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49G/49g+ interesting?
10-23-2019, 10:16 PM (This post was last modified: 10-23-2019 10:18 PM by cdmackay.)
Post: #1
49G/49g+ interesting?
Would people say there is anything particular interesting about the 49G/49g+, from a user perspective (as opposed a collector)?

i.e. if I already have a 48GX, and a 50g, both of which I enjoy using, is there anything I might find new or interesting in a 49G or 49g+?

I wasn't intending to consider the 49g+, owing to the talk of keyboard issues; is the 49G immune to that? Włodek's book suggests it might not be… or is the problem not a big deal, for occasional use, or if I get a late one?

The 49g+ is at least a little less garish… Smile

thanks very much for any thoughts.

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10-23-2019, 10:31 PM
Post: #2
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-23-2019 10:16 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  Would people say there is anything particular interesting about the 49G/49g+, from a user perspective (as opposed a collector)?

i.e. if I already have a 48GX, and a 50g, both of which I enjoy using, is there anything I might find new or interesting in a 49G or 49g+?

I wasn't intending to consider the 49g+, owing to the talk of keyboard issues; is the 49G immune to that? Włodek's book suggests it might not be… or is the problem not a big deal, for occasional use, or if I get a late one?

The 49g+ is at least a little less garish… Smile

thanks very much for any thoughts.

The first 49g+ had keyboard issues. Keys didn't respond, legends flaked off. Sometimes keys were even upside down! Later examples fixed the problems.

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10-24-2019, 12:49 AM
Post: #3
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-23-2019 10:16 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  Would people say there is anything particular interesting about the 49G/49g+, from a user perspective (as opposed a collector)?

The 49G+ has a better color scheme than the 50g, so it's easier to read in many lighting conditions, but functionally, their identical. The 50g also added a TTL-level serial port but no one uses it, and a 4th AAA battery, so probably longer battery life. So, if you can read your 50g OK, skip the 49G+, though do note that they typically sell on eBay for about $50, so a MUCH cheaper alternative if you're looking for a 2nd or 3rd 50g. As discussed (far too often) some of the early 49G+ units had keyboard problems with keys that could break, though I've never actually seen it happen.

The 49G can be skipped completely. It's greatest claim to fame was its horrid color scheme, dubbed 'frozen hamster butt' blue, and it's hard to read the labels. Rubber keys made the UX even worse. Far slower than a 50g, and far less satisfying to hold/use than a 48GX. So, no... move along.

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10-24-2019, 05:48 AM (This post was last modified: 10-24-2019 05:51 AM by Massimo Gnerucci.)
Post: #4
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 12:49 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  The 49G can be skipped completely. It's greatest claim to fame was its horrid color scheme, dubbed 'frozen hamster butt' blue, and it's hard to read the labels. Rubber keys made the UX even worse. Far slower than a 50g, and far less satisfying to hold/use than a 48GX. So, no... move along.

Tsk, tsk... all this hate for the little 49G. :(
I frankly find the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? color scheme of the 49g+ more disgusting.

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10-24-2019, 06:23 AM
Post: #5
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 12:49 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  The 49G can be skipped completely. It's greatest claim to fame was its horrid color scheme, dubbed 'frozen hamster butt' blue, and it's hard to read the labels.

I really liked the blue and had no trouble reading the labels! À chacun ses goûts, I guess.

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10-24-2019, 11:15 AM
Post: #6
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
The 49g is interesting if you want to see for yourself just how bad a keyboard can feel. Other than that, there isn't anything that hasn't been done better on other models.
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10-24-2019, 12:43 PM
Post: #7
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-23-2019 10:16 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  Włodek's book suggests it might not be… or is the problem not a big deal, for occasional use, or if I get a late one?

We spoke about that among other things a couple of weeks ago and most of his "bad keyboard" comments were directed firmly at the early 49g+ models.

