HP 32s & 48gx



#2

I'm going back to school to get a masters and was going dig up my old 48gx or my 32s. Instead of unpacking my storage shed, I was entertaining getting one of these calcs used on ebay. The prices are much higher than expected....

I was expecting to get the calcs for ~$10 bucks. Why are they so expensive? Heck, I can buy a new 48gii for $110 where a 48gx is going for $130+ on ebay. Something isn't adding up.


#3

"Monty Hall" wrote:

Quote:
I'm going back to school to get a masters and was going dig up my old 48gx or my 32s. Instead of unpacking my storage shed, I was entertaining getting one of these calcs used on ebay. The prices are much higher than expected....

I was expecting to get the calcs for ~$10 bucks. Why are they so expensive? Heck, I can buy a new 48gii for $110 where a 48gx is going for $130+ on ebay. Something isn't adding up.


Since the "price wasn't right", you don't want to "make a deal" on eBay. [er, sorry, (ahem) ...]

Although older and with fewer features, HP's calculators from the 1980's are better in design, engineering, and construction than today's outsourced models. This explains the enduring demand for the best RPN and RPL models, which, by the way, inlcudes the even-older 11C, 15C, and 41CX among others.

I don;t believe that the new 48Gii has the two ports for plug-in cards, as the 48GX had. Neither does the new 49G+, to my recollection.


#4

"I don;t believe that the new 48Gii has the two ports for plug-in cards, as the 48GX had. Neither does the new 49G+, to my recollection."

No, the 49g+ has a slot for SD cards. These are industry standard Flash Memory devices, ranging from 16MB up to a gigabyte. You can buy a 32MB SD card for about ten dollars or so.

Given the choice between a 49gii and 49g+, I'd choose the 49. Its faster, has a much better screen, and more memory. The gii can not be upgraded.


#5

Hi;

I own an HP49G+ with a 256MB SD card. It's something to try out prior to copare, as 'dot' mentions. I read once here that the fixed user memory (RAM) in the HP48GII is smaller than the one available in the HP48G+ (less than 100KBytes?). Should it be because of the new features, like resident CAS in the HP48GII?

Luiz (Brazil)

#6

"." posted,

Quote:
No, the 49g+ has a slot for SD cards. These are industry standard Flash Memory devices, ranging from 16MB up to a gigabyte. You can buy a 32MB SD card for about ten dollars or so.

"No"? What I really had in mind was the ROM application cards that the old 48GX would accept. (Of course, RAM cards were also available.) Can the 49G+ accept those same ROM cards? If not, that might explain why the 48GX retains its value.

-- KS


#7

Hi, Karl;

the only "extension" slot available in the HP49G+ is the SD-compatible. No previous ROM card available for the HP48GX can be used (there is no extra slot at all). The "advantage" is the HP49+ IR input/output, not available in the HP49G.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

#8

Hi,

> ROM cards? If not, that might explain

> why the 48GX retains its value

>

That may be one reason.

Another one is that the HP-48 has a real keyboard, of course.

You know, with the right layout and the ENTER bar,

and with a reliable key action.

The third one could be the cheaper hard- & software

of the 'successors' of the HP-48.

Don't forget that it took more than two years after market

introducing of the 49g to get the OS somewhat stable...

Raymond

#9

""No"? What I really had in mind was the ROM application cards that the old 48GX would accept. (Of course, RAM cards were also available.) Can the 49G+ accept those same ROM cards? If not, that might explain why the 48GX retains its value."

I don't understand why supporting ROM card would be an advantage.

The old cards from the HP48gx/sx cards are very, very expensive. The software probably wouldn't work anyway. Many entry points have moved. And what % of people these days would have use for such an old card?

If you wanted new ROM cards, how would that work? As far as I know there is no standard form factor for ROM cards. It is much more expensive anyway, compared to simply storing the software in the onboard flash. And what companies today would even make software to put on cards?

.

#10

The 48 series had a large, loyal following. This following does not feel that current HP products are up to the standards of the earlier models. The only source for the old models is eBay, or at least eBay sets the price for knowledgeable sellers. So the price has risen to what the market will bear. Even earlier models are of course now collected, so their value is set as such, rather than as useless old garage sale junk.
It will obviously worth your while to dig through your storage shed.

#11

"HP" brand calculators are now developed and manufactured by Kinpo, a Taiwanese company. There is a widespread perception that the design, manufacturing quality, and documentation of current models is inferior to that of older models. Since it is no longer possible to buy new calculators with traditional HP quality and attention to detail, older models have become quite valuable.

