The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 13

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IS 48G+ discontinued ??
Message #1 Posted by Norm on 3 June 2003, 7:55 p.m.

Is 48G+ discontinued ?????

I bought one and then sold it to my buddy Clive over in the UK. Now it sounds like they are genuinely gone ???

Anybody know if this model was discontinued while people were still wanting them ??

If people value them, maybe I would get more on the cheap from a retailer I know of.

Sure, I can check eBay. I thought I'd ask the true enthusiasts first, about the situation with 48G+ . Are they worth $200 ?? Or are they just fill-dirt.

Re: IS 48G+ discontinued ?? (long)
Message #2 Posted by DougT on 3 June 2003, 9:09 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Norm


Sad to say, everything I've read says that all the 48 models (G+, GX) have been discontinued [insert favorite HP is clueless rant here]. Some vendors are still clearing out their stock, so I went ahead and bought a GX last month. You can find them for $139.95 at CalcPro and Samson Cables. I think Samson still has some G+ models for $99.95. No matter what model you get, be sure to pick up a serial cable ($15) and the Advanced User's Reference ($30) while you're at it. Even though the 128K of the G+ will be plenty for the foreseeable future, I had that nagging feeling of "what if I want more memory?" and sprung for the GX.

Being a long-time HP RPN calculator owner, I thought long and hard about buying one of them fancy graphin' calculators, especially since my 15C still works fine. To me, the graphing capability of the 48 is bells & whistles, but that big screen is awesome for matrices and looking at a bunch of the stack all at once. I'm sure you've visited; the number of programs available for the 48 is amazing. Overall it's simply a fun machine to play with. For sh*ts and giggles I installed a "Personal Information Manager", with a calendar, address book, etc. My wife threatens to buy me a PDA, but I insist: "Honey, that may be the easy way, but it wouldn't be the Toolie way..."


Check discontinued
Message #3 Posted by Ted on 4 June 2003, 4:00 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Norm

To see if something is discontinued is really simple: just go to You won't see anything of the 48 series there. Of course some satellite sites might not be updated in other countries, but this is the official HP site. When HP deletes products from their site- you know what time it is!

48 discontinued AND MBA's (long)
Message #4 Posted by bill platt on 4 June 2003, 7:22 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Ted

I am not so sure that the website means much in regards to anything meaningful. In fact, the 48 series has been discontinued for quite a while--at first, you just couldn't buy any accessories, and then, the calculators. Further, there were other conflicts:

About 3 months ago, I decided to give our HP small business sales rep a call, regarding calculators (we have too many HP printers in the office). Just to add fuel to the fire about the Carly thing, I will note that not only did he know absolutely nothing about the calculator line (and told me so) he did try very hard to obtain info for me. He called me back a couple of times (he tried really hard to find a 32sii) and in the end the result was interesting:

On the small business website, the 49g was still listed, and the price was actually very good--$156 US or so, and a discount could be applied. And they had a bunch in stock at the time. I didn't buy one. Reading comp.sys.HP48 lead me to believe that although the 49 is more powerful, it is not always worth the pain and suffering. And the small business website did not list the 48--only the 49g.

But on the main HP calculators page, the 49g was nowhere to be found in the listing, and the 48 was listed, even though we can be certain that the manufacturing had ceased (all accessories, manuals and support had been discontinued).

So, HP/Compaq's head rarely knows what it's tail is doing. The company is a chaotic jumble of divisions, squabbles, territories, duchys, and confusion.

HP/Compaq is clearly a corporate behemoth with no direction. Sure, Carly might be a media darling, and she is certainly intelligent, and might even have good ideas (just not about calculators) but I think at this point she (or any leader) will have a tiger by the tail, and the tiger is winning, to it's own demise.

As an aside: The MBA question really has nothing to do with MBA's but rather with an importatnt division in general business philosophy: There are technology driven business models (which actually include insurance, but that is another story) and then there are merchandising business models (Coc-cola). Trouble starts when one mixes up the philosophies. Merchandising attracts a horde of selfish, greedy, short-term thinkers who's only dreams are getting rich quick with as little original effort as possible. These people think in dollars and moving this or that to milk dollars. (Technology people dream of technical ideas, and how to improve the world. There is a real philosophical difference and the types are incompatible in business.) But truly successful long term merchandising geniuses do not think that way--they think lon-term--it is jus that technology looks generally scary to the greedy short-termers--but this does not stop them from trying occasionally, when a technology company starts to look like a cash cow! This happened to HP because the name became too "valuable" (greedy short-termers put too much emphasis on brand names--remember when sold for $30 million US!?) The problem is obvious though: a technology driven business model must maintain and rely on its technology thinkers (not business ideas but true technical advancement) to move forward, succeed and stay competitive. HP is no longer a technology driven company. It is a merchandising company overlaid on earlier technology.

