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New High-End HP Calculator?

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the graph-the-heck-out-of-it dept.

Portables 345

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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RKZ ATE MY BALLZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604675)

yo niglets i win once again, fo shillzzzleee!

Yes... but does it run Linux? (4, Funny)

khaine (260889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604682)

Cue the linux port project ;-)

Re:Yes... but does it run Linux? (2, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604732)

If it accepts rpn input, I can live without linux (on a calculator).

Re: in Sowjet Russia (1)

ftvcs (629126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604776)

Linux runs calculators []

Reliability? (5, Insightful)

dave_f1m (602921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604683)

Great, but can I treat it like a hammer, and still have it work? You know, grab it, punch out a few calculations, and toss it aside without much care where it lands.

Re:Reliability? (4, Funny)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604767)

Great, but can I treat it like a hammer, and still have it work? You know, grab it, punch out a few calculations, and toss it aside without much care where it lands.

Can you treat a hammer like a hammer, and still have everything work? You know, grab it, drive in a couple of nails, and toss it aside without much care where it lands...

... smack on your brand new HP 49G+

Re:Reliability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6605009)

Not my new Estwing. Nooooooooo.

Re:Reliability? (3, Interesting)

MyRuger (443241) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604820)

The HP48 is one of the most reliable calculators ever made. I have literally seen one run over by a truck and still work.

Then HP made the 49, which I quickly tossed aside without a care where it landed, because I knew I would never use it again.

Hopefully this new 49 is as cool and durable as the 48 was.

Re:Reliability? (2, Informative)

fitten (521191) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Cheating in Exams? (5, Interesting)

captainclever (568610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604685)

Hmm... I doubt it'll be allowed in exams or tests if it's got infra-red capabilities.

People might find it all to easy to chat and exchange answers on the sly if their calculators can communicate silently.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (2, Interesting)

dbowden (249149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604699)

I don't know. I never had trouble getting my HP28s [] into exams.

Of course, it's IR port was output only, and strictly for printing.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (-1)

ThatMadeNoSense (651445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604814)

Of course, it's IR port was output only

That made no sense.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (5, Funny)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604713)

When I took one of those annoying required pre-standardized test things in high school, the teacher in charge was reading off the rules. "If your calculator has wireless communication capabilities they must be blocked for the duration of the test... Ha ha. Does anyone here have anything like that?"

I raised my hand. "Um, me."

So she had to go inspect the electrical tape I had placed over my HP48's infrared port. Not that it would have done much good if I was the only one in the room with that calculator...

Re:Cheating in Exams? (4, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604715)

While I was a teacher, I also happened to guard exams.
I can assure you that I met very few people (nobody would not be a big lie) who'd recognize a communicant calculator.
Also, in France, calculators are allowed only if their sizes are within allowed specifications so, you can happily go there with such a (geeky) "toy"...

BTW, when I was a student, I once met a guard who'd consider my Casio FX4000P as the data storage (550 signs, enough for most formulae in sms-style) it was.
He took it with a pen and pushed the data-reset button, on its back.
What he didn't know is that I actually disconnected it before, so we both had a reason to be satisfied, this day ;)

Re:Cheating in Exams? (5, Informative)

f13nd (555737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604823)

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:Cheating in Exams? (1)

DrBlubGut (177666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604723)

considering it was a revilation that people can cheat with SMS I bet you that it takes a few years for the people in charge to work that out.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (1)

mcp33p4n75 (684632) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604736)

On the ACT, they just make you put tape over the IR port. On the AP tests (when I took them), they didn't do anything, just spaced us really far apart. All HP 48s have had infrared ports, for about ten years I think.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (1)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604742)

In my university chemistry department, calculators are provided for exams, all other models are banned to stop programming in functions etc.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (4, Informative)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (4, Interesting)

mblase (200735) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604809)

HP calculators have had infrared beaming for at least twelve years; my 48SX was top-of-the-line when I was a sophomore in high school, and supported the beaming of programs, equations (I guess, we never used it that way) and other goodies. Like the Palm handhelds, though, the range is too limited to be used for cheating. You have to have both units a few inches away from each other, too far unless you're communicating with someone on the same table as you--in which case you're better off just writing it down on paper.

