What happened between 39gii and prime?
08-13-2019, 04:23 AM
Post: #1
 pvp100288840 Junior Member Posts: 13 Joined: Mar 2019
What happened between 39gii and prime?
Hi everyone here,
It is said that 39gii had been sold very cheap in China(about 10$USD only) ,because it has a bad-programed firmware and its kit is completely a mess (For example, I can't even transport any program from emulator to kit).So on these bugs made me believe that 39gii is an uncompleted project.I wonder why HP give up 39gii so early. Besides, I noticed that HP gave up scientists and engineer's market so far,but why? Hope someone from HP can explain it. 08-13-2019, 06:12 AM Post: #2  cyrille de brébisson Senior Member Posts: 1,047 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? Hello, Prime comes from the 39gII... Different HW, and updated FW, but it is the same code base. The main differences: More time to develop, more HW capabilities, color screen. Cyrille Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP. 08-13-2019, 07:35 AM Post: #3  pvp100288840 Junior Member Posts: 13 Joined: Mar 2019 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-13-2019 06:12 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote: Hello, Prime comes from the 39gII... Different HW, and updated FW, but it is the same code base. The main differences: More time to develop, more HW capabilities, color screen. Cyrille Thanks , but who decided to give up 39gii ? 08-13-2019, 12:04 PM Post: #4  Pjwum Member Posts: 58 Joined: Jan 2018 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? Just ask Wikipedia: "Development of a "HP 39gII+", an improved variant of the calculator powerful enough to include a CAS, was almost finished when the underlying processor was abandoned by Freescale, causing the project to be abandoned as well.[3][4] Instead, the calculator concept was revised again and the specs further improved (f.e. color touchscreen, even more powerful processor), which eventually led to the release of the HP Prime in 2013." If I remember correctly there is an old forum thread where Tim Wessmann states that sales numbers also weren't great because of the lack of a colour screen. 08-14-2019, 06:02 AM Post: #5  cyrille de brébisson Senior Member Posts: 1,047 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? Hello, Another factor was the fact that the 39gII was designed to be "cheap" as this is "what the market wants"... But when we released it, and it did not sell well, we were told "we need something top notch, the market does not care about cost"... so, here comes Prime :-) Cyrille Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP. 08-15-2019, 02:13 AM Post: #6  Namir Senior Member Posts: 851 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? I wrote several articles for HP's online newsletter a few years ago. Among these articles was a set of statistical regression calculations using the HP 39GII. It proved to be quite capable and versatile!! 08-15-2019, 06:41 PM Post: #7  Marco Polo Member Posts: 226 Joined: Jun 2016 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-13-2019 06:12 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote: Prime comes from the 39gII... Different HW, and updated FW, but it is the same code base. Quite sad to know that HP flagship is just a pimped-up educational calculator. Market is changed a lot since the release of 48 series. 08-15-2019, 11:36 PM Post: #8  rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,538 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-15-2019 06:41 PM)Marco Polo Wrote: Quite sad to know that HP flagship is just a pimped-up educational calculator. Market is changed a lot since the release of 48 series. Biggest change is back then there actually was a large market. As for "...just a pimped-up educational calculator" I'd have to say it's quite an impressive set of pimping; it's still unmatched in the market and we're about 6 years past introduction of the Prime... --Bob Prosperi 08-16-2019, 08:05 AM Post: #9  Marco Polo Member Posts: 226 Joined: Jun 2016 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-15-2019 11:36 PM)rprosperi Wrote: As for "...just a pimped-up educational calculator" I'd have to say it's quite an impressive set of pimping; it's still unmatched in the market and we're about 6 years past introduction of the Prime... I am pretty sure that for the major part of the forum and the (potential) users the Prime is the state of art: powerful CAS, a good programming language, excellent hardware specs, etc. I am not a mathematician, just a chemical engineer. I was born on RPL calculator (28s) and maybe this is a strong bias. I was tempted to buy one Prime, but after trying several times to use in for my job (as emulator) I can say that its paradigma (apps, confined areas for each app, lack of advanced uom handling) is far less effective than the open and flexible HP48 paradigma. This just for my use. I am sure that for other use it is well suited. Even the future DM43 cannot replace the 48/50 on my desk. I would like to buy an hipotetic DM48, based on SX or GX, with modern cpu, more memory ad SD card or USB connectivity. 