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HP 48SX Demonstration Card
07-08-2016, 06:15 AM
Post: #1
HP 48SX Demonstration Card
I recently got my hands on the HP 48SX Demonstration Card. It was created by Hewlett-Packard for in-store demonstrations of the HP 48SX calculator.

Customers could watch a 8 minute loop of the features. They also interact by pressing the "Help" button (button A) to display a help screen. Alternatively, they could press the "More" button (button C) to show more details for 7 different topics.

Here the entire sequence recorded as an animated GIF. It had to be stored inside a ZIP file since this site has size limits on GIF file attachments.

.zip  HP 48SX Demo - Complete.zip (Size: 233.33 KB / Downloads: 33)

Here is a YouTube video of the same card.


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07-08-2016, 02:34 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
(07-08-2016 06:15 AM)Chris Dreher Wrote:  Here the entire sequence recorded as an animated GIF. It had to be stored inside a ZIP file since this site has size limits on GIF file attachments.

Thanks for sharing Chris, I've never seen the full demo.

--Bob Prosperi
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07-12-2016, 04:36 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
Here is the same GIF as before, but this time it is posted inline for easier viewing.

[Image: HP-48SX-Demo-Complete.gif]
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07-14-2016, 05:57 AM (This post was last modified: 07-14-2016 05:59 AM by Chris Dreher.)
Post: #4
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
Here is some gory details on what is on the card.

It has only 1 large library on it. The spaces in the the name are deliberate.

Code:
Library#: 262
Bytes:    105307.5
CRC:      4B6E
Name:     DEMO :Demo Start    0.0
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07-22-2016, 05:09 AM (This post was last modified: 07-22-2016 05:24 AM by Chris Dreher.)
Post: #5
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
I just found that this card was available for purchase. EduCalc's Fall 1992 catalog had it for $8.95, saying the HP's official list price was $15. Here's the blurb from the catalog:

Quote:Demo Card for your HP 48
Impress your friends with these fast-moving examples of your 48's power - it's fun! (Price of this 128KB ROM card is below HP's cost.)
Stock #2804 (HP 48 Demo Card) List $15.....................................$8.95

What is most interesting about this is that the $15 gives somewhat of an idea of the manufacturing costs for a 128KB ROM card. In 1992, ROM cards cost $90 to $900 (Casino 48 is a rare exception at $57, though I don't know if it was 128KB or a smaller size).
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07-22-2016, 09:02 AM
Post: #6
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
(07-22-2016 05:09 AM)Chris Dreher Wrote:  What is most interesting about this is that the $15 gives somewhat of an idea of the manufacturing costs for a 128KB ROM card.

Let's see...
$10 to manufacture the card. $2 per card for shipping from the factory to your warehouse. $5 per card for marketing expenses. $5 for the tax man. $3 per card for EBAY and other fees. $20 per card for profit. All spells:

10 + 2 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 20 = $45 selling price.

But when do you see 128kb cards selling for that low? I haven't.

Card sellers would probably also sell a lot more at $45 a pop than at $100 or more.
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07-22-2016, 03:34 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
(07-22-2016 09:02 AM)JDW Wrote:  Let's see...
... $3 per card for EBAY and other fees. $20 per card for profit. All spells:

10 + 2 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 20 = $45 selling price.

But when do you see 128kb cards selling for that low? I haven't.

This was seen back in the Fall 1992 EduCALC catalog. eBay didn't exist back then.
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07-22-2016, 04:00 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
The actual cost was probably higher, but educalc was probably dumping surplus cards they received from Hp, who by that time had moved onto the GX model (and it is likely this card prominently displayed the SX portion of its features ie made it obsolete for Hp).
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As for selling memory cards at a lower cost, more closely valued to their actual cost. I suspect the sellers would just be cutting profits. Yeah, they might sell 50% more cards, but actually receive less compensation because these are older calculators that just simply aren't worth supporting.
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Which calculator did you FIRST buy? An Hp 50G or an older Hp 48GX? The 48GX often sells for more than the Hp 50G so most new Hp buyers will buy the Hp 50G and that is the wiser choice.
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Really, only older former Hp 48Gx users (who probably already have a memory card) actually chase after the Hp 48GX and might actually be in the market for additional RAM cards. I bought my first cards from Koltz and I have been very happy with them. I have bought a couple spare Hp 48GX's and since I only use one calculator at a time, when that 48GX fails, I would be able to easily move the card into another Hp 48GX (the cards should easily outlast the calculators).
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But if I were a new user and not biased by the older keyboards, I probably would use the newer Hp 50G and never consider using my Hp 48GX (Heck, I don't now as it sits in my desk drawer). I actually use a 32sii for a majority of my number crunching.
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07-22-2016, 04:35 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
EduCALC's price was $8.95 while saying that HP's list price was $15, likely to generate interest in getting a deal. I suppose obsolescence was a factor. EduCALC wasn't selling the GX in Fall 1992 in issue #57 but they likely knew the GX was coming (HP certainly knew the GX was coming). EduCALC was selling GX by Fall 1993 in issue #61 and very likely before that. The Demo card is not even listed in the Fall 1993 issue.

I just like that the $15 list price from HP gives us a rough idea of what manufacturing costs for the cards was at. Of course, other costs and profits go into the final price for a typical card.

My first HP was the 48SX. I was unknowingly on the very tail end of the SX reign. If I'd known the GX was coming, I would have waited a couple more months. Information just wasn't as readily available back in those days. When I later learned about the GX, I considered upgrading. However, my SX already had a 128KB RAM and the HP Solve Equation library card. The GX was definitely better than what I already owned but not $275 better.

The 48SX is the calculator I use today. Since college, I have not had a need to upgrade and the one I own still works. It has lasted longer than my spouses.

That said, I agree that main people using the 48-series are people who used it back in the day. Someone new to the calculator scene would prefer a 50G or the Prime.
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07-23-2016, 12:40 AM
Post: #10
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
(07-22-2016 03:34 PM)Chris Dreher Wrote:  This was seen back in the Fall 1992 EduCALC catalog. eBay didn't exist back then.
Which should drive down my cost estimate further insofar as memory was more expensive back then than now. That should still hold true even if we adjust for inflation. As such, the prices we see for SRAM cards sold day are what I would consider "too high."
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07-23-2016, 10:48 PM
Post: #11
RE: HP 48SX Demonstration Card
(07-23-2016 12:40 AM)JDW Wrote:  Which should drive down my cost estimate further insofar as memory was more expensive back then than now. That should still hold true even if we adjust for inflation. As such, the prices we see for SRAM cards sold day are what I would consider "too high."

Since the topic is ROM card manufacturing costs around 1992:
  • Do you have sources for the estimates, especially from the years around 1992?
  • Marketing costs are not manufacturing costs. The demo card had almost no marketing. This is typical for other platforms.
  • Profit is not manufacturing costs. HP has little incentive to make profit off of something like the demo card. The point of the demo card is to increase sales of HP 48SX. Charging large profit on the card leads to fewer demo cards in-the-field which is counter-productive to sales.
  • ROM cards do not come with SRAM.

The original statement was only about the manufacturing costs. Profit, development costs, marketing, packaging, and other costs push up the final price for the end consumer.
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