your opinion of the HP49G



#2

wat do u think?

i think its an amazing calc.


#3

You want to start a flame war?

OK, I think it sucks. Its too big, the enter key is too small, it has RPL instead of RPN. The colour scheme is ugly and it looks cheap.

There.

**vp


#4

it has RPN u idiot. u no mabey u should use it before u talk!!

Edited: 26 Aug 2005, 8:54 a.m.


#5

Quote:
it has RPN u idiot. u no mabey u should use it before u talk!!

Perhaps you should learn to use the English language properly before you attempt to write. You also should learn the difference between an RPL machine and a classic RPN programmable calculator. It might save you the embarrassment of calling someone an "idiot" when it's clear you don't understand what he meant.


#6

wtf? u !grok sms???

Wuz speling gt t do/nytng? u no w i mean?

vwls sk, mn.


#7

Well, I figured part of that out. What spelling (and grammar) has
to do with things is consideration for those who may be trying to
read what you've written. Your sloppiness seems just plain rude;
surely you're not that ignorant of standard spellings.

That said, none of us are perfect, so the occasional typographical
error, misspelling, or grammatical error is best ignored.

Regarding RPL versus RPN, personally, I consider RPL to be an
enhanced form of RPN, but even I realize that in this forum, "RPN"
usually refers to the (in some ways) simpler 4-level stack
"Classic RPN".

Regards,
James


#8

That was sarcasm, James, and not aimed at you. Please accept my apology if it seemed otherwise.

Whether "NA" is genuine or a troll, his typographical peculiarities are typical of "texting" services like IRC or AIM. The point of the severely garbled English used on those services is to reduce typing time, thereby increasing the rate of conversation. In particular, users of SMS - Short Message Service - tend to employ this strategem. Since they are typing their messages on mobile phone keypads, the economy of typing "u" instead of "you" is significant.

But using that abbreviated style on a forum like this is suspicious. If we are to take "NA" at face value, then he (or she) must be fairly young and stupid, not to have encountered the full use of English in an online setting. But this same stupid person supposedly uses the HP-49G. Whatever else you may think about that machine, it's not for the dim-witted. (For that, we have TI, of course. 8)

So I think it's more likely that "NA" is a role being played by someone else.


#9

Sorry Howard, I was thinking that I was replying to "NA".

I hadn't heard of SMS. Trying to type something from a telephone keypad must difficult; don't they realize that they can simply talk into a phone?

In any case, as he posted on this forum, I expect that he was typing from a keyboard which includes the full alphabet, and I regard typing "u" instead of "you" as being rude.

Regards,
James


#10

While I don't like the ever increasing internet shorthand typing, it is very very common among those who spend much time using instant messenging software.

Abbreviations have been used a lot over the years (such as LOL, TTYL, IMO, IMHO, ROFL, etc), younger people are now abbreviating lots of stuff.

I see it in the emails my kids are sent from their friends.

It's not rude, it's just different.

You and I are free to dislike it, but that doesn't mean it's rude as such.

For me, it just means I don't understand what is being said many times, but then, most of the time when I see things like that, I don't care if I understand or not. :-)


#11

I do understand the usefulness of abbreviations, particularly on the small screens of telephones, or, for that matter, calculators, as long as the intended reader will understand what the abbreviations mean.

Youngsters always invent new slang, and if today's kids think that it's "cool" to write "u" for "you", "2" for "to" or "too", and so on in their personal messages, that's fine with me. But I still think that it's rude to use it where "standard" writing is expected, as in this forum or the comp.sys.hp48 newsgroup.

Regard,
James


#12

In ham radio, using morse code, many many things are abbreviated. "thanks" is "tnx", "for" is "4", "you" is "u", "from" is "de" (from the french word) "over" is "k", "out" is "sk" etc etc etc.

#13

but how does anyone know that "standard" writing is expected here?

I do agree that too many of these abbreviations will inhibit the communication of ideas, but I was able to make out what the original poster intended.

Are we all getting "old" and cranky or can we all learn a few new tricks?

And, is it really worth the effort to get irritated or should we go with the flow?


#14

I can only speak for myself on the matter of tolerance toward different communication styles. If I can understand what's being said, I'm unlikely to complain about the way the information is delivered. But in this case, the poster turned belligerent with very little provocation. I think that the response to his abuse included the annoyance many of us felt regarding his spelling and grammer. That's probably not fair, but it is natural and understandable.


