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Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
01-31-2016, 10:10 PM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2016 10:35 PM by Luigi Vampa.)
Post: #1
Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Hi all,

I just wanted to share with all forum members some information I happened to find. I asked 'Google Trends' about how the interest on some top brands has varied over the last decade, and I was shocked about the answer:


It seems the interest in calculators (in general) has dropped to ca. one tenth over the last decade!

I remember begging my big brother for his Casio Scientific Calc in the early 80's. I felt the king of the world with my HP28s by the late 80's... yes, RPN (in my University) was said to be 'only for the braves'. Nevertheless, now it seems calculators will soon fall into the 'only for the nostalgist, if any' category :./

Saludos Saluti Cordialement Cumprimentos MfG BR + + + + +
Luigi Vampa +
Free42 BlackviewA7 '<3' I + + +
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01-31-2016, 10:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
I guess this trend shouldn't really surprise any of us even though I personally can't fathom anyone not being interested in a physical RPN calculatorSmile
I remember bugging my poor mother for months around 1973 to let me buy a 4 function calculator. She was afraid it would affect my young mind and I would loose the ability to do basic math by hand. [ Considering the impact that calculators had in my life, maybe she was on to somethingSmile ]

I have to say I do use the HP-48SX emulator on my smartphone about as much as I use the real one simply because it is always with me.
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01-31-2016, 10:57 PM
Post: #3
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Considering how wonky my Droid RazrM is now, I can't imagine anyone in 30 years wanting or caring about it one whit.

I can imagine (God willing) being around in 30 years and still enjoying FUNCTIONAL HP calculators made in the 70s.

2speed HP41CX,int2XMEM+ZEN, HPIL+DEVEL, HPIL+X/IO, I/R, 82143, 82163, 82162 -25,35,45,55,65,67,70,80
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02-01-2016, 12:25 AM
Post: #4
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Thomas Okken's Free 42 is superb. I don't see a reason to buy anything else from HP.


John
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02-01-2016, 11:36 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2016 12:35 PM by Marcio.)
Post: #5
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Calculators, in this time and age, are used by enthusiasts and students only. I guess it's now a hobby for many (except for the 12C?). Straight razors (a.k.a cut-throat razors) went out of business back in the early decades of 1900 and yet enthusiasts (like me) still use them. Barbers (also very rare) are not allowed to use them anymore, they use the shavette (the one with replaceable blades) instead, some use modern multi-blade razors.

Marcio
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02-01-2016, 03:33 PM
Post: #6
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Why are there peaks in each september?

(Also, offtopic: I really like to use my shavette because it is always sharp and easy to handle compared to a "real" straight razor as you do not need to sharpen it anytime. Still it is not "the real thing", though very near imho)
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02-01-2016, 04:40 PM
Post: #7
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-01-2016 03:33 PM)damaltor Wrote:  (Also, offtopic: I really like to use my shavette because it is always sharp and easy to handle compared to a "real" straight razor as you do not need to sharpen it anytime. Still it is not "the real thing", though very near imho)

Dalmator: Take the next step and get the real thing, you won't regret it.

Ps I also use and enjoy my shavette. I have been looking for a double-edge (a.k.a safety razor) too but they are more expensive than straights.

Marcio
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02-01-2016, 06:17 PM
Post: #8
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-01-2016 03:33 PM)damaltor Wrote:  Why are there peaks in each september?

My guess is that September is when the new school year starts (in the U.S. anyway) and that is when students find out what model of TI calculator they have to purchase for the new Math (aka Maths) class they are starting.
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02-01-2016, 09:11 PM
Post: #9
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
On the computer, for things not complex enough for LibreOffice spreadsheet, I often use the calculator in MS Windows. You can paste a string of text as a "calculation" to it and then copy-and-paste the result into another document.

I just got the idea to test a few things - this comes out zero:
1/3=*3=-1=
I just went to the Help and found these shortcuts:
S sin
O cos
T tan
I i=Inv
Using those in this text input pasted to the calculator, this gives 9:
9SOTITIOIS
But this:
9SOTITIOIS-9=
gives:
3.3055861301806391104645128745734e-32

But yeah, no doubt the the main calculator market is for the TI model approved/required for USA high school tests.

I'm surprised the 12C is still selling, surely there are apps that do the same thing, or even emulate it?
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02-01-2016, 10:37 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2016 10:38 PM by Luigi Vampa.)
Post: #10
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-01-2016 09:11 PM)benbradley Wrote:  I'm surprised the 12C is still selling, surely there are apps that do the same thing, or even emulate it?

TI BA II Plus (or professional) plus HP 10B II, 10B II+, 20B, and 12C seem to be approved calculators for some financial certification exams.

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Luigi Vampa +
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02-01-2016, 11:00 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2016 09:31 PM by Luigi Vampa.)
Post: #11
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Sorry for interrupting, but I would be very grateful, if someone could explain this graph:


This wouldn't agree with the graph in my first post in this thread, unless à la cheapo manufacturers from China went taking bigger and bigger stakes of the calculators' market :.!

Saludos Saluti Cordialement Cumprimentos MfG BR + + + + +
Luigi Vampa +
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02-01-2016, 11:02 PM
Post: #12
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
The statistics on page visits to my calculator manual site over the past several years confirms this trend. Even though I only have "vintage" calculator manuals I used to get a lot of hits from people looking for current calculator manuals and a bunch of emails asking me about where they can find such-and-such. I don't get any emails like that these days and very few website visitors.

