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Memories from a young 'un

Posted by Han Duong on 11 Nov 2005, 9:28 p.m.

I got my first HP calculator (48G) in high school (mid-90's). My parents bought me the 48G version since it was only $100 back then. I had a sister who went to the same high school, and convinced her to make use of my 48G. While she did need a graphing calculator to make graphs and whatnot, in truth it was a ploy to get a chance at the 48GX! If my sister used my HP 48G, what was _I_ supposed to use!? (My parents rolled their eyes; they saw through it.) Luckily, they went ahead and bought me the 48GX, giving me the edge when it came to calculator bragging rights.

After graduation, my sister handed over the 48G. (What was an artist going to do with a graphing calculator?) Around that time, I read about memory upgrades, and managed to turn my 48G into the equivalent of today's 48G+. It was then that I truly realized just how well-built the calculator was. No screws! I've read recently that even the 48G series calculators weren't as well-built as their predecessors. It makes me wonder just how much nicer those earlier versions were. (I am particularly fond of the look of the Pioneer series.) At about that time, I was in college. I convinced my three roommates to get a 48GX of their own. It was definitely cool (and nerdy) to see all 4 4GX's and my upgraded 48G on the coffee table.

Unfortunately, that upgraded 48G was eventually stolen while I was studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary -- it was my own fault for leaving my backpack alone and in the open while I went to check my email in a neighboring room. I eventually replaced it a regular HP 48G in grad school. A friend of mine felt he no longer needed it and sold it to me for $15 -- not bad.

I currently own 2 48SX's (Rom D and E), a 48GX, a 48G+, and a 48G (all three are Rom R). I also purchased a 38G for $15 (it's supposedly similar to the 48 series internally) My goal is to eventually have one of each of the Pioneer series, and an HP 48S to add to my current collection. The 48 series aren't Pioneer models, but they have very similar-looking keyboards -- which I love and absolutely miss on the newer models (49G, 49G+). The keyboards on these models are perhaps the main reason I prefer the 48's and the Pioneers. Not only were they comfortable and well-made, they also looked cool too!

It's too bad that the current line of HP's have too much of a high-school TI-ish look and feel to them. It's as if HP were saying "Ok, we'll just make ours look like everyone else's..." =( The only thing they did wrong with the 49G+ was to abandon the keyboard setup used on the 48 series. I can still keep dreaming, though.

I suppose I will eventually buy an HP 49G+ to tinker with. But my I will still enjoy my HP 48's more than the HP 49G+.


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