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New High-End HP Calculator? 345

Posted by Hemos
from the graph-the-heck-out-of-it dept.
mschaef writes "There's a pretty convincing looking story over on describing a new high-end HP calculator. The bottom line: 75MHz ARM9, USB Port, IrDA compatibility, 128x80 display, and a slot for SD cards. It also looks like the same basic software is running, either ported or via emulation of the venerable Saturn (HP-propriatary) CPU. The full story is over at It's good to see HP back in the game (hopefully) like this."
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New High-End HP Calculator?

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  • About SD (Score:3, Informative)

    by Compact Dick (518888) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:26AM (#6604774) Homepage
    The "Secure" in SD secures the data from you, using cryptography and Palladium-like hardware to protect decryption/authentication keys. However, they also come with a switch on the side [like 1.44 MB floppies] that write-protects the contents, which is what the manufacturers would rather have you notice.

    Other than that, SD loses out to CF in every aspect. I bought a 512 MB CF card the other day and paid AUD 213, while the SD equivalent was around AUD 600, IIRC.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:30AM (#6604787)
    I'm not an HP graphic calculator person ... but looking at my TI-89, some of the fuction buttons look rather similar

    F1 = Y=
    F2 = Window
    F3 = Graph
    F4 = TblSet
    F5 = Table

    HP 49G+
    F1 = Y=
    F2 = Win
    F3 = Graph
    F4 = 2D/3D
    F5 = TblSet
    F6 = Table

    That is 4 out of 5 function keys!

    Sunny Dubey

  • by Paddyish (612430) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:34AM (#6604800)
    That's likely a non-issue. The HP 48 series had IR capability, but the receiver's effective range was about 4 inches when taking signals from another HP 48. Definately not easy to cheat with.

    I'm betting this new calc has a similar design.

  • by plaa (29967) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:40AM (#6604819) Homepage
    Hmm... I doubt it'll be allowed in exams or tests if it's got infra-red capabilities.

    AFAIK, the port has been deliberately rendered useless for long-distance communication. The calculator has a reasonably powerful transmitter, so it can be used as a remote control, but the receiver is so weak that the two calculators have to be almost touching each other for transmission. Still you don't have to carry any cords around for data transmission or a quick game.

    Of course, the calculators probably will still be banned or required to have the IR port taped just as a precaution. (I believe it's not very complex to mod the calculator for a stronger reception.)
  • by f13nd (555737) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:40AM (#6604823) Homepage
    i did something similar on my AP exams with my 48G+
    i had all my files and whatnot stored as libraries, and anyone with an HP calc knows that the libs don't clear when you pass the reset button over to the exam guard
  • Re:Reliability? (Score:2, Informative)

    by fitten (521191) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:54AM (#6604901)
    Yup. My HP48SX still works great and I use it frequently. I got it within a month of its being for sale in our student union (upgraded from a 28S) and think it's quite possibly the best calculator ever made. I can't tell you how many times it's been dropped from desks and has only lost a vertical row of pixels (the 4th from the left). Definitely one of the best, if not *the* best, that HP ever made, IMO.
  • by KRL (664739) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:57AM (#6604919)
    This has been said here on /. before...

    Nothing beats a good HP calculator. PDA's are for management weenies. Purposely designed calc's are for engineers.
  • TI and schools. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Andy Dodd (701) < minus threevowels> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:19AM (#6605051) Homepage
    TI calculators are dominant in schools.

    And that's all they're good for. They are piddly toys for students.

    The HP 48GX, despite being far older and slower than the TI-92, is dominant in engineering. At my company, there are two types of calculators people use: HP 48s and PCs running Matlab. I have NEVER seen an engineer here using a TI.

    Even in my high school, almost everyone who was planning on going into engineering disciplines bought an HP48. As to your comment, "And part of this is HP's fault -- when the TI-92 came out, a colleague of mine was at a math teachers' conference and asked HP if they had anything coming out that could compare with it, and their answer was a resigned "Nope"."

    Then why did at least two people I know in high school buy TI-92s, only to replace them one year later with the *significantly older* HP-48? The TI-92 sucked. It was a monstrosity that was DOA in the education market because it had a QWERTY keyboard and hence was not legal on any standardized tests. The HP48 was legal on most tests if you blocked its IR port, and most proctors didn't even bother checking that. (It was widely known that the 48's IR receiver was very weak and only good for calc-to-calc communications of 6" or so. There's an ongoing debate as to whether this was done for power savings or to keep the calc test legal.)
  • by Dan Ost (415913) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:39AM (#6605219)
    The picture shows both an 'enter' and an 'eval' key. Not terribly useful keys
    if the calculator doesn't speak RPN.
  • by gnalle (125916) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:45AM (#6605282)
    Here is a usenet message that describes how to modify your hp48 to send at a longer range.
    [] -8 &
  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:02AM (#6605436)
    I got rid of my HP48G+ two years ago mainly for the reason that it was just too damn slow. I loved the RPN-by-default entry, though, and I seriously loved the clackety keys and the big fat ENTER button on the middle-left-hand side of the keyboard. It was really the lack of the latter that led me to buy my Texas Instruments TI-89 instead of the HP49, since the TI can be made to accept RPN.

    If only HP had kept the HP48 keyboard layout on the HP49 I wouldn't have deserted. Seems the new model seems to be following the same pattern.

  • Re:Semi process? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikeselectricstuff (556110) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:11AM (#6605500) Homepage
    Chip cost is largely down to the number of die you can put on a wafer, so smaller geometries are cheaper, not more expensive.
  • by gantrep (627089) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:45AM (#6606455)
    yes, they used to do that at my old school, only with ti-82's and ti-83's. They also let students borrow those same calculators for classwork if they happened to forget theirs or their batteries died. Needless to say, many of those school calculators had simple trig programs written in tibasic on them, as well as cool games like tetris.
  • Good intro to RPN (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kalgash (158314) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @02:14PM (#6607914) Homepage Journal
    For those of us who aren't math geeks: What is Reverse Polish Notation? []
  • Re:Good intro to RPN (Score:2, Informative)

    by schroddinger (694448) on Monday August 04, 2003 @02:39PM (#6608168)
    it's the process of inputing the quantities first, then inputing your operators, and yeilding a result. i.e. operators follow operand. It allows you to evaluate complex expressions without brackets or parentheses. (4+5) x 6 becomes: 6 5 4 + x
  • Short Range (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2003 @04:57PM (#6609487)
    The range of the HP48/9 series with IR is short without modification; typically on the order of inches. In my experience it is almost impossible to get the various range hacks (hard ware and/or software) to work in a non obvious manner. The 2 calculators have to be pointed at each other and buttons pushed; hard for an observant proctor to miss.

    48 vs 49
    I have a 48GX with cards and a 49G; while the 49G has a few % more features and much more memory, it is slower with the added GUI features. In short, I would recommend that if you prefer command line to GUI then go 48. Of course the new faster processor may change much of that.
  • by super-momo (691644) on Monday August 04, 2003 @06:34PM (#6610279)

    Later in the year, look for powerful new offerings in our engineering and scientific models, which will include graphing, expanded memory for storing complex equations, greater programmability and connectivity. These models will be offered at several different price points in order to give our customers more options and more value.

    and the spreadsheet indicates that models 33S (maybe a successor of the 32sii, YAY!), 19BII, 17BII, 39G+, and 49G+ will be available by the end of this year.

Brain fried -- Core dumped