49g+ Costco deal


I saw this deal on Costco.com, the Hewlett Packard 49G+ Graphing Calculator & **free** 512MB SD Memory Card bundle Item # 801548 for ~$115.
It think it only runs from the 25-27th.
Note: I don't work for Costco etc... appologies if this is mistaken for a shameless plug.http://www.costco.com/images/content/misc/PDF/801548.pdf


Google group comp.sys.hp48 still has reports of key problems even with the latest hardware and ROM:


I wouldn't touch another 49+ until these problems are completely cured.


I Claudius,

I have the recently posted ROM upgrade installed on my 49g+.

My initial complaint was the 'missed keystroke' issue.

Now, my problem appears to be some form of key bounce. I have set KEYTIME at 4097 (appears to be the max), yet I can still frequently get too many hits on just one stroke.

My machine is the earlier one, however:


Just some cents.

I'd love to get involved with this machine, but its got a little bit further to go before I give a new one a shot.


The KEYTIME does not have any effect (is not implemented) on the 49g+.




I must be missing something. Per "I, Claudius"'s previous link, I don't see any posts referring to problems with the new hardware. If anything, I read that missing keystrokes have been fixed, but duplicate keystrokes may now be a issue with ROM >= 2.00. I'm sorry, but I don't see any reference to the new hardware having problems. I've read, and re-read the thread. I don't see it.

Here is another thread that refers to a new plastic material being used in the keyboard construction:


This is good news. The firmware can be addressed.



It has never been completely determined if the keyboard problems were hardware, software, or a combination of both. KinHPo's approach has been somewhat shotgun, hit 'em both. If there are continuing keyboard problems, they may be hardware related. Ultimately, the resultant product still has problems, and no one should have to pay money to be a KinHPo guinea pig, which is really my point.


I'm on my second HP-49G+, a warranty replacement for an early production model with a flakey keyboard, with the latest ROM, and it still has keyboard problems. I don't trust it and I rarely use it.


How interesting! It won't bother a bit if I never get another 49+.

I've come to really like the original HP49, so well in fact I've bought several new in box old stock units off eBay. The rubber keys, while a bit goofy, work just fine. The redundant upper screen is easily removed and replaced with a piece of wallboard insulation cut out with an exacto blade. Paste on some HP decals, and it looks quite good. Store a copy of all your files/programs in Port 2 and you have a crash proof calc. It has more built-in, out of the box commands than a TI89. The CAS, while not perfect, is darn good for a handheld. The equation and matrix writers are outstanding. Since it's basically a 48 with rewritten software and more memory, battery life is excellent. Any engineer is well-armed with one.


I'm on my first and only 49G+. With ROM 2.0, it works great. The serial number is CNA 51000... I didn't have the 1.X ROM on it long enough to know whether there was a problem there or not.

It seems some machines do well, while others don't. I can sympathize with someone thinking about buying one, given the uncertainty. I bought mine in blissful ignorance, and got away with it. I don't know if I'd take the plunge now, if I hadn't then, since I use these machines for fun.

But while I think my 49G looks nicer, with a more pleasing color scheme, I have to say it isn't very legible when compared to the 49G+ The color scheme on the + may be lacking in designer flair, but it is certainly easier to read. The larger display is a nice ergonomic touch, too. The nice speedup in some (but not all) functions is welcome as well. I also like USB file transfer, or SD card sneaker net as compared to the 48G's slow kermit at 96K. All of these things are easy to appreciate - if you have a working machine.



I bought a new HP-49G at full price from Fry's in 2002, when the rumors on this Forum were that HP would discontinue its calculator product line, with uncertain future plans. I detested the appearance of the 49G, and knew I could get a better deal on eBay. However, I wanted to secure a complete, latest, and fully-functional example of what might have been HP's last-ever calculator model, and to reward one retailer that continued to carry the advanced HP scientifics. (I had also bought one of the last five HP-32SII's they had in stock, not too long prior).

It must be acknowledged that the appearance, speed, and some features of the 49G+ represent a substantial improvement over the 49G. However, a 49 in any flavor is still an over-complicated, user-unfriendly design, with inadequate in-package printed documentation, and which will never be more than a collector's toy to me. I'd never use one at work, or in a collegiate or professional exam (even if the rules allowed me to).

Even though the 49G has some annoying minor bugs (even in the lastest ROM version), it generally works as expected. I would never buy a calculator with an unreliable keyboard, and am disinclined to buy one that is based upon an unsound design.

