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Which manual for HP-48SX?
11-20-2019, 03:59 AM
Post: #1
Which manual for HP-48SX?
I'm in the market for an HP-48 calculator. In the 1990's, I had, what I think was an HP-48G and loved it. I'm looking on eBay and the choices seems to be HP-48SX, HP-48S, HP-48G, HP-48G+ and HP-48GX. I have an HP-48gii and don't like it as much as the others. I'm inclined towards getting an HP-SX.

Two manuals are associated with the SX on eBay. They are the HP-48SX Owner's manual, volumes I and II, and the HP-48 Owner's manual. The HP-48SX Owner's manual volume II, and the HP-48 Owner's manual are hard to find and expensive. Which of these, or another, would be appropriate? I know the HP-48SX Owner's Manual, both volumes, are available herein on the Museum Document Set, but I like paper manuals. Also, is any other material available for free download?

I figure that the HP-48 Owner's manual was meant to apply to the HP-48SX when it first came out, because that was the only HP-48 model then.

FWIW, I also have an HP-35 and 35s. The former is my favorite calculator. I'm happy to say I got an HP-35 (not the same one) for my job as Scientific Programmer in 1972.
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11-20-2019, 04:21 AM
Post: #2
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 03:59 AM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  I'm in the market for an HP-48 calculator. In the 1990's, I had, what I think was an HP-48G and loved it. I'm looking on eBay and the choices seems to be HP-48SX, HP-48S, HP-48G, HP-48G+ and HP-48GX. I have an HP-48gii and don't like it as much as the others. I'm inclined towards getting an HP-SX.

Two manuals are associated with the SX on eBay. They are the HP-48SX Owner's manual, volumes I and II, and the HP-48 Owner's manual. The HP-48SX Owner's manual volume II, and the HP-48 Owner's manual are hard to find and expensive. Which of these, or another, would be appropriate? I know the HP-48SX Owner's Manual, both volumes, are available herein on the Museum Document Set, but I like paper manuals. Also, is any other material available for free download?

I'll recommend you get a 48GX with Black LCD. The Blue LCD on 48S/SX machines is quite poor contrast and hard to read. The Blue 48GX is better, but nowhere near as clear and readable as the Black LCD units. Also, the GX is faster then the SX and has many additional commands and capabilities.

The 48SX is better looking IMHO (color scheme and keyboard layout), but it sounds like you're getting it to use and not just for collecting; the 48GX is the better choice for that.

Whichever one you get, I strongly suggest you read Bill Wickes' book "HP-48 Insights, Part I", which is also on the MoHPC USB Doc. set (I could not tell if you have that or not from your post). While it is not really an "Intro to 48" type book, it explains RPL and how to use it FAR better than any of the HP manuals, and in fact better than any other books or sources I've ever seen.

--Bob Prosperi
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11-20-2019, 08:54 AM (This post was last modified: 11-20-2019 08:54 AM by cdmackay.)
Post: #3
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 04:21 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  Whichever one you get, I strongly suggest you read Bill Wickes' book "HP-48 Insights, Part I", which is also on the MoHPC USB Doc. set (I could not tell if you have that or not from your post). While it is not really an "Intro to 48" type book, it explains RPL and how to use it FAR better than any of the HP manuals, and in fact better than any other books or sources I've ever seen.

…and note that there was a second edition of Insights I, for the GX (the first edition was for the SX).

I don't know if Insights II was also updated for the GX, or does that exist in SX form only? The Preface to the GX version of Insights I notes that GX versions were to be done for both books, but I've never seen a GX version of Insights II; was there one?

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41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 71B 17B/BII/bII+ 28S 42S/DM42 48GX 50g 35s 30b/WP34S Prime G2
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11-20-2019, 12:50 PM
Post: #4
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 08:54 AM)cdmackay Wrote:  I don't know if Insights II was also updated for the GX...

Unfortunately it was not. According to a post by Richard Nelson in the old forum, Bill Wickes was actually working on it, but in the end didn't have enough free time to finish it. Here was his dilemma: "If his son went away to college he would finish the manuscript, if he stayed home, he would not. His son stayed home."

