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HP-49G, HP-49G+, HP-42S

Hmm....

Back when I was an engineering undergrad (1989) I purchased an HP-42S
calculator.  That calculator quickly became indispensible to me.   Without
it all my engineering homework and exams would have been much harder.  To
this day I still use it as my primary calculator.  With the leather carrying
case I purchased for it back then the calculator has remained in pristine
condition save for a little dust now and then.  I decided about a year ago
to purchase the HP-49G because I honestly thought that HP was getting out of
the calculator business forever and it had been over ten years since I
purchased a new calculator.  I have not used the HP-49G that much but I feel
some of the criticisms leveled against it are unfair.  Maybe it is because I
have a later model or maybe because I take good care of it but the keyboard
and display on my HP-49G seem reasonable. Certainly the keyboard is nowhere
near as good as that on my HP-42S but things change.  Maybe I would feel
different about it if I had to handle my HP-49G with acid (I am a chemical
engineer and deal with chemicals) on my hands but I don't think it is fair
to expect that kind of durability from this kind of a product.  All the
ranting and raving by HP nuts is not going to change the fact that design
decisions have to follow the business model.  In this case maximize profits
by cutting costs and trying to stay competitive.   I think the die hard old
school HP loyalists are too few to influence Carly Fiona's market decisions.
However, a chance at stealing some of the market away from Casio and TI is
much more profitable for HP.  Frankly I am surprised HP came out with
anything like the HP-49G and later.  I still use my HP-42S because it is a
rock solid calculator and because I understand it better than any other
machine I have ever used.  All this brings me to my next observation.
Anything beyond of the capabilities of the HP-42S (and others like it) is
really trying to be a computer.  In that case why not just get a laptop and
write some Fortran code to do your calculations.  Most people will never
push these machines to their limits and in fact I know of one example when I
was taking an exam in college where a classmate made some mistakes and lost
points because he became confused by the massively complex hp-48.   I plan
to start graduate school in January 2004 and I know I will be taking my HP's
with me.  Maybe after I have put the HP-49G through more paces I will arrive
at a different conclusion.  We'll see.

Juan.


0
Juan
9/21/2003 2:18:10 AM
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I wanted to note that from what I have read about the HP-49G+ keyboard I
think I prefer the rubber keys of the HP-49G.  I have never liked the cheap
plastic feel of the keys on the Casio and TI graphing calculators.   I have
a Casio FX-5000F that I used as a senior in high school that has rubber
keys.  They worked well for me back then and just a few days ago I replaced
the two CR2032 batteries and the calculator started up like a champ.  In
fact all of the keys are in great shape.  I am inclined to believe as
Jean-Yves says that rubber keys does not necessarily mean cheap!  If
designed properly and with a modicum of care rubber keys should work fine.
The rubber keys on my Casio FX-5000F are in perfect conditino even after all
these years.  Nothing has worn away from the keys.  I do take some care of
my things though.  From my own observations I think the HP49 rubber keys are
better than my Casio's so I don't expect I will have any problem with the
former.

Juan.


"Juan Casero" <casero@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:aT7bb.8552$8j.6988@bignews4.bellsouth.net...
> Hmm....
>
> Back when I was an engineering undergrad (1989) I purchased an HP-42S
> calculator.  That calculator quickly became indispensible to me.   Without
> it all my engineering homework and exams would have been much harder.  To
> this day I still use it as my primary calculator.  With the leather
carrying
> case I purchased for it back then the calculator has remained in pristine
> condition save for a little dust now and then.  I decided about a year ago
> to purchase the HP-49G because I honestly thought that HP was getting out
of
> the calculator business forever and it had been over ten years since I
> purchased a new calculator.  I have not used the HP-49G that much but I
feel
> some of the criticisms leveled against it are unfair.  Maybe it is because
I
> have a later model or maybe because I take good care of it but the
keyboard
> and display on my HP-49G seem reasonable. Certainly the keyboard is
nowhere
> near as good as that on my HP-42S but things change.  Maybe I would feel
> different about it if I had to handle my HP-49G with acid (I am a chemical
> engineer and deal with chemicals) on my hands but I don't think it is fair
> to expect that kind of durability from this kind of a product.  All the
> ranting and raving by HP nuts is not going to change the fact that design
> decisions have to follow the business model.  In this case maximize
profits
> by cutting costs and trying to stay competitive.   I think the die hard
old
> school HP loyalists are too few to influence Carly Fiona's market
decisions.
> However, a chance at stealing some of the market away from Casio and TI is
> much more profitable for HP.  Frankly I am surprised HP came out with
> anything like the HP-49G and later.  I still use my HP-42S because it is a
> rock solid calculator and because I understand it better than any other
> machine I have ever used.  All this brings me to my next observation.
> Anything beyond of the capabilities of the HP-42S (and others like it) is
> really trying to be a computer.  In that case why not just get a laptop
and
> write some Fortran code to do your calculations.  Most people will never
> push these machines to their limits and in fact I know of one example when
I
> was taking an exam in college where a classmate made some mistakes and
lost
> points because he became confused by the massively complex hp-48.   I plan
> to start graduate school in January 2004 and I know I will be taking my
HP's
> with me.  Maybe after I have put the HP-49G through more paces I will
arrive
> at a different conclusion.  We'll see.
>
> Juan.
>
>


0
Juan
9/21/2003 3:06:35 AM
In message <FA8bb.8569$8j.5847@bignews4.bellsouth.net>, Juan Casero 
<casero@bellsouth.net> writes
>I have a Casio FX-5000F that I used as a senior in high school that has 
>rubber keys.  They worked well for me back then and just a few days ago 
>I replaced the two CR2032 batteries and the calculator started up like 
>a champ.  In fact all of the keys are in great shape.  I am inclined to 
>believe as Jean-Yves says that rubber keys does not necessarily mean 
>cheap!  If designed properly and with a modicum of care rubber keys 
>should work fine. The rubber keys on my Casio FX-5000F are in perfect 
>conditino even after all these years.

Hey, that's true of the 49 as well. My ID93... serial number HP49G's 
keyboard is equally long lasting: it's just as bad now as it was the day 
I bought it...

;-)
-- 
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
<firstname>@<surname>.plus.com -- fix the obvious for email
0
Bruce
9/21/2003 7:39:04 PM
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