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I just bought another HP 50g
01-18-2014, 03:54 AM
Post: #1
I just bought another HP 50g
Normally, I don't buy or own more than one of each HP LCD calculator model, the HP 41C and HP 15C LE being the notable exceptions, but I've decided to make another exception in this case. Although there is nothing wrong with my first HP 50g that I bought nearly 5 years ago, I've concluded that it is truly the best of the modern era Chinese HP's and the last of the true RPN models from HP. Yes, I know the Prime has all that sexy color graphics, touch screen and blazing speed, but as a really serious tool for professionals the HP 50g is better in so many ways. After the HP 15C LE debacle and the likelihood that the Prime will never incorporate all the missing features from the 50g, I've decided to stash a second 50g in my already bursting closet, given that it's currently being sold at fire sale prices. I picked mine up on Amazon for only $75.97 new with free shipping and no sales tax, which is $17 less than I paid for an open box unit I bought 5 years ago.
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01-25-2014, 03:25 AM
Post: #2
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
Update:

I received it 3 days ago and based on the S/N it was manufactured about 1-1/2 years ago in July 2012. The ROM firmware is the latest revision 2.15, so I won't have to re-flash it. I enabled the Development library, which by default is disabled to prevent newbies from accidentally bricking it. I then cloned it to my old 50g by archiving it to an SD card and then doing a restore to the new 50g. I also saved the flag settings with a RCLF from my old 50g and then did a STOF on the new 50g to replicate them. The keys on the the new 50g feel a bit cheaper and the clicks are a lot louder than on the old 50g, which was manufactured in May 2007. The nice leather case of the old 50g has been replaced with vinyl material case. The paperback book User's Manual has been replaced with a much briefer Quick Start Guide. On the plus side, the CD now contains the Advanced User's Reference manual and User's Guide, along with a bunch of training modules and all the programming examples for incorporation in the calculator as directories. It also included the USB cable. Next on my list is to use the IR ports to transfer data between the two calcs.
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01-25-2014, 03:35 AM
Post: #3
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
http://www.samsoncables.com/catalog/prod...PSYNTHCASE this is the new case?

The old one was so nice and high quality that it seemed like a cruel joke with the first 49g+ I had.

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01-25-2014, 04:04 AM
Post: #4
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-25-2014 03:35 AM)eried Wrote:  http://www.samsoncables.com/catalog/prod...PSYNTHCASE this is the new case?

Yes, that is the new case. It's just as functional, but the old leather case is so much nicer.
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01-26-2014, 09:25 PM
Post: #5
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
I rather like the newer case. It's much more rigid and has a larger margin around the edge. I reckon it'd survive quite a drop in it.

Regarding the original comment about buying a spare HP50g; I've already done this for precisely the same reason.

Really wished they shipped a printed manual with it though - I had to order one from someone on ebay.
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01-28-2014, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 01-28-2014 06:46 PM by Gerson W. Barbosa.)
Post: #6
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
Welcome to the club!
http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=253034
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01-29-2014, 09:49 PM
Post: #7
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-25-2014 03:25 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  I received it 3 days ago and based on the S/N it was manufactured about 1-1/2 years ago in July 2012.

I ordered a second HP 50G through Amazon several months ago, after the price dropped to give-away levels of about $75 US. It's serial number date is CN249...so it's of late 2012 vintage.

Quote:The ROM firmware is the latest revision 2.15, so I won't have to re-flash it.

That's good to know, and somewhat unexpected too. I haven't checked my new HP 50G because it's staying in the original sealed bubble package until it's needed. My 2007 HP 50G is still working fine (firmware rev. 2.15), except that two of the apparently unobtainable rubber feet have disappeared.

Quote:I enabled the Development library, which by default is disabled to prevent newbies from accidentally bricking it.

That library is very impressive in its capabilities. I can't imaging TI or other competitors providing anything similar for their machines...and they do not. It's somewhat akin to the old MS-DOS DEBUG command, except much much more powerful. DEBUG was a tool that no one could ever imagine APPLE Corporation providing to their obedient and worshipful customers.

Quote:The paperback book User's Manual has been replaced with a much briefer Quick Start Guide. On the plus side, the CD now contains the Advanced User's Reference manual and User's Guide, along with a bunch of training modules and all the programming examples for incorporation in the calculator as directories. It also included the USB cable.

Is the User's Guide is still Edition 1, and is the AUR still Edition 2?

AFAIK, there just has never been a better calculator value than today's HP 50G...not even those new TI-89 Titanium packages that my local Walmart was selling a couple of years ago for $42 to clear them out.
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01-29-2014, 10:34 PM
Post: #8
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-29-2014 09:49 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  DEBUG was a tool that no one could ever imagine APPLE Corporation providing to their obedient and worshipful customers.
During the 49g/49g+ times, DEBUG also served as a reminder for the developers to debug that beast;-)
See bug lists for the various 49g OS versions...

-- Ray
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01-29-2014, 10:44 PM
Post: #9
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-29-2014 09:49 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  Is the User's Guide still Edition 1, and is the AUR still Edition 2?

Yes.
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01-30-2014, 02:54 AM
Post: #10
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-29-2014 09:49 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  My 2007 HP 50G is still working fine (firmware rev. 2.15), except that two of the apparently unobtainable rubber feet have disappeared.

I've had great success with lost 50g feet by replacing them with thin plastic "bumpers". A photo of this is at the very bottom of this old article about how crummy HP 50g feet are.

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01-30-2014, 03:59 AM
Post: #11
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-25-2014 03:25 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  I received it 3 days ago and based on the S/N it was manufactured about 1-1/2 years ago in July 2012.