This is very unfortunate, because the biggest changes in the GX precisely pertain to the subject matter of the second volume, namely to what Bill Wickes refers to as "Problem Solving Resources", in other words the SOLVE, PLOT, ALGEBRA/SYMBOLIC, TIME, STAT, and UNITS environments.
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11-20-2019, 03:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
The The HP-48SX Owner's manual volume I and II are also available on the museum USB as well.
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11-20-2019, 06:47 PM
Post: #6
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 12:50 PM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  Unfortunately it was not…

thanks Giuseppe!

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11-20-2019, 10:07 PM
Post: #7
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 03:59 AM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  Two manuals are associated with the SX on eBay. The

I figure that the HP-48 Owner's manual was meant to apply to the HP-48SX when it first came out, because that was the only HP-48 model then.

I think the two volumes for the HP 48s/sx was a second thought because there's one volune (very thick) that represents the two volumes. (I have two, one still in original seal). I don't know if the single volume is exacly the same of the two volumes, but I guess it is.

As for the name of the manual, you are right, it's is only HP 48 because there was no HP 48g/gx at the time of the respective original publication.

Cheer
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11-20-2019, 11:29 PM
Post: #8
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 10:07 PM)Jlouis Wrote:  I think the two volumes for the HP 48s/sx was a second thought because there's one volune (very thick) that represents the two volumes. (I have two, one still in original seal). I don't know if the single volume is exacly the same of the two volumes, but I guess it is.

As for the name of the manual, you are right, it's is only HP 48 because there was no HP 48g/gx at the time of the respective original publication.

Cheer

So, the question is: is the HP48 Owner's Manual (one volume) the same as the HP48SX Owner's Manual (two volumes)? You have the latter, right? Now we have to find someone who has the former so we can compare.
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11-21-2019, 12:12 AM (This post was last modified: 11-24-2019 04:07 AM by Giuseppe Donnini.)
Post: #9
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 10:07 PM)Jlouis Wrote:  I think the two volumes for the HP 48s/sx was a second thought

No, it's actually the other way round.

(11-20-2019 11:29 PM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  So, the question is: is the HP48 Owner's Manual (one volume) the same as the HP48SX Owner's Manual (two volumes)?

No, they are not the same.

When the HP-48SX first came out, it was shipped with the two-volume version, which, at least on the surface, kept the old HP tradition alive: the volumes were spiral-bound and typeset in an easy-to-read typeface with a generous font weight. But there was much criticism about the contents, people were not happy with the way new concepts, like RPL, were introduced, especially if they had skipped the HP-28C/S and came directly from the HP-41. The index was unsatisfactory to such a degree that Jake Schwartz decided to compile an improved one on his own: https://www.hpcalc.org/details/3562. Important information was also lacking, e.g. the special use of the "@" character, allowing comments to be inserted within programs, wasn't mentioned anywhere.

HP eventually reacted to the criticism, and the result was the one-volume version of the HP-48SX manual, for which they (slightly) rewrote almost every single chapter, greatly improved the index, and added new information here and there, like two paragraphs on the use of the "@" character, a complete menu map, or a whole new chapter on how to make the transition from the HP-41 to the HP-48. Unfortunately, the volume was not spiral-bound and was typeset in a much thinner and fainter font. What's more: I don't think that the reworked chapters are always better written; quite often, the older versions are clearer and slightly more developed.

So my advice would be to get the later manual in paper format and to always counter-check with a digital version of the older one—unless you want to have both.
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11-21-2019, 12:56 AM
Post: #10
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
Thanks for clarifying the differences Giuseppe; I was aware the single volume was later and had a better index, but did not realize the content had changed so much between the old and new versions.

Anyone know where there is a PDF of the later, single volume? Surprisingly, it is neither in the MoHPC collection, nor available on hpcalc.org.

--Bob Prosperi
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11-21-2019, 03:29 AM
Post: #11
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-21-2019 12:12 AM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  
(11-20-2019 10:07 PM)Jlouis Wrote:  I think the two volumes for the HP 48s/sx was a second thought

No, it's actually the other way round.

