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Happy Birthday Charlemagne
03-06-2018, 01:07 PM
Post: #1
Happy Birthday Charlemagne
Hi,

The HP48 SX was introduced on March 6th 1990 to a great deal of fanfare, and much deserved. Hopefully, the vast majority of Bill Wickes' team are enjoying themselves, perhaps in retirement....

Jake
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03-06-2018, 02:38 PM
Post: #2
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
I remember meeting Bill for the first time a couple of weeks after that, perhaps in late March or early April. It was quite exciting for me, since I had known who he was since the early HP 41c days. I read through his article "Through the 41C with gun and camera" multiple times back then. And of course, his Synthetic programming book and hangman game.

Bill was sent on a tour to various cities to promote the HP 48SX. He came to Nashville near the Opryland Hotel and I received a mailing from HP with an invite.

When I got there, there were maybe 8-10 of us there.

I asked a lot of questions compared to the other people. :-)

"Why is there only 32K of ram?" -- His answer - with the PC hookup, you won't need as much ram as you might think.

"What is this MTH key?" -- His answer, given with a downcast look - was "The Math menu." He said he had complained about that, but the designers said they could only fit three letters on the key. I had asked because I didn't have a manual yet.


When I had a chance to speak with Bill via the HP live telepresence conference system back in 2007/2008 (?), I reminded him of this tour. He had no memory at all of going to various cities. :-) I told him that those of us who met him remembered and we were all thankful for such a series of wonderful machines.
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03-06-2018, 02:50 PM
Post: #3
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
I remember that Jim DeArras called me to tell me about the new HP-48SX. We were both excited to get our hands on a unit. I remember in June 1990 I gave a talk at the Chicago meeting about object-oriented-like features of the HP-48SX.

Namir
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03-06-2018, 02:57 PM
Post: #4
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
Bill Wickes visited our Philly-Area PPC Chapter in November of 1990 and spoke for almost four hours on HP48 topics and such. Lots of fun. (The video is still available)

Jake
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03-06-2018, 05:46 PM
Post: #5
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
A bit off topic but something that I have been wondering more about recently...

Was there one major designer of the HP-41C? I've owned many of these calculators (my initial one was from August of 1983) and the more I have learned about the jewel, the more impressed I am with its architecture. I've never been exposed to the inside workings of the Corvallis team, and am curious about the genius(es) behind that calculator.
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03-06-2018, 06:26 PM
Post: #6
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
Dave Conklin's initials ("DRC") appear prominently in the HP-41 VASM Assembly listings, for what it is worth. We always thought of Bill Wickes and Dave Conklin as HP Calculators' version of "Bill & Dave" :-)

Jake
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03-06-2018, 08:14 PM (This post was last modified: 03-06-2018 08:15 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #7
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
Hello!

28 years is not soooo long isn't it (btw. March 6 is an important date between me and my wife but some years before the HP-48 SX :-) ).
What a pity HP didn't have a decent supplier for LC displays then. What a wonderful calculator this could have been with a readable display and a processor fast enough for the software they implemented... and a durable connection between the display and the PCB. And BASIC instead of RPL of course.

Sorry to spoil the party but I really think the HP-48 is one of the main reasons why HP lost their most important market, education, to Ti and Casio. I have one in my collection but there is absolutely nothing I like about it.

Max
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03-06-2018, 08:41 PM
Post: #8
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
searching the article "Through the hp 41C with gun and camera" , i got this: https://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/an/20...5-abs.html "Once Upon a Pocket: Programmable Calculators from the Late 1970s and Early 1980s and the Social Networks Around Them" . Did someone read it?

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
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03-06-2018, 09:28 PM
Post: #9
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
I have read that article before. Dejan is a TI-59 fan who also had HP 41 skills. He wrote several big game programs, one of which is here:

http://rskey.org/gene/calcmuseum/59treas.htm

Gene
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03-06-2018, 10:06 PM
Post: #10
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
.
Hi, Maximilian:

(03-06-2018 08:14 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  28 years is not soooo long isn't it

You're right, absolutely not. Even 42 years are next to nothing, I've been in love with classic HP calculators longer than that.

Quote:(btw. March 6 is an important date between me and my wife but some years before the HP-48 SX :-) ).

(Almost) same here, for me March 5 is the most important date.

Quote:What a wonderful calculator this could have been with a readable display and a processor fast enough for the software they implemented... and a durable connection between the display and the PCB. And BASIC instead of RPL of course.

Absolutely agree, +1

Quote:Sorry to spoil the party but I really think the HP-48 is one of the main reasons why HP lost their most important market, education, to Ti and Casio. I have one in my collection but there is absolutely nothing I like about it.

Again absolutely agree. Not only Ti and Casio in the education market, but Casio and SHARP were producing and marketing scores of pretty wonderful and capable BASIC Pocket Computers that sold enormously in the engineering and technical markets of the whole of Europe (most especially in Germany), Japan and everywhere, not only to individuals (engineers, architects, engineering students) but also to corporations and even the military. And their physical built was also awesome and aesthetically pleasant.

HP really lost it all. The RPL models in my HP collection aren't gathering dust (as they're properly stored in sealed bags in a protected environment) but they haven't seen any use nor will they ever. Nevertheless I fully respect all the people that do like those RPL models and have no problem to wish a Happy Birthday to "Charlemagne" as well. Smile

Best regards.
V.
.
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03-07-2018, 07:49 PM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2018 07:56 PM by Dan Grelinger.)
Post: #11
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
(03-06-2018 06:26 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  Dave Conklin's initials ("DRC") appear prominently in the HP-41 VASM Assembly listings, for what it is worth. We always thought of Bill Wickes and Dave Conklin as HP Calculators' version of "Bill & Dave" :-)

Jake

Thanks!

I was familiar with the name of Bill Wickes because of Synthetic Programming. I looked up his work history and it appears he came to HP two years after the HP-41C was introduced, and is credited with the HP-28S and HP-48SX. Dave Conklin may be the primary genius behind the HP-41C.
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03-07-2018, 09:30 PM
Post: #12
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
(03-06-2018 06:26 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  Dave Conklin's initials ("DRC") appear prominently in the HP-41 VASM Assembly listings, for what it is worth. We always thought of Bill Wickes and Dave Conklin as HP Calculators' version of "Bill & Dave" :-)

Jake

I think of HP calculators in terms of "The Three Bills": Bill Hewlett, Bill Kahan (developer of many of the algorithms used in calculators starting with the 34C and the main author of the HP-15C Advanced Functions Handbook), and Bill Wickes.

BTW, there are several articles by Kahan in the HP Journal from the late 70's and early 80's which make for interesting reading.

John
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03-08-2018, 08:33 PM
Post: #13
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
(03-07-2018 09:30 PM)John Keith Wrote:  BTW, there are several articles by Kahan in the HP Journal from the late 70's and early 80's which make for interesting reading.

John
...and Dave Conklin co-wrote the lead HP-41C article with Bernie Musch and John Wong in the March 1980 HP Journal. I believe Dave is also responsible for the FORTH ROM for the HP75C, among other things. He definitely worked on the HP41 Wand as well, co-writing an article on the wand in the January 1981 issue of HP Journal.

Jake
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03-08-2018, 10:16 PM
Post: #14
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
(03-08-2018 08:33 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  I believe Dave is also responsible for the FORTH ROM for the HP75C, among other things.

I have a FORTH tape for the 75, but can find no mention of a ROM, anywhere.
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03-14-2018, 12:03 PM
Post: #15
RE: Happy Birthday Charlemagne
Happy Birthday Charlemange!
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