HP 40gs



#3

Has anyone posted information on a new calculator being developed by HP called the 40gs? It appears to be an Algebraic with CAS. It has a new keyboard and color scheme. The HP HOME view website has a picture.http://members.iinet.net.au/~ccroft/index.htm


#4

I got mine a month ago NIP: it is labelled as "Prototype - Not For Sale". CNA58xxxx

Nice color scheme (much better than that of the 49G+, or 39G+).
Good tactile feedback; I wonder if newer 49G+ share this too, mine is really old.
75 MHz Arm9 CPU, 256Kb RAM, power: 4AAA + 1 CR2032, both USB an RS232 connections.

Sligthly redesigned hard cover.

Completely unimpressed by its features (I don't really understand the 38/39/40 series...).

Greetings,
Massimo


#5

Quote:
I got mine a month ago NIP: it is labelled as "Prototype - Not For Sale". CNA58xxxx

Nice color scheme (much better than that of the 49G+, or 39G+).
Good tactile feedback; I wonder if newer 49G+ share this too, mine is really old.
75 MHz Arm9 CPU, 256Kb RAM, power: 4AAA + 1 CR2032, both USB an RS232 connections.

Sligthly redesigned hard cover.

Completely unimpressed by its features (I don't really understand the 38/39/40 series...).

Greetings,
Massimo



I too am unimpressed with the features. I recently obtained an HP39G, and downloaded the CAS enabler. The interface for the CAS is a bit cumbersome -- restrictive, in fact. Regarding the color scheme... the new 40GS looks too much like a TI85. I seriously think HP needs to come up with their own designs and stop copying what other companies have done (placement of the ENTER key, color scheme, general keyboard layout). They need to go back to the basics, when THEY were the company others were copying, not the other way around.


#6

Features aside, the color scheme of the 40gs is quite an improvement compared to the terrible choices made for some recent models.

The contrast of the shifted functions on the 40gs is VERY good. Compare that to the nearly invisible black and green shifted functions on the original 39g+.

I view this as a positive step...at least they are thinking now about contrast.

See the presentation made with HP in attendance at the HHC2004 gathering here:

http://www.pahhc.org/2004/HHC2004/Calculating%20_Contrast.pdf


#7

That is a great presentation on color contrast. There is one comment I have, though. When there are so many functions assigned to a particular key, sometimes I personally feel that the lesser used functions should NOT have much contrast. Certainly the main functions should have high contrast in order to readily see which button provides the desired, often-used function. Those which aren't used as often, but still useful enough to have a key label should not have as much contrast (but still enough so as to not make the label next to useless). Otherwise, you end up having way too many colors on the keyboard, thereby causing an eyesore of a calculator.

Han


#8

I went through a TON of research on color selection for OpenRPN. What I finally decided on was to use the LAB system for selection. One interesting fact I learned along the way is the effect of background color on contrast. It's best not to use a background having a luminance score below 10 or so as foreground color contrast becomes unpredictable. My final selections were guided by a NASA article.

HP did their homework for the voyagers and especially the early pioneers, since their engineers arrived at nearly the same solutions I did.

#9

Is it newer than this one here?

Ciao.....Mike


#10

VERSION reports:
Version HP39-E
Copyright HP,
1993,2004

VER reports:
4.20050219

But, please, remember that this is Prototype and final release could contain updated ROMs...

Greetings,
Massimo


#11

Tnx a lot! This is good news. Has someone a list of changes in this CAS? A list of differences to other products?

Ciao.....Mike

#12

I too don't understand the HP38 line.

There are 8 lines on the screen, but most are used for the useless 'title' line on the top, un-removable menu (the 28 had that feature, was great - lost on the 48 too).

The syntax for programming is very exotic and varies considerably between FOR, IF and others : sometimes you must separate statements with ';', sometimes not, and sometimes arguments are separated with ',' and sometimes with ';' !?

The CAS is separate from the calculating mode (for example, the default symbolic variable in the cas is X but is S1 in calc mode ??).

Aplets are separate environments which cannot be used concurrently (like the dreaded 'modes' on Casio calcs). Creating an Aplet involves deep black magic and basically cannot be done on calc.

The looks of the original 38 is very ugly. 'Colors' are borderline sickening. The 40S looks much better but is slooooow.

No catalog of functions and almost useless, partial help system.

Of course limited number of variables (single letter or single letter + one digit).

No STO> key, this mandatory function uses one position on every menu where HP 'designer' thought it could be used ?!?!

Most functions are crammed into the single "Math" menu, which only displays 5 functions at a time with those horrible choose boxes (here you can't revert to the old menu system), and as functions are grouped in categories whose logic cannot be deciphered by normal human beings, you're typing commands with the alpha keyboard all the time... but wait, no Alpha Lock !!! Let's Shift again...

I got the 40S (not gs) in the hope that things would have improved, but I believe the whole basic design is flawed.

Sorry, I had to express my frustration


#13

Well, all the things you talked about are things that I don't like about the calculator.

However, we aren't exactly normal users either. A high school student, who doesn't really care about math, finds the 39/40 really easy to use and understand. It is so easy that my mother (who has trouble turning on the computer sometimes) can use it to graph equations. I think that they did a great job on it. It was specificially designed to be easy to learn, not to provide flexibility a more demanding user might want.

While I do agree that no command catalog, poor programming, etc are things they could have easily improved upon. I doubt the target customer would care.

TW

#14

Re: alpha lock. No need to shift again. Press and hold ALPHA while pressing the letters with your other hand. Alpha lock would be better, but this press and hold approach is better than shifting for each letter.


#15

Quote:
Re: alpha lock. No need to shift again. Press and hold ALPHA while pressing the letters with your other hand. Alpha lock would be better, but this press and hold approach is better than shifting for each letter.

C'mon Gene, that's an awkward mode to type anything... :-)
Furthermore: I find the placement of alpha labels somewhat uneasy: I often end up typing the wrong key (from lower row). But, maybe that's just me...

Greetings,
Massimo


#16

I didn't say it was good or better than alphalock. :-) Just easier/better than shift letter shift letter, etc.

and, I agree 100% that the letters are placed in the wrong spot in relationship to the keys. I too press the wrong letter a lot.


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