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HP48GX
05-11-2014, 01:06 PM
Post: #1
HP48GX
Hello:

Here in Helsinki, it can get cold.

This is why I am stepping up from the HP97 to the 48GX. I will be buying a NOS unit here in Finland for 450 euros.

NEW TO THE UNIT!

What pacs, enhancements, books & software do you rec for it? Leather cases? My first new unit in 33 years!

I intend to delve into it hard. Help me find the deep end, please!

Vagn Anderssen (Knutssen)
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05-11-2014, 01:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP48GX
Hello Vagn,

(05-11-2014 01:06 PM)Vagn Anderssen Wrote:  This is why I am stepping up from the HP97 to the 48GX. I will be buying a NOS unit here in Finland for 450 euros.

450 € sounds very (!) expensive for such a calculator, even in Finland. Did you check other sources?

d:-/
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05-11-2014, 01:18 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP48GX
Yowza that's a lot of money. Congrats.

As someone who also went more or less from a 67 to a 48 you're gonna have a lot of fun.

I don't have much advice except to visit www.hpcalc.org and participate in the forums here. One thing I will mention is knowing the FORTH language or at least reading up on it a bit will give you a good background for the 48 since it is a stack machine.

It ain't OVER 'till it's 2 PICK
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05-11-2014, 01:23 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 01:06 PM)Vagn Anderssen Wrote:  Hello:

Here in Helsinki, it can get cold.

This is why I am stepping up from the HP97 to the 48GX. I will be buying a NOS unit here in Finland for 450 euros.

NEW TO THE UNIT!
What pacs, enhancements, books & software do you rec for it? Leather cases? My first new unit in 33 years!
I intend to delve into it hard. Help me find the deep end, please!
Vagn Anderssen (Knutssen)
Hello Vagn and welcome to the forum:-)

For that price, it should be a unit with the high contrast B/W display. This can be seen even if the unit is off. If the LCD reflection is a very light grey, it's likely to be a newer unit with high contrast LCD. If the LCD reflection shows a greenish portion, it's one of the older LCDs.

I'd recommend to get a RAM card of 128K or 256K , and check out http://www.hpcalc.org , which is _the_ software archive for the HP 48 series.

Since I'm somewhat biased, I'd also recommend to try SpeedUI, which is _the_ software turbo for the HP 48GX user interface.

Cheers

-- Ray
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05-11-2014, 02:29 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP48GX
Thanks.

Units , esp electronics, that are sourced from pure Northern European sources carry a premium here. We like to take care of our own from soup to nuts. A non-Northern European unit would go for maybe 150 euros less. But there are not many HPgXs for a comparison. Things are generally more costly here near the Arctic Circle. Foodstuffs, like fruit are 2X versus those in Central Europe.

That display issue is very interesting!

But i cannot tell... with the display off I cannot see much. Can you elaborate on how to determine the high contrast thing?

Thanks,

Vagn Anderssen (Knutssen)
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05-11-2014, 02:43 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP48GX
The 48GX is probably my favorite scientific HP calculator overall (the 48SX is a very close second, and I think it outdoes the GX in a couple of very specific regards).

I'd recommend these starting supplies:

Manuals. Both the standard users' guide and advanced users reference. You can probably get printed copies cheaply enough, but there are good quality PDF versions available. The 48 has LOTS of commands available, and you're going to want a good reference ("What are the parameters for CHOOSE again?...")

Get accustomed to the fact that in the RPL system, basically everything is a pointer to an object. The stack? A bunch of pointers to objects in memory. This is what offers such flexibility and efficient memory usage, with pretty much every object/data type being a first-class citizen of the OS.

RAM cards are very nice to have, but can be quite pricey. Expect to spend almost $100 (USD) if you want a 128 KB card. 32 KB cards are more reasonable, but you'd still be hard pressed to find one under $40. Incidentally, 128 KB cards are the largest that can be merged with main memory in slot 1, giving you 256 KB total RAM to work with. The second slot can accept cards of up to a few megabytes, but you're limited to "port" memory, which is generally used for installing libraries/programs.