The bottom line is that many people (especially on this forum) feel that the 32S is a better calculator than today's 33S, and that the 48GX is a better calculator than today's 48GII. In general, the new calculators are clearly superior in some respects (e.g. faster, more memory), but they are also distinctly worse in other respects (e.g. inferior keyboards, poor keyboard layout, overall ugliness, bugs).

#12

Dig out your old machines, put your brand on them, and guard them with vigilance, they're not easily replaced, as you've discovered.

The current output of HP calcs are junk. I've been through 3 defective HP49+s. As they say, third time's the charm.

If you can't find your old machines, buy a TI89. The performance, fit and finish is superior to anything HP is producing. Specifically, the computer algebra system of the 89 is outstanding. Also, programming the 89 is quite easy, once you make the switch from thinking in RPL to Basic.


#13

Hi JC...

I don't have much of an issue with programming in BASIC vs. HP keystroke programming. I've programmed various pocket computers years ago (Casio-derived ones sold by Radio Snack) and programming was easy, though I wish extra functions were included.

While I love HP41s, I'd've been perfectly happy if its programming language were BASIC (i.e, an HP71B in a 41C shell). BASIC's string handline is quite good for quick & dirty work.

I just want RPN - with LastX, RUp and RDn - and a large ENTER key above the keyboard (except for 'landscape' calcs like 11C/12C/15C/16C) for direct-mode use.

The latest TIs seem to have fair keyboards and readable displays. They're easy to hack apparently (Z80-based) - if their case/shell could be adapted to a large ENTER key and firmware updated to allow direct RPN usage, I'd be very happy.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

#14

The new Titanic is as slow as the older TI

The new OS is not as compatible as it should be

The keys are still mushy and generally worse then any HP

The keyboard layout & ALPHA keyboard usage is not on the 49 series level.

Even Steen now reports in the comp.sys.hp48

that he has now a perfect keyboard in his latest 49g+.

If you don't 1st succeed then try, try again.

[VPN]

#15

All,

I haven't been paying attention to the HP scene since school ~8 years ago. After looking @ the new HP calcs, I would have to agree - not fond of the new calcs. When I graduated and entered the workforce, I used my PC for all calcs (I was a mathcad & mathematica head in school) and my calculators collected dust.

Started w/ a 48s until it broke, purchased a used 48GX until I lost it, then purchased a 32s, found my 48GX and recieved a 48G as an award(pristine).

Toss up between the 32 and 48. Form factor, simplicity, basic 4 + function calculations(99% of what I used it for) the 32s is pretty darn nice. Unit conversions, matricies w/ inv, phasor math, timing, alarm, some equation solving & symbolics, of course the 48G is the winner.

Since I really only used 4-10 functions a majority of the time, the 48 was underutilitized. I will have to admit, I really liked being able to see the stack on the 48. I sometimes wished the 32 had a few more lines. Regardless, it seems HP doesn't make 'em like they used to.


#16

<< Regardless, it seems HP doesn't make 'em like they used to. >>

Yes, that's the issue in a nutshell. Older HP calculators have a reputation for rock-solid reliability and durability. The newer ones don't.

#17

I won't argue -- "they ain't what they used to be."

That said, the 33s is a mighty fun little toy, with what I believe is the simplest-ever programmer's user interface, essentially unlimited program memory (the real limitation is the 32 data registers), a two-line display, and a convenient size.

Sure, the size could have been smaller, the keyboard layout more rational, the enter key wider and the decimal point (more) legible.

Despite what may initially appear to be overwhelming drawbacks, it can be (for some people, at least) a very usable -- even enjoyable -- device.


#18

I agree, the 33S works fine, the keys are excellent and it is an easy calc to pick up and use.

#19

Paul, I totally agree about the 33S; I enjoy using it nowadays. In fact, unless I have to use my mini databases or memory hogging preprogrammed functions during the work day, I reach for my 33S.


#20

I have a 33S and it is just "OK". I bought it to play with, not to use.

I really wish the display had more contrast - there's $5 calcs with brighter displays! And decimal point visibilty is terrible.

And, of course, the chevron keyboard and small, inappropriately placed ENTER key mean it's not a "real" HP.


Bill Wiese
San Jose


#21

You know a real HP has:

RPN (or RPL)
Positive Tactile key feedback

Yes the display on the 33S could be improved, but get over the chevron shape & Enter key location. The key layout is fine and if you want to relocate the Enter key to any other spot it is trivial to implement.


