The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 09

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New HP calc, an idea?
Message #1 Posted by Tom (UK) on 16 Sept 2002, 5:15 p.m.


I think the market for old style HP's may have passed the point when multi national companies are interested but almost by accident LEGO(tm) came up with the mind-storm(tm?). A bunch of techies designed a challenge for them and LEGO supported the effort and sold lots more to make simple robots etc.

As I work sometimes in a lab the requirement to have a simple, stand alone, real time programmable unit that could also do sums and store info would be great. A PC is no good because it has this thing called an operating system that is anything but real time.

So for serious work and higher education why not have a 'grown up' lego mind-storm?

One for the lab or desk top, more buttons (but not qwerty), bigger display, built in scientific calculator, lots of memory, IRed, serial and 8 bit I/O etc. (may not get RPN, but FORTH would be fine, and was designed for 'miniture' operating systems)

Advantage of several markets:

Industrial control / logging, educational, engineering

Make it PC down load or 'key stroke' programmable.

Hey - if HP are not going to do it why not lobby the older toy / educational / calculator market?

PS I know this is a re-badged '41 with all the goodies but if we all keep that to ourselves and sell the IDEA and the potential MARKET and not the history perhaps we will get what we want by the back door?

Comments? - and send royalties to me please...

Re: New HP calc, an idea?
Message #2 Posted by Speck on 16 Sept 2002, 6:46 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Tom (UK)

Just so long as it isn't a battery hog. That's why I like the current handhelds over some of the PDA ideas--the handhelds (48, 49, TI graphics) just have much better battery life. Anything done to sacrifice that would likely hurt the machine.

Re: New HP calc, an idea?
Message #3 Posted by Jack Stafford on 17 Sept 2002, 1:40 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Speck

Might this be a starting point?

Starting point AND ending point!
Message #4 Posted by Speck on 17 Sept 2002, 7:35 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Jack Stafford

Yeah, that's a pretty good idea there. I like the one offered up by the Stanford wearables researchers at too. That's a nifty idea, but they'd really need that port replicator slot, because that would be pretty tedious for typing on (although I got pretty good at thumb typing on my TI-92!)

Re: New HP calc, an idea?
Message #5 Posted by Vassilis Prevelakis on 16 Sept 2002, 10:00 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Tom (UK)

What you are proposing is an HP-41 with different PCB. This is (relatively) easy to achieve - all you need is a low power microprocessor and glue logic.

For the work bench, an HP-97 with new inards will be even better as you get the built in printer, outstanding display and huge keyboard.


Re: New HP calc, an idea?
Message #6 Posted by Christof (Davis, CA) on 17 Sept 2002, 12:03 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Vassilis Prevelakis

I think that's not so far form what I'm aiming at-

I've wanted the natural evolution of the 41 (not the 48), and I've thought that some larger sized machine with bigger stuff (multiple cf ports? printer?, large display?) would be cool.

I'm still tied to having one fully functional version in my pocket. I dont' want to have to go through the horrors of windows ce- having to connect to a pc to install software when I have a wireless card and LAN connection on the PDA!

The idea of grabbing interest in the lab/toy/instrument market is interesting, though.

I can see a whole *slew* of inexpensive lab equipment- *especially* if the interface and data transfer standards are "open".

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