|From the HP-41C to the HP-48GX and a Broken 97|
Message #1 Posted by Gerry Schultz (Los Angeles) on 25 June 2007, 5:23 p.m.
Lately, I been having a lot of fun with old (new to me) calculators and I'm beginning to see the operational changes between my original HP-41C and the HP-48GX.
As mentioned in previous posts (thanks for the responses), I dropped using my HP-41C for a quite awhile until I bought an HP-48GX right when they came out. Thinking back, I remembered that I got interested in an Apple IIe as I needed to become more familiar with computers since work was going more and more that way. I then upgraded to an Apple IIgs and finally slipped over to a 486 with Windows 3.1. In '93, I got access to the Internet through dial up and I was lost for a long time.
I remember when I bought the GX as it was brand new and most available software was for the 48SX and I wondered if I had bought the right machine. When I started learning how to use it, I had a very hard time understanding all these new 'objects', an unlimited stack (oh, wow!) and 128K of storage (what is going on!?). I gave up a few times since the HP documentation didn't lift my cloud of confusion and only when 3rd party books started coming out explaining how the 48GX worked that it did began to sink in.
Now that I'm older and can afford to induge my fetish, errr, interest in HP calculators, I recently purchased an HP-97, an HP-42s and an HP-28s. The 42s is great and as I started working through the Owner's manual, I could see how the old 4-position stack was moving over to HPL.
Now, with the 28s and it's great HP Owner's manual I really see how the 48GX became the calculator it is. Since the 28's manual goes step-by-step through the operation of the calculator, it is beginning to fill in all the missing little gaps of how this calculator works and along with it, the 48GX, the 49G, 49G+ and the 50G.
This going back and using these old calculators has helped me feel more confident with the newer ones. It also points out how poor HP's documentation is on it's present calculators. With the third party market for these calculators being so small, there aren't many books that explain how to use them. So, going back to these older machines and their documentation is as good as it gets.
I hope that when the HP-35s is released, that HP spends the time and money to write its manuals like how the 28s is written to help new-comers become more confident and make better use of their investments. HP makes some great calcuators but if they don't help their customers master their machines, then only the smartest of us will make the full use of them.
Okay, enough reminiscing and complaining. I broke my 97 printer. I got a program that prints out prime numbers and I left it running last night printing out prime numbers. This morning the 97 printer was making a hi-pitched squeal and now doesn't work. I think the paper advance gears broke. Who works on 97 printers? I know the "Fixthatcalc.com" doesn't so whom else might?
Thanks for reading and indulging my lamenting of HP calculators.