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HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #1 Posted by Peter Murphy (Livermore) on 4 Aug 2011, 10:29 a.m.

"We're sorry, but this product is no longer available."

<http://www.digitalspyders.com/store/office-machines-supplies/business-machines/calculators/hewlettpackard-calculators-nw250aaaba-p-725880.html>

      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #2 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 4 Aug 2011, 10:40 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Peter Murphy (Livermore)

The whole stock of zero calculators has been sold infinitely fast. Empty stock in no time - congratulations.

            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #3 Posted by Borja on 4 Aug 2011, 12:28 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Thomas Radtke

I would pay to know what are HP saying if they have learned of the avalanche of preorders :)

I'm quite sure they didn't expect it.

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #4 Posted by Glenn Dowdy on 4 Aug 2011, 1:17 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Borja

Quote:
I would pay to know what are HP saying if they have learned of the avalanche of preorders :)

I'm quite sure they didn't expect it.


How much would you pay? The "avalanche" of pre-orders hasn't/won't affect any plans for HP.

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #5 Posted by Norman Dziedzic on 4 Aug 2011, 3:02 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Borja

There has definitely been a breakdown somewhere in the system. Whether it is at HP or the distributors who listed the hardware or both of them, something went awry.

Given the current situation, I can't imagine why HP does not make a statement to clear up the confusion and let some of it's most loyal calculator users know what is going on. I can see absolutely no down side for HP to be straight and honest with the few 1000 (maybe optimistic here...) people on this forum as to the status of the illusive 15C LE. Unless, of course, they mean go all Oprah and surprise us with our own free calculator (see, this is how rumors get started).

Mistakes happen all the time. Owning up to them and being open an honest with your customers is the only upstanding way to deal with them. Do they think that if they tell us good news or bad news that it will change the sales of the 15C LE (or anything other calculator for that matter)? I mean it's not like TI or Casio or anyone else is going to beat them or surprise the market by releasing their own landscape, RPN scientific calculator.

I urge Mr Wessman to make an "official" HP statement regarding the appearance and disappearance of the 15C LE calculator at HP internet distributors. I believe after this debacle that HP does owe it to it's loyal customers and fans. My customer's would expect nothing less of my and my company and I expect no less from HP.

[I will now return to the idealistic world I came from ;-) ]

Edited: 4 Aug 2011, 3:03 p.m.

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #6 Posted by Eric Smith on 4 Aug 2011, 3:28 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norman Dziedzic

You're completely missing the point. From HP's point of view there definitely is a downside to talking publicly about unannounced products, and there is not enough upside to making a statement here for it to be worthwhile, since any statement they make here is definitely public. Expecting a public statement about this is absurd.

So something went slightly awry? So what? Things go awry all the time. HP hasn't done anything seriously wrong, i.e., anything that has caused harm to their customers. It's not like they absconded with your money. It's arguable that they haven't done anything even slightly wrong.

If you have actually already placed an order with an HP reseller, it is a matter between you and that reseller. They will most likely give you a choice between keeping the order active pending a product announcement, or cancelling the order.

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #7 Posted by Norman Dziedzic on 4 Aug 2011, 4:11 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Eric Smith

I guess I will respectfully agree to disagree with you. This is so small in the scope of hp I bet the entire production of a 15c LE would be eclipsed by a week or maybe a day of inkjet cart. sales.

I believe no matter what they say or don't say, if the calc is real sales figures will be the same.

Since you didn't state an example of a negative repercussion of letting us know (at least at a very simplistic level) what is going on, I still cannot see a down side. Upside to me is building trust with a customer base.

Regarding Pre-orders, luckily I am a procrastinator and have not place an order.

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #8 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 4 Aug 2011, 4:43 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Norman Dziedzic

Shareholders might take an overeager webmaster at HP as a sign of a coming profit collapse, so better be silent! ;-)

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #9 Posted by Eric Smith on 4 Aug 2011, 5:31 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Norman Dziedzic

Quote:
you didn't state an example of a negative repercussion of letting us know

The same reasons most companies NEVER talk about unannounced products.

One reason, but certainly not the only one or even the most important one, is the Osborne Effect.

The most important reasons have to do with legal liability, and I'm not qualified to give legal advice.

Quote:
Upside to me is building trust with a customer base.

With you and the maybe two other "customers" who feel slighted? That's a totally insignificant upside for HP. Frankly, they don't care whether you and those two other people never buy another HP product again as long as you live; in fact, they might see THAT as an upside. They didn't do anything to harm you, and they certainly are not going to apologize for not harming you, or explain how it came to pass that they did whatever it was that didn't harm you.

Disagree all you want, but I'd gladly wager on HP's continued silence on this matter. If you really feel so strongly that HP owes you something, you should write to their CEO, rather than complaining here.

Of course, this is all my opinion, and I don't work for or speak for HP.

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #10 Posted by Norman Dziedzic on 4 Aug 2011, 8:45 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Eric Smith

Thank you for the link to the Osborne Effect. It was interesting reading.

You are right that I should have directed my request to HP in general and not any individual.

Tim, I apologize for using your name in my rant.

Legal issues are everywhere I suppose. I don't even pretend to understand most of them.

I do think more than 2 people are concerned, excited, frustrated etc at the prospect of a new 15C but your underexageration perhaps matches my overexageration that there might be 1000 people looking at this forum.

I guess big business is a lot different than the small business I am involved in on a daily basis. Following your comments, shame on me for thinking a big business could care about their customers. But I have to believe that a big business still is a bunch of individuals who want to take pride in their jobs and the products they make and sell. I do think that the people in the calculator group care. Their rules and laws obviously prevent them from reacting to one geek's rant but that doesn't mean they don't care to me.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #11 Posted by gene wright on 4 Aug 2011, 8:49 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norman Dziedzic

1) Legal issues cannot be minimized. People in general are nuts. Companies must take that into account.

2) The Osborne effect is real. Suppose HP announced today that next June they would ship the HP 67CXi for $29. If that showed up in the paper, how many calculators would people buy in the meantime?

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #12 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 4 Aug 2011, 9:20 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by gene wright

Quote:
The Osborne effect is real. Suppose HP announced today that next June they would ship the HP 67CXi for $29. If that showed up in the paper, how many calculators would people buy in the meantime?

But last I checked the year is 2011, not 1982. How is this relevant to the current discussion? What current product would we consumers stop buying if they made the HP 15C LE announcement now? The 15C LE is a grain of sand in the HP financial ocean. Personally, I don't care whether they announce it now or later, just as long as they actually produce one within my lifetime and I am able to buy one without having to get a second mortgage on my home.

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #13 Posted by gene wright on 4 Aug 2011, 10:49 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

Companies learned through things like the Osborne effect that if you pre-announce products, people quit buying existing products. Period. Obviously, existing practice by companies around the world confirm what Eric and I are talking about.

This doesn't even cover the legal aspects of announcing products in advance. That can lead to all sorts of legal problems. If you don't know what those are, then please don't be so quick to dismiss these real concerns.

The only times companies announce products in advance are:

1) When they want to stifle a competitor. By announcing Product XYZ, perhaps our competition will give up.

or

2) When they do not have a similar product from which sales will be taken away.

Suppose Company A, let's call them, makes tablet computers. It is selling pretty well but they decide "Let's announce that we are introducing an improved model at 1/2 the cost with 10X the features in 3 months!"

What happens to sales once that is on cnn.com and all over the web?

I'm with Eric. Should be intuitively obvious to all.

Edited: 4 Aug 2011, 11:07 p.m.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #14 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 12:44 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by gene wright

I guess I'm not intuitive, because it's not obvious to me. Also, I don't subscribe to the notion that people in general are nuts.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #15 Posted by gene wright on 5 Aug 2011, 8:39 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Michael de Estrada

Maybe that's why Apple is so open about their future product plan? After all, they have nothing at all to lose by revealing what they will begin selling in 2 months. It won't affect customer purchases at all.

Given our un-litigious society, no companies are ever sued for vaporware products or for having products that in any way don't live up to hype or leaked information.

And, yes, you may not be intuitive or at least, you may not have been exposed to a business environment.

Those who have been exposed, who have been sued, who have seen sales dry up for current products because customers are waiting for future ones, see things differently.

                                                                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #16 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 8:51 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by gene wright

This all sounds pretty paranoid and bitter to me. Well, time for me to crawl back under the rock where I've been living all my life.

                                                                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #17 Posted by Howard Owen on 5 Aug 2011, 10:40 a.m.,
in response to message #16 by Michael de Estrada

Bitter, maybe, but regrettably not paranoid.

                                                                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #18 Posted by gene wright on 5 Aug 2011, 11:11 a.m.,
in response to message #17 by Howard Owen

Eh, not particularly bitter, as this situation or similar situations have not affected me personally, but lawsuits happen all the time to companies for all sorts of reasons, and that is a valid corporate concern.

                                                                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #19 Posted by Howard Owen on 5 Aug 2011, 3:23 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by gene wright

Well, I'm kind of bitter about it, in a "what has the world come to" kind of way. I try not to let such things dominate my days though. :)

                                                                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #20 Posted by Paul Guertin on 5 Aug 2011, 12:43 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by Michael de Estrada

To twist Gene's words:

Companies in general are nuts. People must take that into account.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #21 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 5 Aug 2011, 1:34 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by gene wright

Hi Geen!

Quote:
Companies learned through things like the Osborne effect that if you pre-announce products, people quit buying existing products. Period. Obviously, existing practice by companies around the world confirm what Eric and I are talking about.
It may be overlooked here, even by the original poster, that this thread was not about forcing a pre-announcment. Actually HP already did that indirectly and additional forces came into play (still not customers).

So, things are different because the prospect of a new 15C was given with the first 15C LE sighting.

I further didn't took the original post as rant or intended to get an 'apologize', but maybe I'm wrong.

