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What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #1 Posted by John on 30 July 2004, 1:36 p.m.

Just curious... what is your favorite HP calc and why? I'd answer this myself, but I don't know if I can. I like all of mine.

The first one I ever bought was a 12C back in 1987. This got me through business school, so I guess it has tons of sentimental value to me.

I also love my 48gx... it can do darn near everything. Not as much sentimental value, but a true workhorse.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #2 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 30 July 2004, 3:04 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

John,

What a loaded question :) Kind of like asking which snack food or desert is my favorite.

Over the years my favorite HP has changed. Once I would have said the HP-41CX. Today, I have two favorites: HP-11C and the HP-42S.

The HP-11C is my main "General" calculator. It's a great size to slip into the shirt pocket to take to meetings. It has all the features that I need for general calculations.

The HP-42S is my main "programming" calculator. The two line display, the alpha features, the menu system - let me repeat - the menu system, and runs all my HP-41 programs, only much faster. It easly prints to an IR printer (no wires) It's still thin enough to fit into my shirt pocket to take to a quick meeting at someone else's desk. Did I mention the menu feature?

If I had to choose only one HP then it would be the 42s.

I'm sure you're going to get a range of opinions on this question John - probally based on each person's background and actual use requirement.

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #3 Posted by Chan Tran on 30 July 2004, 3:29 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

This question has been asked before and started quite a discussion.

                  
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #4 Posted by Hank on 30 July 2004, 6:25 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Chan Tran

I have had great service from my HP-45 *; HP-55 (failed early in its life; HP-19C loved the printing system (It died); HP-41C (Sold); HP-41CV (Sold); HP-41CX *; HP-71B *; HP-75(C??) *; HP-48SX *; HP-11C (sold); HP-12C **; HP-15C **; HP-16C ** and all of the various items related to the HP-41 series. Card reader dead. I have an HP-97 with a bad printer and card reader. How can I tell you which one I "enjoyed".

* Still own but no batteries ** Still own and may put on the market - all in working condition. I miss the HP place in the market.

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #5 Posted by Richard (Athens, Greece) on 9 Aug 2004, 9:12 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

I'm a wild 42S partisan because of the menu system. I repeat, the menu sustem. Thanks, Bill (Smithville, NJ)...it can't be repeated enough.

Also, the two-line display serves RPN to perfection. If all RPN calcs had had two-line displays from long ago, I would bet that most cheapo, four-function calcs would be RPN today!

Also, you can use any character in a variable name. There are none of those stupid, forbidden "object delimiters" and mathematical function symbols. Used with imagination, the menu keys can become extremely intuitive and powerful. When I bought a 48G to "replace" my 42S, I found that 36 of the 60 or so variables that I used in my programs were illegal. It was a big disappointment.

The 42S arrived when most of the (expensive) 41's were still out there and working marvelously so most people didn't rush out to buy another fairly expensive calculator. No doubt its shortcoming, no input, put other potential buyers off. Still, I think that most people who somehow actually did acquire a 42S and use it (for day to day work...in my case, surveying) really love it.

Long live the 42S! (I'd like a three-line display...)

Richard

                  
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #6 Posted by Vincent Weber on 9 Aug 2004, 10:13 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Richard (Athens, Greece)

Richard,

I fully agree with you. I know Valentin would kill me for that... :), but I think that the 42s was a much better machine than the 15C (which was already an outstanding machine to me, don't get me wrong), and as such, it was a more than worthy successor to the 15C in 1988. True, the 15C was (a bit) smaller and lighter. But that's about it. The 42S brought speed, ability to store many programs, 41C compatibility, alphanumeric display (both keycodes and messages), complex numbers in polar forms, and tons of other functions - all this in in a very small and unassuming package ! To me these more than offsets the cool form factor of the 15C. And yes, I like the menus - I find them efficients and not cumbersome at all. The only thing I really hate about the 42S is the 2-stroke alpha entry. I think that the 41C design was better was a direct alpha keyboard. However, the 42s requires less intensive usage of the alpha keyboard given the menu system , the custom menu and the automatic prompt of variables names, so you suffer only when entering alpha messages or variables names for the first time. I also hate the lack of I/O, but what to do. On the rom for improvement side, I really would like a good equation entry mode (a la 17BII) and a good fraction mode (a la 32SII). This, plus a small USB port, would make it absolutely perfect. And some hacking capabilities a la 41C would be great...

