Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
03-06-2015, 06:40 PM
Post: #1
 Jake Schwartz Senior Member Posts: 318 Joined: Dec 2013
Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
Hi,

On March 6th, 1990, Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-48SX and the calculator world changed significantly. It is hard to believe that it's been a quarter of a century. The HP Handheld Conference in June of that year at the HP office in Rolling Meadows, Illinois (and sponsored by the Chicago-area CHIP group) was as exciting as ever. HP's Bill Wickes and Eric Vogel presented many aspects of the new machine and the Equation Library Card and it was great time.

Jake
03-07-2015, 05:23 AM
Post: #2
 Steve Simpkin Senior Member Posts: 632 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
I still remember driving down to Educalc in 1991, plopping down $350 and buying my SX. Richard Nelson himself checked the ROM version to verify it was the latest. I still use it weekly at work. It is loaded with utility programs for electronic conversions and other handy calculations. 03-07-2015, 06:01 AM Post: #3  Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,733 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX (03-06-2015 06:40 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote: On March 6th, 1990, Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-48SX and the calculator world changed significantly. In what way that the 28C and 28S didn't? Sure the 48SX has a better display and a more standard keyboard, but I can't think of anything it did that was truely novel. I managed to get a friend who was doing a PhD in the USA at the time to bring mine back when he visited. The cost here was well over twice the price over there. Sadly, the screen lost a column and I've not used it since. My 28S cost well over$500 here a few years before

Pauli
03-07-2015, 07:01 AM
Post: #4
 Michael Lopez Member Posts: 77 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
Thanks Jake for the reminder.

Still own a few HP 48SX calculators with various ROMs & although not my daily calculators, I still greatly enjoy using them. The feel & colour scheme were first class even though they feel rather slow compared with the 48G series let alone the 50G.

Cheers,

Michael
03-07-2015, 02:18 PM
Post: #5
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 5,066 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-07-2015 06:01 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:
(03-06-2015 06:40 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  On March 6th, 1990, Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-48SX and the calculator world changed significantly.

Sure the 48SX has a better display and a more standard keyboard, but I can't think of anything it did that was truely novel.

It sold well

--Bob Prosperi
03-07-2015, 04:50 PM
Post: #6
 Dave Britten Senior Member Posts: 1,960 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
The 48SX was pretty much a refinement of the RPL system, married to the 41C's approach to customization and expansion, and if that doesn't make you feel tingly inside, then you're on the wrong web site.

The 48SX is still my preferred desk calculator. The screen contrast is poorer overall than the GX, but the range of usable viewing angles is much wider. Load GXLib on it to regain some of the list processing commands the GX introduced (DOLIST and DOSUBS in particular), and you've got a pretty nice system overall.
03-08-2015, 12:41 AM
Post: #7
 Jlouis Senior Member Posts: 671 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
I arrived very late to the party, for I only used to use a 15c. But now I proudly own 2 48g, 1 48g+ black LCD, and 1 48gx black LCD, too.

I'm still learning to use this beast, but the more I take one to use, the more I love it.

My 15c is jealous.

Happy birthday, HP 48, Live Long and Prosper

JL
03-08-2015, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2015 12:23 PM by Sanjeev Visvanatha.)
Post: #8
 Sanjeev Visvanatha Member Posts: 267 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
I was in Grade 11 when the 48sx was introduced. It caught my attention, and I poured over the brochure at home. I purchased one in January 1991 and used it the remainder of Grade 12 and through Engineering Degrees and into professional life. Unfortunately the Enter Key broke one day at work, but I have a replacement I use.

Since it was my first HP, I know it inside and out. The large display, expansion ports and easy PC communications made it stand out at that time. It's slow by comparison to the GX, but I wouldn't give it up for any other stretch 48 or beyond. This calculator sparked my interest in HP calculators, so I am very fond of it. Happy Birthday!

-- Sanjeev Visvanatha
03-08-2015, 01:46 PM
Post: #9
 Werner Senior Member Posts: 649 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-07-2015 04:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Load GXLib on it to regain some of the list processing commands the GX introduced (DOLIST and DOSUBS in particular), and you've got a pretty nice system overall.
Well, I'm glad someone uses it ;-))
Cheers, Werner
03-08-2015, 06:05 PM
Post: #10
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 5,066 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-08-2015 01:46 PM)Werner Wrote:
(03-07-2015 04:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Load GXLib on it to regain some of the list processing commands the GX introduced (DOLIST and DOSUBS in particular), and you've got a pretty nice system overall.
Well, I'm glad someone uses it ;-))
Cheers, Werner

Where can GXLib be found? I assumed GXLib would be available at hpcaclc.org (since, what isn't there?) but it's not. I presume from your comment that you (Werner) wrote this?

--Bob Prosperi
03-08-2015, 06:11 PM
Post: #11
 Didier Lachieze Senior Member Posts: 1,382 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
It's here.
03-08-2015, 06:16 PM
Post: #12
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 5,066 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-08-2015 06:11 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  It's here.

Well golly, that's embarrassing. gx.lib. Hrmph.

Thanks Didier.

--Bob Prosperi
03-08-2015, 06:50 PM
Post: #13
 Chris Randle (UK) Junior Member Posts: 14 Joined: Apr 2014
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
The 48SX was my first HP calculator too, and the precursor of much mental illness since ;-)

I've fished out the receipt from February 1991. I paid £310 for it, which was probably around US\$500 back then.

I still have it, and it still works perfectly.

I coveted a 48GX, but could never justify the cost for an upgrade to what I already had.
03-09-2015, 12:33 AM
Post: #14
 Jake Schwartz Senior Member Posts: 318 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-07-2015 06:01 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:
(03-06-2015 06:40 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  On March 6th, 1990, Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP-48SX and the calculator world changed significantly.

In what way that the 28C and 28S didn't?

Pauli

I feel like we were looking for a successor to the HP41 with full I/O, and the 48 certainly came much closer than the 28C or 28S (both of which I also used prior to the 48). To me, it did more to legitimize RPL than the predecessors did, since the user could offload software to the PC to preserve and restore a machine after a crash. Certainly, I would have *loved* a 42S with full I/O and plugins, but that unfortunately was not to be.

Jake
03-09-2015, 01:34 PM
Post: #15
 Dave Britten Senior Member Posts: 1,960 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
(03-08-2015 01:46 PM)Werner Wrote:
(03-07-2015 04:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Load GXLib on it to regain some of the list processing commands the GX introduced (DOLIST and DOSUBS in particular), and you've got a pretty nice system overall.
Well, I'm glad someone uses it ;-))
Cheers, Werner

Quite extensively! I'd feel naked without those commands on my SX. Thanks for putting it together.

On a side note, somehow I managed to accidentally drop the library, and about had a panic attack when I couldn't DOLIST. Heh. Thankfully I had my 200LX with me that day, so I could quickly beam a copy back over IR. No clue how I managed to make it disappear in the first place, though.
03-09-2015, 08:21 PM
Post: #16
 John R. Graham Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Happy Quarter-Century Birthday to the HP-48SX
The 48SX was the 2nd calculator (the 41C being the first) that I purchased with my own money, bought at the Engineer's Bookstore just outside of the Georgia Tech campus sometime in (I believe) 1990. An absolutely revolutionary machine at the time. My fingers still use chords I learned on the 48SX when playing my 50g.

- John
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