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HP Forum Archive 19

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New HP products on the horizon?
Message #1 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 18 Apr 2009, 11:54 a.m.

I've been reading posts about developer kits, eproms and I/O interfaces on various platforms such as the new HP 12c and existing 20b. Presummably, new products can be implemented by simply re-programming this hardware and making new keyboard templates. So, the question I have is whether all of this discussion in simply pie-in-the-sky banter or if HP and/or others are seriously contemplating implementing these ideas as publically available commercial products?

Comments anyone?

Michael

      
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #2 Posted by DaveJ on 18 Apr 2009, 6:27 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
I've been reading posts about developer kits, eproms and I/O interfaces on various platforms such as the new HP 12c and existing 20b. Presummably, new products can be implemented by simply re-programming this hardware and making new keyboard templates. So, the question I have is whether all of this discussion in simply pie-in-the-sky banter or if HP and/or others are seriously contemplating implementing these ideas as publically available commercial products?

This has been discussed before, but the general feeling is that yes, HP is going to release a new scientific calc based on one or both of these platforms. Unless HP quit the calculator business, this seems like their only direction.

HP have been re-enforcing "rights" to the original voyager ROM's lately, and their first product was the new 12C.

HP also undertook a user survey that was heavily biased toward the 15C, so a new emulated 15C using the original ROM seems the most likely calc because it is bordering on trivial to get to market. And I'm sure they are aware of how popular it would be for minimal engineering outlay:
http://www.hp15c.org/

A 20B based scientific is harder because they don't have ROM images to fall back on, but I think it's almost inevitable they will.

Dave.

            
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #3 Posted by Jake Schwartz on 18 Apr 2009, 7:07 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

Heck, I wish they'd even simply put an RPN option on the SmartCalc 300S...

            
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #4 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 18 Apr 2009, 8:32 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

Quote:
HP have been re-enforcing "rights" to the original voyager ROM's lately, and their first product was the new 12C

So I guess these guys might be in trouble? Copycat Voyager

                  
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #5 Posted by DaveJ on 19 Apr 2009, 5:59 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
So I guess these guys might be in trouble? Copycat Voyager

No, as that would not use the original 12C ROM image.

Dave.

            
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #6 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 20 Apr 2009, 11:19 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

Reading the flow of this discussion, I find it interesting that no thought has been given to the re-introduction of the HP 11c as opposed to the HP 15c. As has been pointed out, when the HP 15c was introduced, it had new capabilities such as complex numbers and matrices that were not previously available. Once the HP 42s and particularly the HP 48SX were introduced, the HP 15c was relegated to second class status in this regard. Once I bought my HP 48SX, I ported all my HP 15c programs to it, but continued to use the HP 15c for most of my work, which involved relatively simple direct calculations. What really made the HP 15c and all Voyagers enduringly popular was their unique ergonomics, excellent quality and durability. Even today, the Voyagers are used as simple fixed function calculators along side their more powerful but complicated to use modern counterparts. The HP 11c has all the capabilities that most people would want in such a device, just as a HP-32Sii is more useful for simple manual tasks than a HP 42s.

                  
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #7 Posted by DaveJ on 20 Apr 2009, 5:50 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
Reading the flow of this discussion, I find it interesting that no thought has been given to the re-introduction of the HP 11c as opposed to the HP 15c. As has been pointed out, when the HP 15c was introduced, it had new capabilities such as complex numbers and matrices that were not previously available. Once the HP 42s and particularly the HP 48SX were introduced, the HP 15c was relegated to second class status in this regard. Once I bought my HP 48SX, I ported all my HP 15c programs to it, but continued to use the HP 15c for most of my work, which involved relatively simple direct calculations. What really made the HP 15c and all Voyagers enduringly popular was their unique ergonomics, excellent quality and durability. Even today, the Voyagers are used as simple fixed function calculators along side their more powerful but complicated to use modern counterparts. The HP 11c has all the capabilities that most people would want in such a device, just as a HP-32Sii is more useful for simple manual tasks than a HP 42s.

That's true I guess, but given that both are programmable calcs, you might as well implement the one with more advanced capabilities such a complex number support and matrices.

It would be better from a marketing point of view as well, and the known demand would be higher.

I would personally prefer a non-programmable version with more primary keys, but given that the 11C has the same primary key layout as the 15C, there is no keystroke usability advantage to "simpler" 11C, so you might as well have the 15C.

Dave.

      
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #8 Posted by reth on 18 Apr 2009, 11:07 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

AFAIC HP should not release any calculator until they manage to develop descent keyboard

      
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #9 Posted by Frank Rottgardt on 19 Apr 2009, 8:28 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

I agree that it might be possible to reintroduce a 15c with a comparable low budget like HP did with the 12c, but I wonder how attractive such a single line display calculator without Alpha-capability would be for current customers (read students), even with an AOS option? In that respect the 33s is better. The question is if the better complex arithmetic of a (new) 15c could outweight such an disadvantage?

I wonder how many young engineers preparing for their professional exams buy the 33s simply because it is one of the few programmable calculators allowed and not because it is RPN or ease of use.

