The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 03

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thinking out loud
Message #1 Posted by paul w on 30 May 2000, 11:26 p.m.

a thought/s just occurred to me

* wasn't the first product of the new hp calculator team (ACO australia calculator org) the HP48G+ a re-release of an existing product (the HP48G) they did this because they needed money (or they would go under before they began)

* many people in this group would like to see the re-release of an existing product (hp42s) (ok i know you want an improvement but when they see the sales of the hp42s they may improve it)

* the head of the software team is yves Attard who frequently posts to comp.sys.hp48 (we can have him read the petition personally rather than it sit in a folder somewhere

* therefore if a petition was constructed containing names and email addresses of people who would buy the hp42s if it was re-released for a limited period (this ensures access to machines for us and profitibility for HP) then given to yves.

anyway just thinking out loud

paul w

ps im a proud former owner of the hp42s (i now have and love the hp48g)

      
Re: thinking out loud
Message #2 Posted by Ron Ross on 31 May 2000, 8:16 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by paul w

Yes I would buy another 42s. I'm greedy. I bought one spare and am so protective of this calc that I have switched over to a 48g myself to leave at work. I can always buy another 48 but cannot economicaly justify another 42 (since they can sell for 2-4 times the price of a 48). The 48 is much more powerful and a great calc but it suffers from one serious flaw that all graphics today have. It is just to big to toss into a briefcase or bookbag: it is bulky: no elegance. The 42 is limited also by todays standards but could easily be upgraded. More RAM would not cost much today and an I/O port would put this calc in its own class, just like it was before. HP could also release the 27s as well.

            
Re: thinking out loud
Message #3 Posted by Michael on 1 June 2000, 9:32 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Ron Ross

I would love to have an RPN 27S that was programmable.

                  
Re: thinking out loud
Message #4 Posted by Ron Ross on 1 June 2000, 11:44 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Michael

The 27s was a great calc and I use RPN and feel it was the 2nd best calc HP made. If it had been OS selectable like the 17b or 19b it may have become (nah!!) my favorite. Its HP solve was so simple to implement and for 95 percent of most number crunching, sufficient. It had a clock and built in TVM. Its stat capabilities were on par with the 42. Its menu system for programs was not as elegant as a 42, no menu for a program, you had to wade through all of your previous programs to find the one to use. Still I feel it was HP's 2nd best calc.

Sure the 48 is so much more powerful than either of these calcs, but the 48 is meant for a desk and not to be taken to the field or library or anywhere else due to its size and bulk.

                        
Re: thinking out loud
Message #5 Posted by John on 1 June 2000, 2:32 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ron Ross

I can very well understand the personal preferences for the 42, but why all this constant knocking of the 48? I think that many of the arguments are kind of contrived. It takes only a second or two to assemble two numbers into a complex one. One can certainly display it in a polar form with ease and get logs in the usual manner. As to portability, I have a feeling that some of you must have the impression that the 48's are made out of lead. Too bulky to be taken to the field or the library?? Ridiculous! For the 48's I prefer the zipper case that came with the 41's. Fits just snugly and has a belt loop "for the field".

John

                              
Well said John
Message #6 Posted by Naim on 1 June 2000, 3:14 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by John

The 48G is a fantastic machine when mastered. Of course the 42S has it's uses, field and outdoors. But the 48 is a great machine.

                              
Thinking out loud, 42, 48...
Message #7 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez on 1 June 2000, 3:35 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by John

There is nothing - almost :-) - wrong with the HP48 series, I think we just prefer a machine with the HP42 attributes:

* Small and unconspicuous size, medium to low price tag.

* HP 41 programming model (both the -48 and the -32S are much different to the 41/42; each on its way)

* Powerful preprogrammed functions and programming constructs

* Uncluttered keyboard

* Classic 4-level stack

* And, obviously, RPN.

On a wish list, I would add:

* Some I/O bidirectional capability (ie: PC Connection with ASCII file to calculator program transfer)

* More memory

* A Directory function that allows to group related programs and also to decide the position of the labels on the programs catalog

* A simpler Alpha menu, perhaps keeping the current Alpha, but adding keyboard shortcuts.

* Better display control (show only x:, not y:; etc.)

* TVM preprogrammed functions, clock, alarm and calendar functions

Back to the HP42S, HP left such product spot unattended for many years. I think they might re-release a 42-like product; but frankly, I doubt they will. Quality, certifications, documentation, support, warranty, etc. drive the market today more than technology or features. Also, such product may kill some 48/49 sales...