(11-20-2019 11:29 PM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  So, the question is: is the HP48 Owner's Manual (one volume) the same as the HP48SX Owner's Manual (two volumes)?

No, they are not the same.

When the HP-48SX first came out, it was shipped with the two-volume version, which, at least on the surface, kept the old HP tradition alive: the volumes were spiral-bound and typeset in an easy-to-read typeface exhibiting quite a substantial font weight. But there was much criticism about the contents, people where not happy with the way new concepts, like RPL, were introduced, especially if they skipped the HP-28C/S and came directly from the HP-41. The index was unsatisfactory to such a degree that Jake Schwartz decided to compile an improved one on his own: https://www.hpcalc.org/details/3562. Important information was also lacking, e.g. the special use of the "@" character, allowing comments to be inserted within programs, wasn't mentioned anywhere.

HP eventually reacted to the criticism, and the result was the one-volume version of the HP-48SX manual, for which they (slightly) rewrote almost every single chapter, greatly improved the index, and added new information here and there, like two paragraphs on the use of the "@" character, a complete menu map, or a whole new chapter on how to make the transition from the HP-41 to the HP-48. Unfortunately, the volume was not spiral-bound and was typeset in a much thinner and fainter font. What's more: I don't think that the reworked chapters are always better written, quite often, the older versions are clearer and slightly more developed.

So my advice would be to get the later manual in paper format and to always counter-check with a digital version of the older one—unless you want to have both.

Thanks Giuseppe for this clarification, very precise and clear.

Cheers
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11-21-2019, 08:36 PM
Post: #12
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-20-2019 04:21 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  Whichever one you get, I strongly suggest you read Bill Wickes' book "HP-48 Insights, Part I", which is also on the MoHPC USB Doc. set (I could not tell if you have that or not from your post). While it is not really an "Intro to 48" type book, it explains RPL and how to use it FAR better than any of the HP manuals, and in fact better than any other books or sources I've ever seen.

Is this the book to which you are referring?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-48-Insights-...3214097148
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-48-Insights-...Swnypcfe6u

$759.13 and $269.00! Much less on the Museum drive.

What about The HP 48 Handbook 2nd Edition by James Donnelly Programming Guide Manual? https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-HP-48-Handb...Sw1WVddzXu
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11-21-2019, 08:43 PM
Post: #13
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(11-21-2019 08:36 PM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  
(11-20-2019 04:21 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  Whichever one you get, I strongly suggest you read Bill Wickes' book "HP-48 Insights, Part I", which is also on the MoHPC USB Doc. set (I could not tell if you have that or not from your post). While it is not really an "Intro to 48" type book, it explains RPL and how to use it FAR better than any of the HP manuals, and in fact better than any other books or sources I've ever seen.

Is this the book to which you are referring?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-48-Insights-...3214097148
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-48-Insights-...Swnypcfe6u

$759.13 and $269.00! Much less on the Museum drive.

What about The HP 48 Handbook 2nd Edition by James Donnelly Programming Guide Manual? https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-HP-48-Handb...Sw1WVddzXu

Wow!
Should consider selling my copies. ;)

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12-25-2019, 01:02 AM
Post: #14
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
I've got my hands on these manuals and books and am very happy with them.

I'm working my way through the 2-volume manual and the 1-volume manual. They are different in small ways. The calculator has so many features, it's great to learn how to use it. It seems like the manuals just scratch the surface. I wonder why the 1-volume manual is not included on the MoHPC flash drive USB set nor are manuals for my HP35s or HP48gii.

I got the Wickes' book as part of the MoHPC flash drive USB set and it's really wonderful. It's very easy to read and seems very solid.

What I had in the late 90's was an HP48G or GX. I liked it and the 48SX is somewhat different. It doesn't have some features that the G had, but the setup is similar.
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12-25-2019, 03:06 AM
Post: #15
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(12-25-2019 01:02 AM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  I wonder why the 1-volume manual is not included on the MoHPC flash drive USB set nor are manuals for my HP35s or HP48gii.