I miss my HP, I really do. RPN took some getting used to, but I put that thing through its paces for almost four years--trigonometry, calculus and pre-calc, four years of Math Team (don't laugh, it's no geekier than Slashdot) and an AP exam. Once I got to college, though, the math classes got more proof-oriented and less numbers-oriented. If I'd been an engineering student, I'm sure it would have been invaluable, but as a mathematics major it got relegated further and further back in my desk drawer. Nowadays I can't even remember how to use most of the power functions, let alone graph a polar parametric equation or plot a vector field.

To be fair, TI calculators can do almost everything those HPs could, and for a lower price. If HP can still make a top-of-the-line today, though, I say more power to them.

Re:Cheating in Exams? (2, Informative)

plaa (29967) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604819)

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.)

Re:Cheating in Exams? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604993)

The way this was handled back in my day (twenty years ago ... my ghod) was to allow only calculators of particular models into the exam in the first place. Scientific calculators only, nothing programmable.

Is there a market still? (4, Insightful)

SecMF (256749) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604686)

With PDAs becoming faster and more capable, is there still a market for plane calculators? Palm (and others) must have tons of (free) software to do the same with your PDA.

Re:Is there a market still? (4, Funny)

forsetti (158019) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604700)

Of course there is a market for plane calculators -- anything that can perform math on planes is pretty slick!
Of course, plain calculators may die off.....

Re:Is there a market still? (4, Interesting)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604701)

Yes, well you may like to use a PDA as a calculator, but most people would want more than 6 buttons to work with. A number pad would be nice for a calculator... and buttons for add, subtract... and another 30 or so for different functions. I don't think a stylus would be the best calculator interface.

Re:Is there a market still? (2, Insightful)

larien (5608) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604706)

I'm sure some people still prefer to work with real, physical buttons rather than a touch screen. Also, you can get more detail on buttons when you don't have to rely on a 320x480 (or smaller) screen.

If you're using a calculator enough, it will be better to have one of these rather than a PDA masquerading as a calculator. Also, if all you need is a calculator, you might as well get one of these which will probably end up cheaper than a PDA.

Re:Is there a market still? (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604855)

I think that by changing your idea of the interface a PDA can become a very useful calculator. Handwriting recognition is very good these days. Imagine writing:

S cos(4x+3) dx

insead of typing
4 x * 3 + cos 0 3 x int

Actually when you write it out in postfix, it looks really cool. Screw the handwriting :)

Re:Is there a market still? (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604724)

lack of numberic keypad makes it WAY too slow for real heavy duty use, add in the fact that there is no symbolic logic package for a PDA that I am aware of and you can't compete with calculators like this. (btw the Ti-89 is basically Maple in firmware, Ti hired the guys behind Maple to write all the software for it). IF there were a symbolic logic app for Palm or another PDA then it might compete, but you would still have to deal with the slow input, and I can guarentee the app would not be free.

Re:Is there a market still? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604892)

there's an HP49 emulator for the PalmOS5 devices. Works pretty nicely, but the lack of a real keypad makes it not as nice as a real HP :-)

Re:Is there a market still? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604756)

WTF, it's a calculator FFS.

I can't believe that so many people are getting so excited.

Go get a girlfriend or something...

Re:Is there a market still? (2, Interesting)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604775)

With PDAs becoming faster and more capable, is there still a market for plane calculators? Palm (and others) must have tons of (free) software to do the same with your PDA.

With mobile phones becoming more capable and subnotebooks becoming lighter and smaller, is there still a market for PDA's?

There sure is (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604817)

I have a Palm that can do HP48 emulation (to some degree). It also has its own custom RPN calculator.