Last not least: HP might not care, as the calculator market likely is next to nothing in HPs revenues, but the 15C LE won't touch current sales of other calculators, and I'm sure you agree with me here. There's no product to replace with it. It's a gesture maybe, or something to enter the retro-market, don't know. And it just looks wrong how things developed and HP could correct that.

Before Eric gets a heart attack: I request *nothing*, I'm just stating what I think (we had this discussion in another thread, and I got the impression Eric's all over me just because I find it *reasonable* for HP to comment the situation).

Thanks.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #22 Posted by Eric Smith on 5 Aug 2011, 1:51 a.m.,
in response to message #21 by Thomas Radtke

I wasn't intending to jump all over anyone, and I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I've only been trying to explain why I think that anyone who expected or requested HP to publicly clarify anything regarding the appearance of an officially unannounced calculator on some web sites (including HP's) will be disappointed.

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 1:52 a.m.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #23 Posted by Howard Owen on 5 Aug 2011, 4:40 p.m.,
in response to message #21 by Thomas Radtke

Quote:
It may be overlooked here, even by the original poster, that this thread was not about forcing a pre-announcment.
Absolutely true. Peter merely noted another dealer drawing its horns in, and you posted an amusing divide-by-zero joke. (Which I much appreciated :)

Quote:
I further didn't took the original post as rant or intended to get an 'apologize', but maybe I'm wrong.

Also clearly true. There has been a sort of meta-thread running through these discussions regarding HP's product launch and it popped up here.

                                                                  
Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #24 Posted by Namir on 5 Aug 2011, 10:18 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by gene wright

Gene,

I am with you buddy. But how does the HP-15 LE (or LE HP-15C if you like French ... :-) ) will compete with current calculates, like the HP-35S and HP-33S??? The HP-15C mainly and exclusively appeals to nostalgic users, that's all. I really don't see how a young college student who MIGHT think of getting a new HP-35S will ditch his plans to get that machine, in favor of Le HP-15C (pun intended here).

:-)

Namir

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 10:19 a.m.

                                                                        
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #25 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 10:46 a.m.,
in response to message #24 by Namir

That's the point I was attempting to make, but I think it was lost somewhere in translation from English to English.

                                                                              
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #26 Posted by Walter B on 5 Aug 2011, 11:28 a.m.,
in response to message #25 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
I really don't see how a young college student who MIGHT think of getting a new HP-35S will ditch his plans to get that machine, in favor of Le HP-15C
Maybe for the reason the HP-15C is properly designed, can handle P<>R conveniently, and has a smaller footprint? But I admit it's just an old calculator (though a quite good one) featuring an old fashioned display :-/

Ceterum censeo ...

Walter

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 6:37 p.m.

                                                                        
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #27 Posted by gene wright on 5 Aug 2011, 10:56 a.m.,
in response to message #24 by Namir

It is a general thing.

HP corporate simply has policies, like ALL large companies will, that they do not announce future products for the reasons given in a separate post.

If a leak of a possible future product comes out, they will certainly not confirm or deny such a leak because it would go against those policies. To expect otherwise is not aware of the business world.

Again, why do companies not just tell the world what they are going to sell next year or next month?

1) Legal implications

and

2) Sales Erosion

and

3) Corporate policies put in place because of risks from #1 and #2.

There may or may not be a future product actually coming out. If it were coming out, there may or may not be any sales erosion.

However, point #3 above has been put into place in almost every large publicly traded company because of #1 and #2 having happened to them or to other companies previously.

Regarding my earlier statement about people in general being "nuts", my observation is based upon the speed with which lawsuits are brought because someone buys "hot coffee" and then burns their mouth when they drink it without seeing how hot it is first, etc.

                                                                              
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #28 Posted by Namir on 5 Aug 2011, 2:17 p.m.,
in response to message #27 by gene wright

Gene,

I am certainly in agreement with you about the rights of corporations to keep matters under wrap, until the right moment arrives for a product launch. It just that the HP15-C LE is a "nostalgic" product and not one with cutting edge technology (such as color graphing CAS calculators). It's like AT&T or Verizon relaunches an old rotary land-line phone. A product like this will not interfere with the sales of digital mobile phones.

Namir

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 2:17 p.m.

                                                                                    
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #29 Posted by Howard Owen on 5 Aug 2011, 4:27 p.m.,
in response to message #28 by Namir

Let's assume HP actually wants to sell 10K units. Perhaps they have found a way to realize a long cherished dream of this community without losing too much money. (Actually, I suspect they have a plan to make a modest amount off the product.) How can we possibly bitch at them for trying to execute a normal product release?

THEY ARE BRINGING BACK THE 15C FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!

IF HP's apparent foul up reduces the impact they wanted to achieve with the 15C LE product launch, I think that's regrettable. Anything that tends to hurt their chances at meeting their bottom line expectations means they'll be less likely to throw such juicy bones to this community in the future.

                                                                        
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #30 Posted by Jean-Michel on 5 Aug 2011, 3:58 p.m.,
in response to message #24 by Namir

Bonjour Namir

In French we would rather say "HP-15C EL", where EL would stand for Édition Limitée. But for the moment, we don't say anything. We wait...and hope to see! Interesting thread. Thank you guys for sharing. Amicalement.

                                                                              
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #31 Posted by Namir on 5 Aug 2011, 8:08 p.m.,
in response to message #30 by Jean-Michel

Jean-Michel,

I was just playing with words. I remember in the 80s, the Renault 5 was sold in the US as "Le Car" ... so I took my queue from that by saying "Le HP-15C".

Namir

                                                                                    
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #32 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 5 Aug 2011, 8:18 p.m.,
in response to message #31 by Namir

in the airplane we have a switch and indicators labelled:

LE FLAPS
LE SLATS

I always thought it was french for 'the flaps and the slats"

but it isn't ;-)

leading edge flaps
leading edge slats

;-]

                                                                                          
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #33 Posted by Namir on 5 Aug 2011, 10:08 p.m.,
in response to message #32 by Geoff Quickfall

Hold on Geoff! Maybe the airplane was made in France?

                                                                                                
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #34 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 5 Aug 2011, 11:31 p.m.,
in response to message #33 by Namir

if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!

;-)

                                                                                                      
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #35 Posted by Namir on 6 Aug 2011, 9:48 a.m.,
in response to message #34 by Geoff Quickfall

I hear you. But the name "Boing" itself makes me nervous. Does it describe the LANDING sound their first airplane made?? I can imagine it now. The prototype lands bouncing and making a succession of "boing" noises!!! This might answer the general question "What's in a name?"

Maybe the airplane should have been named VAROOM or WOOSH .... sounds more confidence inspiring. I can see it now ... The Woosh Jumbo 747 ...

:-)

Namir

Edited: 6 Aug 2011, 9:50 a.m.

                                                                                                            
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #36 Posted by Walter B on 6 Aug 2011, 10:08 a.m.,
in response to message #35 by Namir

Quote:
Maybe the airplane should have been named VAROOM or WOOSH .... sounds more confidence inspiring.
Wasn't there a planet called VAROOM in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? This particular word doesn't inspire confidence in my ears at least ;-)

OTOH, I've got a "Boing" flyer in my family, but landing more like WOOSH so far :-)

                                                                                                      
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #37 Posted by John B. Smitherman on 6 Aug 2011, 11:36 a.m.,
in response to message #34 by Geoff Quickfall

Quote:
if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!

;-)


What's wrong with Airbus? Are you apprehensive about flying an airplane designed and made by a committee? ;-)

John

                                                                                                            
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #38 Posted by George Litauszky on 6 Aug 2011, 12:22 p.m.,
in response to message #37 by John B. Smitherman

If you move the yoke (rod control), the committee get together to discuss: Maybe your request is achievable? ;)

Edited: 6 Aug 2011, 12:27 p.m.

                                                                                                            
Re: Le HP 15C: "Finis"
Message #39 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 6 Aug 2011, 2:11 p.m.,
in response to message #37 by John B. Smitherman

Tongue in cheek:

1. it is called a bus!
2. maintenance require a glue gun.
3. maintenance must know where the reset button is.

statements over heard on the flight deck:

trainee airbus pilot: "Now what is it doing?"

oldtimer airbus pilot 1: "Oh look, it is doing it again!"

Cheers, Geoff

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #40 Posted by Les Bell on 5 Aug 2011, 3:16 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by gene wright

Quote:
1) Legal issues cannot be minimized. People in general are nuts. Companies must take that into account.

A tad cynical, Gene. People in general are pretty decent and constructive - just look at the community that exists around HP calculators. However, it only takes one or two nuts to cause a problem for a company, so your point is still correct.

Best,

--- Les
[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #41 Posted by hpnut on 5 Aug 2011, 6:44 a.m.,
in response to message #40 by Les Bell

Two nuts in this forum are myself and designnut (Sam). We "met" in this forum and Sam has been very generous to me. he has helped me a lot. so has others (not nutters) such as Cyrille and Tim Wessman.

hpnut in Malaysia

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #42 Posted by Glenn Dowdy on 5 Aug 2011, 10:54 a.m.,
in response to message #41 by hpnut

Quote:
Two nuts in this forum are myself and designnut (Sam). We "met" in this forum and Sam has been very generous to me. he has helped me a lot. so has others (not nutters) such as Cyrille and Tim Wessman.

hpnut in Malaysia


Having worked with Cyrille and Tim...

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #43 Posted by Reth on 5 Aug 2011, 5:07 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by gene wright

Quote:
People in general are nuts.

Which is the basis of the democracy, right?

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #44 Posted by Eric Smith on 4 Aug 2011, 9:11 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norman Dziedzic

Large companies do care about their customers, as a large collection of people. However, they don't have the resources to care about the obscure concerns of a very small number of potential customers. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that only a small fraction of the people participating in this forum think that HP did anything in this case that would require them to issue any public statement.

