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HP 50G Arrived Today
01-29-2014, 06:02 AM
Post: #1
HP 50G Arrived Today
Then I found this forum!

I grew up on TI calcs and have most of the graphing line, from TI-85 to TI-nspire Touchpad.

I think the TI-86 is the sexiest calculator ever made, aesthetics wise.

I discovered HP when I found my mom's 48G, which baffled me. I am finally getting the hang of thinking through solutions using RPL, but I haven't done any programming so everything is still a little inconvenient to type in.

Matrices are absolutely maddening. Even if I master my HP 50G, and 48G I guess, I will never approach doing matrices with anything other than my TI-nspire; no other calculator is faster for input.

My mom also had a 32SII, which is just gorgeous.

How should I get started learning to take advantage of my HP 50G? Google was obviously the start, and it led to this! I also understand that learning is completely led by the math I am doing, but I like to think that taking an explorative approach to using my calculator will help me learn math; at the very least I get exposed to the ideas.

Lurking around I find people adore the power but are spoiled by the button feel and layout, and a drop in quality. Personally, as someone who has recently become addicted to collecting calculators, I don't think it even matters. It is astonishes me that people who are so proud they can do all that math they are mentally capable of on a 20 year old machine will bitch that something objectively more powerful is inferior, simply because the plastic is lighter.

I will use two or more calculators at the same time simply because input and answers for certain things are just faster.

Ultimately, the 50G is satisfying and while I press the buttons on both the the 50G and 48G, I realize that I actually prefer the 50G. It gives in slightly faster, and the click is not so loud to get annoying. I am confident that I can do input everything without looking at the screen and with the final operation I will get the correct answer.

Whatever. I am a happy owner and I am excited to start mastering this beast. Apparently, the TI-89 Titanium is comparable to this, but it is not much fun using that. It has such an unpleasantly busy homescreen and a weird boxed in command line.

Okay, while I am still tired and scattered, I'll bitch and ask a question. The HP 48G make weird vertical stripes when changing screens. While adjusting the contrast on the HP 50G, I noticed that similar lines appeared. Will this be a problem in the future? I feel that a lot of the complaints over quality comes from the desire to use these machines until out deaths, and we really want our calculators to stay useful forever.

Okie. I am excited to have become a part of this dying community. I hope to contribute something useful in the future.
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01-29-2014, 07:08 AM
Post: #2
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 06:02 AM)MathyTortoise Wrote:  I am excited to have become a part of this dying community.

MORITVRI TE SALVTANT

d:-)
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01-29-2014, 07:59 AM
Post: #3
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 07:08 AM)walter b Wrote:  MORITVRI TE SALVTANT

(Not so) strangely, those very same words came up to my mind...

Big Grin

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01-29-2014, 08:10 AM
Post: #4
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
ΟΙ ΜΕΛΛΟΘΑΝΑΤΟΙ ΣΕ ΧΑΙΡΕΤΟΥΝ Smile
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01-29-2014, 08:19 AM
Post: #5
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 08:10 AM)walter b Wrote:  ΟΙ ΜΕΛΛΟΘΑΝΑΤΟΙ ΣΕ ΧΑΙΡΕΤΟΥΝ Smile

Admittedly not in this archeo-language.

Greetings,
    Massimo

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01-29-2014, 08:52 AM
Post: #6
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 08:19 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(01-29-2014 08:10 AM)walter b Wrote:  ΟΙ ΜΕΛΛΟΘΑΝΑΤΟΙ ΣΕ ΧΑΙΡΕΤΟΥΝ Smile

Admittedly not in this archeo-language.

After all (!) it's not so much older than the other one. Wink
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01-29-2014, 05:54 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 06:02 AM)MathyTortoise Wrote:  Then I found this forum!

I grew up on TI calcs and have most of the graphing line, from TI-85 to TI-nspire Touchpad.

I started off on TIs as well (from TI-80 days), but quickly switched to HPs when I saw another classmate using an HP48G.

Quote:I think the TI-86 is the sexiest calculator ever made, aesthetics wise.

I always like the aesthetic appeal of the original TI-89 (not titanium) among all the TI calculators.

Quote:I discovered HP when I found my mom's 48G, which baffled me. I am finally getting the hang of thinking through solutions using RPL, but I haven't done any programming so everything is still a little inconvenient to type in.

RPL takes a while to get used to; once you do get used to it, it's hard to go back.

Quote:Matrices are absolutely maddening. Even if I master my HP 50G, and 48G I guess, I will never approach doing matrices with anything other than my TI-nspire; no other calculator is faster for input.

Are you using the matrix writer? I bypass all those fancy interfaces and just type my matrices on the command line: [ [ 1 2 ] 2 3 -1 4 ] ENTER will create a 3x2 matrix. You can specify the width of a row by how you enter the first row. Fewer keystrokes.

Quote:My mom also had a 32SII, which is just gorgeous.

The entire Pioneer series had the best look and feel among all the families of calculators offered by HP. They are my favorite.

Quote:Lurking around I find people adore the power but are spoiled by the button feel and layout, and a drop in quality. Personally, as someone who has recently become addicted to collecting calculators, I don't think it even matters. It is astonishes me that people who are so proud they can do all that math they are mentally capable of on a 20 year old machine will bitch that something objectively more powerful is inferior, simply because the plastic is lighter.