08-16-2019, 06:03 PM Post: #10  anderin Junior Member Posts: 12 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? Hello everyone: I have read you for years. It is a luxury to read the messages of such trained people in this forum. I'm mechanical engineer. In our company we have 8 Prime calculators, one in each cnc machine, and another in the technical office. Each calculator has specific applications and utilities for each machine. It is a wonderful calculator. We could not live without them !!!! 08-17-2019, 12:05 AM Post: #11  rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,538 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-16-2019 06:03 PM)anderin Wrote: Hello everyone: I have read you for years. It is a luxury to read the messages of such trained people in this forum. I'm mechanical engineer. In our company we have 8 Prime calculators, one in each cnc machine, and another in the technical office. Each calculator has specific applications and utilities for each machine. It is a wonderful calculator. We could not live without them !!!! Thanks for sharing that. This is a bit surprising, but to me a nice surprise, to learn Primes are being used for hands-on Engineering applications. Maybe sometime you could share one or more of the programs your company has written, as examples of real-world use. --Bob Prosperi 08-17-2019, 09:04 AM Post: #12  eried Senior Member Posts: 744 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-16-2019 06:03 PM)anderin Wrote: Hello everyone: I have read you for years. It is a luxury to read the messages of such trained people in this forum. I'm mechanical engineer. In our company we have 8 Prime calculators, one in each cnc machine, and another in the technical office. Each calculator has specific applications and utilities for each machine. It is a wonderful calculator. We could not live without them !!!! Wow, we need a tour of that My website: erwin.ried.cl 08-17-2019, 07:51 PM Post: #13  pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,193 Joined: Nov 2014 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-16-2019 06:03 PM)anderin Wrote: Hello everyone: I have read you for years. It is a luxury to read the messages of such trained people in this forum. I'm mechanical engineer. In our company we have 8 Prime calculators, one in each cnc machine, and another in the technical office. Each calculator has specific applications and utilities for each machine. It is a wonderful calculator. We could not live without them !!!! Prime in CNC machines? I thought the CNC machines, that are not exactly that cheap, came with plenty of power in them (Say, at least the equivalent of a raspberry). Could you share more? Did your team put the Prime in the CNC, did the CNC come with the Prime built in? Are the programs run there done by your team or come pre-programmed from the factory? I did not know the Prime could be interfaced to command things. And for the (paraphrasing) "the prime is just a pimped educational calculator". I wish so many things would be pimped in the same way the Prime got pimped from the 39gii (and I have 4 times the hp50G, so I like RPL too). Wikis are great, Contribute :) 08-18-2019, 08:28 AM Post: #14  Marco Polo Member Posts: 226 Joined: Jun 2016 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-17-2019 07:51 PM)pier4r Wrote: And for the (paraphrasing) "the prime is just a pimped educational calculator". I wish so many things would be pimped in the same way the Prime got pimped from the 39gii (and I have 4 times the hp50G, so I like RPL too). I admit that my phrase may be considered "extreme" but not wrong, according to Cyrille post It was Cyrille himself who wrote about the relationship between 39g and Prime "Different HW, and updated FW, but it is the same code base. The main differences: More time to develop, more HW capabilities, color screen." We can still debate about the 39g being an educational calculator.... This does not infice that Prime is, imho, the most capable calculator on the market, far beyond 50g,at least for hardware specs. But for my own specific needs it is quite useless.... 08-19-2019, 04:11 AM (This post was last modified: 08-19-2019 06:33 AM by jlind.) Post: #15  jlind Junior Member Posts: 35 Joined: Aug 2019 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-13-2019 04:23 AM)pvp100288840 Wrote: Hi everyone here, It is said that 39gii had been sold very cheap in China(about 10$ USD only) ,because it has a bad-programed firmware and its kit is completely a mess (For example, I can't even transport any program from emulator to kit).So on these bugs made me believe that 39gii is an uncompleted project.I wonder why HP give up 39gii so early.
Besides, I noticed that HP gave up scientists and engineer's market so far,but why?
Hope someone from HP can explain it.