Can't touch my HP48GX - You can emulate buttons in software all you want, it will never compare to the nice buttons of the 48.

Re:Is there a market still? (2, Informative)

KRL (664739) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is there a market still? (4, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604998)

It's really a matter of perspective.

We have PDA:s that can also make cellular phone calls. We have phones that can double up as PDA:s. They seem to aim for exactly the same market, but, of course, they don't, since they're best features are aimed at different uses.

Same thing with calculators. I'd love to have a HP calculator that will also function reasonably as a PDA. I'm a lot less interested in a PDA that can also do some calculator functions.

It's all about where the focus is. Take the keyboard as an example: a dinky on-screen keyboard, or aphanumeric keyboard just isn't nearly as functional and convenient as a 'real' calculator keyboard a'la my deeply missed HP15, where all the functionality is right there, at your fingertips. Likewise, a phonepad isn't really that good for PDA functionality, and a touch screen isn't really that good for a phone.

Also, the software for PDA:s are of varying, and unknown, quality. One thing that really made the HP line of calculators stand out was their attention to various corner cases. When you got a result, you knew that was the correct one, to the practical limit of the hardware and encoding used. The Palm calculators I've tried have inevitably had various bugs and have missed special cases that made you get the wrong result from time to time - they would not handle over/underflow correctly in all cases, or use algorithms that would not give the stated precision over all of it's range, and so on.

My dream would be a new HP calculator with the format and design of the HP15c, but modernized (faster CPU with more memory; pisel screen, rather than segment, and so on). That one was a nearly perfect unit for me. After fifteen years, I had unfortunately dropped it, spilled coffee and soda in it, buried it under piles of books, stuffed it in dirty, dusty bags and submerged it too many times and it gave up :(

but (2, Interesting)

SUPAMODEL (601827) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604688)

...but can you run linux on it?
Seriously tho, that's a serious piece of hardware.
Every geek should have one.
I had to use a TI-83 as part of my schooling, and the fun we used to have with that - playing networked 2-player frogger games and shit via link cables we spanned across desks so you couldn't see.
It was pretty good for learning maths stuff, too. We had to go thru all the finding stuff out thru calculus methods etc before plotting them up on the machine, but it was good to show comparisons of families of curves without having to arse about drawing up countless graphs.
Pity IrDA sucks for data transfer when you are doing furious gaming sessions.
I finish my undergrad course this year, and that's certainly got my interested. I had messed about with various maths programs and the like on palm & pocketpc devices, but nothing replaces the way a graphing calculator type of thing works because it's designed for such a specific task, and they do them well.

Time to upgrade? (5, Insightful)

dbowden (249149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604690)

When I was younger, the rule I followed was to always upgrade to the next generation of calculator after I'd understood all of the functions of the previous one.

Is it time to go to this one yet?

No... I'm still doing fine with my old 28S []

Re:Time to upgrade? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604710)

Yep, any calculator that can do symbolic inegration is good enough for me, if I really need more speed then it's time to break out the laptop and Maple/Mathcad/Mathimatica =) I'm partial to the Ti-89 but that's because I started with a Ti-80 and progressed up with their line, to a 82, then to the much nicer 85, and finally to the 89 when I hit calc.

Re:Time to upgrade? (2, Interesting)

espo812 (261758) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604830)

then to the much nicer 85, and finally to the 89 when I hit calc.
I got an 85 in middle school and I hated it. This might be because I didn't take the time to learn it very well, and none of the teachers/students had one. But it was just much different from the other TI-8x models. Maybe it was just me. Anyway my 89 I do love very much (and read the whole manual for, and the teacher supported). Unfortunately, I've had two classes now where the teacher said you could "cheat" with an 89, so they wern't allowed.

Work smarter, not harder I say.