How does one decode the date of manufacture from the S/N? I'm sure a thousand of you will be able to tell me.

On a clear disk, you can seek forever.
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01-30-2014, 11:56 AM
Post: #12
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 02:54 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  
(01-29-2014 09:49 PM)Mike Morrow Wrote:  My 2007 HP 50G is still working fine (firmware rev. 2.15), except that two of the apparently unobtainable rubber feet have disappeared.

I've had great success with lost 50g feet by replacing them with thin plastic "bumpers". A photo of this is at the very bottom of this old article about how crummy HP 50g feet are.
Joe's "bumpers" seem the perfect solution. What I have done in the past (before being enlightened here) was to remove the offending pad, clean off all the glue, apply a blob of hot-melt glue in its place, and quickly set the instrument down on a flat non-stick (wet or oily) surface. That produces a nice shock-absorbing pad which is absolutely permanent.
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01-30-2014, 12:44 PM
Post: #13
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 03:59 AM)davetheguru Wrote:  How does one decode the date of manufacture from the S/N? I'm sure a thousand of you will be able to tell me.
Try this link: Serial Numbers

HTH

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01-30-2014, 01:08 PM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2014 01:21 PM by Jeff O..)
Post: #14
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 03:59 AM)davetheguru Wrote:  How does one decode the date of manufacture from the S/N? I'm sure a thousand of you will be able to tell me.

Let's say Mike Morrow's full serial number is CN21234567. This decodes as follows:

CN - country (sometimes indicates factory) of manufacture.
2 - years since most recent decade, so 2010 plus 2 equals 2012
12 - week of manufacture. there is some debate regarding how close this is to reality
34567 - indivudual unit no.

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
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01-30-2014, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 01-30-2014 08:03 PM by Mike Morrow.)
Post: #15
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 01:08 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  12 - week of manufacture. there is some debate regarding how close this is to reality

That debate applies most importantly to the old-style pre-1996 HP serial numbers. I purchased my first HP-15C in December 1985, yet it bore the old format serial number of 2605Axxxxx (1986 week 05). It has been suggested here before that HP begins the new year for the old style SNs with the fiscal year, not calendar year.

This old forum thread from 2011 suggests that HP's fiscal year begins on 1 November, a variance with the normal definition of the FY beginning on 1 October.

Regardless of that, it remains undetermined AFAIK if the year coding in the current HP serial number system is calendar or fiscal.

Nothing is simple, it seems.

One can find a "programme" on an obscure hp.com web site that allows download of a HP SN vs. manufacture date deciphering program...but the site warms that it will only work on Windows 2000 or Windows XP! I suspect that program replaced an earlier version that ran only on CP/M or TRS-DOS. :-)
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01-30-2014, 07:07 PM
Post: #16
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 01:08 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  One can find a "programme" on an obscure hp.com web site that allows download of a HP SN vs. manufacture date deciphering program...but the site warms that it will only work on Windows 2000 or Windows XP! I suspect that program replaced an earlier version that ran only on CP/M or TRS-DOS. :-)

That "programme" appears to read PC BIOS info.

Dave
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01-30-2014, 09:40 PM
Post: #17
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 01:08 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  Let's say Mike's full serial number is CN21234567. This decodes as follows:

CN - country (sometimes indicates factory) of manufacture.
2 - years since most recent decade, so 2010 plus 2 equals 2012
12 - week of manufacture. there is some debate regarding how close this is to reality
34567 - individual unit no.

Actually, it is CNA229xxxx, where:

CNA is a Chinese factory code that can also be 4CY

2 stands for 2012

29 stands for 29th week, which is late July

xxxx is the four digit alphanumeric sequence number
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01-31-2014, 03:14 AM
Post: #18
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
Thanks for the responses! Not quite the thousand I expected (yet).

My Prime has a 4CY343.... so it looks like China factory, 2013, 43th week. I bought it in November. 43rd week puts it at end of October - they must have shipped it to me as soon as they got it from HP. Unless their fiscal 2013 year actually began in fall of 2012(?)

I have a 49g+ and three 50g's (that doesn't add to 199g^c BTW): CNA428..... (49g+), CNA309.... (which actually has a couple of H's in the seq #, hmmm), CNA229.... (times two as I bought the latter two at the same time).

So 2004, week 28 for the 49g+, 2013, week 9 for a 50g and 2012 week 29 for the other two. Did I get that right? One would have to know a bit of HP calculator history for the proper decade wouldn't they? I am surprised my 50g's are so 'new' (and glad they still build them).

Did I catch on? The year is mostly what I'd be interested in. The fiscal year debate is secondary.

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01-31-2014, 01:04 PM
Post: #19
RE: I just bought another HP 50g
(01-30-2014 09:40 PM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  
(01-30-2014 01:08 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  Let's say Mike's full serial number is CN21234567. This decodes as follows:

CN - country (sometimes indicates factory) of manufacture.
2 - years since most recent decade, so 2010 plus 2 equals 2012
12 - week of manufacture. there is some debate regarding how close this is to reality
34567 - individual unit no.

Actually, it is CNA229xxxx, where:

CNA is a Chinese factory code that can also be 4CY

2 stands for 2012

29 stands for 29th week, which is late July

xxxx is the four digit alphanumeric sequence number

The Mike to whom I was referring was Mike Morrow, and he stated his began with CN, so I just went with that rather than worrying about the CNA, 4CY distinction.

(I would refer to you, Michael, as "Michael", since that is how you present your name. Sorry for any confusion.)

My 50g is CNA618xxxxx, i.e., it seems to have a five digit numeric only sequence. I forgot that they switched over to the 4 character alpha-numeric sequence at some point.

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
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