If a single customer had a concern about something that was of potential concern to a large number of customers, there would be a reasonable chance that they would do something. It's been known to happen in the past. But that's not the case here. Only a handful of people are upset about some information that leaked out about a product that may or may not be in development. That's not something that concerns a large number of customers.

Again, this is just my opinion.

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 12:09 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #45 Posted by DaveJ on 5 Aug 2011, 12:23 a.m.,
in response to message #44 by Eric Smith

Quote:
If a single customer had a concern about something that was of potential concern to a large number of customers, there would be a reasonable change that they would do something. It's been known to happen in the past. But that's not the case here.

Correct. There is nothing HP need to do in this case, there is no crisis to solve or anything to answer, so they will say nothing.

As part of my video blog I have caused a great deal of "PR nightmare" to companies like Agilent (formally HP), Microchip, Fluke, Extech, and Telstra. And all of them have responded to the issue raised publicly in record time. But ONLY because they saw it as a huge deal and a potential PR disaster for them. And it helps that companies are paranoid about social media issues these days ;-) Microchip thought an issue I raised was such a big deal, the CEO called me up personally to apologise and set the record straight.

Dave.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #46 Posted by DaveJ on 5 Aug 2011, 12:13 a.m.,
in response to message #10 by Norman Dziedzic

I'm siding with Eric on this one too.

The reason companies don't make statements like this are many, but it basically comes down to risk and company procedure. For reasons that are probably many and complex, which almost certainly have nothing at all to do with the calculator division. Tim or another calc division employee wouldn't be stupid enough to make a statement without getting it cleared from "higher up". And can you imagine them trying to get approval to say something on the companies behalf on a calc forum? If you think that would be easy, then you haven't worked in such an industry or big company. The answer is ALWAYS no.

You want a downside scenario? Ok. How about HP make a statement announcing the product and date to appease a few calc nerds. Excellent. All the re-sellers start taking pre-orders again all is right with the world. Then something goes wrong, horribly wrong, and they can't deliver, for a long time (or maybe not at all?) for any one of a dozen reasons I could easily envision.

Oops, the proverbial has hit the fan. HP get a bad rep, re-sellers get pissed off, and maybe even legal problems somewhere along the line...

All that risk to satisfy a few calc nerds on a forum? I don't blame them for keeping their mouth shut.

Dave.

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #47 Posted by Forrest Switzer on 4 Aug 2011, 10:54 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Eric Smith

The past couple of weeks shows me no upside from HP. It demonstrates to me just how screwed up HP is. They cant even manage a release or rumor of a release. It is amazing they can find their way to work in the morning.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #48 Posted by Tim Wessman on 4 Aug 2011, 11:42 p.m.,
in response to message #47 by Forrest Switzer

I don't. My wife has to drop me off. :-)

TW

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #49 Posted by Forrest Switzer on 5 Aug 2011, 12:05 a.m.,
in response to message #48 by Tim Wessman

:-)

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #50 Posted by DaveJ on 5 Aug 2011, 12:30 a.m.,
in response to message #47 by Forrest Switzer

Quote:
The past couple of weeks shows me no upside from HP. It demonstrates to me just how screwed up HP is. They cant even manage a release or rumor of a release.

I wouldn't be too harsh. This kind of thing happens all the time to huge companies like this with countless websites in countless countries, countless resellers, and embargoed press releases going out to all and sundry. Things slip out easily.

As a product reviewer who often gets products to review before release under an embargo, I see info slip out like this all the time.

Dave.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #51 Posted by Forrest Switzer on 5 Aug 2011, 1:20 a.m.,
in response to message #50 by DaveJ

I work in an Engineering Company with over 260 international offices, and over 15,000 employees. You certainly will not see something on our own web site, that hasn't been clearted by multiple levels of management. I can see things happening by mistake at outside retailers, but not for more than a couple of hours, without HP putting a stop to it. HP had to understand what was happening almost instantly. Is there no one in their own sales department that has a clue about when, and what, gets released. This went on for days.

We have talked before about the crazy things that happen in HP sales. Where they don't know what they are selling. We have also talked before about goofy things at their web site. Releases without supporting documents, etc.

Unfortunately this all seems to me to point to a total lack of support and/or concern about their calculator business. If it isn't an embarrasement to HP, then that is even a worse sign.

And, Tim - you know that none of my rant applies to any participant (or former) in this forum. You guys are great.

Forrest

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #52 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 5 Aug 2011, 1:44 a.m.,
in response to message #51 by Forrest Switzer

Quote:
Unfortunately this all seems to me to point to a total lack of support and/or concern about their calculator business. If it isn't an embarrasement to HP, then that is even a worse sign.
Exactly.

To name an upside for breaking the silence *in this case*: It's just good PR :-).

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #53 Posted by Reth on 5 Aug 2011, 5:13 a.m.,
in response to message #51 by Forrest Switzer

Can't agree more or say it better!

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #54 Posted by NateB on 5 Aug 2011, 9:01 a.m.,
in response to message #51 by Forrest Switzer

The link to the PDF spec sheet for the 12c 30th Anniversary Editon is still on the HP site, and that product has yet to be announced.

Who knows what HP thinks about their calculator business. I find it amazing that in the last year or so HP calc enthusiasts have developed/released more HP calculator products than HP has.

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #55 Posted by sylvandb on 5 Aug 2011, 4:54 p.m.,
in response to message #51 by Forrest Switzer

Quote:
I work in an Engineering Company with over 260 international offices, and over 15,000 employees.

15,000 employees? Let us know when your company outgrows t-ball. Seriously. That's like a 1 year old trying to play in the majors with the 20-somethings. Multiply your employee count by 20+ to get into the ballpark of HP.

Checked out how many employees HP has lately? (well over 300,000 last I checked, and even more than 15,000 contract/temp employees)

Checked out how many levels of management? And how many were added by the previous two CEOs while claiming to "flatten" the organization and "increase the span of control" ? (While I was there it went from 6 to 9 levels between the CEO and I, and neither of us changed our placements on the org chart.)

More people means each individual's span of control is reduced, and more levels of management means more working up the chain on your end and down the chain on the other end to get to someone who can do what needs to be done. It never happens quickly, especially for unusual things like "unpublish those pages".

Calculators are almost insignificant to HP. They can't "wag the dog" because calculators aren't even big enough to be noticed by the tail. That means limited special requests, and definitely minimal leverage to try and change corporate policy and practice.

I would bet that everything published on the HP page was approved by many levels of management.

I would also bet that HP employees are people and sometimes make mistakes which can cascade thru many levels before being caught, and the more levels it passes the harder it is to fix.

Finally, don't forget that when there are so many people involved, the people that know (the calculator folk) are not allowed and are not able to touch the websites, and the people that touch the websites don't know (calculator products and schedules). It makes it aggravatingly difficult to do anything off the typical production path, like clean up after the mistaken publication of an unreleased product.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #56 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 5 Aug 2011, 5:11 p.m.,
in response to message #55 by sylvandb

Size should not be an excuse for stupidity, but I suppose it has become one. Or perhaps complexity is the excuse.

But one wonders what all those 300,000 people do, since HP doesn't actually make anything any more.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #57 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 5:49 p.m.,
in response to message #56 by Martin Pinckney

Quote:
But one wonders what all those 300,000 people do, since HP doesn't actually make anything any more.

They're all in sales and accounting.

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #58 Posted by Miguel Toro on 4 Aug 2011, 11:19 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Eric Smith

Hi,

What I do not understand is that while the LE is not officially announced, it is listed , though. Should this not be considered an official statement? So, if HP does not even bother to remove the page, why are people in the company not allowed to discuse about it? HP is already doing so, I think.

Miguel

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #59 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 1:13 a.m.,
in response to message #58 by Miguel Toro

It's not on the regular HP calculator page though. Note that it's "www8.hp.com" and not "www.hp.com"

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #60 Posted by Miguel Toro on 5 Aug 2011, 8:58 a.m.,
in response to message #59 by Michael de Estrada

Michael, the regular HP pages are :

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/home.html, for US

http://www8.hp.com/ca/en/home.html, for Canada

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #61 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 10:00 a.m.,
in response to message #60 by Miguel Toro

We must live in parallel universes. This is what I find:

http://www.hp.com/country/us/en/prodserv/calculator.html

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #62 Posted by Miguel Toro on 5 Aug 2011, 10:33 a.m.,
in response to message #61 by Michael de Estrada

May be :-), you can try the addresses I gave, so you can enter mine.

The point being that the information is published in an HP web server, accessible freely by anyone and with even a Facebook "like" button, and it has not been removed. So, this item exists, i suppose it will be probably sold some time in the future and it is a nice thing from HP.

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 10:45 a.m.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #63 Posted by Don Shepherd on 5 Aug 2011, 11:31 a.m.,
in response to message #60 by Miguel Toro

Who's to say that "www8.hp....." really belongs to HP? I'm sure "www.hp..." does, but it seems like I read somewhere that people could begin making up their own domain names, and maybe someone did to see all the brouhaha that would result here from the 15c reissue.

Personally, I don't see the appeal.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #64 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 5 Aug 2011, 12:33 p.m.,
in response to message #63 by Don Shepherd

www8.hp.com *is* HP because hp.com is HP. To fake a sub-domain you need access to the respective DNS server for that domain. www8 is just one of the many servers which are necessary to carry and deliver all the info HP is willing to share over the Net. www.hp.com is the central portal which redirects most of the requests to the other servers.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #65 Posted by Jandro Kirkish on 5 Aug 2011, 5:58 p.m.,
in response to message #63 by Don Shepherd

Whois www8.hp.com:

Registrant: Domain Administrator Hewlett-Packard Company 3000 Hanover St. Palo Alto CA 94304 US hp.domains@hp.com +1.8005247638 Fax: +1.6508522936

Domain Name: hp.com

Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

Administrative Contact: Domain Administrator Hewlett-Packard Company 3000 Hanover St. Palo Alto CA 94304 US

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #66 Posted by Les Bell on 5 Aug 2011, 8:44 p.m.,
in response to message #63 by Don Shepherd

"www8" is just one host in a web server farm. You see the same thing if you visit IBM's web site and browser around - within a click or two you're on www-304.ibm.com or similar. Any sufficiently complex web site is distributed across multiple servers to support different applications, not to mention scalability and reliability.