Re:Time to upgrade? (1)

hding (309275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604747)

Ah, how I loved my HP-28S. Unfortunately the cover to the battery compartment gave out (seems like a weak point in the design; I'd imagine others have had the problem).

I never liked the later HP calculators as well because they didn't have the separate alphabetic keyboard, which I found a real convenience.

Re:Time to upgrade? (1)

puppet10 (84610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604930)

Mine died the same way unfortunately. After a few calls to HP I eventually got a hold of an engineer who sent me a couple of battery cover doors (they still use the same ones on one of their business calculators, or did at the time) unfortunately by that time the case had become damaged by my jury rigging of the door to allow me to still use it.

I have a 48GX now, and while i still like it better than any of the other calcs out there (the buttons on it are so much better than anything else out there I don't know why anyone who uses a calculator even somewhat seriously would use anything else) I still miss my 28S with its much simpler keyboard layout and clamshell case.

Was the author... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604693)

the previous story's fr1st ps0t-er [] ?
Maybe he fr1st-ps0ted so quickly he got in one story too soon ?

Does this mean I have to replace my 48GX? (3, Insightful)

groove10 (266295) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604696)

That is still the ultimate "nerd" calculator. Came in a zipper pouch, had a slot for expansion cards, and like all decent calculators worth their circuits, used Reverse Polish Notation.

I remember many an hour wasted in class playing Columns or Arkanoid or Crazy Cars.

Before there was Palm Pilot for looking like you were doing work, there was the HP48GX!

Nah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604842)

Unfortunately the later versions did away with RPN (as the primary mode). Sux0rs. I don't want to "upgrade" to something that isn't fully RPN-optimized :-}

48GX... Still the standard (2, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604849)

I work at an engineering firm. (They build transmitters for cell towers)

The only calculators I've ever seen in use here are 48Gs and 48GXes. It's either that or Matlab on a lab PC, not many other options for serious engineers. No one has a TI or Casio here - those are calculators for middle school students.

I'm worried that this new 49GX will not be as sturdy as the old 48GX, given HP's recent build quality track record (Seems like all the people who gave a damn about quality went over to Agilent, who still make some nice gear). Plus, the picture shown of this potential new 49G+ looks way too TI-ish.

Quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604704)

The question is whether or not it will have that old sturdy HP-feel (like the 48SX/G). Are those rubber-buttons in the screenshot? Certainly the Fx-row looks like they are.

Still, looking kind of good... Mmm.. HP calcs... <mouth watering>

Re:Quality? (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604709)

Oh, didn't mean to be anon on that. Anyway, I've RTFA and it says "the keys are no longer rubber" so...

Didn't like what I read about the possible emulation layer though. The HPs have been in need of a seriously good OS for some time now. The Saturn-heritage needs to go, IMHO.

Why not use a PDA? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604705)

I wonder why not use a PDA with better screen and resolution, faster processor (300Mhz, or more), more applications. The remaining factor is that is there a graphics calculator application that is as powerful as an HP cal (or more powerful).

The price, well, I think you can get a $200 PDA that is more powerful than 75Mhz.

After all, the HP cal may have the processor optimized for heavy engineering task (and other heavy math task). Also, it has buttons just for calculator. So this may be the deciding factor.

What do you think?

Re:Why not use a PDA? (4, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604721)

You could indeed run GNU/bc on a Zaurus (which an exam guard would anyway notice as a an unauthorized tool tool), but you'd lack the extra geekiness of a true RPN calculator.

BTW, where's the RPN troll when you need him ? ;)

RPN is the one true way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604738)

I'll be that troll. I don't want to use anything with inferior AoS. There is only the one true way and it is RPN.

I actually asked HP about a less expensive, scientific calculator ($50), and customer service said there would be soon. This was 6 months ago.

Still waiting.

Re:Why not use a PDA? (1)

BobTheLawyer (692026) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604754)

I haven't seen any PDA software that can do symbolic calculus/algebra.