-- KS


Well, you know what I'd like in a high-end HP calc. But I'm unlikely to get a return of keystroke programming on the high end from HP. So there the 49G+ sits, at the top of HP's line of calculators, just daring the gadget head in me (right around 75% of the total!) to ignore the problems and plunge in. It's a siren's song, and I just can't resist. Perhaps when I get good at SysRPL, some time in the next couple of decades, I'll write what I consider to be the definitive integration of keystroke programming with the existing RPL models. However that turns out, I'll keep playing with the 49G+ for now, if only to keep my hand in for the next high-end machine.



I went through several 49+s, all bad. A friend of mine was a beta-tester of the original 49, I got to play with it a lot, so I know the machine pretty well. I can understand your not liking it, the case was/is ugly, the documentation was abysmal, and the responses to bug reports from the development team were rude. I can remember threads of nothing but flames between disappointed users and the developers on comp.sys.hp48. Over time most of the bugs were taken care of. Sales were not as expected, some 180,000 total units worldwide, but that is nothing compared to sales of the 12C and 48. By that time HP was disenchanted, fired everyone, and basically dismantled the whole division.

My schooling isn't that distant from your era, but I abandoned basic scientifics when more advanced ones such as the 48 came out. I loved my old 48SX, did a lot with it. But it's now retired too. I always use the best possible tools for whatever task is at hand. Life's too short to go poorly equipped for anything.


Life's too short to go poorly equipped for anything.

which is exactly why spending time to figure out the 48/49 seems a waste..when what it offers above a basic scientific programmable is all better handled on a real computer.

(I have a couple 48gx and a 49 but mostly out of curiosity and a once-strong desire to learn them--a desire which has faded mostly.

The most useful thing about the 48 is that I can emulate a 41 with it thanks to Hrastprogrammer)

Apparently from what I can gather, the 48/49 is still an apex tool for civil engineering type survey work--so I know that for some, it is the *best* possible tool.

Edited: 28 Nov 2005, 6:18 p.m.


<The most useful thing about the 48 is that I can emulate a 41 with it

The 41 was a fine machine in its time, and many loved it, including my dad. But to use a 48 as an emulator for a 41... do you emulate an Underwood typewriter on your pc?


Well, that's not a fair comparison.

The reason for emulating a 41 is that it has a "language" that I already know (well, I know the voyager "language" which is very close). The keystroke approach is more than adequate for a lot of stuff, and so I don't have to waste my time learning something else that is only a tool. I can put my efforts into learning more important things instead.

In the case of the typewriter, the "language" has not changed--only the hardware.

I already spent too much time trying to learn RPL and I decided it is more efficient for me to "cut and run" on that.

Edited: 30 Nov 2005, 12:10 p.m.


< That's not a fair comparison.

It's a very fair though tongue in cheek analogy. You set yourself up for it and I just couldn't resist poking at you, but I meant no offense. Your reasoning is perfectly valid: you like what you know. And it's your right to do whatever you wish with your machines. It's almost December, Christmas is getting close, my favorite time of year. Have a happy Holiday season.


< That's not a fair comparison.

It's a very fair though tongue in cheek analogy.

Let's see:

Underwood (manual) PC Computer (Laptop, Thinkpad T40)

Power Muscle AC and/or DC
Characters ~200 Multiple 1000s (unicode)
Display Paper 1400x1080 LCD, external XVGA
CPU Brain (speed varies) Mobile Pentium IV @ 2+ GHz
OS Brain Windows, Linux. Solaris, BeOS etc.
Applications 1 Unlimited

Comparable? Sort of. How about the calculators?

Power 4 "N" cells/AC 3 "AAA" cells
Characters <128 (ASCII subset) Multiple 1000s (unicode)
Display 1 line LCD Multiline LCD
CPU "Nut" @ 638 KHz "Saturn" @ 2MHz
OS HP prop. RPN HP prop. RPL
Applications Unlimited Unlimited (bigger infinity)

The 48 comes off well in this comparison. That's because the comparison isn't laughable, like the first one.

Merry Christmas to you as well, Claudius Drusus. 8)


> but I meant no offense.

None taken :-)



I presume you'd lean toward the 33s if required to use a now-in-production model. The only functional issue as I see it is the inclusion of matrix capabilities. How do you handle this?


ECL --

I do have an HP-33S (with bugs and bad display). I also have an HP-15C and HP-42S, which I would use for matrix operations. I don't think it's really worth the effort to develop matrix functions for the 33S, although it could be done.

-- KS



... is that so, Karl? There is a fair bit of memory even if a tad short on labels and registers...

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