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HP Forum Archive 08

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Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #1 Posted by Chris on 15 May 2002, 12:00 a.m.

After being out of school for about 10 years, I'm looking to take a professional engineering examination for licensing.

I have a 28S that helped me get my BSEE.

I'm using it mostly for complex numbers and matrix operations (solving simult. linear equations).

Is there any reason I should shell out $150 for a 49G? I don't need it for graphing. But I was wondering if it is really any better for what I need it to do. Thanks

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #2 Posted by Ernie Malaga on 15 May 2002, 1:13 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Chris

My personal opinion is that the 49G isn't worth the packaging it comes into, and that the 28S will still serve you well for what you want to do.

I feel that the 49G is just too cluttered with features -- no doubt the result of some engineer suffering from terminal expertosis and a firm belief that "more is always better."

I have a 28C (not 28S) myself, and wouldn't part with it for the world, even though its RAM capacity is a cruel joke. The 28S, with its larger RAM, is probably what the 28C should've been like from the very beginning.

Good luck.


Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #3 Posted by Jeff_G on 15 May 2002, 7:36 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Chris

I just took the April 2002 Electrical PE exam with two HP-48's; an HP-48SX as my main calculator and an HP-48S as my backup.

The HP-49 is a fine machine provided you take the time to be fully aquainted with it. Both the HP-49 and the HP-48 are well suited to the problems you'll encounter on the exam. There is less of a learning curve on the 48 due primarily to the excellent Users Manual provided with the calculator. The 49 on the other hand has terrible documentation and this will limit its usefulness.

My advice for the PE exam is to bring with you two similar calculators that you are very familiar with. I would recommend one new HP-48GX and perhaps one used HP-48S.


Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #4 Posted by Ron Ross on 15 May 2002, 8:42 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Chris

Hp's evolution of graphics was the 28-48-49. All are very similiar and you just get an increase in capability with each step up. I suggest you buy an Hp48 whatever (probably a + version would suite you best). It is a nice step up, but the keypad layout of the 28 can't be matched by the later 40 series. However the serial port more than makes up for this with the amount of Free software available for EASY download, something the 28 lacks. 32K RAM is plenty for keystroke entry, but gets cramped when you can download all sorts of good FREEBIE software, and that is why you should buy a 48G+ or GX version.

You would probably be disappointed with the 49G (even with its better OS simply because of the Hardware (rubber keys are not as nice as the older 48 or 28 keyboards).

I would buy a 48 NOW and get familiar with it. It will serve you better than an Hp28, though that will also do, it is just that if anything should happen in the next couple of months, 48's are readily available to replace vs. a 28 may take a couple of weeks to replace (which at the last moment would be disasterous).

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #5 Posted by olivier croissant on 15 May 2002, 9:36 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ron Ross

Sorry guy,

I am going to be controversial here, I think that you should buy a 49G . why ? because it the finest calculator around here.

I have followed the classic path 67-41CV-41CX-48GX-49G

Initially I did not want to buy the 49G, I was thinking that it a shame for hp to issue a claculator with such an external look (keyboard,...) it was like a blasphem to it configured algebraic out ofthe box, an so on. Then, I tried to understand whether Texas Instr. has finally won the 20years+ war. and let me tell you what I discovered.

Hp49G is the story of huge internal fight that happened inside HP. , between the dev guys who wanted to issue the next hero that would have smashed the competition and the marketing guys commanded by execs who do not understand the business (Hp is going to get out of the businsness very soon). So the dev guys have managed to put formidable features inside the box, but had to comply with "marketing decisions" that determined the shape of the calc and imposed the algebraic external apparence. At the end , the dev guy did not even have the ressource to finish the development, they issued in catastroph the machine, even without a decent manual. They are functions in the manual that are wrongly described by people who do not understand what they are writting. Ok but what a machine, if you accept its actual physical apparence, if you change a few flags, to restore its initial and fundamental state, it becomes again the hero that it should have been.


Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #6 Posted by HPhreacke[r] on 26 May 2002, 11:33 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ron Ross

Buy an 49G and an 48GX with a 2mb expansion card. Why?

- HP49G quality is rising, there is plenty of RAM, many software, but 48GX is more "supported". BTW, i have an 39G... great piece of hardware... ;-)

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #7 Posted by Chris on 15 May 2002, 10:00 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Chris

Wow - lots of good opinions. Thanks for all of them.

Having just bought a house and all the repairs that go with it, I don't want to spend the money yet if I don't have to.

The HP28S is a great calculator. The design is also 12+ years old. I was hoping that after twelve years (which is a hundred years in "electronic" years), there would be incredible improvements. It sounds seems like the display is where the biggest improvement has been made.

Unfortunately, I can't find a store around me that has a 49G I can try out.

I'll probably wait and see what they come out with next.

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #8 Posted by ColinC on 15 May 2002, 11:36 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Chris

You will be waiting a long time. There is no next hp calc to come out. All new calc development stopped when the xpander was cancelled in Oct 2000. And as you can see the existing calcs are getting harder to obtain as they are discontinued one by one. If you want a 49G I would get it while you can.

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #9 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 16 May 2002, 9:15 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by ColinC

I agree.

Re: Should I buy a new 49G?
Message #10 Posted by WigglePig on 17 May 2002, 5:44 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Chris

Nope. Stick with the 28.

I have a 48G (good calc, quite like it), a 49G ( horrible, biggest waste of 120 I ever made) and a 15c (just got this after _years_ of seeking, love it).

I'm probably getting rid of the 48 & 49 and sticking with the 15c but, whatever else happens, I'm never going to recommend the 49 to anyone.



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