Power doesn't mean much if you can't even use it because it breaks easily. But I do agree with you for the most part.

Quote:Okay, while I am still tired and scattered, I'll bitch and ask a question. The HP 48G make weird vertical stripes when changing screens. While adjusting the contrast on the HP 50G, I noticed that similar lines appeared.

Not sure what you mean; have any pictures to share?

Quote:Okie. I am excited to have become a part of this dying community. I hope to contribute something useful in the future.

"I'm not dead, yet!" -- Monty Pythons

Graph 3D | QPI | SolveSys
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01-29-2014, 08:38 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 05:54 PM)Han Wrote:  "I'm not dead, yet!" -- Monty Pythons

I am the Grim Reaper.

Greetings,
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02-02-2014, 06:34 AM
Post: #9
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
This calculator is insane. There are a lot of things I can do with what is printed on the keys and the shift key functions on the faceplate. There are a lot of things I can do just by intuition and navigating the menus. But then there are things I can do using the alpha + shift keys that are impossible to know without actually looking at at least the quick start guide.

I have the AUR on my iPad and android tablet and phone, so I will always have a guide next to me. Still, I will probably rely on youtube for a lot of things.

Which comes to the point of this post: I am so glad I know Spanish. Seriously, all the worthwhile tutorials are in Spanish.
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02-02-2014, 03:36 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(01-29-2014 06:02 AM)MathyTortoise Wrote:  Matrices are absolutely maddening. Even if I master my HP 50G, and 48G I guess, I will never approach doing matrices with anything other than my TI-nspire; no other calculator is faster for input.

The Nspire has its strengths and weaknesses. I'm not putting it down (to each his own), but I'm curious about what you meant by faster input for matrices. In fact, matrices are one area in which I find the Nspire particularly inefficient.

For simple things, the 50g takes slightly fewer keystrokes (I'm including shifts). For example: entering and inverting a 4x4 matrix of single digit numbers. The most efficient ways I could come up with were the following. (I'm sure others can come up with slightly more efficient steps, but these will be close.)

Nspire using template: 41 keystrokes
Nspire using [[]]: 47 keystrokes
50g using Matrix Writer: 39 keystrokes
50g using [[]]: 37 keystrokes

When it comes to more involved matrix tasks, I find the Nspire's menu system almost unbearable. Say you were given a 3x4 augmented matrix and were asked to put the matrix in Row Echelon Form, showing each step (ie, not just using the ref() function).

Starting with the random matrix
[[ 4 9 -6 2 ]
[ 6 -9 9 -4 ]
[ -1 -9 4 -9 ]]
I would do the following:
  • swap R1 and R3
  • add 6*R1 to R2
  • add 4*R1 to R3
  • add -27/63*R2 to R3
  • mult R1 by -1
  • mult R2 by -1/63
  • mult R3 by -7/29
to get
[[ 1 9 -4 9 ]
[ 0 1 '-11/21' '58/63' ]
[ 0 0 1 '64/29' ]]

Assuming the matrix is already on the history stack.
Nspire: 96 keystrokes (assuming not already in Matrix menu)
50g: 52 keystrokes (assuming not already in Matrix menu)
50g: 46 keystrokes (using CUSTOM menu)

For the Nspire, I used the menu system. It may have saved a few keystrokes to type out some of the command names. Even so, the Nspire doesn't come close to the efficiency of RPL and SOFT menus.

I had a student who saw me doing vector (1d matrix) calculations one day in physics class. He was blown away by the way I could do some of the calculations in just a keystroke or two using redefined keys and a CUSTOM menu. He came back the next year with a 50g in hand.

I suspect your tendency toward the Npsire for matrices may be more a matter of familiarity. If that's what you feel most comfortable with, then use it. Be forewarned that once you get the hang of doing matrices on the 50g, you may find your Nspire feeling lonely and jealous. :-)

-wes
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02-02-2014, 11:07 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2014 11:08 PM by chriss.)
Post: #11
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
I had an nSpire before my 50g.

Horrid calculator. Couldn't go back now. 50g is an extension of my mind.

The only other calc I felt comfortable with was the TI-85 but mine died from overuse. Bought the nSpire and was incredibly disappointed.

Edit: just realised that the TI85 and 50G both have soft menus. Perhaps that's the winner for me.
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02-03-2014, 03:05 AM
Post: #12
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
Never is a crappy word.

With brackets I don't even need to go into the equation editor. I don't have to press a stupid arrow key because I am not tabbing.

Yeah, this calculator is surprising me. The problem is that I am at the feet of the learning curve, so I am not comfortable using it on exams yet.

What should I go through first, the Manual or the Advanced User Reference?

I hate both of them. There are no linked table of contents, and no page numbers. Navigating both of them is a bitch.
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02-03-2014, 11:02 AM
Post: #13
RE: HP 50G Arrived Today
(02-03-2014 03:05 AM)MathyTortoise Wrote:  What should I go through first, the Manual or the Advanced User Reference?

Manual first. See if you can grab a printed copy off the Internet somewhere first.

I use the AUR but rarely. The manual, whilst mainly press-this-press-that, covers some concepts that the AUR doesn't.
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