|Re: HP-35s I/O and Memory|
Message #18 Posted by Bruce Bergman on 18 July 2007, 3:57 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Kostas Kritsilas
Some sort of memory card option might seem like overkill for a calculator at first thought, but keep in mind that this thing IS programmable, and HP went to fairly great lengths to expand the address space of the HP-35s so that people could enter longer programs and create more programs. If HP weren't shooting for that kind of enhanced programmability, they could have very easily just left it the same as with the HP-33s. They didn't, however.
The 15c, 11c, 12c, etc., were/are memory limited. You have far fewer program steps available than you do even with the 33s. The 41c, 48s and 49/50 families all had some sort of IO option. Of "recent" programmable calcs, only the 32 and 42 families didn't. Then there was the 33s, but its memory was small enough (or should I say, restricted enough) that if you lost a program, it wasn't a nightmare to re-enter it.
But with the 35s, you're looking at potentially big, long and multiple programs. LOTS of variable space. In fact, whereas the 33s had very few user-contributed programs, I fully expect that the 35s will have quite a few user-contributed programs in a short time. It begs to have some way to backup, restore or simply *enter* a program easily. Got a great program to do XYZ? Or play game ABC? Love it! But to enter it by hand -- in this day and age -- is almost enough to make me skip it completely.
I totally understand the lack of IR comms, as that would never fly with the testing agencies. The ability to IR print would have been nice, but that only addresses the "backup" side of things. A simple SD card slot, with a minimal Filer application, would be sufficient to fill all needs; it would allow backup, restore and ease of entry, and it would certainly increase the number of programs that users create and share. If not an SD card slot, then just a USB connection would be enough. Even the TI-89 has this ability.
HP wouldn't take a hit on adding that at all. Heck, virtually every HP product out there (laptop, PC, printer, etc) has some sort of SD card slot. Their cost for those must be mere pennies. I suspect there was another reason, which we may never know.
Or, maybe the future will tell...
I hope HP will follow up the 35s with a version that has some sort of communication option. I personally think it would go over very well with both casual user and collectors.