPL machines, STO & RCL have joined all the other stack-based postfix operators, so separate STO+ & STO- operators had to be defined in lieu of overloading STO & somehow pushing "+", "-" & etc. onto the stack.)


#37

Quote:
By the time of the 32s (& perhaps before?) one could also do "recall register arithmetic" -- "RCL * A", etc. Another nice twist.

Recall arithmetic goes back to the HP-45, almost 15 years before the 32S. Too bad HP didn't keep it in later models.

-Ernie


#38

Ernie posted:

"Recall arithmetic goes back to the HP-45, almost 15 years before the 32S. Too bad HP didn't keep it in later models.


The HP-15C doest boast recall arithmetic, too, being the only Voyager to have this feature. Just for completeness, both the HP-10C and HP-11C do have store arithmetic (but not recall arithmetic), the HP-12C does have store arithmetic only for registers 0 to 4 (but not for the rest) and the HP-16C lacks store and recall arithmetic altogether.

In the case of the HP-15C, recall arithmetic saves losing the T stack register and LastX contents and allows for shorter programs in terms on program steps, but not in terms of bytes as all recall arithmetic instructions take two bytes of memory instead of one.

Best regards from V.

#39

Quote:
They're of less significance on a machine with RPL, ~infinite
stack depth, and ~megabytes of program memory.

Not quite megabytes, but kilobytes. I think that the 48SX with two 128KB
cards merged would be the record holder; MEM returns 292423 immediately
after a memory clear. And of course, since the HOME directory, last
stack (UNDO), last arguments, and last command lines all share that pool
of memory, the user will have somewhat less to play with.

But I certainly agree that minimizing memory use is much less of a
concern with the RPL models, except maybe the 28C. For everyday use, I
often write ad hoc "throwaway" program that are far from optimal in
terms of size, speed, or memory usage, but have the advantage of being
written quickly and (usually) working without any debugging.

The RPL calculators' full set of "storage arithmetic" commands seems to
be STO+, STO-, STO*, STO/, INCR, DECR, SINV, SNEG, and SCON (INCR and
DECR not on the 28 series; added with the 48SX). Of course, where
appropriate, they work on other object types, not just "real" numbers,
and they work on both global and local variables.

No doubt if I were to utilize them more, I could save myself some
program code and memory usage.

Regards,
James

#40

Real books! Spiral bound so that they lay flat. With examples to take you (me) from bloomin' newbie to uber-geek super-user with root priv in three weeks.

A relevant website. Updated at least weekly with support, etc.

Support, support, support - not just from users on the 'net, but by the people who made the thing. How would Mssrs. H&P use the web? That is what I want to see in the next gen.


12345


#41

Well, nice printed lay-flat manuals would be nice.

But I'm a lot more concerned with the content of the manuals. I want a reference manual that includes full information on all operations, system flags, reserved variables, object types, menu maps, keyboard "shortcuts", character set table, and I/O translation table. And information on how the I/O works. And information on fonts and "styles". And anything else of interest that I forgot to list right now. And of course a manual that shows how best to use the calculator and how to write and optimize UserRPL programs. And written clearly with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation in whichever language it's intended for.

Even if it's a PDF that I have to print out myself, I'd be a lot happier with good documentation. I understand that printing and shipping manuals adds expense, and the "typical" purchaser may be frightened of buying something that comes with thick volumes of documentation, but I think that HP should make printed manuals available for those who want them; maybe they could make arrangements with an "on demand" publisher.

I like printed documentation, but "electronic" documentation does have some advantages. It's easily searchable (as long as it's not the typical assortment of "help" files that we find on PCs), links could be added, and it would be easier to update and make corrections.

Regards,
James


#42

You're talking about the real HP-48SX documentation.
AFAIK this was the last of the high quality manuals which was available spiral-bound. The GX manual wasn't bad either, but different, and only light print paperback. One could see that they were going into the current direction somehow ('quick start'). And then came the 49G 'manual'...not much to say;-)

Raymond

#43

I think some sort of merger of the PDA and calculator would be nice. (They threw out the baby with the bathwater when they totally eliminated keys on the PDA.)

How about:

A roughly pioneer-style keyboard layout, with the absolute minimum to get alpha input as well as numeric, but not too much busy-ness on the keyboard. Make 'em the tactile and visual equivalents of what I'm looking at on my HP-41CV -- absolutely clear, bold, decisive, "over-engineered", no-nonsense human-interface, data-entry, reliable, dependable KEYS. (C'mon guys, it's been done before in a mass-produced product -- it can be done again!)

