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The sentence "in the old days calculators were released at faster pace" is unfair
08-22-2017, 07:04 AM (This post was last modified: 08-22-2017 06:32 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #1
The sentence "in the old days calculators were released at faster pace" is unfair
This from the nice thread that one can found here: http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-6989.html (I also watched the youtube presentation)

rprosperi wrote:
Quote:he glory days indeed. The best part is TI and HP were bringing out several new machines every year! It's now 3+ years since the Prime's introduction and anywhere from 5 to 15 years since the significant TI models were introduced.

I think this sentence is unfair.

For the little that I know, in the years 1975-1990 there were more calculators released, but the majority of those was not as mature as the (flagship) calculators that come later. People did amazing things with the TI 56 or the HP 25 or 29C (and still they do amazing things) but it is also true that the average engineer would hit the limit of those machines quite quickly (in terms of algorithms that fit the memory or that run in reasonable time) .
Plus there was little competition from laptops at that time, so those systems were heavily used.

I would say that since the HP 48 series (and equivalent for TI) maturity has been reached. Sure, one can still create algorithms that would require a lot of computational power, ram or whatever, but for the purpose of a calculator, a HP 48 would be way enough (even more an hp 50g and a prime). For bigger stuff there would be a laptop/server/cluster available somewhere.

So I object the idea that new products have to be released frequently, if the existing one are capable enough to handle the majority of the needs of their users (for the purpose they were designed). Frequent releases of "overkill" devices won't be as useful as the releases of devices done before 1990 aside from consumerism (see smartphones).

Last but not least. Due to capability of the modern devices, I wouldn't really consider only a new calculator when a new hardware is released. A lot of value is brought bythe software, so if we consider the last software released for the prime, it was released only one year ago. The last version of new rpl is some weeks old. Free42 is some weeks old as well. I am not that updated on the TI side but I think they released a new nspire version in the last 1-2 years.

edit: some more proof reading.

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08-24-2017, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2017 08:05 PM by aurelio.)
Post: #2
RE: The sentence "in the old days calculators were released at faster pace" ...
Pier, if I caught the meaning of the sentence, (the owner 'll forgive me if it isn't) you should be agree with Robert.
In the seventies were made so many different kind of calculator but at those times maybe the challenge was in making always new pocket calculators with perfomances at the beginning unbelievable for an hand held device and then in products designed not just only for scientific purposes. The challenge continued with passion till the use of PC became so popular, and till the moment when to talk about "hardware" meant talk about the personal computers, at least at this latitude.
the same has not been with smartphones as you well already pointed. These "inseparable" companions then took a place in our lives perhaps beyond the initial expectations and original purposes of a mobile communication device

Reading your post I'm agree with mostly your thoughts If we think about PC processors as a friend of mine who loves sailing says "dead calm this week", not the same with the software: continuously we get new releases.

Times have changed as the old people say, and people with them; industries follow this trend and it is difficult sometimes to accept it, as well as difficult to compare champions of the nowadays football with the ones of the past times. Smile forgive this last sentence or the entire reply Smile

edit: typos Smile
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