|HP-49g+, First Impressions|
Message #1 Posted by Jim Chumbley on 17 Oct 2003, 12:51 p.m.
I have been asked to post my first impressions of the new HP-49g+ machine, so here they are:
I received the machine on 10/8, so I have had it in constant use for 9 days. I had no experience with UserRPL programming, but I have used HP calculators since 1970, beginning with the 9100A desktop machine.
The new gold 49g+ is the most beautiful of all the HPs, even more beautiful than my 41CX.
The display is so much easier to read than that on my 48GX, and you have a choice, depending on font size chosen to see either 7, 8, or 9 stack levels simultaneously! This is a stupendous achievement, and HP has not gotten any credit for it in the commentaries I've been reading. The display now has jet black characters against a greenish-cream background.
Others have complained about the paint. Mine is perfect, and the two-color silk-screening (green and red) over gold is perfectly registered and easily read.
The main complaint others have listed in their commentaries is that they have keyboard problems in that their machines do not always recognize a key depression. I had that problem also at the beginning, when I was pressing too softly. Now that I know that the keys require a firm, sharp depression, I don't have any keyboard problems any more. It's rather like the difference between a soft USA typewriter keyboard compared with a firm German DIN-standard typewriter keyboard. To make it work, you just have to press harder.
I printed the 856 page User's Guide, and spent most of my time learning the stack and UserRPL programming. The learning curve is steep, but not impossibly difficult. I think a new section, call it a "Quick Start Guide for Experienced RPN Users" is needed. Oh, yes, the version of the User's Guide that comes on the CD with the calculator has all of its chapters in order. Be ready for a number of typographical, grammatical, and even key-stroke errors throughout the manuals. They read as if they were not written by a native speaker of English.
So that's all, folks. It's beautiful, I love it, and I am even getting pretty good at writing UserRPL programs.
Edited: 18 Oct 2003, 6:22 a.m. after one or more responses were posted