Been using calculators since the mid-1970's, having cut my teeth on scientific, aka "slide rule" calculators with 7-segment red LEDs in the display. Have a fleet of them now. Acquired them over the decades since as their technology and capabilities advanced, not giving away or selling any. Cannot speak about the 39gII from personal experience as I don't own one. Released in 2011, eight years ago, that's an eternity in consumer electronics technology that works on an 18-24 month product life-cycle. Electronics have an effective half-life. Barring outright failure, its technology sunsets completely within about five or six years. Compare the hardware architecture of a TI-89 Titanium with the Nspire CX II CAS --- or the HP 50g with the Prime G2 (rev D). The difference is dramatic. Development of a 39gII+ on a two year product life cycle for 2013 stopped dead in its tracks when Freescale abandoned the uP that was being used in its design. Recovery from that cataclysm wasn't feasible.

Having worked in the automotive OEM electronics industry for a couple decades, this isn't the first time I've seen that happen. Personally witnessed successful product lines in imminent danger of going down the drain with a 90 day notice from a supplier that they will no longer be producing a critical component. Causes an enormous scramble to sort out how to recover from it. We were lucky to be able to mod things quickly, but our customers didn't like it one iota (livid would be an understatement). It's why the companies in that industry will impose procurement contracts guaranteeing supply for at least 10 years, if they have the financial leverage on procurement volume to impose it. That's become rare now, with the ubiquity of "smart" cell phones, tablets, TVs, toasters, refrigerators, ovens, door locks, doorbells, and all the other IoT devices that drive the electronics components industry. They're the 600 pound gorillas in the marketplace. Everyone else is a small player and component suppliers will be glad to sell parts to them, but you can't impose any special requirements on them as easily now as in the past. It's often: "Here's our catalog of products; take it or leave it; if you want something that's listed in it, call us".

Regarding what are now called the "STEM" professions, those of us in them are using Matlab, Mathematica, Minitab, Excel, etc., on desktop and laptop PCs. The calculator is a secondary device to have handy for quick and dirty rough calculations on the fly, or some on location analyses when a laptop isn't available or feasible. Many use a shirt pocket scientific. Rarely is a calculator used as a primary device in "Cubeville" office engineering, engineering development "labs" or in research "labs", in which PCs and laptops are ubiquitous. HP didn't "give up" the professional science and engineering market, it evaporated. Didn't happen overnight and HP sadly ignored the marketplace evolution. It's much easier to use a PC with a large screen, a mouse, and a full-size QWERTY keyboard that includes a separate number pad. Just worked on an optimization problem using the 50g (differentiation of some trig functions defining a relationship to solve for the zeroes which would identify the maxima). Entering in lengthy equations and values on the calculator keyboard was painful compared to a desktop or laptop PC. Many, especially the older ones like me, may have a graphing calculator around in the desk, but ask those that have them how often it's actually used beyond relatively simple equations and calculations.

On the other hand TI didn't ignore the shifting market, and now has their product line completely entrenched in the US education system with school administrations, teachers and textbook publishers. TI has national education conventions and holds on-line seminars for teachers, administrators and textbook publishers, and gives out achievement awards to them. Google for TI's annual T3 International Conference. T3 = Teachers Teaching with Technology. Been going on 30 years now. This creates a monstrous and expensive barrier to change with the TI-84 in numerous iterations, and now the Nspire, embedded in everything. Convince a math or science teacher, who has developed curricula and teaching materials using the TI-84 keyboard and keystrokes to redo everything they've developed over the years for a different calculator, and to do it on their own time, and at their own expense. Not going to happen.

Saw the remark about the Prime being a "pimped up education calculator". First, it's much more powerful than the TI-84 Plus CE, which is the current make and model of choice now for secondary education. HP has no comparable product to compete with it. The Prime G2 (rev D) and Nspire CX II CAS, HP's and TI's flagships, are roughly on par with each other. They're overkill for most secondary education until students reach more advanced calculus topics. They're best suited for post-secondary and university students. Second, the education market is the cash cow. With the entrenchment TI has in North America, HP is pursuing the European market in which TI doesn't have nearly the domination. Going where the competition is weaker makes sense strategically. A brute force frontal assault on the US education market would be an exercise in very expensive futility.

Regarding the HP 48 line with its 49 and 50g successors, there is no viable market for them any more. I don't see HP generating a successor for the 50g. The minuscule sales volume wouldn't justify the non-recurring development cost. The TI-89 Titanium may still be in production after fifteen years, but I don't give it long before it's dropped from TI's product portfolio with no replacement. I'm surprised it made it this long. Their Nspire is in its third major hardware revision since its introduction in 2007.

John

John

Pickett: N4-ES, N600
TI: 58, 30-III, 30x Pro MathPrint, 36x Solar, 85, 86, 89T, Voyage 200, Nspire CX II CAS
HP: 50g, Prime G2, DM42
08-19-2019, 07:32 AM
Post: #16
 Marco Polo Member Posts: 226 Joined: Jun 2016
RE: What happened between 39gii and prime?
(08-19-2019 04:11 AM)jlind Wrote:  Saw the remark about the Prime being a "pimped up education calculator". First, it's much more powerful than the TI-84 Plus CE, which is the current make and model of choice now for secondary education. HP has no comparable product to compete with it. The Prime G2 (rev D) and Nspire CX II CAS, HP's and TI's flagships, are roughly on par with each other. They're overkill for most secondary education until students reach more advanced calculus topics. They're best suited for post-secondary and university students. Second, the education market is the cash cow. With the entrenchment TI has in North America, HP is pursuing the European market in which TI doesn't have nearly the domination. Going where the competition is weaker makes sense strategically. A brute force frontal assault on the US education market would be an exercise in very expensive futility.