Also, it may seem petty, but for rattling off a simple calculation it's just easier and faster to use something with "real" buttons.

Re:Why not use a PDA? (2, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604794)

Sure you have, there was even an article on slashdot about it :) ml ?tid=159&tid=100

I personally prefer my TI89 with RPN hacks added. That or

M-x calc :)

Re:Why not use a PDA? = PalmOS (1)

ldrolez (261228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604853)

I've dropped my HP48 and I now use a Tungsten T with
- Power48, an open source HP48 emulator, when I need to do complex things
- EasyCalc, under GPL, for everything else (95% of the time).

I costs a little more than $200 but you can play PacMan with XCade, have an open source C compiler (onboardc), amd much more (bluetooth)...

You can find more open source calcs here: tegory= 18

Re:Why not use a PDA? = PalmOS (1)

ldrolez (261228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604912)

...And with EasyCalc you have 320x320 color graphs ! Who would pay so much for ridiculous 128x80 b/w graphs ?!

Re:Why not use a PDA? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604999)

"Also, it has buttons just for calculator."

That's all you need to say.

I just hope they're sturdy buttons like my 48GX.

Why SD??? (3, Insightful)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604708)

I hate Secure Digital for two reasons:
  1. More expensive than Compact Flash.
  2. DRM features, which means lesser available memory.
  3. Too tiny for comfort - yes, there is such a thing.

I'll be much happier when they add a CF slot [even better if it replaces the SD slot.]

Re:Why SD??? (3, Insightful)

Richardsonke1 (612224) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604755)

Maybe it's because CF is 10 times as big as SD and they need to save space? That's my guess. They don't really care how much you will have to pay for the cards, that's your deal. If you want extra storage space, you'll buy a card.

Re:Why SD??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604757)

Does anyone know the advantages to the consumer of SD? Is it faster? From what I know of digital camera cards, CF is way cheaper than SD.
And really, what does the"SEcure" part mean? Does it secure the users data from accidental deletion, or does it protect the publishers data from accidental coping?
I really have no idea why anyone would want to use SD when CF is an option. SD seems to offer fewer features, more lockdown and higher cost to the user.

About SD (2, Informative)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604774)

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.

Re:Why SD??? (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604882)

Is it faster?

Nope! CF might not be blindingly fast, but it does seem to be faster than SD.
I can run a small Linux system directly from a CF without to much of a speed problem.

I don't even think you can boot a machine using an SD chip.

Tho the best feature IMHO is that you can get wireless (and wired) network cards for CF ports :)

Re:Why SD??? (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604864)

Don't forget that there are a plethora of non-storage devices available for CF, including Wired and Wireless network cards.

The real issue (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604915)

The real issue is that SD seems to be the favoured choice of memory storage/extension in new hardware, despite higher costs to both producers and end users.

Consider that the CF spec is an open one and involves paying no encryption license fees to an organisation like SDMI: it makes me wonder whether the execs are casually treated by SDMI reps to lavish holidays at exotic destinations in exchange for securing the slot for SD.

Boycott HP ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604716)

They closed their domestic calculator division citing calculators were obsolete. Now they are reintroducing a line that has been completely outsourced with an "HP" applied.

This is just one of many examples of the Carly "Marketing Wench" Fiorna's plan to make HP the Nike of the tech world.

Missing connector? (1, Funny)

simpleguy (5686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604726)

I may be missing something.

Where do I plug my mouse?

Re:Missing connector? (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604751)

In the USB slot. ;)

Re:Missing connector? (1)

in7ane (678796) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604766)

Once the Linux port is done, and we have a wide selection of GUI's, there will be a USB driver written for the built in port.

Choice of words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604727)

"There's a pretty convincing looking story"
  • A convincing looking story? What, was there fear that perhaps the story was a ruse?

Re:Choice of words... (1)

Bucky Katt (665485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604813)

A convincing looking story? What, was there fear that perhaps the story was a ruse?
Yes, there is. New HP calculator hoaxs are not uncommon. Don't ask me why... The folks on comp.sys.hp48 have their doubts that this is real.

