Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:15 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... I guess the tragic death of Michael Jackson put the internet on hold or something, as the amount of news we can find has come to a grinding halt. I did find something interesting, though: HP has made several of its classic calculator models available as iPhone applications or as Windows applications. I'm personally not particularly versed in the world of mathematics (other than statistics), but I do know the love many geeks have for their calculators.
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Touchscreen
by robmv on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:43 UTC
robmv
Member since:
2006-08-12

No touchscreen device will replace my HP48GX, Nothing compares to the sound and feel of the keys :-). For a PC based calculator Qalculate!!!. but it will be nice to have and HP48GX on a mobile phone, just in case you need to save the planet with some complex calculation on the go

Reply Score: 3

RE: Touchscreen
by bnolsen on Sat 27th Jun 2009 05:26 UTC in reply to "Touchscreen"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

You must have been one of the rich kids. i coud only afford the 48SX model. Nowadays i only pull out my calculator to do my taxes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Touchscreen
by lopisaur on Sat 27th Jun 2009 23:07 UTC in reply to "Touchscreen"
lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

Same here, been using the same 48 for 12 years now. Still looks and works the same as the day I bought it. The 49 and 50 never even came close to the build quality of the 48.

Reply Score: 2

x48
by shiva on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:44 UTC
shiva
Member since:
2007-01-24

I use x48 for years and it is free

http://x48.berlios.de/

Reply Score: 2

RE: x48
by robmv on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:52 UTC in reply to "x48"
robmv Member since:
2006-08-12

I use x48 for years and it is free


Those need you supply the ROM of a real calculator, so technically you still need a real one. I see the ROMs at berlios.de, but it that even legal?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: x48
by tchristney on Fri 26th Jun 2009 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE: x48"
tchristney Member since:
2005-09-21

News on the street is the HP allowed certain 48 series ROMs to be downloaded for non-commercial use.

Many more emulators are available from http://www.hpcalc.org/hp49/pc/emulators/

I have been using the Palm emulator for the 48GX since my real one died. I also have one for OS X which is what I use when I need a calculator on OS X.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: x48
by madcrow on Sat 27th Jun 2009 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE: x48"
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

Wrong. Unlike TI, HP has given permission for the ROM images of their 8-bit calculators and is rumored to have even contributed code to Emu48, the main emulator. The newer 32-bit calculators are still off limits (legally speaking) but the 38,39,48sx,48gx and 49g are all OK. This has been their for almost nine whole years now: http://hp.giesselink.com/emu48faq.htm (See the first question under the "ROM Image" section for details and download links.

Edited 2009-06-27 00:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Modern Calculators
by whartung on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:56 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

The HP-15C was a marvel of the day in terms of the balance of functionality and usability. It managed to combine its high end capabilities like matrix math and integration with a simple, single key access idiom.

Combining this utility with the particularly excellent ergonomics of the size, shape, and layout, and key quality is what makes the 15C a treasured tool even today. It is pocket handy, light, thing, and yet used easily with two hands.

This capability departs in the later, more powerful HP calculators where most of the functions were buried beneath large menu trees, or needing to be keyed in via the alpha keyboard, and the devices themselves revert back to the conventional, vertical layout the dominates calculator design.

If you go to an office store today, modern calculators are a marvel. They have immense capability, packing large functionality in to small spaces, that are dirt cheap (< $15). But what's most curious is that save for the higher end, expensive, "graphing" models, almost no modern calculators support programming.

The HP-15C was "keyboard programmable", which basically means that programming was a matter of capturing keystrokes. They were effectively elaborate macro systems. Most modern programmable calculators are programmed much like the old BASIC hand held computers in the past, using some higher level language. The keyboard can be used to some extent, in a sort of "watch me" mode, but most of the programming is done simply with the alpha numeric keyboard option, typing in control flow commands, etc.

This actually hinders use especially for casual users, as they must switch to a different "mode" of using the device when they program it compared to a more keyboard programmable macro capture mode.

So, what makes the HP-15C so endearing to old school users is the balance it provided in terms of functionality and utility.

The iPhone already has "perfect" HP-15C, among others, clones running. These versions are literally HP emulators running 15C ROMs. They look perfect, and are also bit perfect in their answers compared to the original (they're running the same code after all).

Personally, I run a http://free42.sourceforge.net/ iPhone version which you can buy from the app store or build yourself if you have the dev key. The 42 is pretty much the pinnacle of calculator progress, IMHO, still staying on this side of being a calculator and not a generic, handheld computer like many modern high end calcs (the latest HP-50 is an ARM computer emulating and HP-49, effectively). The Free42 version on the iPhone is simply excellent.

The keyboard has the right look, they "hide" the extra row of keys the original had with clever UI design, and you can upload and download 42s programs (as text) from the device, if you're interests take you that way.

The 42 is not as elegant as the 15C, since the 42 relies on the alpha keyboard to "punt" on hard compromises that were necessary for something like the 15C. But it's still an excellent tool, worth the $5 on the app store.

On that note, I still have my original HP-15C, purchased in 1982.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Modern Calculators
by Dryhte on Fri 26th Jun 2009 21:34 UTC in reply to "Modern Calculators"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05

I've also been using Free42 for years. I had a 42 in secondary school, programmed all sorts of stuff in it. Couldn't do it now but don't need to anymore, I just use it as an ordinary calculator for old times' sake ;)

Reply Score: 1

I don't get it
by laminam on Fri 26th Jun 2009 18:59 UTC
laminam
Member since:
2009-06-26

Why would I pay $15/$30 for a calculator when one comes with the phone? Nostalgia?