Regarding the HP 48 line with its 49 and 50g successors, there is no viable market for them any more. I don't see HP generating a successor for the 50g. The minuscule sales volume wouldn't justify the non-recurring development cost. The TI-89 Titanium may still be in production after fifteen years, but I don't give it long before it's dropped from TI's product portfolio with no replacement. I'm surprised it made it this long. Their Nspire is in its third major hardware revision since its introduction in 2007.

John

HI John.
Imho you explained my opinion better than me :-)

In my department lives several mid-ageengineers who, like me, use HP48 series calcs, some old dinosaurs using HP41/32/42/35s (the latter due to hardware failure of 32s) and a bunch of millennials using Excel and cheap Sharp or Casio 4-bangers.
Ti is not present, as well as modern Cas calculators.
08-19-2019, 05:30 PM (This post was last modified: 08-19-2019 05:32 PM by jlind.)
Post: #17
 jlind Junior Member Posts: 35 Joined: Aug 2019
RE: What happened between 39gii and prime?
(08-19-2019 07:32 AM)Marco Polo Wrote:  HI John.
Imho you explained my opinion better than me :-)

In my department lives several mid-ageengineers who, like me, use HP48 series calcs, some old dinosaurs using HP41/32/42/35s (the latter due to hardware failure of 32s) and a bunch of millennials using Excel and cheap Sharp or Casio 4-bangers.
Ti is not present, as well as modern Casio calculators.

Hi Marco,
Most of the scientists and engineers where I worked from 1985-1995 had an HP 35/45/41, one of the SR-50 family (by TI), or a TI-5x (mostly 58 or 59). Small shirt pocket scientific like the TI-30-II and HP-1x Voyager family were showing up with the HP Voyagers having some programming capability. Moved in 1995. Many of the older guys at the new job had one of those. The young ones were showing up with HP 1x family (mostly 15C), HP 41, HP 42, TI-80/82, and TI-85. Didn't see any of the HP-28x (battery door problems). Bought the TI-85 just after the move, not for the graphing but for the ability to handle stats (notably ANOVA), regression, and linear programming (simultaneous equations). The alternative was an HP 38G. Also picked up a TI-36x Solar at the same time for my shirt pocket.

By the end of the 1990's with the advent of Windows 2000 and much more powerful PC hardware, the calculator in the middle desk drawer had moved to the "catchall bin" bottom desk drawer in one of the pedestals. Still carried the TI-85 and its TI-86 successor in the brief case and on business trips. Windows XP and PC hardware architecture had completely displaced the calculator with ability to run very sophisticated and high powered math software by the mid-2000's. I was using Minitab and Excel as most of my work dealt with stochastic processes and their analyses.

I don't think the non-programmable shirt pocket 4-banger or basic scientific is going away anytime soon. Their size and the dirt cheap price for one makes them too convenient. Always carried the 1995 TI-36x Solar when I was on a plant operations floor (don't like the looks of the current TI-36 ;-) ). Everything from a quick and dirty simple stats problem to calculating dimensions required for new operations and rearranging the existing ones. Graphing calculators are too big to fit into a pants pocket unless you're wearing cargo pants.

John

John

Pickett: N4-ES, N600
TI: 58, 30-III, 30x Pro MathPrint, 36x Solar, 85, 86, 89T, Voyage 200, Nspire CX II CAS
HP: 50g, Prime G2, DM42
08-20-2019, 11:50 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2019 12:04 AM by Gene222.)
Post: #18
 Gene222 Member Posts: 107 Joined: Feb 2015
RE: What happened between 39gii and prime?
(08-19-2019 07:32 AM)Marco Polo Wrote:  In my department lives several mid-ageengineers who, like me, use HP48 series calcs, some old dinosaurs using HP41/32/42/35s (the latter due to hardware failure of 32s) and a bunch of millennials using Excel and cheap Sharp or Casio 4-bangers.
Ti is not present, as well as modern Cas calculators.

Were those really "Casio 4-banger" calculators? I though "4-banger" calculators could only perform basic arithmetic calculations. I would have thought that new engineers would just use the calculators that they used in college.

