|The HP 20B direction?|
Message #13 Posted by Geoff Quickfall on 4 Mar 2009, 1:44 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by David Hayden
That is a good question and should elicit as many differing responses as there are members! I think this is the quandary HP finds itself in today.
Can you make money on a stand alone calculator. Of course, if you can corner the high school and university market with an “approved” calculator, that would be lucrative. But calculator for the masses, we have them, ranging from the generic to the high end graphing systems.
My use today:
I still use my HP41CX system in the cockpit. The current cockpit is a state of the art Boeing 777, yet the on board system still does not correct altimeters for temperature differences below -10C. On legs greater than 9 hours we have extra crew which relieve the acting pilots to allow rest periods. Rest periods have been automated by my HP 41CX and the infrared printer. These rest periods are not simply equal time periods but are tailored to flight length, passenger meal service (noisy) and pilot preferences. My 41 program adapts to all possible choices I have encountered.
What I would like to do:
Now I realize I can do this all on my HP 210 with a 41-emulator, which I have. I chose the 41-emulator as the programs do not have to translated for use. Problem with the emulator is you require a $200 to $400 hand held system to use it (HP210, iphone, etc.,). I am examining the possibility of converting the HP 20b into a dedicated, in house system that other pilots would desire (DUE TO THE LOW COST AND PILOTS BEING INHERENTLY CHEAP). The program set would be tailored to aircraft type, route structure and provide the suite of applications that the onboard system does not supply.
The suite of programs include:
1. latitude/longitude keys for Great Circle/True Track
computation. This is not for flight planning but as an
independent check of the onboard navigation system. This
would eliminate gross navigational errors due to vendor
(data base supplier info) and input error (pilot). That
is, the old garbage in; garbage out
2. altimeter temperature corrections which would apply to
specific airport local altitudes used on approaches.
Strictly a northern or cold weather specific application.
3. altimeter error on days with barometric pressure greater
4. a break schedule program
5. a gmt time/day/date program
6. a data base for various static data; phone numbers, door
The calculator (20B) provides an excellent cost versus the multi function platforms. A dedicated keyboard with preformatted silk screened keys or overlay would make the operation an ease. Programming language be it simple RPN, RPL, Basic need not be required for the operator.
I think that is the direction that calculators appear to heading. Preformatted, dedicated systems used by specific industries.
Edited: 4 Mar 2009, 1:44 p.m.