Post Reply 
HP 30b
01-24-2016, 05:13 AM (This post was last modified: 01-24-2016 08:57 PM by Joseph_21sv.)
Post: #1
HP 30b
The HP 30b, now discontinued, was introduced in 2010 with 290 bytes of program storage and 50 groups of cash flow storage and an incomplete line of alphanumeric display with custom alphanumeric messages entered via a scrolling menu. Unprecedented functions and speed aside, these features were weak and awkward in comparison with two other HP calculators already in production: the 12c Platinum (2005 version) and the 17bII+ (released 2003); and even in comparison to the discontinued 19BII (which it was supposed to succeed). Even though it was designed to be reflashable, its firmware received no official upgrade after version 2010-04-05. Yet in spite of that, HP never remade it with firmware in a regular ROM. So it wandered in production limbo for four more years (plus or minus a few months) until HP quietly discontinued it. But because of what it was following, it was already something of a severely belated release in 2010 anyhow. A severely belated release of what, you all might be asking. A Pioneer which was a proper advancement over the 12C, or what everyone thought the 14B was.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-24-2016, 05:26 AM
Post: #2
RE: HP 30b
Please look at the end of your post. Looks incomplete to me.

d:-?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-24-2016, 06:23 AM
Post: #3
RE: HP 30b
My 30b has software version 5 4 2012.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-24-2016, 03:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP 30b
(01-24-2016 06:23 AM)Gerald H Wrote:  My 30b has software version 5 4 2012.

Yes, April 5, 2012 was the last firmware release date AFAIK.

As to the OP summary of the 30b ..... It is a bit awkward to use and program but it is very fast with some powerful functions. I suspect that it died a relatively early death because it just didn't attract business from the financial community.

HP has a long history of trying to replace the venerable 12C with something more powerful: the 18c, 19b/ii, 27s, 17b/ii/+, 20b/30b, etc.. However, the financial community just wants the good old 12c and so they keep making that and have dropped all the others.

-katie

Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-24-2016, 05:38 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP 30b
(01-24-2016 03:20 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  HP has a long history of trying to replace the venerable 12C with something more powerful: the 18c, 19b/ii, 27s, 17b/ii/+, 20b/30b, etc.. However, the financial community just wants the good old 12c and so they keep making that and have dropped all the others.

I believe the HP-17BII+ [Silver] remains in production, and is still listed on the website, etc. Excepting the unfortunate bug in the L() and G() functions in the solver, this is an excellent machine which seems to sell well, based on the number I see for sale on TAS. While it certainly has not sold as well as the 12C, it may well serve as the "top of the line" to make the 12C and 12CP seem like a better buy, and they are undoubtedly the highest margin models in HP's lineup.

--Bob Prosperi
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-25-2016, 01:20 AM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2016 01:53 AM by Joseph_21sv.)
Post: #6
RE: HP 30b
(01-24-2016 03:20 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  
(01-24-2016 06:23 AM)Gerald H Wrote:  My 30b has software version 5 4 2012.

Yes, April 5, 2012 was the last firmware release date AFAIK.

As to the OP summary of the 30b ..... It is a bit awkward to use and program but it is very fast with some powerful functions. I suspect that it died a relatively early death because it just didn't attract business from the financial community.

HP has a long history of trying to replace the venerable 12C with something more powerful: the 18c, 19b/ii, 27s, 17b/ii/+, 20b/30b, etc.. However, the financial community just wants the good old 12c and so they keep making that and have dropped all the others.

Well then, it still wandered in production limbo (after a manner of speaking) for ca. 2 years.

As to why it died from just not attracting business from pretty much any user community at all, the OP summary should be perfectly noncontroversial, at least for anyone who pays attention to how advanced calculators are designed, particularly in the realm of display interface.

As to HP's alleged attempts to replace the 12c with something more powerful, there are bigger reasons for them failing than the financial community just wanting that calculator:
17b, 18c, 19b and 27s no RPN entry, nor programmable in a conventional way
moreover:
18c and 19b severe mechanical flaw (for which see this Wikipedia entry)
18c just not enough memory for its programming model to be very useful,
27s in reality a scientific calculator with business functions pre-programmed
17bii(+) and 19bii in spite of RPN entry still not programmable in a conventional way, therefore no longer really seen as attempts to replace it
20b in spite of RPN entry and unprecedented built-in functions and speed not programmable in any way and no key feedback and support for algebraic entry with immediate execution by default, being insistent on that logic to a fault, therefore not even possible to see as serious
30b at last programmable in a conventional way, but built upon a 20b with key feedback and not really marketed as programmable

Therefore, that is why I say that, upon release in 2010 and but for its 30 MHz processor, the 30b was already a severely belated release of what everybody thought the 14B was. However, the 30b at least might have been salvageable if HP were willing to salvage it. The biggest things HP, being willing, could have done to salvage it were: entirely drop immediate execution mode for algebraic entry, replacing this with continuous memory of which entry mode it was set to; remake it to use a conventional 2-line display; really market it as programmable and make it less awkward to enter alphanumeric messages into programs. In other words, it only wandered in production limbo and died an early death because HP was unwilling to do anything to salvage it.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-26-2016, 08:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2016 08:49 PM by Tim Wessman.)
Post: #7
RE: HP 30b
(01-25-2016 01:20 AM)Joseph_21sv Wrote:  However, the 30b at least might have been salvageable if HP were willing to salvage it.