And that host name is definitely in the hp.com domain, under HP's control.

Best,

--- Les
[[http://www.lesbell.com.au]]

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #67 Posted by Don Shepherd on 6 Aug 2011, 2:51 a.m.,
in response to message #66 by Les Bell

Thanks Les (and Marcus and Jandro). I had never seen the www8 URL before, so I thought maybe it was non-legit.

Don

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #68 Posted by Howard Owen on 4 Aug 2011, 4:45 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norman Dziedzic

We certainly have been damaged! Our lust for the 15C has not been satisfied, nor quenched in the cold reality of an official denial that any such machine was planned. Many of us, who have pined after a reissue of this beloved Voyager, must defer gratification until September (I predict.) How dare HP build a calculator specifically designed to appeal to antique HP calculator fans, without telling us in advance, particularly when they have apparently already told their dealers about it?

We sure are hard to please. :)

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #69 Posted by Neil Hamilton (Ottawa) on 4 Aug 2011, 5:08 p.m.,
in response to message #68 by Howard Owen

I love the tongue firmly paced within the cheek! Whole heartedly agree!

So what that HP did an "oops!"? We'll just have to wait a bit longer. No real harm unless you are put out by the fact that you jumped the gun and put in an order for a product that clearly wasn't shipping.

Quote:
...in the cold reality of an official denial that any such machine was planned.

However, I seem to recall that they did not deny that it was planned. They denied that there was an ongoing launch.

I note that a jaundice person might take Tim Wessman's queries about merged steps as an attempt at misdirection, seemingly to make us think that any such pending launch might be further away than it might actually be.

Good thing I am not a jaundice person -- my bilirubin level is well within the norm!

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #70 Posted by Tim Wessman on 4 Aug 2011, 5:47 p.m.,
in response to message #69 by Neil Hamilton (Ottawa)

Sorry, but nope. You guys are amazingly good at drawing random meanings from the slightest letter/omission/word/syllable.

I just never new exactly what was meant by merged steps. I keep seeing it in the wp34 threads and wanted to know. I appreciate efficient programming, and I'd wondered how the old calcs managed to do it so well.

If everyone keeps insisting that myself, cyrille, glenn, or any of the other HP people that read here and/or comment, must start talking about internal HP information, it would not surprise me if we were outight banned from *ever* posting. :-(

TW

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #71 Posted by Howard Owen on 4 Aug 2011, 9:21 p.m.,
in response to message #70 by Tim Wessman

Expecting you to violate confidentiality is silly. But I'm guessing your employer would be a lot more concerned if you were to answer the questions! :)

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #72 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 5 Aug 2011, 2:23 a.m.,
in response to message #70 by Tim Wessman

Quote:
If everyone keeps insisting that myself, cyrille, glenn, or any of the other HP people that read here and/or comment, must start talking about internal HP information, it would not surprise me if we were outight banned from *ever* posting. :-(
Hoping for something, or finding something HP could do reasonable doesn't mean to insist on it (in my understanding of the english language).

When I was taken wrong it probably was my own fault due to language problems - I'm not a native speaker.

BTW, long live the HP-15C! I hope Valentin Albillo is well.

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #73 Posted by Arnaud Amiel on 5 Aug 2011, 3:01 a.m.,
in response to message #70 by Tim Wessman

Quote:
If everyone keeps insisting that myself, cyrille, glenn, or any of the other HP people that read here and/or comment, must start talking about internal HP information, it would not surprise me if we were outight banned from *ever* posting. :-(

When I was working for hp, anything I posted on a forum such as this one had to be followed by something along the lines of "These are my views only and do not represent anything official form hp". Company policy made it so that I had to attach this to my signature. Isn't it still the case?

Arnaud

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #74 Posted by DaveJ on 5 Aug 2011, 6:56 a.m.,
in response to message #73 by Arnaud Amiel

Quote:
When I was working for hp, anything I posted on a forum such as this one had to be followed by something along the lines of "These are my views only and do not represent anything official form hp". Company policy made it so that I had to attach this to my signature. Isn't it still the case?

That is quite common.
At my previous company they actively encouraged us to participate in forums but didn't require that statement, we just had to use "common sense" and "think before you post". Everything was fine until you said something (with the best of intentions) someone higher up didn't like for whatever reason, and then you got hammered for it :->

Most learned very quick to simply keep their mouth shut most of the time and didn't bother participating.

Dave.

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #75 Posted by Borja on 4 Aug 2011, 5:38 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norman Dziedzic

I don't think it's a big deal. I mean, the unexpected disclosure, etc. They will eventually sell it, we will be happy (or will start to fumble about the printing quality of the carton box barcode...) ;)

But I wonder about the HP's marketing department. Remember that April 1st hoax, when several people insisted on ordering two non existant calculators at a really hefty price?

HP is perceived as a grey brand just like Dell. Except that they sell a product with an Apple-esque following: calculators. Now, there's an information leak and some of their dealers get a lot of orders. I don't know how many have been ordered, but I'm sure some of the dealers don't get queries from abroad often.

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #76 Posted by Victor Quiros on 4 Aug 2011, 8:27 p.m.,
in response to message #75 by Borja

HP Hong Kong also lists the 15C. Curiously, it is listed under "single & multifunction printers". http://www8.hp.com/hk/en/products/printers/product-detail.html?oid=5153395

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #77 Posted by Walter B on 4 Aug 2011, 6:25 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norman Dziedzic

Norman,

Quote:
I can see absolutely no down side for HP to be straight and honest with the few 1000 (maybe optimistic here...) people on this forum as to the status of the illusive 15C LE.
I hate to tell you but I am pretty sure you're at least an order of magnitude away from the truth about the number of forumers, probably even two. I'd guess (without counting) there are some 30 ± 10 people showing up here every once and a while. Certainly less than 50. Though these may be peers for an unknown number of quiet readers, it's far below the numbers HP marketeers may start to look at.

This forum is a place at least one HP guy visits regularily for different reasons, but certainly no place where HP recruits its customers - we are all addicts already ;-)

Walter

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #78 Posted by Katie Wasserman on 4 Aug 2011, 8:48 p.m.,
in response to message #77 by Walter B

Pardon me while I turn this thread in another direction....

Walter,

Interesting that you think the number of people here is so low. I'm sure that your right in that fewer than 50 people post semi-regularly but I'm willing to bet that several times that number read this forum at least occasionally and go for years without posting, if ever. The only real evidence I have to support this theory is the occasional email that I receive from someone I've never seen post, asking me about such and such thing related to a post of mine. I'm willing to bet that all the regular posters on this forum get such emails and that for every email like this we get there are many people who never email us but still read our posts.

OTOH, a "few 1000" seems like a very high number to me but I suppose possible. Perhaps Dave has some statistics on unique visitors to this site and their frequency of visitation, maybe he can give us more insight on this. (Are you still there Dave?)

-Katie

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #79 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 4 Aug 2011, 9:35 p.m.,
in response to message #78 by Katie Wasserman

Right on, Katie. I too have received numerous emails via the forum's messaging system with various questions or comments from members who I've never seen post. Also, I've sold many calculators to folks who don't post, but did read my ad or simply read one of my posts indicating that I might be interested in selling something. In fact I just sold one today to one such silent member, which is why I removed my ad. Also, understand that this particular forum is linked to many TAS ads, where people come to get good info when they bid on calcs or accessories. It wouldn't surprise me if the forum viewership is in the many thousands.

Edited: 4 Aug 2011, 9:36 p.m.

                                    
OT: MoHPC User Estimate/WAG
Message #80 Posted by Mark Hardman on 4 Aug 2011, 10:17 p.m.,
in response to message #78 by Katie Wasserman

The most recent 500 forum messages were posted by 95 unique users.

If we double that for those that "lurk", a conservative guess might be about 200 active users.

Edited: 4 Aug 2011, 10:17 p.m.

                                          
Re: OT: MoHPC User Estimate/WAG
Message #81 Posted by Walter B on 5 Aug 2011, 1:03 a.m.,
in response to message #80 by Mark Hardman

Thanks for counting :-) So my guess may have been low by a factor of 5, Norman's high by a factor of 10. And please note I've mentioned above the active forumers may be peers for an unknown number of quiet readers - where unknown means I've really no idea about its size. A number in the range of some 1E4 would look plausible to me, however.

Walter

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #82 Posted by DaveJ on 5 Aug 2011, 1:01 a.m.,
in response to message #78 by Katie Wasserman

It's called the "1% rule" or the 90-9-1 rule. And it applies to virtually every online forum, including this one I'm sure:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule_(Internet_culture)

In this case the lurkers would include transient visitors and viewers from search results.

Dave.

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #83 Posted by db (martinez, ca.) on 5 Aug 2011, 10:08 a.m.,
in response to message #78 by Katie Wasserman

Katie; Your "several times 50" sounds about right to me. You remember about four years ago when Giancarlo compiled a .pdf of the 60 people that had mentioned where they live and in some cases: their age, work and which hp they use. I'd believe that about 3 times that many people didn't bother to respond or didn't feel that they "qualified" as part of the community yet. Even with a couple of hundred of us though; on a planet with nearly seven billion people we truly are insignificant by percentage.

btw: If anyone is newish and wants to see who we were (cattle ranchers or physicists, from 20s to 80s) or to add yourself- Giancarlo's pdf is linked in the 102nd post here

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #84 Posted by Howard Owen on 4 Aug 2011, 9:43 p.m.,
in response to message #77 by Walter B

Quote:
.. but certainly no place where HP recruits its customers - we are all addicts already ;-)

Amplifying on what Katie said, HP doesn't look for customers here, but for advocates. We feel strongly about old HP calculators. We can (quite justifiably) be counted on to applaud new machines that tend to bring back an earlier era when quality was king. I find it tempting to overestimate our influence, but notice they have Richard Nelson, a well known advocate for the sort of values many of us subscribe to, editing HP Solve. Members of this forum often contribute. It's a social media strategy in the very best way. They get a lot of free marketing assistance, as long as they keep paying attention to our perspectives and values.