Also, NEVER use a memory card that isn't specifically designed and labeled for use in a 48. I've been told that there's a nearly-compatible format used with some Epson word processors or something, and they sort of work, but under certain low-battery conditions, the card can cause a short circuit and damage the 48. In summary, if it doesn't specifically say it's for an HP 48, don't put it in an HP 48. TDS stuff is generally fine, as they specialized in HP 48 hardware/software.

There are quite a few software ROM cards out there, many of them intended for rather specific disciplines (there's a lot of surveying software available). It's up to you if any of these would be useful. Otherwise, just dig around hpcalc.org and see what you think might be worth downloading and installing.

Get a serial cable. I believe it's the same cable that the 95LX uses, so that could open up your shopping options. Beware: the 49G and 100LX/200LX both have 10-pin serial connectors, but the pin-outs are very different. There are two small adapters from HP that allow either of those cables to be used with a 48 or 95LX, but it's very difficult to tell if you have the correct cable/adapter combination. Just get the appropriate 4-pin cable.

Learn how to do custom menus (via the CST variable) and user-defined keys. You can get some huge efficiency gains from these.
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05-11-2014, 04:22 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP48GX
I have two HP 48GX units that I bought new 17 years ago, along with some very expensive memory expansion cards. I was very happy to relegate them to permanent retirement after getting the much more capable (at much lower cost) HP 50G in 2007. My HP 48SX and two HP 48GX units have the most unsatisfactory LCD quality of any machine I have ever come across, and are very slow. I hate their keyboard color schemes. I recently bought a second HP 50G for $75 new to ensure that I never need to return to the 48-series for anything serious.

I know that the HP 48GX looks pretty, but the low contrast keyboard color scheme matches its display for very poor ergonomic design. What could HP have been thinking when they came up with this...and kept it so long?

Sorry...but I was a long-time user of the 48-series...and I still dread the thought of having to use them again. I don't understand the appeal at all.
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05-11-2014, 04:42 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP48GX
I agree the G/GX color scheme is ugly and difficult to see. But the S/SX is a thing of beauty! I think we all agree with you on the illegible SX LCD though.

Like you, I'm keeping 50gs in stock. They're cheap and good. But I find I use my 48s a lot just because there are less keystrokes to get to most of the stuff I use programming at this point.

If you really hate your 48s that much I will provide a loving home for them Wink

If you think the G/GX is low contrast, take a look at the blue 50g. No, please don't!

It ain't OVER 'till it's 2 PICK
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05-11-2014, 05:05 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 04:42 PM)HP67 Wrote:  I agree the G/GX color scheme is ugly and difficult to see. But the S/SX is a thing of beauty!

IMHO, the 48S/SX, along with all the Pioneers, is best characterized as "orange on fecal brown". Barf!!! However, there is one machine, the yet unmatched after 26 years HP 42S, which is so outstanding that it overcomes its ugly keyboard, poor LCD contrast, and un-ergonomic location of the ENTER key on the opposite side from the /,*,+,- key column.

Quote:If you really hate your 48s that much I will provide a loving home for them Wink

I've only released one calculator since 1972. A trade actually. In 1978 I traded a brand new TI-58 for an old HP-35...red dot...though I did not realize 36 years ago the red dot significance. I think it was probably a good trade!

Quote:If you think the G/GX is low contrast, take a look at the blue 50g. No, please don't!

My ultimate HP hate machine is the HP 38G. There's absolutely nothing good about that dog.
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05-11-2014, 05:17 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP48GX
Vagn,

I am a huge fan of the HP-48SX and have used mine as my daily engineering work calculator since I bought it new in 1991. That being said, €450 is a very high price to pay for a calculator you may or may not like. I might suggest you purchase a used HP-48SX/GX or the very good HP-50G or play with a free emulator first to see if you even like the RPL models. There are some people on this forum who never did transition from the traditional 4 level RPN calculator models to the unlimited stack RPL models.

I also recommend looking at the excellent book HP 41 - HP 48 Transitions by William C Wickes.  It helps explain the differences between the RPN and RPL way of doing things. It is available on Disk 12 of the MoHPC documents on DVD.

To see the different display contrasts on the HP48 models, look at Post 43 of the following forum thread:
http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-771...t=Contrast
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05-11-2014, 05:21 PM
Post: #11
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 05:05 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  IMHO, the 48S/SX, along with all the Pioneers, is best characterized as "orange on fecal brown".

