|Re: Sharp PC 1211 vs. HP 75C? (or 71B?)|
Message #11 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 28 Sept 2003, 9:31 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Andrés C. Rodríguez (Argentina)
"To the point: How would you compare the PC 1211 against the HP 75C/D and the HP 71B?. I assume these HP models were more expensive than the Sharp unit, but perhaps are more comparable to it than the HP 41."
Well, yes and no. "Yes" because all are BASIC "pocket computers", and "No" because it would be an outrageously unfair comparison.
Why ? Because the Sharp PC-1211 model is a pioneer-like machine, the very first handheld to feature BASIC as its programming language, released circa 1980, and designed to compete against 41C-class machines, thus its characteristics and, most importantly, price, are targeted to that segment.
On the other hand, the 75C and 71B (released circa 1982-1984) are *much* more expensive machines, 25 times and 10 times costlier, respectively, and are targeted to the business and engineering markets, not the casual home user. They are more like instruments or advanced tools than mere calculators/pocket computers. The 75C was squarely aimed to business users at first, what with its large alpha keyboard, appointment applications and Visicalc. The 71B was similarly aimed at engineering professionals, intended to be the controller of a number of advanced, specialized digital-capable instruments, via HP-IL and a number of interfaces.
This being so, comparing any of them to the Sharp PC-1211 is an utterly preposterous mismatch, and should not be done, IMHO. It would be like comparing the 41C-class machines to, say, the HP-25.
Anyway, they share a number of important characteristics in common, namely:
- large, dot-matrix alphanumeric display
- I/O capabilities, including printing and mass storage
- BASIC language
- ability to evaluate algebraic expressions directly, while being able to recover the whole expression after evaluation
- instant-mode calculations without programming
- redefinable keyboard
but the differences in speed and features are overwhelming. Nevertheless, the Sharp PC-1211 is a pleasure to use, and has a larger display than the 71B, and for casual programming and use as a powerful, programmable pocket calculator/computer, it does more than deliver.
Further, though its BASIC interpreter is way simpler than 71B's, it *does* include some capabilities that the latter doesn't such as computed GOTO/GOSUB (i.e: GOSUB 200*X+100*((Y>5)+(Y<8))+200*Z or GOTO B$), and you can save hundreds of programs on inexpensive cassette tape instead of quite expensive mag cards or digital tape drive.
Best regards from V.
Edited: 29 Sept 2003, 5:47 a.m. after one or more responses were posted