Cheers,

Vincent

                        
Some 15C advantages over 42S
Message #7 Posted by Karl Schneider on 9 Aug 2004, 10:38 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Vincent Weber

Vincent posted,

Quote:
...but I think that the 42s was a much better machine than the 15C (which was already an outstanding machine to me, don't get me wrong), and as such, it was a more than worthy successor to the 15C in 1988. True, the 15C was (a bit) smaller and lighter. But that's about it.

I agree with most of what you stated, with a few exceptions:

  1. I don't believe the 42S to be the direct successor to the 15C, although it's true that the 42S is the only RPN (not RPL) model that has every function the 15C had. The 32S was more equivalent, but lacked a few important capabilities. I see the 42S as a much-improved "calc-only" replacement for the 41CV, but lacking the expandability and I/O.

  2. Besides the slightly-smaller size, the 15C had several advantages over the 42S:

  • 15C display is much more legible. This is hard to overstate; it is a critical attribute of any calculator. Characters on the 42S are much smaller, less crisp, and the display is very sensitive to viewing angle. It's why I prefer to use the 32SII or 15C, unless I need some feature those ones don't have.

  • 15C matrix descriptors include single-letter identifiers. This is important in matrix algebra, because only the addition operation is commutative. The user must know which matrix is which...

  • Every 15C function is readily accessible. Perhaps that's a dubious "attribute" stemming from non-alphanumeric display and smaller function set, but it's nice to not have to "surf" for Roll Up and hyperbolic functions.

-- Karl S.

Edited: 9 Aug 2004, 10:41 p.m.

                              
Re: Some 15C advantages over 42S
Message #8 Posted by Vincent Weber on 10 Aug 2004, 4:12 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Karl Schneider

Hi Karl,

I agree with the advantages you stated, especially regarding the matrix descriptors. This actually makes me prefer the '41 Advantage module matrix routines over the 42S ones (Entering A,B,C in the alpha register, then execute M*M is less ambiguous and cumbersome than RCL A, RCL B, having [3x3] twice on the stack, pressing '*', and then having to do 'STO C' to have the results in C !.

Where I don't agree is that I really think the 42S was meant as a sucessor to the 15C. This is the way it was advertised in Educalc. To support this view, the 15C was discontinued soon after the 42S was released (less than a year), while the 41CV and 41CX were still produced for two years. The 42S, while having improvements over the 41C, also have huge drawbacks, such as the lack of I/O, which definitely prevented it from competing in this high-end space. Not even the 28S could. HP discontinued the '41 only after releasing the 48SX, which was the true successor to the 41CX (altough a lot of 41 fans may not see it that way and may not be big fans of the 48). Personnally, I like both 41 and 48 series a lot, and I also like the 15C and 42S in the lower segments (i.e. powerful but not I/O).

Cheers, Vincent

      
HP-67
Message #9 Posted by John Limpert on 30 July 2004, 4:26 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

It would have to be the HP-67. Unfortunately, I sold it many years ago, in an overzealous fit of house cleaning.

When I first received it, I was overwhelmed. It had every feature that you could think of, in a perfectly designed handheld package. It was the perfect calculator. The card reader/writer was tiny and reliable. The documentation was extensive and extremely well written. There was a wide variety of application pacs and user written software. Everything about it was first class.

Edited: 30 July 2004, 4:27 p.m.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #10 Posted by Garth Wilson on 30 July 2004, 5:40 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/memories.cgi?read=224

            
Re: What's your favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #11 Posted by David Ramsey on 30 July 2004, 6:05 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Garth Wilson

* The HP-45-- I saved for months to get one in college. It was the pre-eminent scientific calculator for several years after its introduction.

* The HP-41 series. This is what we bought back in the lates 70s instead of personal computers-- heck, it _was_ a personal computer! The expandability was astonishing. Still is, come to think of it. It was also the first calculator with an alphanumeric display.

                  
Re: What's your favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #12 Posted by Arnaud Amiel on 31 July 2004, 2:12 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by David Ramsey

Quote:
The HP-41 series. This is what we bought back in the lates 70s instead of personal computers-- heck, it _was_ a personal computer! The expandability was astonishing. Still is, come to think of it. It was also the first calculator with an alphanumeric display.

By the time I needed calculators the 41 was not here anymore but I got one quite recently and I have to say as a calculator it is quite crap as so many of the functionality is so hard to access. I was however quite impressed (given its age) with the way it can be used as a sort of handheld computer.

So in the end I would say the 41 is a really crap calculator but an outstanding computer.

