The $1000 HP48


The oil companies aren't the only ones price-gouging: Samson Cables now has new old-stock 48GXs for $999.


It's strange. Thay have used ones for market prices, at least to judge by the eBay prices. They must either be counting on collector interest for a 3X premium over market, or else they really don't want to sell that one. 8)


They normally aren't that bad, compared to other brick-and-mortar retailers. They're higher than what you can sometimes get on eBay. I've bought books and calculators there before.


If it smells like greed, walks like greed, talks like greed ... IT IS GREED. I am not making any excuses for them.


I bought a new 48GX from them for $400 a month ago. Considering the retail cost when in production and current Ebay prices for a new one, I didn't feel so bad, esp. since they have a return policy. However, $1k for a 48GX! I think they're expecting a collector to buy it, not figuring that most collectors don't go for the graphing calculators as much as for the scientifics, Voyagers, etc. Now $1k for a new old stock LED might interest some collectors.


Outrageous. $1,000 for a calcultor? Let alone for one that was built in the 90s? That is nuts!

Could also explain why they are selling used ones for $249 and $299.


That's pretty much par for HP-48GX on eBay. The people bidding them up aren't collectors, but working surveyors. The 48GX can be interfaced to surveying "total stations" and has ROM addons that will drive them. If an auction includes the right ROM card, it's not unusual to see it go for $500.00 and up.

BTW, I wasn't apologizing for Sampson Cables, but making an observation from my own experience. Normally, their prices are a bit high, but not as ridiculous as this.


Howard is right. They are invaluable for surveyors that use them on the job (with the aftermarket overlays and programs). $1k for a field computer is just a tax right-off and S.C. knows it. For the math or physics student or collector, $1k is crazy, but for the professional, working surveyor relying on it, it may be a bargin.


You're spot on, Howard. What drives the value of these devices are "network effects" (in marketing terms) such as availability of peripherals, software, related books and manuals, etc. Once someone has invested both money in these things and then time in mastering them, they're loathe to switch to a new type of cheese. ;) Hence demand remains higher than supply, and prices rise.

The same thing has happened with the HP-41 - a large part of its value was the stuff that worked with it: manuals, applicatin pacs, peripherals, and programs from the User Library (now gone, unfortunately). I doubt if HP could afford to recreate it today.


--- Les



Les said:

I doubt if HP could afford to recreate it today

Sure they could (and would) - if market conditions warranted it

Edited: 24 Sept 2005, 10:45 p.m.


Randy wrote:

if market conditions warranted it

Aye, there's the rub - but of course, companies will do anything if market conditions warrant it. However, I think the conditions that pertained back then - HP's market dominance, a continuous growth of user base from the HP-35 onwards, a base of RPN routines that had evolved over the same time frame, a User Library that was well established for the -65 and -67/97 - no longer apply today. They'd have to start from scratch, which would be very expensive.

On the positive side of the balance sheet, the market is much larger, and the Internet would make running a User Library operation much lower in cost. The site is a good example.

My view might be coloured by nostalgia for The Good Old Days of the 41, I'll allow. ;)


--- Les



On the positive side of the balance sheet, the market is much larger, and the Internet would make running a User Library operation much lower in cost. The site is a good example.

I've always viewed the wonderful, quirky spirit of sharing in the old time user groups as the direct predecessors of Free Software. Richard Stallman formed GNU because he thought that software companies were trying to get users to act against their own best interests, and those of other users, by making them swear not to tell what they knew about the software they purchased. It was an extreme form of the concern for the user that PPC and other groups (DECUS and USENIX come to mind) stood for.

Most people read the GPL and think it's about a programmer's right to have source code and make changes. But it's really about the users of software having ultimate control over the software they use. If you have the source, you have the leverage, not some other person or entity. Even if you don't use that leverage, it's harder for others to use it against you. This is why "Free/Libre and Open Source Software" (FLOSS) is such a big hit in business. Businesses are the biggest users of software numerically and in monetary terms, at least in the US. Businesses as software users benefit from lock-in protection when they use software released under a Free/Libre license, even (or especially) when it's the leftmost license of them all, the GPL,

Um, I'll tone down that rant now 8). But I really do see this connection between the old-time spirit of information sharing and mutual assistance that the old calculator and computer clubs had in spades, and the user oriented FLOSS movements of today.


I would like HP release a new high quality calculator (may be HP 50?) As soon as HP releases a good quality calculator, nobody will pay such high prices for the HP48GX and soon all ebay prices will drop


They have released a "better" calculator called the 49G+; however, it suffers from bugs, keyboard problems, lack of documentation, and lack of aftermarket support to utilize the SD card to cater to the working engineer / surveyor. I'll be the first to admit that I hocked my 49G+ after two weeks of frustration in anticipation of a more mature product. But if they offered something like a 49GX or 49G+ with an "X" to make use of PAC cards, then that would be great. I don't think it would be that difficult to springboard from their current design to do that.


Outrageous..That is nuts!

Correction: It's nuckin' futs!

[12345] to delete ;-)


This is the same SOB that claims to be the only HP Dealer in town ..

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