#15

Quote:
I think that the response to his abuse included the annoyance many of us felt regarding his spelling and
grammer.

In my case, although I find NA's writing style very annoying, I wouldn't have mentioned it (or responded at all) had I not been irritated by the rude response NA made to Vassilis. But it's human nature, when offering one piece of criticism, to bolster it by throwing in any other complaints that happen to be lying around handy. ("I think your political opinions are completely wrong -- and by the way, that tie you're wearing is really ugly.")

Lest anyone attribute my criticism to being "old and cranky," I should mention that I have been equally annoyed for most of my 50 years of life by advertisers and marketers who think it's cute to replace "C" with "K" and "S" with "Z" in product names. I also can remember being disgusted in grade school with things like Valentines that said "I luv u 4-ever." I guess I've been old and cranky since childhood. :-)

#16

As this is a Forum, and not a chat room, proper writing should be expected. Let's stay "old and cranky" about it.

I've found on this forum and Usenet groups that there usually is a strong (positive) correlation between the quality of someone's writing and the quality of his ideas. Review the posts of Valentin Albillo, Eric Smith, and "Norris" for examples of what I consider "highest quality". For examples of mediocre or poor writing with corresponding value of philosophy, those can also be found...

-- KS

Edited: 29 Aug 2005, 3:38 p.m.

#17

Yes, I agree.

In Europe, SMS is free or low cost. So messaging is popular among people who can't afford to inflate their phone bills. That includes many young people, among whom SMS is very popular.

In the US, SMS is treated as a premium service by the carriers. So naturally, it hasn't caught on here.

#18

A reasoned opinion?

The Good: It has impressive mathematical capabilities that improve upon those of the 48G series. It is solidly built and acceptably reliable.

The Bad: It is rather impractical as a general-purpose handheld calculator, due to its RPL-based, complicated HP-48 paradigm. It has software bugs. It has no IR printer link and is not expandable. Unhinged keys cannot be pressed quickly in sequence.

The Ugly:Goofy, hard-to-read dark-blue-and-red-on-light blue color scheme.

Are you actually referring to the successor KinHPo 49G+? That present model is faster and better-looking, but less reliable. It is expandable and has the IR printer link, I believe. Everything else in my critique applies equally.

-- KS

Edited: 19 Aug 2005, 11:55 p.m.

#19

You know, lots of folks have spoken against this calculator, but I don't think I've seen anyone mention one of its most amazing (IMHO) features: essentially unlimited word size for integers. Every calculator I have ever seen, and most PC applications, have a fixed word size for integers, usually 32 or (more rarely) 64 bits. This calc, like Mathematica, has no such limits. You enter 2^750 and it shows the full 226-digit number. I personally think this is great! But that's just me. I agree that RPL programming is not as straightforward as RPN, and I'm an RPN fan. But I have seen some folks build some great RPL programs. I think the 49G+ is an impressive machine, despite some of its shortcomings.

#20

Hello, NA;

please, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that you are "new on the block"; is that correct?

This is mainly because your three entries in this forum (so far) relate to the HP49G (shouldn't that be new HP49G+?). I myself sometimes post questions related to the new calculators, but I try to keep the subject as restricted as possible. Yeap, guilty as charged... <8^(

You see, most of the questions here are related to the earlier models (that's why we are at the Museum of HP Calculators...), their operation, some particularities and, most important, how to keep them 'alive'...

Well, no harm so far. I have at least one of each: 28S, 48SX, 48G+, 49G, 48GII and 49G+. I consider the HP48G as the best of the series because of many reasons. Because of the fact I got used to easily find anything I want in the HP48G, I think it is sometimes hard to easily find some resources in the HP49G. Now that both the HP48GII and 49G+ share the same keyboard, I feel as trapped twice...

But I must confess that having a calculator with upgradable OS is a bless. Both HP49G and 49G+ offer this particular feature, and I like it very much. I think any new calculator should offer such resourcefull feature. Add to this the SD card access and now I count on a 256MBytes(+) user-memory calculator. Now it`s worth getting acquainted with its reources.

If we go ahead and talk about SYSRPL and machine language... What about another forum?

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)

PS - as I`ve seen that sometimes a particular call may cause people to feel uncomfortable, please, consider my words as just some sort of common sense, already expressed feelings. O.K.?

Edited: 20 Aug 2005, 2:57 a.m.