Building a better calculator... (4, Insightful)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604743)

...only builds better idiots. I almost fell out of my chair three weeks ago when my professor said we are not allowed to use calculators in his Calculus II class.

And while I would not exactly say I am doing good in his class at this point, I am learning and just plain realizing things that I should have learned eons ago. The problem was that it was always more convenient to mash the keys on a calculator than to just think.

Re:Building a better calculator... (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604852)

5 years of calculus; no calculator. There's nothing to caluclate in calculus!

That said, I hope they didn't cheap out on the keyboard, it looks like those crappy rubber non-tactile buttons in that picture, and the keys on my hp48 are why I still have one.

Re:Building a better calculator... (2, Insightful)

aunchaki (94514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604887)

And while I would not exactly say I am doing good in his class at this point, I am learning and just plain realizing things that I should have learned eons ago. The problem was that it was always more convenient to mash the keys on a calculator than to just think.

I couldn't agree more. Calculators are great, but we need to start using them after we've mastered the old-fashioned way rather than instead of mastering the old-fashioned way.

A few years ago, I studied for and took the MCAT (the test required to get into med school). There's a lot of math in the various science problems (physics, p-chem, o-chem, biology) and you MUST do it on paper. No calculators allowed. I approve!

Re:Building a better calculator... (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604953)

And while I would not exactly say I am doing good in his class

Apparently, you're not doing well in English class, either.

Re:Building a better calculator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604989)

i gone dun past engrish won and engrush to, and wrihting wun and writing too. It took a lot of effort. I never new why my profesor told me a lot is a place you park your cah. so may you're man boobs turn black and rot off

Why a PDA won't replace the calc... (4, Insightful)

dillkvast (657246) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604763)

... at least until some vendor provides mathematical sofware for the PDA.

The software in todays calculators are capable of pretty advanced mathematical opererations, including advanced calculus, matix operations, statisics and complex math. Until sombody creates an equally good mathematics software suit for PDA's these things will still be around.

Another thing is QA. How are we to be sure that some program we downloaded to our PDA does the calculations correctly. When you buy an advanced calculator you can be pretty confident that the different mathematical functions has been thoroughly tested. Since the key sellingpoint of a calculator is the ability to, well, calculate, the vendor has probably gone to some effort to ensure that it is infact capable of doing that correctly.

Re:Why a PDA won't replace the calc... (1)

threeturn (622824) | more than 11 years ago | (#6605016)

Interestingly the HP Calculator Museum has some information and software [] from an unreleased HP Calc which runs on pocketPC. An HP Calc on your PPC?

I have one requirement... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604782)

Can I do 55378008 on it?

Re:I have one requirement... (1)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604995)

Sicko. 7734206

HP vs. TI vs. computers vs. PDA.... (3, Insightful)

Kid Brother of St. A (662151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604783)

The calculator looks nice, but I think HP may have a hard time finding a market for it. In fact I wonder if any effective market niche still exists for non-Texas Instruments high-end calculators. The education market -- high school and college math/science students -- is pretty well ruled by TI and has been for years since TI came out with the TI-92. Nearly all of the calculator-oriented curricula out there is designed specifically for TI calculators. 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". And for years, the textbooks and lab supplements went specifically toward TI machines because nobody else bothered to keep up with them. Although this machine does compete with TI's, it seems, I think there is just too much brand loyalty and curricular momentum in the education market towards TI for HP to make a dent.

The only thing that's successfully competed with TI calculators has been computer algebra systems (you can get a good, cheap CAS program like Derive -- another TI product, by the way -- for $99 for the student version and $199 for the professional version) and PDA scientific calculator programs. Existing hardware and software is more flexible and less expensive than this new HP. So if this isn't intended for the student market, I wonder who it is intended for, and if it'll actually sell once it's out.