Lay one on top of a Kennedy machinist's chest and tell me if that doesn't make a nice photo op!

(05-11-2014 05:05 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  I've only released one calculator since 1972. A trade actually. In 1978 I traded a brand new TI-58 for an old HP-35...red dot...though I did not realize 36 years ago the red dot significance. I think it was probably a good trade!

That's a good deal. The 58 would have fallen apart in a few years anyway. I think the average lifetime of the TIs I had (all LED models) was about 3-5 years tops.

(05-11-2014 05:05 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  My ultimate HP hate machine is the HP 38G. There's absolutely nothing good about that dog.

Maybe, but the 33S makes the 38G look positively handsome! And the 38G is hard to lose in the dark with that yellow death-glow color scheme. But now we know where all those leftover SX displays wound up...

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05-11-2014, 05:29 PM
Post: #12
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 05:05 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  My ultimate HP hate machine is the HP 38G. There's absolutely nothing good about that dog.

Whoa, now let's not say anything we can't take back.

1. It's got a nice hard plastic cover.
2. You can buy one for barely more than the cost to pack and ship it.
3. You can still get batteries for it easily.

But yeah, I don't exactly use the 38G (that I snagged from ebay on a completionist whim) on a daily basis or anything. I should pop some batteries in it to remind myself of what it can/can't do. I seem to recall there was something a tiny bit interesting about it... Maybe it's just the slight resemblance to the OmniGo 100 and similar black-sheep standing in the family.
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05-11-2014, 05:37 PM
Post: #13
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 05:21 PM)HP67 Wrote:  Maybe, but the 33S makes the 38G look positively handsome! And the 38G is hard to lose in the dark with that yellow death-glow color scheme. But now we know where all those leftover SX displays wound up...
Actually the 38G was a spin-off from the HP 48G series, and uses the green/blue G series LCD;-)

Internally, the 38G OS is more advanced than that of the 48G series, as it introduced the Topic Outer Loop (TOL) around the normal Parameterized Outer Loop (POL), which allows kinda cooperative task switching. OTOH the 38G is a closed platform, with the underlying RPL OS well hidden from the user, and therefore not interesting for me.
The slide-on protective cover is nice, though.

-- Ray
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05-11-2014, 05:55 PM
Post: #14
RE: HP48GX
GREAT ADVICE FOLKS!


Thank you from Helsinki!
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05-11-2014, 07:41 PM
Post: #15
RE: HP48GX
BTW:

The main complaint seems to be colour.

Why not change the colour scheme? Metallic copper/ platinum may be the way to go.

Any colour changers?
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05-11-2014, 08:07 PM
Post: #16
RE: HP48GX
(05-11-2014 05:17 PM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  ... €450 is a very high price to pay for a calculator you may or may not like. I might suggest you purchase a used HP-48SX/GX or the very good HP-50G or play with a free emulator first to see if you even like the RPL models. There are some people on this forum who never did transition from the traditional 4 level RPN calculator models to the unlimited stack RPL models.

Yeah, I know a few. Wink

Just for sake of completeness, there is also one RPN calculator model available featuring an 8-level stack: the WP 34S, available for less than 20% of the money you're up to spend, Vagn. It sticks to easy RPN keystroke programming and even exceeds the HP-42S in its function set and some aspects of its number crunching capabilities. OTOH, it's not RPL (you may count this as an advantage or a disadvantage). You'll find a lot of information about it in another sector of this forum. Well, I frankly admit I'm a bit biased in this matter.

d:-)
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05-11-2014, 09:05 PM
Post: #17
RE: HP48GX
I like the infinite stack feature of the 48 & 71.
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05-11-2014, 11:21 PM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2014 11:22 PM by Brad Barton.)
Post: #18
RE: HP48GX
For those wanting to get deep into the 48 series, I highly recommend both volumes of "HP48 Insights" by William Wickes. These are well written books that delve deeply into the 48 series. Many consider them indispensable for learning and they are available on Dave Hick's Museum of HP Calculators DVD along with many other resources.

Here's a link to the latest version of the DVD. I'm not affiliated with MoHPC, but I have the DVD and have found it very useful.

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cd/cddesc.htm
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