I will thus not vote for the 41. For calculator, I would hesitate between 11 and 32 ( I don't have 15 or a 42 and my bank account does not allow me to ). So in the end it will be the 33s because it is readily available.

Arnaud

PS: I know, last time I voted for the 45 but I came to realise recently that it is just too big and likes batteries too much...

                        
Re: What's your favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #13 Posted by Garth Wilson on 31 July 2004, 12:17 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Arnaud Amiel

> so many of the functionality is so hard to access

That's why it had key assignments. Problem solved. It didn't allow multiple KEY files like the 71, but you could have your own programs to set up a new set of key assignments using PASN (programmable assign). I always found 1 USER keyboard to be enough though.

                              
41C/V/X key assignments
Message #14 Posted by Karl Schneider on 31 July 2004, 4:50 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Garth Wilson

From Garth's post:

Quote:
> so many of the functionality [of the 41C/V/X] is so hard to access

That's why it had key assignments. Problem solved. ... you could have your own programs to set up a new set of key assignments using PASN (programmable assign)...


"Problem solved", until another program doesn't run properly because it expects a different key assignment than the one you previously made for other purposes. (This has happened to me.)

If you install a template to identify all your key assigments, you can't readily see the regular "non-USER" functions.

One would probably want to have two programs of "PASN" commands -- one to make all the special assignments, and one to clear them all.

No, I'd consider the menus of the 28C/S, 32S, and 42S a better way to make more functions conveniently available. But, that development was seven years down the road.

                                    
Re: 41C/V/X key assignments
Message #15 Posted by Garth Wilson on 1 Aug 2004, 2:13 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Karl Schneider

> "Problem solved", until another program doesn't run properly because it expects a different key assignment than the one you previously made for other purposes. (This has happened to me.) <end quote>

Each program can make its own key assignments. Remember also that the local alpha labels A-J don't need any key explicit assignments-- they're automatic for whatever program you're in.

If that's not enough, you can use GETKEY followed by GOTO IND X, or use GETKEYX.

> If you install a template to identify all your key assigments, you can't readily see the regular "non-USER" functions. <end quote>

The only template I have does have the non-USER keys labeled as well.

> One would probably want to have two programs of "PASN" commands -- one to make all the special assignments, and one to clear them all. <end quote>

Again-- each program can make whatever key assignments it needs. But to clear them all, it will sometimes be better (certainly much easier) to have it just clear the USER flag.

I've done all these in various 41cx programs and probably more I'm forgetting right now. I've done menus too. The 41cx can do a lot more than meets the eye.

Edited: 1 Aug 2004, 2:34 a.m.

                        
HP-41 as calc vs. 15C
Message #16 Posted by Karl Schneider on 31 July 2004, 4:17 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Arnaud Amiel

Arnaud posted,

Quote:
By the time I needed calculators the 41 was not here anymore but I got one quite recently and I have to say as a calculator it is quite crap as so many of the functionality is so hard to access. I was however quite impressed (given its age) with the way it can be used as a sort of handheld computer.

So in the end I would say the 41 is a really crap calculator but an outstanding computer.


I agree completely (whith different phrasing, perhaps..). The impressive aspects of the 41C/V/X are its expandability and its family of peripherals, not its utility as a pure handheld calculator.

Back in 1980-81 as a 17-year-old, I was enthralled by the costly 41C, but couldn't afford its $300+ price. I would experiment with it at several retailers, including the college bookstore in my freshman year. There, on separate occasions, I overheard two people disparage the new 41 to the electronics-department manager:

"It's terrible -- I hate it", said a fifty-ish man in a wheelchair.

"It's the all-time bad calculator", said a younger guy in his unfortunate nasal voice.

The manager and I looked at each other and shrugged after these exchanges ended. Unspokenly, I attributed the sentiments of the two men in part to some personal bitterness they might have had.

I ended up buying a more affordable and appropriate HP-15C two years later from that bookstore, and used it faithfully through three college-degree programs.