#21

The RPL vs. RPN arguments come up now and then. This is one of the two most usual arguments between the old and the new HP calcs. The other being build quality. The two divisions do not coincide. HP went from RPN to RPL and later discarded the build quality.

As for the RPL vs. RPN; For me this constitute an indecision of which calculator I should settle for as my primary calc - my HP-41CX or my HP-48GX. Both are of good build quality.

The advantages of the 48 are many: Greater mathematical power, multiline screen suitable for graphing and text entry, far more sophisticated programs (like being able to use the 48 as an IR remote control), it's faster and has much more memory. But the RPL is somewhat tragic. I love the direct control and efficiency of the old RPN. When opting for structured programming, I would go with Forth. But not RPL. It is cumbersome and the programming environment is not as well suited for debugging as either RPN or Forth.

The advantages of the 41 are also many: Great program control and efficiency through RPN, it's very extensible through modules, peripherals and HP-IL, it's smaller than the 48 and it's clock accuracy is better (important for the UAC :).

Now, what I miss is a better programming language and programming environment for the 48. Being able to program the 48 with 41 RPN would be great. And no, I do not mean a 41 emulator. I mean programming the 48 with RPN. Or having real ANSI Forth on the 48. That would rock. Then I would use my 48GX as the primary calc. In the meantime I toggle the two.

#22

some what new.. yes. but i have had my calc since it came out.

Edited: 26 Aug 2005, 8:57 a.m.

#23

If you can get over the rubber keys and frozen hamster-butt color:

1 MB of memory, same as a 48 with a 1 MB card. Memory structure with the Filer is outstanding. Using the ARCHIVE command to port 2, the calc is completely crash-protected.
Very good CAS,actually more included commands than a TI89. Numeric and symbolic derivatives, integrals, difeqs, matrices, etc...
Infinite precision arithmetic.
Equation and matrix writers.
Choice of fonts,mini-font is superb.
Familiar RPN interface.
Much faster than a 48.
Flash upgradable OS, although there hasn't been a new one for the first 49 is many years, probably will never be upgraded again.
Available on eBay as new old stock for less than $100 currently, compare that with $300 up for a 48GX.

Edited: 20 Aug 2005, 5:36 a.m.


#24

I think it's a great calculator, full of amazing features, but far too complicated to use on a daily basis.

I still consider the 42S as the best advanced calculator ever made.


#25

there is something called a manual and trial and error. after a while u get used to using the calc and then its like a piece of cake.

#26

This has been very civil so far.

As a relative newcomer to this forum myself, I appreciate the concise laying out of opinions regarding the newer HP calculators. I had heard fragments of these opinions in other threads, but this one summarizes those attitudes pretty well.

Regarding the HP-42S, other than the very early programmable models, whose maximum program length was tiny, I never could figure out why you'd pay so much for a calculator where you had to key in all your programs by hand. But now I begin to understand why the 42S commands a premium on eBay: It's the most advanced and developed example of the old-school RPN HP technology.

Edited: 20 Aug 2005, 1:14 p.m.


#27

My $0.02....

About the 42S : I hate it. Yes, I have one, but I only use it for on-the-fly calculations (it spends much of its time on my workbench, if it gets mangled then I don't really care). It strikes me it's a 41 with all the good bits (synthetics, modules, HPIL, card reader, etc) taken out. I really can't understand why people prefer it to the 41 series.

About the 41 series : I love them _as programmable machines_. There are a lot of useful modules, HPIL is one of the best-designed interfaces ever, it's well-built. I've lost count of how many of them I've got ;-)

About the 48 series : I love those too. I have no problem with the RPL 'infinite stack', I like being able to push any object -- not just a real number -- onto the stack. I feel that RPL has got rid of many inconsitancies in the old-style RPN -- for example the kludge that is indirect addressing. The RPL idea, put the object and the variable name onto the stack, then STO, seems more logical.

About the 49G : This was the first HP calculator I ever wrote a letter of complaint about (and, I may add, didn't get a reply from HP). The build quality is poor. I hate the keyboard. The first few firmware versions were so buggy as to be unusable. However I do like the arbitrary-size integers, and the exact mode.

About the 49G+ : Can't really comment, after the 49G I am not likely to buy another new HP calculator. And I have no intention of builg a machine with a Useless Serial Botch port. RS232 is much more useful.

And a couple more :

The 67 : Love it. Solid build, does what it claims. I love the LED display, and it external storage (the magnetic cards) which I regard as essential. Quite like the 97 too, but that's harder to fit in a pocket.