If they sell out the 15C LE, it won't be due to members of this community buying 3 apiece. But the influence we may yield with our co-workers, families and friends lists could make a difference.

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #85 Posted by Iqbal on 7 Aug 2011, 9:57 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norman Dziedzic

When ACO was in charge of calculator production, I had asked the CEO to purchase 10,000 Hp42S calcs.( I was getting some financers ). At this point they had just discontinued the 42S service calculators. This could have been sometime in 2002 or therabouts. He told me for them to even think of it, they would have to get an order of at least 100,000 units.

      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #86 Posted by John Stark on 4 Aug 2011, 9:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Peter Murphy (Livermore)

To all:

This idiocy is one reason I collect slide rules and do my math/financial work on Classics (45/80/67). Anything beyond that gets put on a PC with all the trimmings.

My 0.02.

John Stark

            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #87 Posted by uhmgawa on 5 Aug 2011, 8:14 a.m.,
in response to message #86 by John Stark

Quote:
To all:

This idiocy is one reason I collect slide rules and do my math/financial work on Classics (45/80/67). Anything beyond that gets put on a PC with all the trimmings.

My 0.02.

John Stark


Well I suppose by the above measure most of us can wear that label at some point being guilty of buying (or not) based on passion and emotion in general. This is just one instance.

I may well have missed it in the collective flurry surrounding this issue, but perhaps it was all just part of a well intentioned plan by HP to reintroduce the model? With a final component to gauge the bottom line consumer interest by bringing it as close as possible to a commercial reality and examining the pre-sales numbers to estimate the required manufacturing ramp?

Edited: 5 Aug 2011, 8:22 a.m.

            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #88 Posted by Dan W on 5 Aug 2011, 8:53 p.m.,
in response to message #86 by John Stark

Quote:
To all:

This idiocy is one reason I collect slide rules and do my math/financial work on Classics (45/80/67). Anything beyond that gets put on a PC with all the trimmings.

My 0.02.

John Stark


Similar story here, though most often I use the 55 or 67/97.

Which leads me to my main interest in the 15C - the form factor. These Classics are great but not really that pocketable. IMHO there really is a market for a small RPN, and not just with collectors.

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #89 Posted by uhmgawa on 5 Aug 2011, 10:37 p.m.,
in response to message #88 by Dan W

Quote:
Which leads me to my main interest in the 15C - the form factor.

Although an opinion often leading to hot debate, personally I agree.

Quote:
These Classics are great but not really that pocketable. IMHO there really is a market for a small RPN, and not just with collectors.

It is possible to reduce the vertical profile by perhaps half, but there really isn't too much you can do to compress the other two dimensions. The pitch on the keypad is about as minimal as it can comfortably get and still accommodate human digits and readable key legends. Anything much less and you'd need to have at it with a stylus or fingernail for accurate entry. It is possible to move some keys into the bezel location, perhaps even reducing the size of the display, but that seems clunky. I believe there are well thought out reasons for the footprint to be as it is.

One alternate possibility is a clamshell housing but that will require the display to be offset to either side or changed to portrait profile -- assuming the goal was to have the calc fold in its longest dimension.

Realistically I'm not sure whether a pocket-able calc is a real world use case at the present. Even back then I suspect that metric was more of a marketing commentary on its size than expected usage. Could just be me though.

      
here you go!
Message #90 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 5 Aug 2011, 4:22 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Peter Murphy (Livermore)

It is listed here:

http://www.antichthon.gc

;-)

Geoff

it's a Greek site!

            
Re: here you go!
Message #91 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 5 Aug 2011, 4:27 p.m.,
in response to message #90 by Geoff Quickfall

Something seems to be wrong with that URL.

                  
Re: here you go!
Message #92 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 5 Aug 2011, 4:35 p.m.,
in response to message #91 by Martin Pinckney

Sorry, cryptic joke.

"Antichthon" is greek for Counter Earth, a mythical planet identical to earth exactly opposite in our orbit.

Which is, the location of the 15C+ LE...

;-)

Geoff

      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #93 Posted by Gerson W. Barbosa on 5 Aug 2011, 5:27 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Peter Murphy (Livermore)

Quote:
"We're sorry, but this product is no longer available."

"Oh ye men of little faith!"

            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #94 Posted by Jim P on 5 Aug 2011, 8:26 p.m.,
in response to message #93 by Gerson W. Barbosa

Well, I don't often post here but all this speculation about the reissue of an old machine that has no alphanumerics AND which may or may not ever see the light of day again does show a serious passion about an iconic device!

That only the 12C remains in production out of this series is a mystery since it doesn't have any trig functions (OK so most of us don't ever need them!) but every other competitor (eg TI, Sharp, Casio) with a financial calculator sticks them in, and so does HP in its 20b and 30b models. And the 10bII+. SO....

Kindly build an HP12C, stick the trig functions onto a third shift function (and the other 15C goodies) and sell it for the same price. You'll keep all the accountant customers and get a few of the engineers/scientists as well. And you might make everyone here a bit happier. Call it 12Cb++SE or something. (You could also build a 15C, put the financial functions on it with another shift key, and get the same effect.)

Or is this just being plain silly...?

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #95 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 8:43 p.m.,
in response to message #94 by Jim P

No need to make all those modifications. Just resurrect the HP-27.

                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #96 Posted by Kiyoshi Akima on 5 Aug 2011, 9:10 p.m.,
in response to message #95 by Michael de Estrada

Except that the 27 isn't programmable. Both the 12C and the 15C are.

                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #97 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Aug 2011, 9:39 p.m.,
in response to message #96 by Kiyoshi Akima

True, but I suspect that the majority of 12C users don't ever program them and the programming features are extremely limited. If you are really seriously interested in programming, then it makes more sense IMO to base the combo scientific/financial calc on the 15C. I own both original 12C and 15C calcs, and have programmed the 15C extensively, but only programmed the 12C using a simple example in the manual so I could learn how to do it. The only use I have for the 12C is TVM, which is built in and requires no programming. The 27 is a really neat little calc that fits in both my shirt pocket and my hand. The Voyagers, while very shirt pocketable, leave much to be desired as hand helds, due to the landscape layout.

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #98 Posted by Jim Yohe on 6 Aug 2011, 2:47 a.m.,
in response to message #97 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
The Voyagers, while very shirt pocketable, leave much to be desired as hand helds, due to the landscape layout.

Amen!

                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #99 Posted by spb on 6 Aug 2011, 6:49 a.m.,
in response to message #97 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
The Voyagers, while very shirt pocketable, leave much to be desired as hand helds, due to the landscape layout.
I've never really understood this complaint. I don't think there's ever been a calculator I can key faster than a Voyager series. When I'm using one I'm holding it with both hands and keying with my thumbs. This works out to being something like touch typing---because both hands are `anchored' on either side of the calculator, once you know where everything else you can locate it without having to watch what you're doing. With most handhelds, I end up holding the calculator in one hand and keying with the other. Since my keying hand isn't `anchored' in the same way, I'm left essentially doing `hunt and peck' keying, which is much slower.

                                          
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #100 Posted by Mike Morrow on 6 Aug 2011, 1:32 p.m.,
in response to message #99 by spb

Quote:
I've never really understood this complaint.

The basis is obvious...you stated it! The only people who find the Voyagers anything but an abomination as a handheld calculator are those who don't mind that it takes both hands to operate one. Portrait models suffer no such limitation, and can be used with ease in either one- or two-hand mode.

Then, there's that specious and baseless argument that Voyagers are really intended as desktop machines, so it really doesn't matter if one-hand operation is horrendously awkward. Portrait models serve equally as well in desktop use.

It's disappointing that HP is digging up another Voyager relic, when an HP 42S resurrection would have added some real value to the current HP line. Though the 42S is at least an order of magnitude better machine than the 15C in almost every detail except cosmetics, its alphanumeric capability by itself would have justified its replacement of the 15C.

A modern equivalent to the 24-year old HP 42S (complete with its full DM display, tone function, and IR output) in the excellent HP 30b package would have been far more exciting and useful. Throw in more memory and real-time clock/calendar and financial functions and one would have a machine that would still be popular 50 years from now. Technology has been available for much more than a decade to do all of that.

A new HP 15C Limited Edition??? Humbug! "Limited" applies to more than just quantity. As the Obamas would say...We are not impressed!

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #101 Posted by Eric Smith on 6 Aug 2011, 2:56 p.m.,
in response to message #100 by Mike Morrow

It would be far easier for HP to bring back the 15C than the 42S, because the 15C hardware is very similar to that of the 12C, and they already did all of the engineering to reimplement the 12C with a modern microprocessor. Since that has been done, reissuing a 15C would be relatively easy.

Bringing back the 42S would require a great deal more engineering. While I agree that it would be nice if they would do it, I don't think we should hold our breath.

It is also far from obvious that a reissued 42S would sell as well as a reissued 15C. The 15C was a huge success in the mid-1980s, while the only available evidence (admittedly anecdotal) is that the 42S didn't sell well by any dealers other than Educalc. Obviously a reissued 42S would sell well to the people in this forum, but that doesn't indicate that it would sell well to anyone else.

HP has very limited resources to spend on calculator engineering, so they have to invest those resources where they expect to get the best return. Even if a reissued 42S would sell just as well as a reissued 15C, it wouldn't be as effective a use of the limited resources due to the much larger engineering investment it would require.

The 32S and 32SII apparently sold far better than the 42S, and that market segment is now covered by the 33s and 35s.