About two years ago, I finally bought a nice used halfnut 41CV. I still like the 41, and have acquired a fullnut 41CX and fullnut 41C, as well. However, particularly in view of my experience with the 15C, I see clearly what those two guys were talking about more than 20 years ago. Here's a comparison:

                          HP-15C            HP-41C/V/X
Starting List Price        $135               $325
Linear Regression        on keyboard         Stat Pac
Permutation/Combination  on keyboard           No
Factorial                on keyboard         Alpha
Gamma Function           on keyboard           No
Hyperbolics              on keyboard         Math Pac
Complex-valued math      on keyboard      Math Pac (some)**
Matrix operations        on keyboard      Math/Advant Pacs+
Solve (rootfinding)      on keyboard      Math/Advant Pacs*
Integration              on keyboard      Math/Advant Pacs*
"Roll Up" function       on keyboard         Alpha
Set Deg/Rad/Grad mode    on keyboard         Alpha
Convert Deg<->Rad        on keyboard         Alpha
Convert H<->HMS          on keyboard         Alpha
Delta %                  on keyboard         Alpha
RND, INT, FRAC           on keyboard         Alpha
Display legibility       excellent         good to fair***

** The exact same programs are also available on the Advantage Pac, but are implemented as RPN routines that are cumbersome and not nearly as complete as the built-in microcoded functions on the 15C.

+ Math Pac implementation is a set of slow, cumbersome RPN routines; the Advantage Pac offers an extensive set that exceeds the capabilities of the 15C. Some of these in the Advantage Pac are microcoded functions.

* The Math Pac implmentations are crude RPN routines; the Advantage Pac programs are the microcoded functional equivalents of those on the 15C (and 34C, 42S).

*** Early fullnuts had sharp displays; later fullnuts were not quite as good; halfnuts had "disjointed" characters, with too much space between segments.

There's no contest! If expandability, electronic I/O, and advanced programming were not particularly important to you, the 15C was clearly preferable to the 41 as a handheld-size calculator. The 32S and 32SII, and the 42S to a considerable extent, also compare quite favorably to the 41 as handheld calcs.

Edited: 1 Aug 2004, 1:01 a.m.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #17 Posted by Emmanuel, France on 30 July 2004, 6:52 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

Surely and always HP-41 Series, specially the HP-41CV.
RPN, Alphanumeric display, Synthetic Programming, MCode, ... and expandable (extensions and peripherals).
That can explain my email : XEQ41. ;o)
Yours and Happy Programming.
      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #18 Posted by Daniel on 30 July 2004, 7:55 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

I wish I could try out some of the older HP models, but right now I have a 20s and a 6s. Sold my 11c when prices for them got over $200 on ebay. Clearly the 11c was excellent, but my preference has changed to the upright form factor of the 20s.

There has certainly been a lot of 6s bashing, and it is very clear why given the rubbery feel of the buttons and the lack of RPN, but I would like to mention that it is a marvelous little machine to carry around in your pocket; it's so thin that you forget it is there, and sometimes just having a calculator - any calculator - is more important than a having a full-featured calculator that cannot be used because it is sitting on your desk back at the office. The 6s has a metal plate on the front and on the back so it is also very durable. Aside from the keys, my only real complaint is that it only has one memory. If not for that then this one would be at the top of my list; my job does not require much more than what's found on a basic scientifc.

I have read about the HP-71 with a built in basic interpreter, and if it had a 2 or 3 line display I would probably get one just for fun... in fact I have been tempted to get one anyway.

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #19 Posted by Garth Wilson on 31 July 2004, 2:08 a.m.,
in response to message #18 by Daniel

Daniel wrote,

> I have read about the HP-71 with a built in basic interpreter, and if it had a 2 or 3 line display I would probably get one just for fun... in fact I have been tempted to get one anyway. <end quote>

It wasn't just BASIC. If you include the extensions in things like the math module and all the contributions from the user groups, it was by far the best BASIC I've ever seen (and that's an understatement!) That includes HP's BASIC that ran on their bigger computers, which was a huge disappointment to me after having learned the 71's.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #20 Posted by Ed Look on 31 July 2004, 12:52 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

I hope not to cause any kind of stir, but it has to be my still extant but no longer so trusty 34C.

It helped me graduate from college... and more. I love its heft, size, and solid feel, especially the keys.

Nowadays, if I'm home the one I reach for most is the 32SII. The 48G+ is next, as it's a little more effort to use, but often I need its programmable and incredible memory power.

If I'm at work, I use their mirror images, the 33S most often and the 48G next, for similar reasons. In some ways, the 33S is better than the 32SII, but in others, the 32SII is better.

But if I allow sentimentality, the 34C is tops.

"... rah, rah, rah, rah, sis-boom-bah, be true to your calculator... " - The Lab Boys.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #21 Posted by HrastProgrammer on 31 July 2004, 1:41 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

My favorite is HP-48GX with RAM cards because I can have all my emulators (HP-41X, HP-42X and HP-71X) installed at once (together with all modules I have) and run almost all HP-41C/CV/CX, HP-42S and HP-71B software on it ...

