HP49g+ questions



#15

I grabbed my HP49g+ from the University of Washington bookstore last Friday, and I've been quite happy with it. I've always preferred RPN, though I've never before had an HP calculator. (I have, however, used an RPN program on my PalmPilot for quite some time, and my chem teacher has an extra 11c that he lets me use in class.) I'm gradually learning about my new calculator and what I can do with it... I think I've got the basics down, the next step is figuring out RPL.

There have, however, been a couple of issues with this calculator that I was unsure about. I've noticed that the bottom few lines of the screen (where the soft menus are) flickers every few seconds. Also, occasionally, the rightmost portion of the screen will display a bit of garbage for a few seconds, and then go back to normal. This only seems to happen when the calculator is running its normal OS... on all of the self-diagnostic screens, LCD test, ROM update screen, etc, the display seems fine. This leads me to believe that there are some bugs in the ROM.

Is anyone else having these issues? If it's a common problem, then I won't worry about it. I just want to know if I have a fried graphics controller/CPU or if this is just a common bug that will eventually be corrected through a ROM update.

I've also done a little bit of experimentation with downloading 49g programs and trying them out. I've basically found that some work, some don't. I've had the most problems with programs in library format - mostly they either don't work well at all or they work, but the calculator turns off semi-randomly. Other programs I've had more success with, although some games run *really* fast.

One more thing that I've noticed is that this calc seems to have a lot of trouble with grayscale, or at least the way grayscale was done on the 49g. Trying to run a grayscale program on the 49g+ results in a really flickery image, and the contrast way too light.

Really, I'm surprised that assembly programs for the 49g work on this thing at all, considering that they have completely different processors.

I'm assuming that the incompatibilities with most 49g software is normal and to be expected, right? It's just being new to HP I'm not familiar with how the older calculators worked or what the differences really are between the 49g and the 49g+ and it's hard for me to tell if I've got a defective unit or just am experiencing a few bugs.

All in all I've found it to be an excellent calc. The issues I've experienced, while just a little bit annoying, really aren't bad at all. If these are common, they won't bother me, I just want to make sure I got a good unit :)

Also, any advice about good resources on HP calculators would be appreciated. I've already found hpcalc.org, and obviously here as well. I've also read most of the hp48 FAQ...


Edited: 25 Oct 2003, 2:01 a.m.


#16

HP's website http://www.hp.com/calculators has many, many trainingn modules under the Solutions Groups.... there are tonnes of examples you can use. I have found it really helpful...just click on the product icon and it leads you straight into the modules under "solutions groups" by occupations.... education, technical, profesionals, etc. Hope this helps

#17

Yeah, lots of us have noticed "minor" problems with the 49g+. See http://groups.google.com/groups?q=comp.sys.hp48.

Regards,
James


#18

I, too, observed the flickering of the bottom line of the display with my unit, which arrived yesterday. Does anybody know, if this problem is corrected with ROM Version 1.22 ? My unit came with ROM Version 1.20 installed and because I read that the problem has something to do with the garbage collection I still have hope, that it can be corrected.


#19

I found it obvious with ROM 1.20, but with ROM 1.22, I haven't been able to detect it, even with the clock displayed. But I think that I've seen some posts that claim that it's still there, although not as noticeable.

Regards,
James


#20

so there's still hope. I'll tell you my experience as soon as I tried it out with 1.22.


#21

as promised here's my experience wit ROM version 1.22: There's not so much change in the flickering behaviour but turning off the clock display helps a bit.

#22

FYI -- It's occasionally noticeable on mine after 1.22 upgrade, but is much less obvious. (That's without the clock displayed.)


#23

Gentlemen, after 1.22, mine still flickers only if the clock is used, so I unchecked it. Also, after using some menus (I forget which) there a flicker, but only once after the menu is closed. THAT I can live with; but with such an advanced calculator, it'd be nice to see the clock with it annoying me, like on the 48G's. Maybet they'll kill that and add seconds back to the digital clock display with next ROM update?

#24

A solution to the flickering is [Press ON plus up-arrow].

#25

Both display problems (are they really problems?) seem to be common. Look for example at

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=comp.sys.hp48

and search for "49g+ earthquake photo"

Frank.

#26

The flickering and garbage on the screen have been reported by other people also. Over in comp.sys.hp48 they're calling the screen garbage the "display earthquake." You can find details (and a link to pictures of the effect) here:

49g+ earthquake photo

#27

Yeah, I get the slight flickering as well, but I don't think I could live with that earthquake/grabage stuff. Is it actually a problem with the rom or the hardware itself?


#28

I think that the "Earthquake" is probably a GC issue in the new HW/SW combo, but to my opinion it is the least problem. The most important are: keyboard & battery issues! THEN I'd like to see a complex numer in polar format with units attached and solved in the Equation Writer using a new CSOLVE. AND the user setting should *NOT* change to radians (etc.) but stay at (5.2_V,45.0_o) as the _user_ wants it to be!!!


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