Semi process? (2, Interesting)

TonyJohn (69266) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604784)

The story lists the processor as:
Processor: ARM9, 75 MHz (32 bits, probably 0.13 or 0.18 micron process, est. 20-70 mW)
0.13 sounds like overkill for an ARM9 at 75MHz - given that they can do over 200MHz in that kind of a process. I expect the manufacturer would have used a larger, cheaper process like 0.35 or 0.25.

Re:Semi process? (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604841)

keep in mind, this chip has to run a cool as possible, as i doubt it has any sort of active cooling system.

i mean it IS only a calculator...

Re:Semi process? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6605002)

Lower clock speed means less power consumption, and was probably purposefully thottled down. At a certain point, some given clock speed is fast enough and will suffice. Also, smaller geometries mean more chips/wafer and therefore lower cost.

Noticed some similarities with the TI-89 ... (2, Informative)

phoxix (161744) | more than 11 years ago | (#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


phoxix (161744) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604795)

That is 4 out of 5 function keys!

haha, I mean 5 out of 6, major typo

Sunny Dubey

Point being? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604862)

How many points of similarity are there if you compare your IBM-Compatible keyboard to your Mac-keyboard, and what meaningful conclusions can be drawn from that?

Calculator == ancient technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604790)

Why not just run Mathlab in PDA?
No calculator can ever come even close to the Mathlab functionality. Calculators are out of date. Just buy PDA.

Re:Calculator == ancient technology (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604874)

For complex operations and uses I'd agree , but if you're just doing simple calculations (+, - etc, maybe a bit of trig)
and don't need anything more , why spend $500 on a PDA plus god knows how much on maths software when you can go spend $10 on a cheap casio calculator?

w00t! (1)

f13nd (555737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604799)

back in high school i did something unheard of
everyone had TI-83's - i had to have an HP48G+; it was the best thing i could have done. once i finally figured out the RPN on it (yeah, it was the first time i'd ever used that style) it was more powerful, faster, friendlier, and had cooler games to play on it. (a testament to the Saturn processor?)
i didn't care if i couldn't play tetris with my friends on link cable, i didn't care if there was only one person in the class who had one besides me. while everyone else was trying to figure out how to send files with the wire discreetly, we were quickly Beaming lines of test over about 3 feet via the IR signal

now that i've seen this one, i want another one - sure the 48G+ has loads of life left in it, but this one has USB of all things i'd love to have on my 48G+

yeah, i'm a geek for sure

128x80? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604805)

Sheesh, would it kill people to put a nice high-res color display on these things? A powerfull calculator with a high-res display would kick ass, and not just for gaming, it would be great for development too.

I have to say though, if it uses the old HP style syntax it's going to suck. TI calcs are a lot more intuitive.

Color displays are still cost prohibitive (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604844)

Schools and students, with limited budgets, are the main target for these devices. Your low end device target price is probably a bit below $100, and your high end will still be less than $150 or so. Thus, you've gotta pinch pennies everywhere you can. Color displays add cost (and probably use more battery power? I'm just guessing) without adding much in the way of educational value. Hence they get the axe.

Screw Linux... (-1, Offtopic)

vladid (694901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604806)

...the question to be asked is: Does it run Doom?

I am ELATED!!! (2, Interesting)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604821)

Gosh, THIS is good news. I was absolutely DEVASTATED when HP stopped making (the HP48) calculators. I've never owned an HP49, but heard they were close to the HP48. Wow, this is exciting, of course, only a geek/nerd would be. I can't wait to get my hands on one. USB, cool, it should work with Mac OS X. I just hope it runs all my old code. And I thought I was doomed to using Texas Instruments calculators for the rest of my life or persuing eBay for HP leftovers. Anyone not in the know must know that HP made THE BEST calculators EVER for reliability, functionality, ACCURACY, and features. These things were designed to last a lifetime of a professional.

