Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting

Wednesday, July 21, 1993 - Drexel University

GX Activity Growing

Now that the HP48GX's have started rolling off dealers' shelves, the activity on the electronic bulletin board systems has begun to increase rapidly. The ROM revision game has gotten interesting with three versions of the G-series machines currently released and another one planned for roughly a month from now. The orignal HP48G was released as version K and the early GX's had version L, but the latest is version M. It has been said in Corvallis that a "maintenance release" version N will appear in August. Meanwhile, typing the command "VERSION" into a G-series machine will announce this information for all to see. I firmly believe that "how do I tell the ROM version of my HP48?" was the most common question asked by beginners appearing on the Usenet's comp.sys.hp48 BBS area.

GX Clock Ticks Some Off

An interesting bug has been found in version M, related to the displayed ticking clock. If the clock is displayed and a RAM card is merged in port one, then turning the HP48 on and off can occasionally crash RAM memory. The moral to the story is to back your RAM up frequently or keep the ticking clock turned off. Stephen Thomas suggested assigning a short routine to the OFF key which turns off the clock, executes OFF and turns the clock on again when the machine awakens. Apparently, HP is now aware of the bug and is formulating an action plan on dealing with unhappy owners.

HP48 Handbook Direct Discount

Jim Donnelly has made an offer to the Philly group with regard to his two new HP48G-series-related publications. We can make a group purchase of his new HP48 Pocket Book (regularly $6.95 from EduCalc) and HP48 Handbook, Edition 2 (regularly $19.95) for five and fifteen dollars respectively. He mentioned not even charging us shipping costs. I will be collecting orders at our meetings and contacting Jim subsequently. Since he actually makes more money on the ones we order directly from Jim versus the ones he sells to EduCalc, he might allow additional orders to be made in the future as well.

The Missing Info Calc Book

It has been learned that HP's Advanced Users Reference book for the HP48GX (the book that provides all the programming info that the manual left out) has gone to the printer and should be ready in August. This tome is approximately 800 pages and will cost $20.00. Since the original manuals skimp on programming techniques and graphics and do not cover the equation library functions at all, this guide should be in high demand.

Calc Cards Coming

Sparcom Corporation's Megha Shyam mentioned recently that the rumor of "large" bank-switched RAM cards coming for the HP48GX is true. Next month we should be seeing 256K and 512K cards for around $169. and $279. respectively. HP's 1-meg cards at $399. should be available as this article is being read. Sparcom will also release 2-meg and 4-meg cards in smaller quantities if the demand is there. Earlier reports claimed the 4-meg unit would be selling for around 1100 dollars.

HP48GX Talk Video Available

By the time you read this, our July weekday-evening meeting featuring Jim Lawson's extensive presentation on the HP48GX will be history. I expect to have videotape copies of this very thorough talk, along with copies of his 30-page informational handout available at our August get-together. Anyone moving up to the GX or starting out with this 2300-function machine would probably benefit from Jim's talk. In addition, Jim is our local HP dealer with his Handi-Calc dealership. If you are interested in obtaining a calculator at a hard-to-beat 25 percent discount, feel free to speak with Jim at our meetings or contact him at home at 908-928-9528.

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