The calculator display is the top ~1" of a typical PDA-style touch-screen, which slides vertically up for "full-screen" browsing, etc, and slides almost all the way back down behind the keys for two-line "calculator mode".

And, just in case I should want or need 'em, I'd like the option of installing all the PDA bells and whistles in addition to the wonderful mathematical environment that a good calculator provides. A clock with tons of time functions, alarms, etc. A GPS with the math needed to calculate from here to there, etc. Wireless communications -- heck, maybe even a laser pointer and a camera & a cell phone. (Just let me pick & choose what exactly I want installed.)

How about wireless laser mouse capability, with mouse software that lets me slide the calculator around on my desk, thus moving the computer cursor in a spreadsheet, and squirt or suck data to & from whatever I'm pointing at? (And could the laser mouse tracker also let me run the calculator over a map or blueprints or two-by-fours, to measure distances and/or lengths and use the information in my work out in the physical world?)

And I challenge the designers of today: don't give it to me in a fancy, too-large plastic case that's mostly full of air! I want it (with screen semi-retracted) in a package about the size of a Pioneer model -- shirt-pocket sized.

(But we've been on this subject before . . . )


#44

Good ideas, but that might involve "turf" wars between the PDA and calculator groups! :-)

That kinda thing happens alot in a big company. But, imagine the possibilities.


#45

The "turf wars" are indeed an unfortunate possibility, all too common. Too bad that different divisions within a corporation can't remember that they are all part of the same corporation, and cooperate and share their expertise for the common good.

But regarding PDA/calculators, I want a "calculator" with a real tactile-feedback keyboard. But I know some people who wouldn't be without their PDA and cell phone, except perhaps in the shower, and would no doubt object to having to carry yet another device for doing on the spot calculations. Perhaps the calculator division could develop and market "software calculators", much like the emulators already available, for use on PCs, laptops, PDAs, and so on.

But given that the emulators are available, and that HP has already released ROMs for the 48 series and 49G, and although the 49g+ ROM installation program requires that the user agrees to the license, there's no way to enforce payment there, I'm not at all sure that this would be profitable.

Regards,
James

Edited: 28 Oct 2003, 7:33 a.m.

#46

Man, Paul! Even Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock didn't have anything so powerful and so small! (They had to wait 'til Picard's time to have those great mini things they walked around the hallways with.

Seriously, the 33S really sounds like it's on the right track, cosmetics notwithstanding. If they give it lots of room for storing data and program lines along with SOME SORT of basic I/O and a case capable of protecting it from routine roughness, then I think they have a winner. Even though I've got this great 49G+, in a little while, I may probably get a 33S if it is at all in some way like the 34C/15C/32S type calculator because those are the "we mean business" machines, no-nonsense with (depending on your field and tastes) adequate crunch and storage power... and were fairly affordable. I knew grad students who bought 15C's, and beggars know how much they make.

#47

For the "next wave," how about making the algebraic mode of the successor to the 49G+ truly useful? What I envision is, choose "RPN" (really RPL) mode for a working & programming environment similar to the HP48 series (just as is true now for the 49G and 49G+). Choose "algebraic" and get algebraic entry with Basic programming in the manner of an HP75C/71B.

The competition (mainly Texas Instruments) is programmable in a dialect of Basic, so if you want to compete with them in the academic market, you can't offer an "algebraic mode" that lacks programmability, as HP now does with the 49G and 49G+.

I for one really enjoyed the Basic programming capabilities of the HP75C, but then I have really enjoyed RPN programming (mainly the HP41CV/CX) and RPL programming (HP28C/S, HP48SX/G and HP49G) too.

#48

I have the 28C, 28S, 48SX, 48GX, 49G, and now the 49g+.

What does the 49g+ add? To me it seems much like the 49G, but with:

Newer electronics. It seems that most of the calculator's operations are
run on an emulator of the Saturn processor instead of the native
processor. Some speedup, but don't expect it to be proportional to the
increase in processor speed.

A rather unsuccessful (at least on the first units) attempt to improve
on the 49G's keyboard. Maybe they'll fix this; otherwise I'd consider it
to be junk, even worse than the 49G's keyboard. When I feel the tactile
feedback, the keypress should register, no "ifs, ands, or buts" about
it.

The return of expandability with the SD card. Much cheaper and greater
capacity than the cards for the 48 series.

But note that storage on the SD card isn't the same as on the 48 series
card; it's more like storage on a DOS disk. Support for a subdirectory
structure isn't there according to the manual, but *may* be added in a
future ROM release. Actually, if you make subdirectories on the card in
the reader, you can store and recall files to/from the subdirectories.