I think in the end HP would need to put more effort on the redesign of the 15c to make it fit for the market (2 line dot-matrix + alpha + menus) than one might think. And once again I think we would badly miss a SD-slot or USB-port :-)

            
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #10 Posted by Walter B on 19 Apr 2009, 9:56 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by Frank Rottgardt

Quote:
I think in the end HP would need to put more effort on the redesign of the 15c to make it fit for the market (2 line dot-matrix + alpha + menus) than one might think. And once again I think we would badly miss a SD-slot or USB-port
Fullheartedly agree. The 15C's complex number handling was very good for its time, but made obsolete by the 42S already. So HP shall not expect to win much by resurrecting an unchanged 15C with split stack. Looking only from outside, the overall form factor may be kept, but the display *must* take into account the changes of the 27 years since the old 15C was launched. Else - forget it.

Ceterum censeo: HP, launch a 43S (or 15S - suggestions were published here earlier).

Walter

                  
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #11 Posted by Svend Broholm on 19 Apr 2009, 2:04 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Walter B

To keep it short:

You cannot rewrap a 27 year old calculator, HP-15, and expect any succes except to old well off affectionatos, who don't use the calculator in daily use.

You have to adapt to current trends: two line alpha display, SD-card, USB-port just to mention some items to be included. The market is young people at the universities, not to members of this forum. See the success of the inferior Texas products!! They market their products to schools and high schools. When you reach university level nobody wants to shift to RPN - they have been used to ALG and all the annouiencies in many years previously.

Bottom line: HP35S is a step forward compared to HP33S, but give us HP43S/HP15S as "announced" in this forum.

                        
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #12 Posted by designnut on 19 Apr 2009, 4:59 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Svend Broholm

HP lost the game to algebraic. Ken Kuhn said his students have Casio or TI but they do an astonishing amount of button pushing with no results. They are astonished how fast RPN is, but nobody changes. Some students have HP but don't know how to use RPN!!! More algebraic HP calculators? Sam

            
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #13 Posted by DaveJ on 19 Apr 2009, 4:52 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Frank Rottgardt

Quote:
I agree that it might be possible to reintroduce a 15c with a comparable low budget like HP did with the 12c, but I wonder how attractive such a single line display calculator without Alpha-capability would be for current customers (read students), even with an AOS option? In that respect the 33s is better. The question is if the better complex arithmetic of a (new) 15c could outweight such an disadvantage?

The answer is of course that it wouldn't be popular to the masses, it would be a pure "retro" marketing exercise. They would sell 50-100,000 for sure (www.hp15c.org number), but whether or not that is enough to cover their costs I don't know, but 50,000 units @ $100 is $5M in sales minimum which isn't bad.

Quote:
I wonder how many young engineers preparing for their professional exams buy the 33s simply because it is one of the few programmable calculators allowed and not because it is RPN or ease of use.

It's safe to say 99% of them.

Quote:
I think in the end HP would need to put more effort on the redesign of the 15c to make it fit for the market (2 line dot-matrix + alpha + menus) than one might think. And once again I think we would badly miss a SD-slot or USB-port :-)

I'm sure everyone will agree. But a "retro" 15C replica would be pretty cool, not much development outlay, and a nice clever marketing exercise. I think they would be foolish not to try.

Dave.

                  
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #14 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 19 Apr 2009, 8:31 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by DaveJ

Quote:
The answer is of course that it wouldn't be popular to the masses, it would be a pure "retro" marketing exercise.

Quote:
But a "retro" 15C replica would be pretty cool, not much development outlay, and a nice clever marketing exercise. I think they would be foolish not to try.

I think that is the point. I am confident that is what HP has in mind for the 15c, if anything at all. They will simply add an algebraic mode to pick up some more of that limited market share, and have a go at it. That's what they did with the 12c platinum editions, and it seems to have been successful, why not try and repeat the success with the 15c?

                        
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #15 Posted by Eric Smith on 20 Apr 2009, 3:46 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Martin Pinckney

Adding an algebraic mode requires that the firmware be redeveloped essentially from scratch, as the source code to the firmware for all of the Voyager family calculators is long since lost. While HP certainly could develop new and improved firmware for a superset of the 15C, it is a significantly bigger job than developing the firmware for the 12C Platinum was, so it is not obvious whether it would be a worthwhile investment of HP's limited calculator engineering resources.

                              
Re: New HP products on the horizon?
Message #16 Posted by Didier Lachieze on 20 Apr 2009, 5:12 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by Eric Smith

One thing that could be possible with an alphanumeric display while keeping the original ROM, would be to display in program mode the instructions mnemonics instead of the key codes. This could be handled in the display interface module of the emulator: as the display knows when the unit is in PRGM mode (via the PRGM indicator) it could interpret the key codes sent by the original ROM and replace them with clear instructions mnemonics.

Combined with the speed increase coming from the updated ARM CPU this would be a great improvement in my opinion over the original 15C at a minimal software cost, but with an additional HW/NRE cost as the display would not be shared with the current 12C. Btw nothing prevent the 12C to benefit from this excepted the 12C customers ....


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