      
Confession (long)
Message #22 Posted by Guilty on 31 July 2004, 6:27 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

In 1982, while a student at college, I was in need of a calculator for a chemistry test. I had left my calculator back in my hometown when I went home for the weekend. I put word out on my floor that I wanted to borrow a calc for the test. I student not from my dorm present me a calculator that he wanted to sell. His price was $20, said he had received it from his folks at Christmas, but didn’t need it. No manual, but it did have the case. I offered 15 since I would need to buy the manual. He agreed, and the deal was done.

I went to the student bookstore to buy the manual, the manual was $25! Then I looked for the calc, Hp 41CV ... list price was $369. I about sh__. Tracked the seller down by phone, he admitted that he had bought the calc from an unsavory individual for $5. Receiving stolen property, what to do? ... I decided to keep the calc. Got me through calculus, chemistry and statistics. I finally sold it for what I had in it, I had purchased some pacs.

Since then, HP is all I have ever owned. In order of purchase –11C, 28C, 27S, 48S, 32SII, 20S, each time, selling the old, and buying new.

I believe that like music, the value of the calc has less to with how good the calculator is, and more with what was going on in your life when you were using it. With that in mind, I liked the guilt-ridden 41CV best.

            
Re: Confession (long)
Message #23 Posted by Ed Look on 31 July 2004, 9:38 p.m.,
in response to message #22 by Guilty

Hey! That was mine! Send it back now postage paid!!

Just kidding, Ed

            
Guilty's confession belongs in the Memories Forum. It's perfect! (NT)
Message #24 Posted by db(martinez,california) on 9 Aug 2004, 7:14 p.m.,
in response to message #22 by Guilty

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #25 Posted by Les Bell [Sydney] on 31 July 2004, 8:42 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

The 41 series, easily. With its alpha display and keyboard, it represented a quantum leap in programmability over the keystroke programmables that preceded it. No more counting down and across the keyboard to figure out what an instruction was. And it easily beats the menus that followed in the 28, 42 and 48 series - the 48 drives me nuts; I know it has a function, but it can take me dozens of keystrokes to find it on a menu somewhere.

Add in the card reader and printer, not to mention all the other IL accessories that I never needed. I see some folks complaining about the USER keyboard, but I never ran into problems with that; the few programs I wrote that made extensive use of key assignment also loaded the assignments from a mag card.

I still have a 41CV and a 41CX that get used on an almost daily basis. By comparison, my 48GX collects dust in a drawer, too cumbersome to use for most tasks. . .

Best,

--- Les [http://www.lesbell.com.au]

            
1st-HP48GX and 2nd-HP42S (N.T.)
Message #26 Posted by Marx Pio on 31 July 2004, 10:53 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Les Bell [Sydney]

N.T.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #27 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 1 Aug 2004, 2:36 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

An HP49G+ with a 256MB FLASH card. It can be RPN when wanted, it can be algebraic when wanted, it has plenty of memory, CAS, upgradable O.S., USB connection... and if I cannot get mine in hands, I can buy a new one (if I have the money to).

I had a teacher once that told us, students: "If you have one, you have none; if you have two, you have one". Hey, hey, easy guys: he was talking about equipments in general, so you can keep working with one if the other fails, but you can't go any longer if the only one fails. So I vote for one calculator with a current and plausible spare whenever needed.

I am always trying to keep track with technology, and I still believe calculators are probably the "last frontier" of using local resources. Today, connecting anywhere from anywhere is no longer sci-fi, so being only local seams "loco". I have no idea of what's going on from now. Technology itself plays its role in the backstage, no one (I mean NO ONE) cares for [whatletter]-MOS technology is used inside any portable provided it works fine and does what it is intended to do. If it doesn't, there's always a closer dumpster to throw it away and buy a new one, with [whocares]-MOS technology in its chips.

All I'm afraid of is when those who actually know what is inside the chips are gone for four or five generations. Will the guys pressing buttons in the production line to choose the color of their PDA's be able to repair the machines that are not responding to pressing buttons?

I still believe in local resources...

Live long the HP15C, HP42S, HP48G... and the HP49G+ for being the current model!

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 1 Aug 2004, 11:48 a.m.

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why [LONG]
Message #28 Posted by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen on 8 Aug 2004, 9:42 a.m.,
in response to message #27 by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil)

Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 1 Aug 2004, 2:36 a.m.
=========================================================
An HP49G+ with a 256MB FLASH card. It can be RPN when wanted, it can be algebraic when wanted, it has plenty of memory, CAS, upgradable O.S., USB connection...