[The usual disclaimer applies: this is just my opinion, and I don't speak for HP.]

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #102 Posted by Mike Morrow on 6 Aug 2011, 4:27 p.m.,
in response to message #101 by Eric Smith

Quote:
Bringing back the 42S would require a great deal more engineering. While I agree that it would be nice if they would do it, I don't think we should hold our breath.

I'm sure you're correct...it will never happen. It just seems sad that there will never be a successor to the finest RPN calculator of all time, so I lament what will never be...a small, handheld, non-RPL machine with all the capabilities of the 42S. But one can't help thinking that such a machine could be ordered by HP from Kinpo, in a 30b package, and be ready within a year.

Quote:
It is also far from obvious that a reissued 42S would sell as well as a reissued 15C. The 15C was a huge success in the mid-1980s, while the only available evidence (admittedly anecdotal) is that the 42S didn't sell well by any dealers other than Educalc.

I owned an HP-41C and -41CX, but I was a very enthusiastic purchaser and user of the HP-15C after I found out all that the little wonder could do that wasn't natively available on the HP-41. (IMHO, the Advantage Module did a rather poor job of adding some HP-15C function to the HP-41.) The 15C was my favorite for eleven years of daily use.

I did not learn of the massive advance that the 42S represented over my favorite 15C, of its unique capabilities in the HP product line, until after the 42S was discontinued in 1995. It took several years to finally acquire a couple, but the wait was worth it.

I think you are correct about the 42S not selling as well, but HP did a very poor, unenthusiastic, half-assed marketing job for the 42S. I kept up with the calculator market 20 years ago. All the HP marketing emphasis was on the HP 28S in 1988 and HP 48SX in 1990. For the contemporary 42S...little was said! Had I known what the 42S offered, I'd have had one in 1988. But I did not know, and that was all HP marketing's fault.

The alphanumeric capability of the 42S makes it far easier to use and program than the 15C. The complex number handling is far more natural and comprehensive. A long-term 15C user (like me), who is not just hung up on 15C cuteness, simply must fall in love with the 42S once what it offers above the 15C is appreciated.

Quote:
The 32S and 32SII apparently sold far better than the 42S, and that market segment is now covered by the 33s and 35s.

I bought a 32SII when I couldn't get a 42S, hoping that the 32SII had most of the capability of the 15C as a subset of its functions. I was very wrong, especially about the absolutely terrible complex number support that was "Pioneer"ed by the 32S/SII, then drearily continued with the 33S and 35S. I had to continue using my 15C until I found a 42S.

Edited: 6 Aug 2011, 5:53 p.m.

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #103 Posted by Jeff O. on 7 Aug 2011, 10:58 a.m.,
in response to message #102 by Mike Morrow

Quote:
especially about the absolutely terrible complex number support that was "Pioneer"ed by the 32S/SII, then drearily continued with the 33S and 35S

The 35s does not share the complex number support system of the 32s/sii and 33s. Key in the real part, press "i", then key in the imaginary. Superior to the 42s, IMHO.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #104 Posted by Neil Hamilton (Ottawa) on 7 Aug 2011, 11:53 a.m.,
in response to message #103 by Jeff O.

Quote:
Superior to the 42s, IMHO.

While I generally like the 35S (and own one but not a 15C or 42S -- just emulators/simulators for those I'm afraid), the 35S does make it awkward to do things like the denominator of the "problem" presented on page 135 of the 15C manual:

              2i(-8+6i)^3
      ------------------------------
      (4-2(sqrt(5))i)(2-4(sqrt(5))i)

While it is possible, you have to "do the limbo" to do it. This is much easier on the 42S/15C/33S etc.

That being said, the complex stuff in the 35S is very intuitive. Too bad about the R->P/P->R though.

I guess you can't win.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #105 Posted by Jeff O. on 8 Aug 2011, 1:13 p.m.,
in response to message #104 by Neil Hamilton (Ottawa)

Quote:
the 35S does make it awkward to do things like the denominator of the "problem" presented on page 135 of the 15C manual:

2i(-8+6i)^3 ------------------------------ (4-2(sqrt(5))i)(2-4(sqrt(5))i)

While it is possible, you have to "do the limbo" to do it. This is much easier on the 42S/15C/33S etc.

I would do that example as follows (key functions in brackets):

Keystrokes	  Display	
8[+/-][i]6[ENTER] -8.0000 i6.0000
3 [y^x]		  352.0000 i936.000
[i] 2		  i 2	
[x]		  -1872.0000 i704.0
5[sqrt]		  2.2361
[i]2[+/-]	  i-2
[x]		  0.0000 i-4.4721
4[+]		  4.0000 i-4.4721
5[sqrt]		  2.2361
[i]4[+/-]	  i-4
[x]		  0.0000 i-8.9443
2[+]		  2.0000 i-8.9443
[x]		  -32.0000 i-44.721
[/]		  9.3982 i-35.1344	

28 total keystrokes

I guess I do not view the above as requiring the limbo bar to be too low, just familiarity with the 35s. The keystroke sequence presented in the 15C manual takes 34 keystrokes. With the 35s, you do have to start "inside" the values in the denominator (with the square root of 5) to avoid pushing the previously calculated value for the numerator off the top of the stack, but I consider this to be more of a typical 4-level stack management issue than any defect in the 35s complex number support. In fact, when I tried it on my 42s, I had to start inside the bottom factors for the same reason, plus I had to then do some swaps to get the values in the right places in the stack before turning them into complex numbers. It is possible to do the problem on the 33s without storing intermediate values, but requires pretty careful stack management and "limbo-esque" entry of the denominator values due to the fact that it has only a two level complex stack. (Actually the 15C requires the same stack manaement, i.e., you must divide the numerator by the first factor in the denominator, then enter the second factor in the denominator and divide again. With the 35s, you can calculate the numerator, then enter both factors in the denominator, multiply, then divide. Not a big deal, just shows what's possible.)

For the sale of completeness, here is the keystroke sequence require on the 32S/32SII/33S

32S/32SII/33s sequence:
Keystrokes		Display	
6[ENTER]		6.0000
8[+/-]		        -8.0000
0[ENTER]		0.0000
3		        3
[shift][CMPLX]	        CMPLX
y^x		        352.0000 (on the 33s you can see the imaginary component of 936 in the y register)
2[ENTER]		2.000
0		        0
[shift][CMPLX]	        CMPLX
[x]		        -1872.0000 (on the 33s you can see the imaginary component of 704 in the y register)
5[srqrt]		2.2361
2[+/-]		        -2
[x]		        -4.4721
4		        4
[shift][CMPLX]	        CMPLX
[/]		        -295.4551(on the 33s you can see the imaginary component of 154.3288 in the y register)
5[srqrt]		2.2361
4[+/-]		        -4
[x]		        -8.9443
2		        2
[shift][CMPLX]	        CMPLX
[/]		        9.3982(on the 33s you can see the imaginary component of 35.1344 in the y register)

34 total keystrokes on the 33s, 35 on the 32s/32sii if you want to see the imaginary part by exchanging x and y

...

Edited: 8 Aug 2011, 2:00 p.m.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #106 Posted by Mike Morrow on 7 Aug 2011, 2:33 p.m.,
in response to message #103 by Jeff O.

Quote:
Key in the real part, press "i", then key in the imaginary. Superior to the 42s, IMHO.

Entering a new complex number is only the smallest part of any machine's complex number processing. But to discuss this aspect, a new complex number is manually entered on the 42S by entering the real part on the stack, then the imaginary part, then hitting the COMPLEX key. That is consistent with related operations such as entering and converting polar or rectangular coordinates. The only alleged down side, which seems to have caused a few folks a bit of self-generated anguish, is that one can't fill the four-level stack with four new differing manually-entered complex numbers. But should this ever threaten to be a problem, one simply has to perform the appropriate pending operations to collapse the stack and ensure that the X and Y level are then available to support manual entry of a new complex number.

To claim true complex domain support, a machine must execute all of its functions that are mathematically defined in the complex domain by operating on or generating the appropriate values. For a few random examples, try that 35S to evaluate these:
1. arcsin(2)
2. ln(-2)
3. arctan(1+i)
4. cosh(1+i)
5. cos(1+i)
6. arcsinh(1+i)
7. ln(1+i)
8. exp(1+i)
9. i^i
10. arccosh(0.5)

The 42S handles all these (as do the RPL machines). Its sophisticated firmware creates a generalized complex domain machine capable of operating on or producing complex results naturally with the same ease as most machines do only in the real domain. (FWIW, the 15C is similar but slower, though with its limited display what is child's play on the 42S requires some mental effort to keep things straight on the 15C.)

The 35S is very much akin to the unsatisfactory 32S and 33S, in which only an extremely limited and unnatural set of exceptions are allowed for which the complex domain is supported...and these are all nothing but the most trivial complex functions. That is fundamentally and monumentally inferior to the 42S.

Edited to remove "doubled" word and to add example 10.

Edited: 8 Aug 2011, 1:38 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #107 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 7 Aug 2011, 3:37 p.m.,
in response to message #106 by Mike Morrow

You *can* perform the log computation if you enter the value as a complex number, i.e. 2 +/- i 0 ln. However, it certainly is more convenient in the HP 50g, where you simply type 2 +/- ln.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #108 Posted by Jeff O. on 8 Aug 2011, 7:39 a.m.,
in response to message #106 by Mike Morrow

I did not meant to imply that there are not a lot of shortcomings to the 35s complex number support, only that it is not really a simple extension of the 32s/sii/33s family. I think that the ability to directly enter the number by keying in the "i", (or angle, if you wish), with the complex value then held in a single stack level, with the ability to have a 4-level stack full of directly entered complex values, was a major advancement on the 35s. If you put an “i” key on a 42sii++ (or whatever), with the ability to upload/download programs, it would be just about the perfect calculator.