#22

Quote:
...get over the chevron shape & Enter key location. The key layout is fine...

The chevron keyboard layout is not "fine," it's an abomination. With that keyboard, and without a double-sized, centrally-located ENTER key it doesn't look like a traditional Hewlett-Packard calculator, and that, for me, makes any other so-called features irrelevant. I will not pay one cent for an embarassment that I have to try to "get over" every time I look at it.


#23

You know, no company wants or needs your red cent. You wouldn't be happy no matter what came about. Somehow you seem to think you are the only customer out there.


#24

I agree with you both

Yes, the 33s is in many ways better than the old model

No, it does not look like the old one:

The [ENTER] is small and in the corner

BUT

The chevron keyboard is more ergonomic for "thumbing"

Opinions?

[VPN]


#25

After reading not to bad news I tought I have to have a 33s to, so I bought one and I'm rather happy with it.
No doubt the old ones and the 12C still is our loved calc but 33s isn't bad at all but ...

In US the thing cost 49$ and I had to pay (and did several checks) 85 Euros (or 112$) !!!

... and the decimal point is very hard to see


#26

If you buy from a U.S. company, and add import duties, is it cheaper or more expensive?

#27

Quote:
You know, no company wants or needs your red cent.

No, I'm sure they don't care about losing my little pittance. They might be a little more interested in the much larger amounts spent by others, like my employer, to whom I make recommendations against HP. (It came as a surprise to my coworkers, who knew what an HP-lover I used to be, when I recommended buying a large Sun server rather than the equivalent HP machine, despite the fact that I had over a decade of experience as a sysadmin on HP systems. But we bought the Sun system; and guess what I'll be recommending for the considerable number of servers we're probably going to purchase in the not-too-distant future?)

Quote:
You wouldn't be happy no matter what came about.

On the contrary, there are a number of things HP could do that would make me happy. But it's true that there is almost zero chance that they will do any of those things.

Quote:
Somehow you seem to think you are the only customer out there.

Judging by comments I've read here and elsewhere, I don't think I'm the only one who thinks HP quality and design excellence have gone down the tubes in recent years.

#28

Can i do it? Will i kill my calc if i do it wrong? Are instructions posted anywhere?


#29

Trivial from a design and manufacturing standpoint. For the end user it would be more difficult.

#30

All you have to do is assign a key to a program and the program is simply the enter or duplicate function. For me this is assigned to the R/S key which is located upper left of the numbers to simulate position in older calcs.


#31

And how to do that ! Do you have step by step instructions for a simple person as I am.

#32

I don't believe there is a way to programmatically redefine the Enter key on the 33s.

It may be possible to swap keyboard electrical connections between (for example) the Enter and XEQ keys. I took one apart with this in mind, but after seeing the density of the circuit board, and the sticky plastic film holding the keyboard sandwich to the PCB, I decided against it.

Even if the electrical changes were to be accomplished, the keyboard legends would be misleading. (And not only for the primary functions, but the left- and right-shifted functions as well.)

A dedicated hobbyist could probably overcome that, too, but for me it was way too far to go for very little real gain.


#33

I will post details when Iget back to the office on Monday or Tue.

Dave


#34

As promised (no it is not a replacement for a properly sized and located enter key):

Go into PRGM Mode (Left Green PRGM)

LBL A - (Left Green LBL A)

You can use any label A-Z

R/S

ENTER

GTO A (Left Green GTO)

Exit Prgm mode (Left Green PRGM)

Now any time you want to use the R/S key as the ENTER function just press XEQ A.

You need the XEQ A to assure your R/S as an enter does not start in some undefined program you have loaded.

This cannot be used in programming without unexpected results...

Dave


#35

Thanks Dave ! I will give it a try.

M


#36

And it does what you have promised !
Great!
Thanks!

#37

Mr. Hall-
what's your masters degree major? Surely not financial or you'd be talking 12c etc. Engineering? Physics? Chemistry? Of course, certain majors will require certain 'kinds' of math. I agree that the best bet all around unit for the money would be the TI89, cause there are loads of users and I think it has a great display. For laboratory work i think the 33s would be great.

If you're really looking to buy HP, take a look at samsoncables.com. They have a decent price on the 33s, but the best bang for your buck in HP gear is the 39g on clearance. Sure it has rubber keys, but for $25, it does eeeevvrything, including complex matrices and (limited) symbolic solving. And if you lose it on campus, you won't worry about it too much. Not RPN tho, and programming is in basic. Just a suggestion...

-Ned


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