I may be happy with a good RPN calculator applet on a Windows CE device, that may be the best option for RPN adepts.

                                    
Re: Thinking out loud, 42, 48...
Message #8 Posted by Dan M on 1 June 2000, 5:12 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Andrés C. Rodríguez

I agree with all that's been said about the 42S, etc. etc. , especially with just about everything that Andres C Rodriguez says, except:

I would NOT be happy with an RPN "applet for Windows CE," but WOULD be prepared to happily pay somebody the market rate for a decent Palm Pilot RPN calculator... where are all those software developers, or even where is HP on this one?

                                          
(Palm or Win CE) OK
Message #9 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez on 1 June 2000, 6:06 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Dan M

OK, my idea was to suggest that something like a good RPN calculator may show in a current PDA. I mentioned Windows CE because of my current work; but it may be a Palm, of course.

Some people here (at the Museum's Forum) discussed a hardware project, with an interim name of XP61 or something similar. I think that it may be easier to develop an application for an existing PDA (software only) than a new calculator (hardware and software).

There are some emulators for PDAs, I worked for a while with a good one that emulates an HP 12C on Win CE (BizCalc).

An Internet search with the keywords ["calculator" and ("palm" or "windows ce") and RPN and "software"] will show hundreds of pages; there may be something for us ...

And, by the way, I liked very much the Calculator application that HP put on the LX100 / LX200 series (note 1). I feel incredibly disappointed when learned that such application will NOT be migrated to the WinCE products. These came with a very basic Windows calculator :-(

(note 1): It accepts both RPN and Algebraic, has a Solver, some Math and Stats functions, Curve fitting and plotting, a good repertoire of Financial and Calendar functions, Units Conversions... It is non-programmable, but talks to the Lotus 123 integrated on the PDA. Too bad that the earlier Win CE HP LX300,600,etc; and the current Jornadas did not inherited that application.

                                                
Re: (Palm or Win CE) OK
Message #10 Posted by Kevin FitzGerrell on 1 June 2000, 10:09 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Andrés C. Rodríguez

I recently purchased an Avigo PDA (TI product, discontinued) on eBay for around $50 and downloaded several RPN calculator simulators from http://www.pmssystem.de/avigo/calculators.htm as well as a variety of other things (had to have yahtzee and freecell!). I'm reasonably happy with it, although I don't think pushing buttons on the screen of a virtual calculator is ever going to compare with pushing buttons on a real calculator, especially if there are enough buttons to require the stylus. I have kind of enjoyed running an HP calculator (HP-35 emulator) on my TI handheld though!

                                                      
Re: (Palm or Win CE) OK ...
Message #11 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez on 1 June 2000, 10:41 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Kevin FitzGerrell

I agree, I do prefer the real (physical) thing, with old HP style keys, etc. But a good emulator may be an acceptable alternative. I hope the real and good calculators will not disappear, but I am afraid that the good, snapping keys and 4-level RPN may be near extintion...

                                    
Re: Thinking out loud, 42, 48...
Message #12 Posted by Frank Knight on 2 June 2000, 3:22 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Andrés C. Rodríguez

Of course Andres meant *used* to have a medium to low price tag on the 42S back when we all should have bought more new ones!! ;+}

      
Re: thinking out loud
Message #13 Posted by Kevin FitzGerrell on 31 May 2000, 8:53 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by paul w

I agree wholeheartedly. A new 42S with upgraded features would be great. A re-issued 42S with no changes would be pretty good. I went ahead and posted to comp.sys.hp48 on this today. Hopefully the more places HP personnel see this subject the more likely they will be to consider it. Regards all.

            
posting to comp.sys.hp48
Message #14 Posted by paul w on 2 June 2000, 1:29 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by Kevin FitzGerrell

hey kevin

i just saw your post to comp.sys.hp48 (i can read items but i cant post yet) 7 messages now including your own. what you wrote was spot on. i thought you summed up well the feelings of the "42s" brigade (IMHO). do u think a posting to the ACO (head of software Jean-Yves Avenard) directly with a list of names (when we get some more) is the next step

one of the 7 mentioned above left this link from Wlodek Mier -Jedrzejowicz http://www.hpcc.org/V19N2/v19n2p29.gif

keeping the thread alive

paul w


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