I had a teacher once that told us, students: "If you have one, you have none; if you have two, you have one". Hey, hey, easy guys: he was talking about equipments in general, so you can keep working with one if the other fails, but you can't go any longer if the only one fails. So I vote for one calculator with a current and plausible spare whenever needed. ========================================================= I have two 71B, two 49G, two 49g+ Ď was going to answer 49g+ then I was going to say Qonos, but that is not HP and not yet available. My final answer is HP-200LX It has DOS and it can have many languages like awk, forth, C,... The keyboard is excellent and the size is good. The separate numeric keys are a joy. I would liked to see a SDA with 200LX design. Naturally the keytops should read "SIN", "LN", etc... [VPN]

                  
Re: What's your favorite HP Calc and Why [LONG]
Message #29 Posted by James M. Prange on 8 Aug 2004, 10:02 a.m.,
in response to message #28 by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen

Veli-Pekka,

If you feel that you really must use the [pre]...[/pre] formatting codes, then please be careful to keep your lines short!

Use [quote]...[/quote] codes for quoted text.

Feel free to edit your post.

Regards,
James

PS: I corrected the very annoying grammatical error in the subject of this message.

Edited: 8 Aug 2004, 11:58 a.m.

                        
Re: What's your favorite HP Calc and Why [LONG]
Message #30 Posted by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen on 8 Aug 2004, 1:19 p.m.,
in response to message #29 by James M. Prange

Hi, James!

Thanks for the 'quote' suggestion!

Why not use 'pre'?

'VPN' - nothing is a must, except the nothing here (-;

                              
May I?
Message #31 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 8 Aug 2004, 1:31 p.m.,
in response to message #30 by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen

Hi VPN, James;

[pre]

(I guess) that is because when you type a continuous text without [pre], it is automatically broken in lines so it fits on screen, whatever resolution you decide to use. Texts with [pre] maintain the original format (PREformatted) and sometimes what could be a multiline paragraph becomes a continuous line, "driftting" to the right side of the screen. Is this what you mean, James? I apologize answering a question not addressed to me, but I was also wondering about the same subject. [pre] is good, I think, for listings and "display" representation.

[/pre]

(I guess) that is because when you type a continuous text without [pre], it is automatically broken in lines so it fits on screen, whatever resolution you decide to use. Texts with [pre]\ maintain the original format (PREformatted) and sometimes what could be a multiline paragraph becomes a continuous line, "driftting" to the right side of the screen. Is this what you mean, James? I apologize answering a question not addressed to me, but I was also also wondering about the same subject. [pre] is good, I think, for listings and "display" representation.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 8 Aug 2004, 5:01 p.m.

                                    
Re: May I?
Message #32 Posted by James M. Prange on 9 Aug 2004, 6:37 a.m.,
in response to message #31 by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil)

Quote:
I apologize answering a question not addressed to me,

It's not any problem at all. I think that your post illustrates the difference quite nicely.

Regards,
James

                              
Special formatting for this forum
Message #33 Posted by James M. Prange on 9 Aug 2004, 6:29 a.m.,
in response to message #30 by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen

I don't greatly object if you choose to use [pre]...[/pre] codes for ordinary text, as long as you keep the lines reaonably short. As it is, I'd have to scroll far to the right if I really wanted to read the entire lines that you quoted, and it wasn't immediately clear to me that you were quoting a previous post. After all, there are special codes for quoting, and I've come to expect a quote to have a particular appearance in this forum.

Without any formatting codes, the text is presented to me in a proportional width font, and, regardless of the font size and display resolution, the text is "flowed" to fit the window width (as long as my window isn't too narrow). The wrapping treats spaces and single newline codes interchangeably, treating either as a word separator and potential line break position, and starting a new paragraph (defined as a blank line) only when two consecutive newline codes occur. Overall, it's very nice for reading, and you don't force the reader to see a particular line length, leaving it up to him instead; much like reading html formatted text. In fact, the forum software presents it to my browser as html code, and lets my browser present it to me appropriately. If I really want to see how the author wrote a post, I can always use the "Edit Message" button to effectively view the source as it was written into the "text area", although of course I won't be able to actually post an edited version of someone else's post. For example, if you look at this post that way, and copy the text to a text editor, you'll find that the lines, as I wrote them, don't exceed 66 characters, because that's what I have my text editor set up for.