Replacing RS-232 with device-only USB, a bad trade in my opinion, but
for those who connect only to a PC, and noting that many new PCs lack an
RS-232 port, it would be an advantage.

The return of IR capability. The addition of IrDA? I don't have anything
to test IrDA with, so I can't say for sure that it works. It can print
to the 82240A/B printers, so the old "Red Eye" format is there, but the
range seems to be about 3" instead of 18" now. Maybe this is supposed to
still have a range of 18", and my unit is defective? I haven't been able
to get it to communicate with the 48 series in "Serial IR" mode; I don't
know whether it's designed that way, or perhaps my IR transmitter is
defective.

Notably lacking in support for communicating with non-Microsoft OSes. If
you don't have Windows 95 or newer, you may have a problem.

And the communications software provided by HP is Xmodem only; Kermit
ASCII transfers via USB aren't available, so if you want to transfer
source files, you'll have to jump through some hoops.

I happen to have an apparently fairly unusual combination of Windows
98SE with a particular USB chipset on the motherboard, so I can use
Conn4x only to update the ROM.

I hope that they first fix the already noted problems new to the 49g+
and those "inherited" from the 49G.

Then continue with new models. But honestly, I'm not sure what new math
operations would be worthwhile adding.

Regards,
James

#49

Don't be too shocked if there are no more HP calculators after the current product line.

There was a time when it made sense for HP to market high-end calculators to professional scientists and engineers. Those people needed great calculators -- because they didn't have computers. They were willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a powerful calculator, plus software, plus extra memory, maybe even a printer.

But today, scientists and engineers have PCs on their desks at work, plus another one at home. Any serious number crunching is done on the computer. A calculator may come in handy for quick and simple calculations, when it seems like too much trouble to prepare a spreadsheet. But that's about it.

The reality is that there is no longer a significant market for high-powered calculators among professional scientists and engineers. Yes, traditional HPs command a high price on Ebay. But so do K&E slide rules.

So HP is taking a shot at the education market, since there's still a strong demand for calculators there. That's why the new calcs have shiny colors, funky keyboards, and algebraic entry; HP is trying to appeal to teenagers. It's actually a logical strategy. But it probably won't work, because TI and Casio are too well entrenched.

HP will try to penetrate the education market for a year or two. If they fail, they will probably scrap the calculator division altogether (except, of course, for the 12C).

Like it or not, the PC has replaced the calculator, just as the calculator replaced the slide rule. Eventually, even TIs and Casios will disappear, after all high school and college students are issued laptops. Maybe HP laptops.


#50

If you only knew. What if the seven new machines are only the interim, stopgap units and the real, serious, big-time return of HP to the calculator world will be seen in the NEXT series of releases.


#51

Quote:
What if the seven new machines are only the interim, stopgap units and the real, serious, big-time return of HP to the calculator world will be seen in the NEXT series of releases.
That's my guess too. But HP advanced calculator development has been
apparently abandoned before, and may well be abandoned again. The
competition is well-entrenched now, and HP will have a difficult time of
it. Hope for the best.

Regards,
James


#52

Why not make a $50 Hp15c and a 42sx with I/O. Give the 15c a dot matrix display, crude serial I/O and 8 or 32K RAM. Make sure it HAS nor real text capability so it can work for exams.

Make the 42sx with 128K ram and serial I/O (drop the IR). Basically toss in everything the 48G had, but without graphics. Keep everything in menues and release an SDK so development of serious programs can take place on a PC to avoid keyboard clutter. Bury everything in menu's so the calc looks and functions basically as it does now, but everything is available to the user without a PC. It might be awkward to use (it is already), but once a program is written, it works great, and would be customizable and fit in a SHIRT POCKET! Reduce the size to the 15c diminsions as the 42s has always seemed about a 1/2 in (1 cm) TO DAMN TALL (and the GREAT AND WONDERFUL NEW ANSWER to our prayers, the 33s is just a BIT bigger yet! MORON'S!)

Oh, well, need to take my medication.

Sorry about the rant. I just get somewhat peaved when R&D budgets and costs of start ups are talked about, but Hp has the 42s and 15c already designed (and with the 17BII+ and 12c platinum redesigned) Hp's start up costs would be minimal.


#53

Why not indeed? It seems to me that there's room for more calculators in the HP lineup, particularly truly shirt-pocket-sized models. What do they have now? Well, *maybe* the financial models, but the scientific models all seem too big to be comfortable in my shirt pockets. I suppose that a shirt-pocket graphing model is probably too much to hope for, short of drastically reducing the keyboard. Why not bring back some of the best models from the past, redesigned to run on the currently available electronics and, where feasible, correcting any obvious shortcomings. What the heck, if it will help the marketing, even add a little glitz to appeal to the high school students.