Although it might seem that we aught to "keep our chins up" as it were, I think we might as well formally recognize that HP (the company, culture, etc)is dead. And this is a good thing, as this is a Calculator Museum, right? Isn't a Chippendale chair, or a Van Gogh painting just as interesting now that those "makers" are dead?

We should stop bashing Carly. We should stop worrying about it. It is over. It was over 2 years ago. It might have really been over the moment they released the 6s (I had a sinking feeling when I saw that thing...)


Re: 48 discontinued AND MBA's (long)
Message #5 Posted by Iqbal on 4 June 2003, 7:57 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by bill platt

I am not sure if the GX was discontinued because I just got a set with serial numbers indicating thy were manufactured this year [ ID30601737 for example ] Also, I spoke to an HP dealer and he said that the GX will be in production for a while.

Re: 48 discontinued AND MBA's (long)
Message #6 Posted by Bill Platt on 4 June 2003, 8:39 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Iqbal


And I guess it makes sense, along the lines of my hypothesis that HP is fragmented and in bureaucratic chaos.

In other words, accurate information is hard to come by.

By the way, was your new 48gx manufactured in China or Indonesia? Does it have the green screen, or the higher contrast black screen? What ROM?



Re: 48 Manufacture and ROM Info
Message #7 Posted by DougT on 4 June 2003, 12:54 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Bill Platt

The 48GX I recently bought was made in 2003 in Indonesia, and it's got ROM Version R. Rumors of its demise may or not be premature, depending on who in HP you talk to, but if you want one don't wait!

Re: 48 Manufacture and ROM Info
Message #8 Posted by Bill Platt on 4 June 2003, 1:27 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by DougT

Black screen, or Green?

Re: 48 Manufacture and ROM Info
Message #9 Posted by DougT on 4 June 2003, 4:54 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Bill Platt

Sorry to forget that, Bill - it's a nice black screen.

Well stated Mr. Platt (long)
Message #10 Posted by Norm on 4 June 2003, 1:42 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by bill platt

Well stated Mr. Platt "I think we might as well formally recognize that HP (the company & culture) is dead. We should stop worrying about it. It is over".

I think this is a good way to look at it. You can't get a Heathkit from Heathkit, they are dead. You can't get an HP calculator from HP, they are dead. You are right, a 'merchandiser' is just a grubby greedy grabby little shoe salesman. They can't think about what the customer really wants in visionary fashion. They only open their store at the beginning of the day and shutter the doors at the end of the day and push their wares arbitrarily during the day. They dont think ahead.

I wonder if it might've worked out better, if Agilent had taken the calculator line. Agilent retains the technology part of HP, most of the goodies (instruments, etc) got put over at Agilent. Calculators should have been no different. They are a technology instrument like a spectrum analyzer. Not Carly's cheap chinese throwaway toy.

My plan is obvious, now that Carly has killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.......... keep expanding my growing fleet of HP-34C's. I want a whole squadron of them before I feel "safe".

I was thinking about what to give a kid who is starting to learn his math (algebra, trigonometry). Actually you could darn near give him a 34C. Amazing, I have specimens that are 25 years old, and they are rugged and like brand-new and ready to serve a whole new generation.

I think I'd start with a 32Sii and offer the 34C to the extent that the earlier unit intrigues the younger generation. The 32Sii would be primary, the 34C would be a secondary interest. He can set his own balance between the two. In his lifetime the supply of 32Sii will be adequate, 34C may get ever more impractical to obtain.

One thing I'm sure of.... any kid who knows every button of a 34C (or a 32Sii or a 41C) would have far more reality-knowledge than a kid who knows every button of a graphing calculator (because that would be simply impossible, that any kid will learn more than a few features on those things). Graphing calculators are for kids who watch beevis & butthead, 32Sii calculators are for kids who listen to Mozart.

Hey, 42S with the double display might be a super way for newcomers to learn first-time how RPN works. Other than that, I dont like a double display. Distracting, like when you walk up to the cash machine and its trying to sell you coupons for your groceries. Huh ? Only in a Bill Gates world.

Some of the older pop music (Abba, Boston) was so good that it is now attracting a whole new generation of young listeners... because the crap available right now is so bad (Eminem rap).

I was alive and kicking (a teenager) in the era of Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Abba, and HP-34C / 41C / 25C .

How was I supposed to know it would be like living in Vienna when all the great symponies were written, and the whole culture to disappear leaving only its accomplishments as fond memories. When I was in the 70's, I thought it would stick around for awhile, i.e. the attitude of fresh technological achievement. We should have moon colonies by now. Instead all we have is tilt-up big-boxes full of chinese blow-molded trash (at high prices). Thank you ruling class.

Well better stop rambling, thx Mr. Platt for analogy up top.