While technically true, that really wasn't the case. As stated earlier, nobody (enough nobodies at least) was interested in it! The 10bII+ is the unit that is marketed for college and thus has the volume. The 12C is the "classic". Certain professional exams refuse to add any models past the 2 token HP models, and the 2 token TI models. No matter what was done, chances are nothing could have saved it no matter how much $$$ were put in.

Programming aside, the 10bII+ will run rings around any other HP financial calculator out there. Bang for the $, it is the best finance calculator ever made. Not just my opinion because I made the thing either. I suspect many people here might back me up on that.

Quote:entirely drop immediate execution mode for algebraic entry,

Nope. Have to say you are wrong there. When I made the 10bII+ a lot of work was put in to evaluating that issue and research clearly showed that is still important to a pretty significant segment of the market. (I am assuming you are talking about "chain algebraic" here, if not please correct my misunderstanding)

Quote: replacing this with continuous memory of which entry mode it was set to

Not sure I understand your comment here...

Quote:remake it to use a conventional 2-line display;

That isn't really a "remake" but rather a completely different product from scratch. Someone else can point you at the technical specs of the SOC if you are really interested.

Quote:really market it as programmable and make it less awkward to enter alphanumeric messages into programs.

Great! You've now increased the sales maybe 5% over what they already were.

Unfortunately for you and I, "programming" is not important anymore to enough people that it makes a real difference. The type of people who programmed calculators "back in the day" now tend to program things like phones, arduino and similar project/hobby systems. There is just much more power, easier environments, and more interest in those other areas.

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-09-2016, 05:06 AM
Post: #8
RE: HP 30b
(01-26-2016 08:48 PM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  
(01-25-2016 01:20 AM)Joseph_21sv Wrote:  However, the 30b at least might have been salvageable if HP were willing to salvage it.

While technically true, that really wasn't the case. As stated earlier, nobody (enough nobodies at least) was interested in it! The 10bII+ is the unit that is marketed for college and thus has the volume. The 12C is the "classic". Certain professional exams refuse to add any models past the 2 token HP models, and the 2 token TI models. No matter what was done, chances are nothing could have saved it no matter how much $$$ were put in.

Programming aside, the 10bII+ will run rings around any other HP financial calculator out there. Bang for the $, it is the best finance calculator ever made. Not just my opinion because I made the thing either. I suspect many people here might back me up on that.

Quote:entirely drop immediate execution mode for algebraic entry,

Nope. Have to say you are wrong there. When I made the 10bII+ a lot of work was put in to evaluating that issue and research clearly showed that is still important to a pretty significant segment of the market. (I am assuming you are talking about "chain algebraic" here, if not please correct my misunderstanding)

Quote: replacing this with continuous memory of which entry mode it was set to

Not sure I understand your comment here...

Quote:remake it to use a conventional 2-line display;

That isn't really a "remake" but rather a completely different product from scratch. Someone else can point you at the technical specs of the SOC if you are really interested.

Quote:really market it as programmable and make it less awkward to enter alphanumeric messages into programs.

Great! You've now increased the sales maybe 5% over what they already were.

Unfortunately for you and I, "programming" is not important anymore to enough people that it makes a real difference. The type of people who programmed calculators "back in the day" now tend to program things like phones, arduino and similar project/hobby systems. There is just much more power, easier environments, and more interest in those other areas.

Well then, the 30b might have been salvageable if HP had been allowed the room to salvage it. The largest thing they could have then done is to make it less cryptic and awkward to configure it. For example, even though the built-in TVM solver can be set to solve TVM problems where P/Y != C/Y, it is easier, in spite of being redundant, for you to program a TVM solver for those problems yourself. If it is easier for you to reprogram a technically preprogrammed function yourself, why is the function preprogrammed in the first place? As to the SOC, they could implement it on one which did not force them to rob from the alphanumeric line for status indicators.
Or they could just combine the 10bII+ and 12CPt and the 17B display into a 22b. That way a business calculator with a technically graphical display could be accepted by more professional finance exams.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)