For those interested in running an HP48 on their Macintosh (Mac OS X and 9), here's a good HP48 emulator: /x48.html


Good calc for the Zaurus (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604826)

A good scientific calc replacement for the Zaurus is Qplot [] . Also available there is the list of changes you need to make to get it to run on Open Zaurus.

It doesn't do everything yet, but it is OSS so that you can add your own functionality. If that's still not enough for you, there is a build of Octave for the Zaurus so you can load Matlab toolboxes.

HP 49 series fixed? (4, Interesting)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604856)

I've used an HP 49G ever since it came out. It's impressive in it's strengths, and nearly as impressive in it's weaknesses.

I have found in several situations that the CAS, while a bit slower, can come up with a correct answer to a complicated transform that causes a TI89 to barf and quit. It can effectively calculate factorials up to about 250!, which I think is very neat (if not all that useful). The equation writer is incredible - it's like entering equations in Mathcad, easy to see what they ~really~ look like, and quick too. Clock, calendar and on-board help menus are very useful as well. RPN always adds mucho score points. Too bad it defaults to algebraic out of the box...

My biggest complaint is in the ROM - only the latest (non-HP approved) ROM revision fixes the more serious bugs, like random garbage collection delays, in the calc's OS. There's also the standard complaint about the sucky rubber keys, and the annoying screen design & resolution. Speed isn't too bad - the general code is optimised well (much of it was taken from the 48 series).

This new addition appears to fix all, or nearly all of the mistakes that were made with the 49G. I look forward to reading reviews of use.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, but it looks as though I may add a new RPN machine to my collection soon.

Last fall I paid $60 USD for a HP 48G... (1)

entropy123 (660150) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604863)

....and it was worth every penny. Purpose built calculators are wayyy better than palms. Just using the stylus to punch the numbers takes way too much time in a test - much less in real life while a customer is staring at you fiddling with your palm device. :) entropy

Yes, but does it use RPN ? (3, Interesting)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604880)

I could care less about almost all of the speces except one: does it use Reverse Polish Notation ? I couldn't find the answer in the article. There's a reason that the HP12C is still one of the - if not THE - dominant calculator in the world of finance (indeed, AIMR requires CFA candidates to use it or a single type of TI calculator on their exams), and that reason is RPN. (I know it's not because of speed because it is up to 10 times slower than the TI calculator which costs a fraction of an HP 12C).

Re:Yes, but does it use RPN ? (1)

von Prufer (444647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604956)

If it's using the HP49 ROM like the article says then it must certainly use RPN. I agree, though, RPN has become almost an obsession with me today. I had to use a TI89 the other day an it almost made me cry.

Can't be that good... (0)

march (215947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604899)

It can't be that good - it has less buttons than my 48GX. And we all know the calculator with the most buttons is the best! (at least, that's what we thought in high school) :-)

More evidence for new graphing calculator (1)

DeathB (10047) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604943)

They even seem to have said that new high-end calculators are coming out on HP's site [] . I'm curious where the development effort for this is coming from. I don't think the calculator folks from Australia or France survived the great Carly purge.


What would be the target audience? (1)

Cooper_007 (688308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604952)

So you now have a calculator with considerable horsepower, a graphical screen, USB, IrDA and an SD slot. And all of this is for the calculation of big formulae?

What would be a practical application for such a beast?
Which areas are likely to prefer this machine over a regular PC and/or PDA?

IrDA is dying? (1)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#6604979)

Huh, I thought IrDA was dying...? Bluetooth is supposed to take over for short-range wirelss communications, isn't it? There's an IrDA port on my cell-phone, but when I figured I'd want to connect to my computer, I got a cable instead of an IrDA dongle, though the dongle was actually cheaper.

New High-End HP Calculator? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6604988)

It's official: You guys are fuckin' nerds.

Now go outside and get some sun. It's a beautiful day. Go talk to a girl. New calculators are not a reason to get all excited.
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