|OK, I'll defend the 48 (long)|
Message #32 Posted by Jeremy on 14 Apr 2003, 7:16 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by NH
"This is the conclusion that I draw. If i missed something, somebody let me know."
You missed a lot of things, I will break it down for you.
"I SIMPLY REGARD THE PRODUCT AS ATROCIOUS. I welcome any contrary view, BUT MEANWHILE, what I see is this thing is just set up to razzle-dazzle you, intimidate you, then sit in the box and never be used."
I disagree. I use mine efficiently every day at school and many days at home. Most of the time, I use the basic scientific functions, and about 10% of the time, I use something fancy like unit conversions or the Constant Library. You didn't bother to learn about that stuff, did you?
"All you have to do is hit the "DEL" button and it clears the whole stack. This is absurd. it's not even labelled "Clear". You would clear your stack by accident creating considerable frustration. This is absurd."
If you had bothered to read the Quick Start Guide, (not a whole lot of work) you would know that when you are NOT entering or editing a line of the stack, the stack functions automatically perform the purple shift functions labeled above. This is simple operator error. No one is dumb for gradually improving the design over the years. Have you ever heard the acronym 'RTFM'? Read the F------ Manual. If you had only read the Quick Start Guide, you would be well on your way.
"In the 48G+ after taking, cumulatively, one day to study it, I see a thing that is useless, and devised purely to waste my time. I could invest months of study and still not get hardly anywheres with it."
Then you're either very closed-minded or very slow on the uptake. After one day of studying it myself, I knew all the basics and could probably utilize about 30% of what it can do. (which is about 170% of what a 34C can do, in my way of reckoning...)
"BECAUSE unlike a marketer, I am equipped with a thinger called a "brain", all of a sudden the light bulb goes off ("eureka, idea!") and I say "either I would buy the mathematical software package and run it on my PC, OR, I would use the classic numerical calculator. This graphing product is a malicious attempt to waste my time, and I dont even want it in my house". By tossing it out of my life, I can get back to legitimate work tasks, quite likely using a nice classic calculator as I go about my business. But the key is, I go back to attending to my business, rather than wasting my time with this pathetically devised 48G+."
Here is something that perhaps you didn't consider. What if you're at work, and you would just like to see something graphed quick and dirty style. Let's say your employer doesn't let you install your own choice of software on your work computer. It would be an easy matter to do a quick bar graph or scatter plot. What if you're student, and you just need to get an idea of what a function looks like during a test? "Hold on, professor, while I go and get my laptop. What? I can't use a laptop on exams? But Norm said I could just fire up Matlab!!??"
You knew from the start that you like the vintage HP LED calculators the best. I think you tried an LCD model after that, then came here and started whining. All the newer ones suck, all the older ones are great and all that jazz. After all that, you bought a 48G+ and proceeded to complain about that one too. Why didn't you learn after the first one?
The whole attitude of your post is one of someone who has already decided how things should be, and how dare anyone ever change them in some crazy scheme to improve. Let me get this straight: because YOU accidentally deleted the stack, it is a bad idea to have that feature so easily accessible? I would think that if you had spent a few hours reading the Quick Start Guide, you would know that ahead of time. At any rate, now you have learned your lesson and you won't do it again. Problem solved. Isn't it a bit easier to just adjust your mind a bit than to ruin a design that seems to work so well for so many engineers and engineering students?
What it comes down to is this: If you want to use a 48 to its full capacity, you have to dedicate more than one day to it. If you're not willing to do that, either don't buy one or just use it for the basics. I am the type of person who likes to use his stuff to the fullest. However, I'm quickly realizing that it's not going to happen, since the 48 does so much. I'm learning to live with the fact that if I can only get 50% out of it, I'm still WAY ahead of the game.
Here's my real defense of it. I bought my 48G on eBay for $40. My thanks goes out to someone like you who got intimidated by it and thought it was poorly conceived. Even if I only use it as a basic RPL (not RPN, mind you) scientific calculator and ignore all the fancy features, it is worth $40. The screen is great, you can see 4 levels of the stack at once. They keypad is great too. (just my opinion) I have a 45 with the old-school keypad, so I'm no stranger to a Classic HP keypad or the Classic LED display. Actually, the new ones are built to tighter tolerances. If you pick up a 48 and shake it, nothing rattles. Try that with your classic and at the very least, the keys all rattle around. The battery pack might move a bit too...
Yes, there are some drawbacks, as you pointed out. But there are many improvements which you have totally brushed off. It is a shame, because there are features that you could probably use that you will never discover because you gave up so easily. It is almost like you made up your mind before you bought it. I can hear it now: "If I can't learn to use everything in one day, and with very little effort, it's CRAP!"
There is another possibility too though... Maybe you're trying to reinforce your relationship with your 34C by buying newer and totally different HPs and systematically denouncing them? That is fine. I am really happy for you since you have found a calculator that you love so much. Why don't you just stick with it then? You have already decided that it is the best for you, so why make it so hard on yourself?
Now I will say it again, the 48 series is not for everyone. I think probably about 1% of the HP48 owners out there can use it to its fullest. Some people will give up easily, when they realize it has no = key. Some people will become master programmers on it but never learn to use unit conversions. Some people just want a scientific calculator with a great display. To each his own.
I have reread this, and I hope it doesn't come out too hostile. I'm not trying to start some kind of flame war on an obscure calculator forum. I'm just defending my baby with as much enthusiasm as you have attacked it with. ;)
Background: I bought a tired 45 and fixed it up first. I love that thing. The charm of the LEDs, the clunkiness and ruggedness of the keys, the whole package. Next, I bought a 48G. I used it on an Advanced Communications test and the constants library saved my bacon. I had no idea he assumed we memorized the charge of an electron. If I had only my trusty hp45, I would have been up the creek. Next, I bought a 32SII, which I think you might have had too. It is nice because its thin and light compared to the 48. It will do as a basic scientific calculator. But it still pales in comparison to the 48G in terms of features. If you don't need those features, it is true that the 48G is overkill. But even so, a 32SII is going for $100-200 and the 48G is going for $35-55. Wouldn't it make more sense to buy a 48G if your money was tight? Luckily, I'm not one of those poor suckers (hehehe) that has to make do with just one calculator. I also have a TI85, which I enjoy using tooo. Sometimes, I will even go back to my vintage TI-30. (LED) There are +s and -s to each one, and when one of them gets to me, I just switch and be happy. I advise you to do the same. If it is THAT bad, and there is simply no room in your collection for such a fine machine, then sell it with no regrets. But when the day comes when you need a feature you don't have on your trusty 34C, you might feel just a twinge of regret. A few years ago, I bought my first hp, a 48GX. It was during the middle of a school term, and I couldn't spare the time to learn how to use it. So I sold it on eBay for almost what I paid for it and went back to my TI-85, cursing HPs name. Now that I have a bit more time and will to learn, I'm glad to be back in the family. I can use that TI-85 like an extension of my hand. Sadly, I will probably never achieve that level of mastery with my HP48G. On the other hand, I have been using the TI-85 since Algebra II in high school (1992) so to be fair, I should give the 48 another 8 years or so to catch up... Yes, it does suck that the learning curve is so slow, but it has been worth it so far. When I'm done with college, I might not need any fancy bells and whistles, at which point i will switch back to my 32SII or 45. Variety is the spice of life, Norm. ;)