Edited: 8 Aug 2011, 12:33 p.m.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #109 Posted by M. Joury on 6 Aug 2011, 4:14 p.m.,
in response to message #100 by Mike Morrow

Yes, yes, YES! Only put it in the 17bii+ package (the real descendant of the Pioneers and it already has the dot matrix LCD in place) and give me I/O. Sure I'll buy 3 HP15C LE's but I would probably buy 6 HP42S machines with Mike's upgrades and I/O for offline storage. OK, maybe not 6, but you get the point.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #110 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 6 Aug 2011, 4:49 p.m.,
in response to message #109 by M. Joury

I/O for offline storage is key for any calculator with more than 1 Kb of non-volatile memory. it's not an issue with the 15C or 32SII with their very limited memory, but it is the main shortcoming of the 42s and others like the 35s and 28s. Imagine having laboriously keyed in 5 Kb or more worth of programs and data, only to have to reset the machine and lose it all. That is why I do most of my programming on the 48SX and 50g with their Serial RS232 or USB and SD card capabilities. It's also a lot more convenient to develop and / edit programs on a text editor on a PC or Mac than in the calculator.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #111 Posted by Mike Morrow on 6 Aug 2011, 4:53 p.m.,
in response to message #109 by M. Joury

Quote:
Only put it in the 17bii+ package...

It's true that a very good argument can be made that, just as the Voyager HP-12C framework remains upon which to resurrect the 15C, the Pioneer HP 17bii framework remains upon which to resurrect the 42S. I believe there are few hardware differences other than keyboard markings and firmware that separate the 17bii from the 42S.

However, the HP 30b industrial design is very easy to like...it's compact and very mechanically solid. IMHO, it is one of the best in HP calculator history. That's why my hypothetical New-42 would use something like that. Plus, truth be told, I have always hated the color scheme of the Pioneers...brown and orange...blah!

And the processor speed of the 30b is stunning...it completes the old Savage benchmark at 10 times the speed of the 50g, and 100 times the speed of the 42S, producing identical numerical results! I'd like to have something equivalent to that under the hood of a New-42, capable of a full dot-matrix display and much more RAM.

Edited: 6 Aug 2011, 5:07 p.m.

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #112 Posted by M. Joury on 6 Aug 2011, 6:43 p.m.,
in response to message #111 by Mike Morrow

Well maybe a combination of the two...

I was referring to the new 17bii+ with it's silver front and sloping keys. That would make a very nice basis for the keyboard of a 42S IMHO. The LCD is already in place with basically the same capability as the one in the 42S (maybe even the very same LCD?). And with 32K of non-volatile RAM there is more than enough room for programs and data.

However, I have to agree an updated processor such as that in the 30b would be spectacular however it would need more non-volatile memory than is available in that machine. The 32K in the 17bii+ would work nicely.

Here is an interesting article on this subject: HP Solve #23

Cheers

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #113 Posted by Raymond Del Tondo on 6 Aug 2011, 7:16 p.m.,
in response to message #109 by M. Joury

Quote:
Only put it in the 17bii+ package (the real descendant of the Pioneers and it already has the dot matrix LCD in place) and give me I/O
1+

The 17bII+ Silver has the best housing of all HP calc since the Pioneers IMHO. Even if the internal electronics of the 17bII+ Silver may be outdated from today's view, it has the best overall form factor, and it has a really good high-contrast dot matrix LCD with anti-glare cover, not that awful not-fish-not-flesh partly alphanumeric (ugly) LCD like the 20b/30b with super shiny surface.

Too bad that the 17bII+ Silver doesn't have the pcb 6-pin connector for firmware updates. Let's hope for a successor with the same housing and LCD, but with the suitable connector and firmware update support:-)

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #114 Posted by Eric Smith on 6 Aug 2011, 9:12 p.m.,
in response to message #113 by Raymond Del Tondo

The 17bii+ doesn't have a connector for firmware updates because it doesn't have flash memory. If I'm not mistaken, it uses a masked-ROM microcontroller from GeneralPlus, with a 6502-equivalent core. Those are extremely inexpensive, not well suited to running C code, and not available with flash memory.

On the other hand, suitable microcontrollers with flash memory generally don't have enough LCD drive for the 17bii+/42s display. They either have segmented LCD drive for no more than a few hundred segments, or a "controller" but no on-board drivers for an active matrix LCD, which is far more expensive and uses too much power for disposable coin cells.

One possibility would be to use two microcontrollers, one with flash memory for the "brains" of the operation, and one with masked ROM and LCD drive just to serve as an LCD controller. Of course, this pushes up the cost by a non-trivial amount.

I imagine that HP may eventually have a calculator with a 17bii+ like graphic display and flash upgrade capability, but probably not in the near future.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #115 Posted by uhmgawa on 6 Aug 2011, 11:52 p.m.,
in response to message #114 by Eric Smith

Quote:
One possibility would be to use two microcontrollers, one with flash memory for the "brains" of the operation, and one with masked ROM and LCD drive just to serve as an LCD controller. Of course, this pushes up the cost by a non-trivial amount.

It may just be more straightforward and less expensive to use a chip-on-glass graphic LCD. I've never encountered a conventional uC with a controller able to drive a graphic panel of significant resolution. Even dismissing that, the interconnect between controller and LCD glass becomes complex, expensive, and less reliable at such interconnect counts where a COG is more attractive if the device in question can accommodate the modest asymmetry of the panel.

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #116 Posted by Eric Smith on 7 Aug 2011, 5:05 a.m.,
in response to message #115 by uhmgawa

A CoG LCD is generally more expensive than a microcontroller or driver under a blob of epoxy with a heat-sealed flex cable to a bare LCD. That's why you find that construction in just about every LCD calculator that has a midrange dot matrix display, including things like the Casio fx115ES and Sharp EL-W516B.

At higher dot matrix resolutions that becomes impractical, but I'm not sure about the 131x16 resolution of the 17bii+. I haven't taken a 17bii+ apart so I'm not sure how it is constructed.

Presumably the extremely low cost of the GeneralPlus (formerly SunPlus) 6502-core microcontrollers with their ability to drive a moderately large dot matrix LCD made them the most cost-effective solution for calculators like the 17bii+. Cost is undoubtedly a huge concern, far more than firmware update capability.

Low-end calculators usually use microcontroller chips from other Taiwanese and Chinese microcontroller vendors that are even less well-known to mainstream electronics and software engineers. At one of the HHC conferences a few years ago I was given some breadboard prototypes of low end scientific calculators (possibly the HP 8s or 10s), and they had microcontrollers I'd never heard of before, but I was able to dig up some documentation on them (in English, even!) by a Google search.

                                                                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #117 Posted by uhmgawa on 7 Aug 2011, 10:03 a.m.,
in response to message #116 by Eric Smith

Quote:
A CoG LCD is generally more expensive than a microcontroller or driver under a blob of epoxy with a heat-sealed flex cable to a bare LCD. That's why you find that construction in just about every LCD calculator that has a midrange dot matrix display, including things like the Casio fx115ES and Sharp EL-W516B.

My greatest beef with heat seal interconnect is reliability. Nearly every LCD display I've encountered with intermittent drive problems was of heat seal construction. Frankly I'm amazed it works as well as it does considering the Rube Goldberg inspired process. But to be fair the approach does avoid bloating the glass footprint compared to COG and like COG has a slimmer vertical profile than zebra interconnect. Maybe I've just had bad luck with cheap heat seal products.

The arm7 12Cs (and 35s IIRC) use a heat seal interconnect so time will tell how those products fare in this respect.

Quote:
Presumably the extremely low cost of the GeneralPlus (formerly SunPlus) 6502-core microcontrollers with their ability to drive a moderately large dot matrix LCD made them the most cost-effective solution for calculators like the 17bii+. Cost is undoubtedly a huge concern, far more than firmware update capability.

Special purpose uCs with LCD controllers may have more design consideration to quiescent current draw. IMHO not all LCD controllers do as well as they could in this respect. LCD modules are often the worst offenders frequently using simple passive resistive voltage dividers to generate the bias voltages.

But agreed cost constraint appears to be the predominant design consideration for contemporary products, regrettably HP included. I suppose that is just a non-negotiable reality of competing in today's market.

                                                                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #118 Posted by Mike Morrow on 7 Aug 2011, 3:36 p.m.,
in response to message #116 by Eric Smith

Quote:
A CoG LCD is generally more expensive than a microcontroller or driver under a blob of epoxy with a heat-sealed flex cable to a bare LCD. That's why you find that construction in just about every LCD calculator that has a midrange dot matrix display, including things like the Casio fx115ES and Sharp EL-W516B.

The Casio fx-115ES screen presents an interesting comparison to the HP 42S or HP 17bii, because many more display elements are required for the fx-115ES.

The fx-115ES has a 31x96 (2976 pixel) LCD with 18 annunciators.
The 42S/17bii have a 16x131 (2096 pixel) LCD with 8 annunciators.

Whatever hardware is controlling the fx-115ES display has about 50 percent more capacity than would be needed for a 42S display.

The fx-115ES can operate from the small solar cell in the corner, or, it is claimed, for about 1000 hours from one 357 bettery. Total power consumption of this fairly capable system must be very low.

The heart of the fx-115ES is under one of those blobs of black epoxy.

Edited: 7 Aug 2011, 8:41 p.m.

                                                                                    
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #119 Posted by uhmgawa on 8 Aug 2011, 1:31 p.m.,
in response to message #118 by Mike Morrow

Quote:
The fx-115ES can operate from the small solar cell in the corner, or, it is claimed, for about 1000 hours from one 357 bettery. Total power consumption of this fairly capable system must be very low.