On usenet, I find that "format=flowed" often seems to create more problems than its intended benefits. Quoting and keeping quoted lines to a reasonable length, in particular, seems to be a problem with that format in newsreaders. But here on the Forum, the equivalent formatting seems to work quite nicely.

If you really want to force a new line without a new paragraph, you can always use a [nl] code. See my signature (by trying to edit my posts) for example. The list formatting codes also start each list item on a new line; very nice where appropriate.

On the other hand, for some things, such as program listings and tabular data, reformatted text would make it difficult to read as the author intended. This is where the [pre]...[/pre] codes are especially useful. The font is fixed width (so tables and numerals in columns line up correctly and indenting is as intended), and the line breaks are respected. Of course you can use these codes for ordinary text if you prefer. But one should be careful to keep the preformatted lines short enough that they can reasonably be expected to fit into the window without requiring scrolling to the right to see the rest of the line. I suppose that a maximum line length of about 80 characters would be appropriate.

Quoting is sometimes appropriate, particularly when responding to only a small part of a post or on a point by point basis. But quoting is less needed on this forum than on usenet, where the referenced post may not be available on any particular server. Here, if we can see your post, it's certain that we can also see the referenced post, unless it's been deleted. This also makes attribution less important; unless otherwise indicated, we can reasonably assume that you're quoting whomever you replied to, which we can clearly see. But I would like to have a option for a [quote=person] style of quote, where the name is included for clarity.

Overall, the special formatting codes on this forum are very nice. The superscripts and subscripts are especially appropriate in a forum where mathematical notation is often desired.

I suggest using the "Preview First" button whenever you have any doubts about how your post will look, and referring to the Advanced Formatting page (perhaps in another tab or window) when it doesn't look as you intended.

Of course, we should always try to get it right the first time, but errors do occur, so editing is often appropriate, particularly if no one has replied to the post yet. But, as far as I know, I can only edit a post that I've included a password with, so I make it a habit to do so.

Regards,
James

Edited: 9 Aug 2004, 6:51 a.m.

      
HP-49G+.
Message #34 Posted by Eddie Shore on 1 Aug 2004, 9:16 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

HP-49G+: I spend most of my time working on it. Although onwning a 48G served as an excellent introduction into the HP world. I am impressed with the speed, processing, and the extensive set of functions you get with the 49G+.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #35 Posted by Glenn McEnroe on 2 Aug 2004, 1:02 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

In the early 70s as a chemistry major I used an HP-45. It got me through college and a little beyond until battery contact failed and I could only use it when it was plugged in to the power cord. After that I bought an HP11C. I used it at work until it was taken from my lab bench and not returned. About a year later, my boss through away an HP11C that he thought had died. I think it was my original calculator. I dug it out of the trash and replaced the batteries. It is still in use on my lab bench.

Over the years I have collected additional calculators. The first was an HP67 which had a bad card reader but was repaired by a competent repair person I found here. I would have to say this is the nicest looking calculator HP made.

I also had an HP48G that I bought when my 11C turned up missing. It only lasted about a year and the keypad went bad, a sign of the time for poor HP quality control.

My favorite is the HP41CV. I use this one at home and just bought another one with the high top keys on ebay. The new one will replace the HP12C I had at my desk that was stolen while I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago. As much as I hate having to lock my desk, looks like it is time to do that. I also have the MEMORY MODULE, X-FUNCTIONS, TIME MODULE, HP41 ADVANTAGE and NAVIGATOR module.

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #36 Posted by marais on 2 Aug 2004, 1:50 a.m.,
in response to message #35 by Glenn McEnroe

But you should know that you can't let these goodies lie around your workdesk any more. I just replaced my 28S with a 48S at work, much less likely to be stolen.

            
HP-41CV modules and program
Message #37 Posted by Karl Schneider on 2 Aug 2004, 2:25 a.m.,
in response to message #35 by Glenn McEnroe

Glenn posted,

Quote:
My favorite is the HP41CV. I use this one at home and just bought another one with the high top keys on ebay... I also have the MEMORY MODULE, X-FUNCTIONS, TIME MODULE, HP41 ADVANTAGE and NAVIGATOR module.

You have good taste! I have a similarly-equipped halfnut 41CV with all the same modules, along with a fullnut 41CX and a 41C.

BTW, I'm assuming that the "MEMORY MODULE" is actually an 82181A "X MEMORY" module. The 41CV already has the maximum amount of regular memory; it cannot use or even recognize a regular Memory module or Quad Memory module.

The 41CX is basically the equivalent of a 41CV with Time and X-Functions modules, plus a few other functions.