For the 1-volume 48SX manual, most likely it is not included simply because no one took the time and effort to scan it, given the 2-volume set is available and the differences are not dramatic. But please feel free to scan and send it to Dave where he'll be happy to add it to the next release of the USB document collection. That's how all the manuals currently in the collection got there - by members here taking the time to scan and share the documents.

The 48gII and 35S manuals are available from the HP website, so no need to include them in the MoHPC collection.

--Bob Prosperi
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12-25-2019, 03:29 PM
Post: #16
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(12-25-2019 01:02 AM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  I've got my hands on these manuals and books and am very happy with them.

I'm working my way through the 2-volume manual and the 1-volume manual. They are different in small ways. The calculator has so many features, it's great to learn how to use it. It seems like the manuals just scratch the surface. I wonder why the 1-volume manual is not included on the MoHPC flash drive USB set nor are manuals for my HP35s or HP48gii.

I got the Wickes' book as part of the MoHPC flash drive USB set and it's really wonderful. It's very easy to read and seems very solid.

What I had in the late 90's was an HP48G or GX. I liked it and the 48SX is somewhat different. It doesn't have some features that the G had, but the setup is similar.

I sent the 1 volume to you. It hasn't arrived yet?
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12-25-2019, 04:19 PM
Post: #17
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(12-25-2019 03:29 PM)Jlouis Wrote:  I sent the 1 volume to you. It hasn't arrived yet?

Yes, Jose, I received it yesterday. Thank you.
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12-31-2019, 06:40 PM
Post: #18
GROSS error in HP-48SX Owner's Manual.
I've been working my way through the two-volume Owner's Manual and came across a serious and gross error. The error is so severe that it makes me wonder if anybody who wrote this manual passed high school Mathematics.

The error is in Volume I, Chapter 22, Summary Examples, pages 410 - 412. Example 1 is to "Solve for x in the equation: (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1)". The text goes on to show how the equation can be manipulated using Rules Transformations in Equation Writer so that it becomes an equation (3+2*X=4) in which x appears only once. This equation is moved to the stack and ISOL is used to solve for x: x = 0.5.

The problem is that this value of x is not in the domain of the original equation! The equation is undefined at this value of x since the denominators are zero. The technique shown in the Owner's Manual is improper. Neither the HP Solve Equation nor Plotting can be used to solve the equation.

In high school mathematics, you learn that the first thing you must do when studying an equation is to determine its domain. The domain for (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1) is x ≠ 0.5. For x = 0.5, the denominators are zero. You can't divide by zero. Therefore, it is improper to move the denominators 2*x-1 to the numerator, as in step 6. The technique shown in the book is wrong!

Maybe this example could be patched up by using the calculus concepts of limit but, why over-complicate things? It would be better to use another example, an example which doesn't divide by zero.

Fortunately, the single volume Owner's Manual does not include this error.

By the way, the concept of "domain" might seem obscure, but here is an example where domain is critical to the problem.

(11-21-2019 12:12 AM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  ... But there was much criticism about the contents [of the two-volume manual], people were not happy with the way new concepts, like RPL, were introduced, especially if they had skipped the HP-28C/S and came directly from the HP-41. The index was unsatisfactory to such a degree that Jake Schwartz decided to compile an improved one on his own: https://www.hpcalc.org/details/3562. Important information was also lacking, e.g. the special use of the "@" character, allowing comments to be inserted within programs, wasn't mentioned anywhere.

HP eventually reacted to the criticism, and the result was the one-volume version of the HP-48SX manual, for which they (slightly) rewrote almost every single chapter, greatly improved the index, and added new information here and there....
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12-31-2019, 06:53 PM
Post: #19
GROSS error in HP-48SX Owner's Manual.
I've been working my way through the two-volume Owner's Manual and came across a serious and gross error. The error is so severe that it makes me wonder if anybody who wrote this manual passed high school Mathematics.

The error is in Volume I, Chapter 22, Summary Examples, pages 410 - 412. Example 1 is to "Solve for x in the equation: (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1)". The text goes on to show how the equation can be manipulated using Rules Transformations in Equation Writer so that it becomes an equation (3+2*X=4) in which x appears only once. This equation is moved to the stack and ISOL is used to solve for x: x = 0.5.