I have an fx-115ES from the local MalWart which was collecting dust after I lost interest and and stuck it back in the blister pack. Your comments above made me curious so I popped it open and had a look:

current draw (LR-44)         Notes

630nA "off" 21.5uA idle, blank screen, cursor blink 57.8uA idle, setup menu 52-52.5uA running trans forensic "9", display off

So that 1000 hours estimate may be quite conservative and under conditions of the processor running continuous -or- idle with perhaps a 50% pixel drive of the display. Depending upon the dropout voltage for the device (or perhaps the polarization threshold of the panel) it could be double that for an LR44 at 60uA draw. Also it seems the display is blanked during processing likely to avoid brownout when powered solely from the PV cell under modest illumination. I didn't think to check if the 3x charge pump was disabled when the panel was blanked but it wouldn't be a surprise.

Quote:
Whatever hardware is controlling the fx-115ES display has about 50 percent more capacity than would be needed for a 42S display.

Indeed. However while I'm unfamiliar with the 42S the display of the fx-115ES has about the worst contrast I can recall in a calculator, likely as a result of keeping the LCD dynamic power consumption in check. How does the 42s display compare?

Quote:
The heart of the fx-115ES is under one of those blobs of black epoxy.

Although my presence lurking here probably gives away my bias, I have to admit the fx-115ES is a pretty slick effort given the design constraints, resulting product and price point. But admittedly my familiarity with it is superficial.

                                                                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #120 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 7 Aug 2011, 3:45 a.m.,
in response to message #114 by Eric Smith

Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, it uses a masked-ROM microcontroller from GeneralPlus, with a 6502-equivalent core. Those are extremely inexpensive, not well suited to running C code, and not available with flash memory.
Eric,

why isn't the 6502 well suited for C-compilers? IIRC, the RISC route was taken because compilers can optimize better on limited instruction sets, while CISC CPUs are best when writing asm-code by hand, but I might be wrong here.

Another question comes to mind: Has the 35s firmware been written by hand? That would indicate why there never was a firmware update ;-).

Thomas

                                                                        
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #121 Posted by Eric Smith on 7 Aug 2011, 4:56 a.m.,
in response to message #120 by Thomas Radtke

The 6502 is a CISC processor. It is certainly "reduced" in some ways compared to the 6800 that was its predecessor, but it lacks some of the important distinguishing features of a RISC, which are a large number of general registers (typically 16 or 32), and orthogonality of use of registers and address modes.

The 6502 is poorly suited for C code because of the 256-byte limit on the stack, which often necessitates using a software-maintained stack, and the lack of a stack-relative addressing mode for accessing local variables in a stack frame. Both result in significant problems with code size and execution time.

I've written quite a lot of 6502 code over the years. While C isn't as big a step up from assembly as I would like, I definitely find myself much more productive in C than in 6502 assembly. As a result, I would definitely be biased toward microcontrollers that are better suited for execution of C code.

I've been told that the 33s, 35s, and 17bii+ firmware are written in C.

                                                                              
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #122 Posted by uhmgawa on 7 Aug 2011, 1:25 p.m.,
in response to message #121 by Eric Smith

Quote:
The 6502 is poorly suited for C code because..

All true. The other issue which compounds the problem of 8-bit processors as efficient C runtime models is lack of the ability to natively manipulate an address bus and/or std int width data type.

Quote:
I've written quite a lot of 6502 code over the years..

In the dim past I used to work for MOS Technology/Commodore. The 6502 still figures prominently into my nightmares.

Quote:
I would definitely be biased toward microcontrollers that are better suited for execution of C code.

Thoroughly agree. It appears NXP has been quite aggressive introducing ARM uCs at price points below many of the 8-bit competition. They still IMHO have some work to knock out what I'd call "clunk factor" in the overall products but are nevertheless impressive. I picked up a lot of lpc1114 in lqfp-48 for about US$1.50/ea a few months ago from Avnet.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #123 Posted by spb on 6 Aug 2011, 4:55 p.m.,
in response to message #100 by Mike Morrow

Quote:
The basis is obvious...you stated it! The only people who find the Voyagers anything but an abomination as a handheld calculator are those who don't mind that it takes both hands to operate one. Portrait models suffer no such limitation, and can be used with ease in either one- or two-hand mode.
I don't think I see the distinction you're trying to make. Either you're holding the calculator in both hands or you have it sitting on your desk and you're keying with one hand. If you're holding a Voyager in both hands, it is faster than a Pioneer or 41C (for example) because you can reach the entire keyboard without moving your hands. If you've set your calculator on your desk you're keying a Voyager or a Pioneer in exactly the same way (hunt and peck).

So what's the disadvantage? In one usage case the Voyager is faster and in the other case they're the same as any other calculator (if we're just talking about keying speed).

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #124 Posted by Mike Morrow on 6 Aug 2011, 5:40 p.m.,
in response to message #123 by spb

Quote:
Either you're holding the calculator in both hands or you have it sitting on your desk and you're keying with one hand.

Nope...there's another mode: Holding the calculator in one hand and keying it with that same hand....easily done for quick ad hoc calcs that come up, while the other hand is busy with a pen or other tool. Of course such is not too comfortable for a long programming or debugging session, but I do that far less frequently. I've often done one-hand ops with portrait calcs ever since acquiring my first (Bomar 901B) in 1972. Of course, my Voyagers don't allow any of that...they're much more difficult to use with one hand than even the much larger and heavier 50g.

My objection to landscape goes away if the width of the keyboard can be easily spanned by the width of the palm as it is for most portrait calculators. HP has never made anything like that, but Casio and others did.

                                                            
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #125 Posted by spb on 7 Aug 2011, 4:55 p.m.,
in response to message #124 by Mike Morrow

Quote:
Nope...there's another mode: Holding the calculator in one hand and keying it with that same hand....easily done for quick ad hoc calcs that come up, while the other hand is busy with a pen or other tool. Of course such is not too comfortable for a long programming or debugging session, but I do that far less frequently.
I see what you're saying, although I find doing this with any calculator about equivalently awkward. Perhaps this has something to do with different hands or different thresholds for aggravation.

Even given that, though, I still think that when I'm evaluating a tool I do so in terms of what it's good at, not what it isn't. When I'm thinking about how easy (or hard) it is to use a calculator, I'm thinking of using it for whatever it is it's capable of doing. With an advanced scientific programmable, it strikes me as odd to evaluate it in terms of how comfortable it is for `quick ad hoc calcs'. I'm not saying that you're wrong to think this way yourself. I just don't see much of an argument there. I mean you would probably find it easier to use a simple four function calculation for the sort of thing you're talking about, but I don't think it follows that non-four function are an `abomination' (as you characterised Voyagers) because they're slightly less convenient to use when you only need the basic four functions.

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #126 Posted by Howard Owen on 6 Aug 2011, 5:05 p.m.,
in response to message #100 by Mike Morrow

For the 35th anniversary of the HP-35, we got the HP-35S. For the 30th anniversary of the 12C we are getting a 12C anniversary edition, and an HP-15C re-release. The 25th anniversary of the introduction of the HP-42S is in 2013, so who knows? It's probably the right time to start agitating about it. :)

                                                
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #127 Posted by uhmgawa on 8 Aug 2011, 9:01 p.m.,
in response to message #100 by Mike Morrow

Quote:
It's disappointing that HP is digging up another Voyager relic, when an HP 42S resurrection would have added some real value to the current HP line. Though the 42S is at least an order of magnitude better machine than the 15C in almost every detail except cosmetics, its alphanumeric capability by itself would have justified its replacement of the 15C.

That seems quite high praise for the 42S. I've never owned a 42S so I'd be curious to hear the opinion of other folks.

From a quick dig it appears there is sufficient data to produce an experimenter's clone. And given once we drift away from reuse of an existing Voyager carcass, a 15C work-alike requires a graphic LCD. So there may be an argument to do so for a model which has native support for a matrix display rather than using the same for little more than the convenience of effecting annunciators under an emulated segment display.

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #128 Posted by M. Joury on 8 Aug 2011, 11:08 p.m.,
in response to message #127 by uhmgawa

This may be sacrilege here, but give me a 42S over a 15C any day. The 15C was (and is) a great machine but the 42S is just hands down (IMHO) a better calculator. As stated, the alpha capability alone is a big bonus never mind partitioned programs, named variables, powerful solver, more memory, and faster speed. If you know the 41 just consider the 42S to be the same machine on steroids in a Pioneer package without I/O. Had the 42S had I/O it would be my all time favorite HP calculator. As it is it is a close second to the 41.

Come out with a new 42S with I/O, time capability such as is available in the 17bii and 27S, and 32K RAM and HP would have a winner.

Again, this is just my 2 cents worth...

Cheers,

                                                      
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #129 Posted by Walter B on 9 Aug 2011, 1:49 a.m.,
in response to message #127 by uhmgawa

FYI, HP's persistant refusal to launch a successor of the 42S while OTOH releasing financial calcs every once and a while caused our WP 34S project. You'll find lots of information about alternative calculator designs - including display discussions - when you search the archives for the last eight years at least.

Though I agree financial calcs seem urgently necessary, I see little to no effect of HP's sales in the last four years. So perhaps the almost unlimited susceptibility of this market segment explains HP's strategy ;-)

Walter

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #130 Posted by Howard Owen on 5 Aug 2011, 10:12 p.m.,
in response to message #94 by Jim P

Quote:
You'll keep all the accountant customers and get a few of the engineers/scientists as well.

I could be wrong, but from what I've heard around here and elsewhere, the HP-12C owes part of its success to conservatism in its user base. That is, financial professionals adopted it as a standard and it has stuck. As a group, they are reluctant to abandon a tool that works. If that's so, a nice new calculator that adds functions, an additional shift key or what-have-you might not appeal to those users.

I'd sure buy one though. :)

                  
Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"
Message #131 Posted by Bart (UK) on 6 Aug 2011, 4:15 a.m.,
in response to message #94 by Jim P

Quote:
Kindly build an HP12C, stick the trig functions onto a third shift function (and the other 15C goodies) and sell it for the same price.
Maybe that's why HP is so quiet about the 30th Anniversay 12C and the Limited Edition 15C - they're the same machine!! ;-)


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