I have a celestial-object position-finder program that your 41CV with its Time and Navigation (not "Navigator") modules can run.

                  
Re: HP-41CV modules and program
Message #38 Posted by Glenn McEnroe on 2 Aug 2004, 3:35 a.m.,
in response to message #37 by Karl Schneider

Thanks for the clarification on the memory module for HP41CV and correction on Navigation module. I have the navigation module in storage so wasn't sure about the correct name of module. I forgot to mention that I also have the card reader as well.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #39 Posted by Cyril RABIH on 2 Aug 2004, 5:22 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

I think graphic calculators seem too much for a small device. That's why I prefer portability rather than complexity. My 3 best calculators are 15c, 42s, 41cx ( 2*x-mem+advantage+stat). There's no order because every one has its own qualities. The 15c is very small and its best quality is a non-aplhanumeric display. Doing so much with a 7 segments display is simply amazing. The 42s looks like a simple scientific calculator but hundreds functions are hidden inside this powerful device. I like the feeling of having such an uncluttered keyboard and such a powerful calculator.It's not really a graphic calculator but graphics can easily be added (like with sharp pc-1360 or pc-1600). Last but not the least, I love my 41cx (with 4 modules). I wasn't a fan of this serie until recently because I thought that this serie was versatile but not extremely powerful ( I mean in a scientific point of view). The main aim of calculator is not to do anything possible but to give the right answer easily. The 41 serie is basically not very impressive. It lacks a lot of functions and even a cx canno't do complex maths. But the x-mem modules with the advantage pac make changed my opinion about it. It's now more powerful than a 42s and its vintage look is great.With 2*x-mem and advantage, the 41cx is now pewerfull enough to please me. Moreover the last port allows me to personalize it with a stat pac for example.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #40 Posted by Michael Reinold on 2 Aug 2004, 7:19 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

For sentimental reasons, I love my HP-65.

I learned programming with that astonishing and well designed machine when I was a twelve years old boy. First I saw it on television with its really cool card reader. When I had it in my hands I was really electrified.

Immediately I decided that computers were the right field for my future ambitions. And so it was. A few years later I studied Computer Science.

      
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #41 Posted by Vassilis Prevelakis on 2 Aug 2004, 10:22 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John

I'd go for the HP-97, beautiful design:

+ huge led display

+ unbelievable keyboard (I just LOVE the ENTER and + keys)

+ printer for hard copy

+ card reader for storage (although I hardly use it anymore)

+ adequate functionality (although some built-in functions are a bit slow, and programs take for ever to run)

+ battery pack lasts for a long long time

Too bad it doesn't have NVRAM, while in the 70s I would have definitely chosen the card reader over NVRAM, nowadays (now that I have a laptop that is) I'd rather have a couple of programs in NVRAM rather than deal with the mag cards.

Just holding it in your hands, you can feel the quality of construction. Well done HP.

One last point, the left hand function keypad is totally intimidating, people who come to my office just stare at that keypad with all the hieroglyphs.

**vp

            
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #42 Posted by marais on 3 Aug 2004, 1:57 a.m.,
in response to message #41 by Vassilis Prevelakis

How right you are! I've got one 97 one each of my desks and it's just fabulous. I remember they had a hard time discontinuing it, people kept ordering it. We had several in our lab in the 80s.

                  
Re: What's you're favorite HP Calc and Why
Message #43 Posted by Jean-Marc Baillard on 4 Aug 2004, 4:23 p.m.,
in response to message #42 by marais

Hi everyone. Although the HP-48 and HP-49 are much more powerful, I still prefer the HP-41, especially because of its programming language: Old programs may still be improved, even several years later, and I enjoy to find stack trickeries. However, if it were possible ( who knows ? ), what improvements would you wish for an updated HP-41? I suggest: The same design, the same programming language, the same accurate clock ( with an Accuracy Factor ), a YMD format,also working before 1582, 1MB RAM, many of the non-graphic functions of the HP-48, 2 types of registers ( for example 100000 data registers Rnn and a few registers R.nn - like in the HP-55 ) perhaps a SIZE nnnnn.mm creating n registers of the first type and m registers of the second type ( for control numbers etc ), An AVIEW2 which doesn't blink, a longer alpha "register" a RAND function, a few more stack-functions ( like in Angel Martin's module ): Y=Z? T<>L X=integer? L<0? ... an XROOT function ( exact for integer arguments ), a turbo mode ( like in the V41 emulator ) What do you think of these features? Best regards, Jean-Marc.


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