The problem is that this value of x is not in the domain of the original equation! The equation is undefined at this value of x since the denominators are zero. The technique shown in the Owner's Manual is improper. Neither the HP Solve Equation nor Plotting can be used to solve the equation.

In high school mathematics, you learn that the first thing you must do when studying an equation is to determine its domain. The domain for (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1) is x ≠ 0.5. For x = 0.5, the denominators are zero. You can't divide by zero. Therefore, it is improper to move the denominators 2*x-1 to the numerator, as in step 6. The technique shown in the book is wrong!

Maybe this example could be patched up by using the calculus concepts of limit but, why over-complicate things? It would be better to use another example, an example which doesn't divide by zero.

Fortunately, the single volume Owner's Manual does not include this error.

By the way, the concept of "domain" might seem obscure, but here is an example where domain is critical to the problem.

(11-21-2019 12:12 AM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  ... But there was much criticism about the contents [of the two-volume manual], people were not happy with the way new concepts, like RPL, were introduced, especially if they had skipped the HP-28C/S and came directly from the HP-41. The index was unsatisfactory to such a degree that Jake Schwartz decided to compile an improved one on his own: https://www.hpcalc.org/details/3562. Important information was also lacking, e.g. the special use of the "@" character, allowing comments to be inserted within programs, wasn't mentioned anywhere.

HP eventually reacted to the criticism, and the result was the one-volume version of the HP-48SX manual, for which they (slightly) rewrote almost every single chapter, greatly improved the index, and added new information here and there....
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12-31-2019, 07:14 PM
Post: #20
RE: Which manual for HP-48SX?
(12-31-2019 06:53 PM)Kaliuzhkin Wrote:  
(11-21-2019 12:12 AM)Giuseppe Donnini Wrote:  ... But there was much criticism about the contents [of the two-volume manual], people were not happy with the way new concepts, like RPL, were introduced, especially if they had skipped the HP-28C/S and came directly from the HP-41. The index was unsatisfactory to such a degree that Jake Schwartz decided to compile an improved one on his own: https://www.hpcalc.org/details/3562. Important information was also lacking, e.g. the special use of the "@" character, allowing comments to be inserted within programs, wasn't mentioned anywhere.

HP eventually reacted to the criticism, and the result was the one-volume version of the HP-48SX manual, for which they (slightly) rewrote almost every single chapter, greatly improved the index, and added new information here and there....

I've been working my way through the two-volume Owner's Manual and came across a serious and gross error. The error is so severe that it makes me wonder if anybody who wrote this manual passed high school Mathematics.

The error is in Volume I, Chapter 22, Summary Examples, pages 410 - 412. Example 1 is to "Solve for x in the equation: (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1)". The text goes on to show how the equation can be manipulated using Rules Transformations in Equation Writer so that it becomes an equation (3+2*X=4) in which x appears only once. This equation is moved to the stack and ISOL is used to solve for x: x = 0.5.

The problem is that this value of x is not in the domain of the original equation! The equation is undefined at this value of x since the denominators are zero. The technique shown in the Owner's Manual is improper. Neither the HP Solve Equation nor Plotting can be used to solve the equation.

In high school mathematics, you learn that the first thing you must do when studying an equation is to determine its domain. The domain for (3/(2*x-1)) + 4 = (6*x/(2*x-1) is x ≠ 0.5. For x = 0.5, the denominators are zero. You can't divide by zero. Therefore, it is improper to move the denominators 2*x-1 to the numerator, as in step 6. The technique shown in the book is wrong!

Maybe this example could be patched up by using the calculus concepts of limit but, why over-complicate things? It would be better to use another example, an example which doesn't divide by zero.

Fortunately, the single volume Owner's Manual does not include this error.

By the way, the concept of "domain" might seem obscure, but here is an example where domain is critical to the problem.

There are several errors, some documented here:
https://www.hpcalc.org/hp48/docs/misc/sxmanualerr.txt

One of my long term projects was to OCR the scans and apply all the fixes.
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