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Current HP offerings
12-07-2014, 04:58 AM
Post: #1
Current HP offerings
Alas, I am now in that position of having a child needing a graphing calculator and other than my pile of 48 series machines and lots of pioneers and voyagers and a 45, I am not much help.

I have a really hard time bringing myself around to buying a Ti 83+. I see that the 40gx and 39gx both show up reasonably priced and even the 50g is better priced.

But I looked on HP's site and is it true that the following seem to be out of production?
39GS
40GS
30b
20b
33s
15c anniversary.

Are we really now looking at some prime number calculator or a 50g only? Perhaps it is time to get a 50g--I've been holding out a long time!

And what about the WP34s? I bought two 30b when they first came out. The enter key promptly quit working on one of them. So I never did the conversion. Was this just unlucky?

Eric Rechlin's site still shows the 30b derivatives as well as the 39GS apparently for sale. I know that hp websites are often left hand knows not of the existence of right hand. IS this the case yet again?
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12-07-2014, 05:17 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 05:18 AM by Garth Wilson.)
Post: #2
RE: Current HP offerings
Quote:Alas, I am now in that position of having a child needing a graphing calculator

Are you sure? It was on the required shopping list for one of our sons in high school, and instead he borrowed my old TI-59 and aced the class, unlike the kids with the TI graphing calculators who used them to look busy when really they were playing games on them.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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12-07-2014, 05:26 AM
Post: #3
RE: Current HP offerings
(12-07-2014 05:17 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  
Quote:Alas, I am now in that position of having a child needing a graphing calculator

Are you sure? It was on the required shopping list for one of our sons in high school, and instead he borrowed my old TI-59 and aced the class, unlike the kids with the TI graphing calculators who used them to look busy when really they were playing games on them.

Haha I remember that story (I think--it's been a long time since I've been on here--not since the new format!)

He is happy with the 33s--he liked the 35s but lost it. But he has a grouchy old teacher who he says "hates him" already and she yelled at him for not having a grapher. So he took the 48g in yesterday but they didn't need one. And then to my chagrin, the 48g now has that annoying syndrome of needing to be squeezed on teh bezel to activate some of the softkeys. Dammit. I think that requires major surgery to replace the foam pad behind the zebra or something? (I am afraid to donate my best 48gx with MK loaded, the cause, just yet....)
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12-07-2014, 03:24 PM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 03:47 PM by John Galt.)
Post: #4
RE: Current HP offerings
Quote: But he has a grouchy old teacher who he says "hates him" already

I hope I'm stating the obvious by saying that's completely unacceptable. You need to meet with her and her supervisor before your son spends one more minute in her class.

You're paying her salary. For all I know so am I.

Schools go on and on about bullying, how they have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, etc, ad nauseum. Throw that right back in their face. My school backed down right away when I brought up my personal zero tolerance policy for teachers bullying my child. It's as if they never looked at it that way before - they probably never did.
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12-07-2014, 03:38 PM
Post: #5
RE: Current HP offerings
Bill, my daughter faced the same requirements in pre-calculus, and we decided upon the 50g. Given HP's current offerings will be hard to come up with anything more suitable, not only for its graphical display, but for complex number manipulation.

It's very similar to the 48GX, which I already had, but it is much faster and its menu system makes it easy to use.

The cost is very reasonable ($85 or so).

The TI-83's equation entry and graphing functions are arguably easier to use than the 50g, but even it has odd quirks. Other disadvantages are far too numerous to give the TI any serious consideration.

I also considered the Prime but it has too many detractors who I think are justified in their opinions of it. Its battery life alone would be a problem.

The only thing I don't like about the 50g is its placement of the Enter key. Muscle memory keeps taking me to its traditional place, but my daughter doesn't have that problem. I think HP was trying to copy the TI in that respect - a very bad decision IMO. The keys themselves are rubbery which I don't like, but they have excellent tactile feedback. A 50g with the 48GX's keyboard would be perfect IMO. Its case with a single magnetic catch isn't that great either. I bought an aftermarket case for $15.

She started with a 35s, a great calculator but no graphics. Dad broke it anyway :-(

Quote:And what about the WP34s?

The WP34s is the last word in a compact complex number-crunching handheld powerhouse. In those terms nothing comes close, but again it's not a graphing calculator. A 30b that can be converted to the WP34s is ridiculously cheap, so much that I bought a spare and am about to buy another. For $20 and sometimes even less it's hard not to.
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12-07-2014, 06:55 PM
Post: #6
RE: Current HP offerings
I'm in same boat with my daughter. I find the Casio fx9860gII and the newer PRIZM graphers to be more capable, easier to use and lower price at $50, $70 than the TI units.

Your right though, unfortunately school peer pressure can favor TI here in the US.
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12-07-2014, 09:03 PM
Post: #7
RE: Current HP offerings
In fairness, the HP Prime is a fine machine. It is relatively expensive and your daughter's school might not allow it to be used in exams (despite its exam mode) but don't be put off by the bugs that definitely do exist. Even with them, the Prime is amazing. (IMHO; YMMV; please don't flame!)

If you have considered and rejected the TI-83+, why not go for a TI-86 (still available fairly frequently from a well-known auction site)? It's a great machine which seems to have been designed for serious use rather than just for education. It's not RPN, though, and your daughter might object!

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12-08-2014, 01:47 PM
Post: #8
RE: Current HP offerings
(12-07-2014 05:17 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  
Quote:Alas, I am now in that position of having a child needing a graphing calculator

Are you sure? It was on the required shopping list for one of our sons in high school, and instead he borrowed my old TI-59 and aced the class, unlike the kids with the TI graphing calculators who used them to look busy when really they were playing games on them.

Please tell me he was reading/writing magnetic cards in the middle of a high-school math class, because that would be utterly fantastic.

(12-07-2014 06:55 PM)CR Haeger Wrote:  I'm in same boat with my daughter. I find the Casio fx9860gII and the newer PRIZM graphers to be more capable, easier to use and lower price at $50, $70 than the TI units.

Your right though, unfortunately school peer pressure can favor TI here in the US.

The Casios are pretty nice, and relatively fast, but they have some weird arbitrary limitations, and not much integration between the modes/applications. Their programming language lacks a simple "print" statement that doesn't also pause program execution. Very weird.
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12-08-2014, 02:00 PM
Post: #9
RE: Current HP offerings
Casio 9860GxxSD is indeed pretty good, & has an SD card slot, compartmentalization is uncomfortable, but hey! look at the same problem in Prime.
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