Role of Agilent
Message #11 Posted by Patrick on 4 June 2003, 2:53 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norm

I was not an HP watcher during the days when Agilent came on the scene, so I don't really know much about them. From the discussions here, I take it they were either an offshoot of HP or they were an existing company who bought rights to various products from them.

In any event, even if they didn't get calculator technology from HP, if they are an independent company now, surely they have the option to design and build calculators themselves. No, they wouldn't be HP branded, but they could, if they wanted, put every bit as much engineering quality into them as they liked (and we would hope).

What I suspect is that they're not building them because they also don't consider it to be a profitable business.

Re: You are Wrong!
Message #12 Posted by Ron Ross on 4 June 2003, 3:34 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Patrick

Agilent sells IC's and other parts to its sister company and probably cannot compete due to marketing contracts, not because it is not profitable. I believe Agilent makes (or made) the IC to the Hp12c.

When the two companies split Hp kept the name, PC, Palmtop, Printer, software, and calculator divisions or groups.

Agilent kept EVERYTHING ELSE: Instrumentation, testers, IC manufacturing, and PATENTS.

That is a big reason Hp cannot continue to produce new products. This happened as Carly came aboard. Actually Lew Platt had arranged for the split and had worked out the details, Carly came in and (new on the job and blindly) rubber stamped the deal.

Can she be blamed? Not entirely, any of us would have jumped at the opportunity to rule Hp. That she isn't a techy, isn't her fault. The powers that be felt she was qualified for the job. To be sure, all of us feel much different about the calculator division than her (not even worth her breath to mention the word).

She is basically a (knowledgable, considering she was a History major) bean counter, who lives off a PDA or laptop (if she uses any computing device). She definitely doesn't feel that the Hp calculator is needed to represent Hp to the up and coming generation. These kids can see the Hp logo on printers and that enough. She is into selling software and service support to high end systems and networks.

However, neither Hewlett nor Packard would have let the riegns of the company rest with someone with so little technical background (moot point, I know). But CEO's look at revenue and the bottom line in the short term (sometimes, very short term). Any thing past 24 months is long term and costs money and R&D and doesn't contribute to any of this years quarters.

Since Hp lost is real R&D to Agilent, no new processors could be developed in house and the older Saturn stock is all that is available (new stock could probably be produced). Therefore, the best you could get is an Hp 49g. Any new calculators will have to be developed on an industry standard CPU (not all that bad, the Ti-89 is a good example). Faster clock cycles will certainly be a plus with low power usage.

Enough of my rants, I will shut up.

How many were made?
Message #13 Posted by Dave Shaffer on 4 June 2003, 5:30 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norm

with regard to Norm's hope "In his lifetime the supply of 32Sii will be adequate, 34C may get ever more impractical to obtain."

Maybe this has been asked and compiled previously, but do we know haw many of the various models were ever made?

I know that in the first year or so, HP sold several hundred thousand HP35s. They generated several per cent of their total revenue in 1973 from this one product. I don't know what the total 35 production run was, and I have no idea what the totals are for the later products. Overall, it must be millions of units.

This might help us decide whether we really need to stock up now, or can wait until the need arises to replace our favorite working (as opposed to "collectible") calc. I'm within a few years of retirement, and have half a dozen functioning calcs ( 11C, 41C, 41CX, 32SII, 42S, and 48GX, as well as my ancient, somewhat functional 35). Guess I don't need to buy any more. (But, I'd buy a new 15C(P)!)

Re: Well stated Mr. Platt (long)
Message #14 Posted by Iqbal on 5 June 2003, 12:00 a.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norm

Boston, ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, Wow that was when music was music and an HP calculator was really a work of art.

Can you imagine how it's gonna be in twenty years time? I guess we're living in a disposable world. Nothing is being designed to be repaired again. Simple economics. So blaming Carly or anyone for that matter is irrelevant in my opinion. How long would a 41CX last? I have had mine since 1987. 16 years without any major repairs [ except two OEM I/O contacts ]. If repair wasn't possible, I would have had to buy another one. So looking at it as a business manager, better make it disposable. That would mean at least I would have had to buy three over 16 years as opposed to one for that period.

Re: Well stated Mr. Platt (long)
Message #15 Posted by Bob, on 5 June 2003, 1:02 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Iqbal

They could always try to make it up by selling parts and components at inflated prices like car manufacturers !

That way you could fix it if you wanted and retire it for the memories, just fix it and use it, or buy a new one.

How about a new, slide-in PCB with a faster processor that doesn't require a case cracking to install. (Like 48GX memory cards ?)

Discontinued, but 48GX still being sold..
Message #16 Posted by Matt Kernal (US) on 4 June 2003, 12:25 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Ted

here (I realize it's not the 48G+ :-)


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