The Fundamental's of Engineering exam only allows calculators like the Casio FX115. I hear that some lower division engineering classes only allow calculators that are allowed by the FE exam. These cheap $15 calculators have textbook entry, solver, ability to save an equation, and a lot of other functions, but no graphic capability. I also hear that some classes now teach how to solve some engineering problems using excel to mimic the real world. 08-21-2019, 06:08 AM Post: #19  Marco Polo Member Posts: 226 Joined: Jun 2016 RE: What happened between 39gii and prime? (08-20-2019 11:50 PM)Gene222 Wrote: Were those really "Casio 4-banger" calculators? I though "4-banger" calculators could only perform basic arithmetic calculations. I would have thought that new engineers would just use the calculators that they used in college. The Fundamental's of Engineering exam only allows calculators like the Casio FX115. I hear that some lower division engineering classes only allow calculators that are allowed by the FE exam. These cheap$15 calculators have textbook entry, solver, ability to save an equation, and a lot of other functions, but no graphic capability. I also hear that some classes now teach how to solve some engineering problems using excel to mimic the real world.
As a matter of fact they are very basic scientific calculators with trigs, logs, and some basic stats.
They are used as four bangers.
In chemical process engineering calculations done manually are quite simple and mostly arithmetic.
Sometimes we use exp/ln and power elevation, but in this case Excel is mainly used.
More complex calculation are made by using process simulation software like Hysys or Pro/II
08-26-2019, 10:22 AM
Post: #20
 jlind Junior Member Posts: 35 Joined: Aug 2019
RE: What happened between 39gii and prime?
(08-21-2019 06:08 AM)Marco Polo Wrote:
(08-20-2019 11:50 PM)Gene222 Wrote:  Were those really "Casio 4-banger" calculators? I though "4-banger" calculators could only perform basic arithmetic calculations. I would have thought that new engineers would just use the calculators that they used in college.

The Fundamental's of Engineering exam only allows calculators like the Casio FX115. I hear that some lower division engineering classes only allow calculators that are allowed by the FE exam. These cheap \$15 calculators have textbook entry, solver, ability to save an equation, and a lot of other functions, but no graphic capability. I also hear that some classes now teach how to solve some engineering problems using excel to mimic the real world.
As a matter of fact they are very basic scientific calculators with trigs, logs, and some basic stats.
They are used as four bangers.
In chemical process engineering calculations done manually are quite simple and mostly arithmetic.
Sometimes we use exp/ln and power elevation, but in this case Excel is mainly used.
More complex calculation are made by using process simulation software like Hysys or Pro/II

I share these same observations in my work which involves large-scale systems engineering and operations management. If we need to do heavy lift math work, we use Mathematica, Matlab, or Minitab on desktop PCs and laptops (the latter for experiment design and statistical analyses). There are GNU alternatives to all of those. Sometimes well-crafted simulations are the best means to understand large systems with many subsystems, all with upward of a half-dozen "control knobs", and the interactions between them. Complexities today are much greater than they were 40 years ago in communications, air traffic control, logistics, manufacturing, etc. I can count the number of times I've used exp and ln functions to do a quick Poisson process analysis over the past 25 years on one hand, and have fingers left over. Likewise I can recall one occasion using the trig functions to get rough dimensions to estimate area of a large plant operating space though and around which measuring things was not feasible - and didn't have time to wait for plant layout prints. One of the important dimensions was overhead clearance and we (I and a bystander) triangulated the heights - give or take a half foot but it was good enough for what we needed to know. May have been one or two other occasions for trig, but don't remember them. Sanity checks on numbers given in briefings also very rarely need more than a 4-banger and I do some of the add/subtract in my head. Been using a 1984 TI-30-III Slimline and 1995 TI-36X Solar for stuff like this for decades. I've seen a few older dudes pull out an HP-11C or 15C for similar. The young guys use their cell phones. On a business trip I still take a bigger calculator: TI-89 Titanium, Voyage 200, or HP-50g. They supplement the laptop which can also run emulators of them. The TI Voyage 200 can be convenient with its QWERTY keyboard and larger screen. Gradually learning how to use the Nspire CX II CAS and Prime G2 (Rev D) efficiently and they'll probably replace the other ones on business travel. They're lightning fast. If I really wanted to "rough it" I could still be using the TI-58 but it's much bigger than I want to carry in my pocket. The real skill is knowing about the processes one works with, and how to do reasonable estimates and approximations. With design activities, precision and accuracy is important. Most operational decisions that choose among alternative actions don't need high precision and accuracy. Avoiding unintended consequences is more critical.

John

John

Pickett: N4-ES, N600
TI: 58, 30-III, 30x Pro MathPrint, 36x Solar, 85, 86, 89T, Voyage 200, Nspire CX II CAS
HP: 50g, Prime G2, DM42
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