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't get it
by boldingd on Fri 26th Jun 2009 19:08 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I was gonna post basically the same thing. I was gonna be all smart-ass with, "why would anyone pay for a reverse-polish calculator when clisp is free?"

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't get it
by robmv on Fri 26th Jun 2009 19:09 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
robmv Member since:
2006-08-12

Why would I pay $15/$30 for a calculator when one comes with the phone? Nostalgia?


I think haven't used a RPN calculator, right?, personally I am used to it, and I only tolerate the usage of a standard one, and this behavior is common on people that grown up on studying with them. I think even the RPN notation influenced in my love in the Smalltalk programming language (not RPN really but has that feel)

Reply Score: 4

How is this different from C-64 emulator
by z80a on Fri 26th Jun 2009 19:32 UTC
z80a
Member since:
2008-02-05

Why Apple allowed these emulators and not C-64 emulator, that was refused by AppStore? Probably because there are no (attractive) games these calculators.

Reply Score: 1

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

My guess - the HP emulator comes from the same company that made what it is emulating. The C-64 emulator probably does not, and thus there mught be a few legal questions.

Reply Score: 2

z80a Member since:
2008-02-05

According to news, it was completely legal and licenced emulator.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's simple.

c64 emulator dev: $

HP: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

The world isn't complicated.

Reply Score: 4

mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

My guess - the HP emulator comes from the same company that made what it is emulating. The C-64 emulator probably does not, and thus there mught be a few legal questions.


because while it's emulated the iPhone app is just running the one rom. Normal users see it as just one a and don't know any better. The C64 app is made to write and run C64 programs inside of iPhone and we can't have writing and running user apps ON the phone, can we.

Reply Score: 2

John.Gustafsson Member since:
2005-08-08

With in app purchases you can ;)

Reply Score: 1

TI-83
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Jun 2009 21:52 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Different brand, but I used to program my TI-83 with the answers to tests and all that during high school and university statistics classes. Very helpful.

We also had various games on it. I've spent a lot of classes paying Bomberman on the TI-83 versus one of my best friends with the connector data cable.

Frakking awesome.

Reply Score: 1

RE: TI-83
by madcrow on Sat 27th Jun 2009 01:13 UTC in reply to "TI-83"
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

I did all of that too. I actually went even farther wrote some games in TI-BASIC that managed to spread around the school. They were inspired a combination of old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, fantasy novels and pro wrestling and as I recall, made heavy use of the Menu() function as well as the pseudo-random number generator and LOTS of labels. Truly spaghetti code at its finest...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: TI-83
by Bobthearch on Sat 27th Jun 2009 01:41 UTC in reply to "RE: TI-83"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Those TI machines are fantastic and amazingly capable. I've got a few here including an 83+, 84+ Silver, and a 92+. Thousands of available software titles (including games), computer connectivity, and a good number of add-ons and accessories.

There was a TI emulator that I followed for some time and still use occasionally, Virtual TI, but it hasn't been updated in almost ten years.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: TI-83
by mabhatter on Sat 27th Jun 2009 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: TI-83"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

I'd love to see those done right on iphone/touch. they're STILL $100 calculators after 15 years. While not as legendary as the HPs they're still widely required in high schools and colleges.

Reply Score: 2

RE: TI-83
by Moochman on Sat 27th Jun 2009 09:03 UTC in reply to "TI-83"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I used to program and play games on my TI-83 all the freaking time. As a result I actually missed out on a lot of what I was supposed to learn in math class ;) ...

Reply Score: 2

I have a HP 15C
by unclefester on Sat 27th Jun 2009 05:42 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

I don't know why HP stopped selling the 15C. They would cost less than $2 to make in China and would find a ready market at $50.

Nothing beats RPN. I use gcalculator in linux in RPN mode.

You can't take a phone into a university exam.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I have a HP 15C
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sun 28th Jun 2009 00:54 UTC in reply to "I have a HP 15C"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

My Physics adviser in College was sort of a prankster. He'd remind his new students that they needed a calculator for their exams, but if they forgot one, he had 10 they could borrow. Of course, they were all RPN a fact which he never mentioned. Those that forgot their calculators once, never did again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I have a HP 15C
by abstraction on Mon 29th Jun 2009 07:49 UTC in reply to "RE: I have a HP 15C"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

I am one of those that actually dislike the use of calculators in school.

During highschool we had to use calculators because the answers could not be described as a fraction 3/7 or an angle of 2*PI etc.

As soon as I enrolled at the university there was not even one subject that required a calculator. All the problems had a solution that could solved by hand even if the actual problem was way more complicated than anything we had ever done in highschool.

When looking back I came to the solution that the required use of calculators in highschool only added to the confusion when trying to understand math. I can not understand why the hell we had to use them because it is so much easier to understand math if not having to rely on the calculator to solve your problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I have a HP 15C
by unclefester on Mon 29th Jun 2009 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I have a HP 15C"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The only time you are likely to obtain results like 3/7 is in theoretical problems such as basic trigonometry. This rarely occurs in solving real world situations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I have a HP 15C
by abstraction on Mon 29th Jun 2009 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I have a HP 15C"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

Of course if you apply the theory into practice you probably need a calculator. But that was not what I was saying. I just ment that from a teaching standpoint the teacher should not give students basic math problems that requires a calculator to solve.

If you ask a student to solve the square root of a number it is better to give them the number 16 than say give them a calculator and the number 15. It will teach the student not to depend on the calculator to solve the problem but instead use his/her own insight.

Reply Score: 1

No HP16???
by Anachronda on Sat 27th Jun 2009 07:11 UTC
Anachronda
Member since:
2007-04-18

That's the one I truly miss. I still know where my 35, 45, 15, and 48 are, but my 16 seems to be gone forever.

Reply Score: 1