#54

Theoretically HP could produce a true HP-42S compatible calc using the ARM-based Saturn emulation from the HP-49G. And as the HP-42S already supports 32K RAM, at least that amount is possible to achieve with true emulation. (HP-42X achieves 96K RAM with some "tweaking").

As some might be very well aware of by now, I am still "dreaming" of the HP-33S coming out as a calc

- Being 100% HP-42S compatible

- Having the same keyboard layout as the HP-42S

- 32K RAM

- Serial I/O (or SD card support)

Regards,


Erik Ehrling (Sweden)


#55

Sadly, Hp won't make such a machine because it would rob sales of the much higher hyped 49G+ or 49G- (I know Hp48GII).

Hp had such an animal on the boards back in 89 and canned it so as not to rob sales from the 48s line. The ability to address 32K of RAM made it into the calc, and partial I/O code also made it into the ROM, but not completed, due to not needed for the plain 42s.

The specs and info on the 33s lead me to believe it is only a 32s with lots of extra RAM, but probably not even as good as a 27s for real use (aside from its being RPN). If I have 32K of RAM, I want LONG VARIABLE NAMES! Not single variable names. Also matrix functions, where the HELL are they???! Sorry, I need to reach for my medication again.

I see someone was sticking up for Carly again. May I make a request? Don't!

Carly deserves the bashing she has and is getting! Plain and simple. While I do not know her personally, I have followed her humble rise to the top from the very beginning at Hp. She is indeed very capable of writing the sacastic letters that have been written her (We all really know who wrote these). She is a very bright and intellegent woman, but she is also a corporate CEO B$%^&*ch whose values and ideals are for her own interests first, her board second, stock holders, 3rd, and Hp is the mule to carry the aforementioned overhead. To her, Hp is a tool to increase wealth to herself, the board, the stockholders. Period.

An a measure of my arguement: If asked, "If you could liquidate Hp and double the value of every single Hp share via buyout, but the company would be absorbed and disappear, would you do this?" (keep in mind, Carly would probably get a 1-2% commision of total brokage fees perhaps $50 million) What do you think she would do? (We might all do the same, so not exactly a fair question, but H & P certainly would not!) They would feel for their shareholder and dig down for some revolutionary new idea to accomplish THIS, not some cheap shuffle board scheme.

Bill Hewlett's idea of a pocket scientific went against all marketing polls (internal ones anyway). But he made his baby and is now revered for his great decision. That Hp should abandon this market is tragic and a mistake. That Hp is again back in the market is good to see. Whether, Hp does it right?? I don't know.

My med's have started working, I rest.


#56

Ron wrote: "I see someone was sticking up for Carly again. May I make a request? Don't!"


Now Ron, if you can't be a good little corporate player, and be in good harmony with the team, then I'm going to send you home early without any stock options !!

- Carly

#57

I've never held a 35, but from the description, I'd say that it required a good-sized shirt pocket. Certainly easily handheld sized and a remarkable achievement though.

Although HP is back in the market, they still seem to lack anything that fits truly comfortably in the shirt pocket. That may be hard to do with a graphing mode, but should be easy enough with a scientific, and certainly could be done with something that I just carry when shopping to calculate cost per unit prices.

Regards,
James


#58

James, would you REALLY carry a HP RPN shopping???

* * * :O * * *

To me, it's too valuable to put in a casual pocket (in some places, that's invitation to theft) or bag, for fear of it getting banged up too much. I can't see a really cheap HP RPN, however, unless they revive some kind of 31E type calculator with a Pioneer form factor. Even the 20S algebraic is too valuable for that! Way lots of power in a "low end" algebraic! (I haven't yet held a 6S or 9S nor 30S, so I wonder if those are the shopping type calcs.)

I've been bringing my 48G (the G+ I leave home) with me lately and I tell you, I've got the willies. Boy whatever happened to that college bravery, when I would carry the 34C everywhere?


#59

Quote:
James, would you REALLY carry a HP RPN shopping???
Of course! I'd love to! It would be much easy to work with than the "algebraic input" 4-banger that I normally carry now.

But my current HP calculators are too big to fit comfortably in my shirt pocket, and of course out of production models are a bit too valuable for that.

I don't see why it would be particularly expensive to make a very basic non-scientific RPN model. If anything, I'd expect that an RPN input model would be simpler than an algebraic input model.

Regards,
James


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