-katie

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02-03-2016, 08:37 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2016 08:37 AM by ElectroDuende.)
Post: #13
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-01-2016 11:02 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  The statistics on page visits to my calculator manual site over the past several years confirms this trend. Even though I only have "vintage" calculator manuals I used to get a lot of hits from people looking for current calculator manuals and a bunch of emails asking me about where they can find such-and-such. I don't get any emails like that these days and very few website visitors.

Are you sure you only keep user manuals there? ;-)
I tried to access and I got this:


Web Page Blocked

Access to the web page you were trying to visit has been blocked in accordance with company policy. Please contact your system administrator if you believe this is in error.

User: ******
URL: http://www.wass.net/manuals/index.htm
Category: philosophy-and-political-advocacy

I'll try to find out what "blocking service" my company is using, just in case you want to update your website "profile" in their database.

A.F.
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02-03-2016, 09:00 AM
Post: #14
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
No problem accessing it here.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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02-03-2016, 02:33 PM
Post: #15
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-03-2016 09:00 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  No problem accessing it here.

It's just my company policy... they use a service taht blocks certain websites depending on the contens (social networks, newspapers, online gambling...). It just surprised me the cathegory under which Katie's site is in their database...
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02-03-2016, 03:06 PM
Post: #16
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-03-2016 08:37 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  Are you sure you only keep user manuals there? ;-)

Katie's site is totally safe and free from political/philosophical content. Aside from a LOT of calculator manuals, there are some photos of cute dogs. I'd tell the IT guys to recalibrate their automatic protection tools, definitely a false-positive.

--Bob Prosperi
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02-05-2016, 02:39 AM
Post: #17
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
What about examination boards being monopsonistic over the calculator market since the end of the 1980s? That must have been starting to come home to roost already in 2004, which was before smartphones were really much of a thing.
And the sick part of this is: How many calculators have actually gone to examination boards for review?
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02-05-2016, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2016 02:41 PM by debrouxl.)
Post: #18
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Agreed with Joseph_21sv, the change in the calculator market, caused at least partially by the incompetent rulemakers from the standardized exam testing regulation boards, became visible before the smartphone era.
The '2006 TI-Nspire CAS+, which remained at the prototype stage, and the '2007 Nspire Clickpad with a derivative of the CAS+'s OS and different hardware, are closed calculator models, for consumption more than production of content, and the Nspire's "exam mode" misfeature was predated, with an even weaker implementation, on the 84+, which made its first appearance on the market in 2004.

Other calculator manufacturers' blunders before and during the smartphone era helped and still help TI become dominant and maintain dominance and lockstep on the calculator market:
* due to C.F., HP stopped making brand-new calculator designs for about a decade, until the 39gII, followed by the Prime in 2013, on which HP had to implement the exam mode misfeature;
* after the overpriced Classpad 300/330, Casio waited until 2010 to release a new calculator model, the "Prizm" fx-CG10/20, and until 2013 to release the fx-CP400, a slight evolution of the CP300/330 (still same old OS, which barely takes advantage of the color+touch screen and whose BASIC is insanely slow for some high school grade problems) at an outrageous price tag. The existing fx-CP400 doesn't even have an exam mode, but a newer model which has it is coming.
* at the time of this writing, neither HP, nor Casio offer models rivaling TI's 2015 models for the middle tier of the market. The new 83PCE (French version, with exact math engine and exam mode) / 84+CE (US version, surprisingly without exam mode) / 84+CE-T (European version, exam mode), which is a brand-new design based on an eZ80, is proving popular, and the popularity of calculators with a monochrome screen is waning quickly.
* even on the low tier, while TI's latest (and hopefully last...) variants of two-decades-old TI-83+ technology with a monochrome screen, namely the '2015 82A and '2016 84+-T, are underwhelming because of severely crippled functionality due to lack of ASM programs or third-party FlashApps, the HP-39gII and Graph 25+-E/35+-E (French names, fx-CG something in the US) don't beat them handsomely.
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02-06-2016, 04:31 AM
Post: #19
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
(02-05-2016 02:39 AM)Joseph_21sv Wrote:  What about examination boards being monopsonistic over the calculator market since the end of the 1980s?

This link claims the HP-42S lacked an electronic input facility specifically so that it would be accepted for use by "various examination boards." Is there any truth to this? I have read that the originally planned HP-42S (or 42SX) input capabilities died on the drawing board due to repeated project redirections and cost-cutting directives. But this is the only time I've seen a claim that it was driven by exam board constraints. I'm skeptical....

John
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02-06-2016, 03:50 PM
Post: #20
RE: Smartphone killed the calculator star. Some thoughts... and data too
Maybe, if you will pardon the blasphemy, HP axed the electronic input facility from the 42S project because they had inside information on what features examination boards would preclude the acceptance of the calculator on examinations and never told the public that part of the story.
As to debrouxl's litany of calculator manufacturers' blunders, it misses unforced misfeatures:
* The Casio fx-62/63, 6800G, due to heaven knows whom, used a downright bizarre graphical display paradigm, in addition to which the 6200G had no memory for user keystrokes. Moreover, even HP got in on giving this display paradigm an afterlife in the form of the HP 9g.
* The HP 20/30b, due to a bad choice of display chip and display paradigm, ended up with only a semi-line dot matrix in its upper display window. Moreover, its USB port was virtually impossible to locate, preventing users from installing firmware upgrades.
* HP and TI did not compete with Casio on color graphing calculators until 2011, nor on icon menu graphing calculators until 1998, and Casio's graphing calculators were easy to beat on integration of operating paradigm.
* HP does not appear to be planning a new User RPL calculator now that the 50g is discontinued.
However, none of these can compare to the infamous "killer left click" in AmigaOS, for which see video #1 here.
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