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HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
02-16-2018, 02:21 AM
Post: #1
HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
My HP calculator experience is deeply rooted in 28/48 series, and its flexible size and object-type stack. Forget the symbolic math or CAS for second - just looking at the fixed stack of a 42, especially the DM42 version with that great screen, what is it that makes people choose the 42 over 48?

Is it familiarity, muscle memory, or is there a genuine benefit for some/most operations, etc? I know a 48 is second nature to me, which makes a non-RPN calculator a no-go, but 42 seems to be a bit constricted as well.

Hope this isn't a religious topic Smile As someone with no experience using one, I'm just interested in reasons and methods behind the 42 and its derivatives being so popular these days.
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02-16-2018, 03:27 AM
Post: #2
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
(02-16-2018 02:21 AM)polbit Wrote:  Hope this isn't a religious topic Smile As someone with no experience using one, I'm just interested in reasons and methods behind the 42 and its derivatives being so popular these days.

Sorry, but it is. Which isn't a bad thing, it simply is a matter of which you believe is better, most often based on which you learned first, but also strongly influenced by what you want to do. Very few number theory fans will prefer RPN, because RPL is just better suited for that. Similarly, for plain old cranking numbers, RPN offers ease of learning and use and clarity (it's a read/write language, RPL is more write-only, but you know that).

So, these debates go on and on, with nary a person ever being convinced to change preferences, but by closely reading the debates, you can learn a lot about both.

The 42 was the pinnacle of the classic RPN machines and inherited much adoration from that alone, but also it's close compatibility with the 41 made it an easy step-up for many 41 users that needed just a but more speed, or memory size, or a solver, or matrix support, or complex numbers, etc.

As an RPL user, it will initially feel limited (ignoring things like symbolics and lists, which it doesn't support at all) but you will be amazed what serious RPN programmers can do with it. I've used one for > 20years and I am still amazed to see some of the things I'm seeing folks do with the new DM42.

Check out the SwissMicros Forums and take a look at some of the programs submitted in the last week alone, and you'll see what I mean.

--Bob Prosperi
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02-16-2018, 03:45 AM
Post: #3
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
I am a 41 person, but it is similar enough to the 42 as it also have a 4 level stack, so I will comment.

Back in the eighties I used the 41 a lot and only once over the years wished for a larger stack. That is, one time (that I can remember). Otherwise I felt no limitation at all, and being "only" 4 levels, you will know it in your mind when you are used to it.

Fast forward to the late nineties and I using a 48GX and was reasonable happy with it. Unlimited stack and everything, and going back to the 41 felt a bit contrived.

However, I did return to the 41 and got used to the 4 level stack again and I do not have any issues with it.

Now we get religious. What I do have an issue with is the fragile memory system on the 48 series. I also have some issues with the RPL language. I used the 48 quite a bit for some years, but it never made me really happy.

I think the 41 is easier to use, has a smaller form factor and is genuinely much more fun. It gets the job done and I know it inside and out.

Both are good, but in different ways.

Håkan
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02-16-2018, 04:00 AM
Post: #4
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
This is like arguing over whether cars are better than bicycles, or vice versa. Sort of. :-)

Cars are faster and they keep you warm and dry when the weather is nasty.
Bicycles are cheap and low-maintenance.

Similarly...

The 28/48 are clearly more flexible and powerful.
The 42S is easier and tends to get things done with less effort, as long as what you want to do is within its capabilities.

It's all about how well each device fits your needs.
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02-16-2018, 10:43 AM
Post: #5
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
HP48: I keep it at home, safe and sound, like NIB. It means so much sentimental value for me!

HP50: I do love the SolveSys library (a solver for systems of non-linear equations), it makes my life as engineer pretty much easier. I keep it handy in my backpack.

Free42: its quick solver on my €33 mobile phone is worth more than gold. My customers get shocked when I am able to provide non-trivial answers on the spot, with no need to run any customized program in my laptop.

My €0.02: if someone tells you to go just for the 'HP xy' for any problem and situation, answer him "all problems seem nails, when you only count on a hammer" :O)

Saludos Saluti Cordialement Cumprimentos MfG BR + + + + +
Luigi Vampa +
Free42 BlackviewA7 '<3' I + + +
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02-16-2018, 08:36 PM (This post was last modified: 02-16-2018 08:42 PM by martinot.)
Post: #6
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
(02-16-2018 02:21 AM)polbit Wrote:  My HP calculator experience is deeply rooted in 28/48 series, and its flexible size and object-type stack. Forget the symbolic math or CAS for second - just looking at the fixed stack of a 42, especially the DM42 version with that great screen, what is it that makes people choose the 42 over 48?

Is it familiarity, muscle memory, or is there a genuine benefit for some/most operations, etc? I know a 48 is second nature to me, which makes a non-RPN calculator a no-go, but 42 seems to be a bit constricted as well.

Hope this isn't a religious topic Smile As someone with no experience using one, I'm just interested in reasons and methods behind the 42 and its derivatives being so popular these days.

I prefer the DM42 for its smaller size and better portability. For best calculating power and options I prefer my 50g. When I do not want to bring those I take my 35s as a cheap and cheerful simple calculator.

I would LOVE for SwissMicros to do a 48/50 RPL with unlimited stack and symbolic math (i do not care for graphing at all) in a modern DM42 shell and screen - that would be the ultimate killer machine! Smile

HP 35s, HP 50g, HP Elite X3, SwissMicros DM42
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02-16-2018, 10:05 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
(02-16-2018 08:36 PM)martinot Wrote:  I would LOVE for SwissMicros to do a 48/50 RPL with unlimited stack and symbolic math (i do not care for graphing at all) in a modern DM42 shell and screen - that would be the ultimate killer machine! Smile

My feelings and hopes exactly!
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02-16-2018, 10:21 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
Thanks for the input, I'm definitely going to play with DM42 and gain some of my own experience. One can never have enough HPs!
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02-16-2018, 10:33 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP 42S / DM42 vs HP 48-series question
(02-16-2018 08:36 PM)martinot Wrote:  I would LOVE for SwissMicros to do a 48/50 RPL with unlimited stack and symbolic math (i do not care for graphing at all) in a modern DM42 shell and screen - that would be the ultimate killer machine! Smile

Amen to that! Ideally using NewRPL. Looking at the DM42 hardware specs, there is not nearly enough RAM or ROM space, so there would need to be different electronics.

John
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