This said, I'd still skip the 49G unless you're a compulsive collector that wants one of every RPL machine released Smile

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10-24-2019, 02:28 PM
Post: #8
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
The 49G is useful because there are some old grayscale programs that work better on it than on the ARM machines.
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10-24-2019, 02:55 PM
Post: #9
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
thanks very much indeed, all, for the helpful and amusing comments Smile

Oddly, I'm not that interested in graphing these days, despite getting the first Casio 7000G in the 80s and, before that, writing my own program to do it on my Dad's Sinclair QL. I remember the easiest way I came up with for input of the equation to plot was to have the program stop, after having instructed the user on how to input a line of BASIC containing the equation, and then continue execution. Ugly, but it worked.

But I do like the large screens of the graphing models, purely for stack/context.


Thanks again, sounds like I should save my pennies. I'm lucky to have four 50g, all obtained for reasonable prices; they do come up now and then.

I'd like a second black LCD 48GX as an unnecessary spare; they don't come up often, at least not for reasonable prices.

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& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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10-24-2019, 03:23 PM
Post: #10
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 06:23 AM)toml_12953 Wrote:  I really liked the blue and had no trouble reading the labels! À chacun ses goûts, I guess.

and

(10-24-2019 11:15 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  The 49g is interesting if you want to see for yourself just how bad a keyboard can feel. Other than that, there isn't anything that hasn't been done better on other models.

These comments are a good reminder that these kinds of things are all subjective and subject to our own personal preferences, tastes and sense's abilities.

I have heard some folks comment that the rubber key 'feel' of the 49g is one of the best they've ever felt, and also that the color scheme is one of the worst contrast schemes HP ever produced. I don't agree with the former, but do lean towards the latter, but I'm no more right or wrong than anyone else.

I think what makes the 49g so often criticized is this was the first machine to leave behind the clean, stoic, professional design style used on the classics through the 48 series, and lean towards the more stylish and colorful schemes favored by other manufacturers, especially for education-market focused products. Arguably (and it will...) this was too far for some, and simultaneously not far enough for others.

The good news though, is 49g's are usually pretty cheap, so even if not functionally compelling, it's easy enough to get one to see how you fell about it.

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10-24-2019, 03:44 PM
Post: #11
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 03:23 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I think what makes the 49g so often criticized is this was the first machine to leave behind the clean, stoic, professional design style used on the classics through the 48 series, and lean towards the more stylish and colorful schemes favored by other manufacturers, especially for education-market focused products. Arguably (and it will...) this was too far for some, and simultaneously not far enough for others.

Did the 49G come out around the time of the first iMac? Many products adopted a translucent blue color scheme after iMac hit the streets.

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10-24-2019, 06:41 PM
Post: #12
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 03:44 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  Did the 49G come out around the time of the first iMac? Many products adopted a translucent blue color scheme after iMac hit the streets.

Not long after: iMac summer 1998, 49G summer 1999.

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10-24-2019, 10:00 PM
Post: #13
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 02:28 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  The 49G is useful because there are some old grayscale programs that work better on it than on the ARM machines.

Good point Eric !
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10-25-2019, 01:08 AM
Post: #14
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-24-2019 12:49 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  and a 4th AAA battery, so probably longer battery life.

The real benefit of (and reason for) the 4th battery is that the calculator can draw power from the USB port, which is handy for large data transfers, etc. The older 3-cell design was not compatible with the 5 volts supplied by USB.
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10-25-2019, 02:23 AM
Post: #15
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
(10-25-2019 01:08 AM)John Keith Wrote:  The real benefit of (and reason for) the 4th battery is that the calculator can draw power from the USB port, which is handy for large data transfers, etc. The older 3-cell design was not compatible with the 5 volts supplied by USB.

I never realized the early 3-cell models could not be powered from the USB cable. I've used the cable (for transfer) of course, and have always assumed it was the same as the later models.

I imagine the same is true for the 48gII 3- and 4-cell versions as well.

@cdmackay - The 48gII is another model you can safely skip, though these are also quite cheap and have the best color scheme (clear and easiest to read and to my eye, best looking) of any of the 49/50 series models.

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10-25-2019, 04:48 PM
Post: #16
RE: 49G/49g+ interesting?
thanks again, very interesting.

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