The 9100B : Quite simply the most elegant piece of electronics it's been my pleasure to work on. Beautiful.

The 9810 : Another quite elegant design. Good keyboard and display, sensible I/O bus (unlike the 9100).


#28

My NOK 0.02:

The 42S: Compared to the 41, it's inferior. Yes it is faster, has more memory, two-line display and is smaller (thinner). But, as Tony points out, the magick of the 41 was discarded.

More on the 48 vs. the 41. I disagree that the indirect addressing is a kludge. It is one of the most elegant features of the old calcs. There are quite a few times I have been forced to write more involved software for lack of indirect addressing (like in RPL or even Ruby).

As for the LED displays - these are my absolute favorites. The HP-97 is my primary calculator at work. Since I do not own a 67, the 41 or 48 gets to be the only real choice to carry around.


#29

I think you may have misundersood me. Indirect addressing is a great feature, it's just that the way it's done on HP calculators is a mess, and doesn't fit the 'RPN model'.

I think it would have been 'cleaner' to have at least one more stack level, and for STO, etc, to take the register number from top of stack.

In other words, both arguments for STO (the number to store, and the register address to store it in) should be entered before pressing STO. That's how other functions work in RPN after all.


#30

That would be way cool - like having an indirect indirect addressing. Taking the address from X to indirectly address would give you two levels of indirectness. But in the spirit of merging program steps, I don't think that STO IND 00 is so bad. In the spirit of Forth, even STO 00 would be wrong.

#31

My brain may be calcifying, but RPL has been giving me pain. I think it's because I want to grasp it completely, the way I understand C, or Perl, or the 41C. I run into trouble because it's not just RPL, but the vast number of functions available in the 48G (for example) that I have to know in order to be expert. I had a practise back in the 1980s, when I was first learning to program, of coding Euclid's algorithm on each new system and/or programming language I encountered. The first system I did that on was the 41C, which was also the first machine I learned to program. Anyhow, I reverted to my old practise to try to break through this impractical "I want it all, now" desire of mine with the 48. A concrete problem has always been a boon to me. I know the 48GX I used probably has a GCD function. I know the Sparcom Math card does, but that's not the point of the exercise. Here's what I came up with. It expects the two numbers to test on levels 1 and 2. It consumes these, and leaves the GCD in level 1:

<<
WHILE DUP 0 # REPEAT
DUP 3 ROLLD MOD
END
DROP
>>

Update: the "0 #" isn't required, since any non-zero numeric value is logical true. So the routine could be <<WHILE DUP REPEAT DUP 3 ROLLD MOD END DROP>>, which is even more unreadable.

So, that's short and sweet. It also isn't recursive. That's good because I dont know how you'd do recursion without names. (RPL has named routines and variables, I know. I just didn't use them for this example.) I then set out to code the same algorithm on my HP-41CX. This is probably a good deal better than the first time I coded this algorithm in 1982 or so. It turned out to be quite similar to the 48 version, in fact:

  01 LBL 01
02 STO Z
03 MOD
04 X#0?
05 GTO 01
06 RDN

That's even more concise. The inputs and output are the same as for the 48 version.

The "Forthian" vocabulary of the 48 is less familar to me than the 41C's language. I learned Forth, back in the day, along with many other languages I never used for real coding problems. So the lack of practise hurts. And six months from now, if I don't continue to code on the 48, I'll forget that "3 ROLLD" is equivilant to "ROT SWAP" for example. The 41's language is so ingrained, and so much simpler, that I won't have that difficulty with its code until my dying day, assuming I keep my mental acuity that long. 8)

So I think I may be able to start enjoying the 48 more if I ask less of myself at one sitting. I may not master the device ever, since there is a lot to know that isn't interesting or relevant for me. But If I can find a way to pick through what is there, I may do better, and enjoy it more.

Edited: 20 Aug 2005, 5:59 p.m.


#32

I agree with your opinion about the 48 and also (earlier in this thread) about the 42s being the top calculator of "the old line". My background: I started in 1976 with a 25c, moved to an 11c in 1982, a 32s in 1990 - and started collecting 10 years later, having some 48 and a 42s now, too. Nowadays I'm no more using my calc every day. Just want to add my 0,02 Euros:

BIG, BIG PLUS (compared to earlier and later models I know): The 42s is the one and only programmable POCKET calc I know with:

  • a quality keyboard (elegant + reliable + user friendly (not overloaded) = a pleasure to look at and use) AND
  • well designed output (informative and readable, no kryptic codes, just the necessary information in good order) AND
  • straightforward programming AND
  • easy debugging (readable programs instead of keycodes) AND
  • more than sufficient memory for practical life (never had to count steps or registers - if I really need more, I go to a PC).

SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENT (IMHO):

  1. The dot matrix display was ok at that time, but is far off what's state of the art today. Contrast is even poor compared to the LCDs of cheaper Pioneers. Space or better resolution to display 1 or 2 lines more would be nice, too.
  2. The keys of the Pioneers and later models are a step back from the earlier keys starting with hp65. A 2nd shift key would have allowed for more direct accessible functions - sometimes I find it difficult to remember where a particular function is hidden.
  3. I admit something like a catalog is necessary to access as many functions as are implemented in this calc. But this catalog is just too cumbersome for "quick and dirty" calculations.
  4. Regarding expandability and I/O capabilities in a calc, the 41c (cv, cx) is 2nd to none. In my worklife, however, I prefer a compact calc I can put in a pocket of my shirt or jacket without making me look out of balance (hope that's understandable ;) ). And nowadays, I don't like these zippered belt cases no more - I'm neither a sheriff nor a handyman.

This is my point of view.

Edited: 21 Aug 2005, 2:58 a.m.


#33

Quote:
more than sufficient memory for practical life (never had to count steps or registers - if I really need more, I go to a PC).




You've got the point !

I'm no one to counterdict Tony Duell, butjust want to bring my 2 €c. The 42s is definitely not the most powerful calc ever made, but certainly one of the most practical to use.

IMHO, I also love the 41, and even if I deeply regret there is no mass storage available to the 42S, it's still somehow superior on a daily use with its dot matrix dual line screen, higher memory and faster execution.

Again, should we need more, let's go to a PC...



There have been a few polls in the past and the 42S was the preferred calculator of the community.



#34

There is something else that the 42 (or 41) has : the capability to suspend a program at any time. When my train arrives at the station, I just press [R/S], switch off the calc and voilà, it is ready to resume the calculation later without losing the work already done.

Not only this, but you can go to program mode and review or modify to your heart's content without losing the results calculated so far, you can restart from the same point or somewhere else (paying attention to GSB/XEQ levels however).

Try it on a so-called "structured programming" language. These are maybe smart but in that case are really painful (reminds me of the discussion of 'GOTO').

That capability to stop at any time, to edit on the fly, to resume without losing anything, is missing from 48s and other later machines (a weak point for other nice machines from Sharp too...).


#35

Quote:
There is something else that the 42 (or 41) has : [...] you can go to program mode and review or modify to your heart's content without losing the results calculated so far, you can restart from the same point or somewhere else (paying attention to GSB/XEQ levels however).

The 41 and 42 (maybe all keystroke-programmable HPs?) clear the RTN stack when you edit a program, so if you edit a program on the fly while it's suspended in a subroutine, it won't return to the caller.


#36

certain flags are cleared when turned on again.

The state of the machine is subtly different with an on/off in between.

Of course, if you're not using anything reset by an on/off, it won't matter.

Gene

#37

Highly capable for the 20-60$ they are currently selling for. I think the low price is a carry over from the deep discounts needed to get rid of the first edition 49G+ with the bad keyboard. I happened to get a first of the new version 49G+ from Amazon for the $77 and free ship. I suspect the 49G low price will not last, and it will become a collectable in it's own right. Not but a few years ago, the 48GX was selling for under $100 on ebay, as an example.


#38

What is the serial number of the unit you received, and how would you rate it? As a comparison, I got to play with a CNA515... and it was the first decent 49+ I've seen, all others prior were just plain junk due to lousy keyboards.


#39

Really? I have one (exchanged from HP) which s/n begins with a 4. How is the keyboard better? Does it no longer not register at times? Does it simply feel better? Different key materials???

(Should I re-exchange for this newer issue?)


#40

Yes, definitely exchange again. The newest units have a different key design (metal dome inserts), which are a marked improvement. This is only half the fix, though, the other half is ROM 2.0


#41

Oh, boy, I just saw this reply tonight 9/9!

Thanks! I surely will do it then... as soon as I can get to it!


#42

How does that work, exactly? You can exchange a 49G+ under warranty with no questions asked? And what do the metal dome insets improve? Response and/or durability?


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