Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting

Wednesday, April 12th, 1995 - Drexel University

New Machines in the Offing

This is a month to talk about new machines. Hewlett-Packard has two and Texas Instruments is promoting one which they say probably won't be available until early next year. (That hasn't stopped TI from releasing a graphic picture and article about it on the Internet.)

First, TI's "Technology Preview" document describes a rather largish calculator which is being co-designed by the company along with select mathematics educators. The text description of their unit was in our last-month's handout and is also included this time, along with .GIF and .JPG graphic-format pictures of the machine as they imagined it in February of this year. Estimated price is $200. and size could be anywhere from handheld to laptop size.

Next, on 3/27/95 HP announced the HP1000CX, a palmtop computer. This unit physically resembles the HP200LX, except that it is a generic DOS machine without the ROM application software. At $449 with 1 meg of RAM, it is available only in quantities of fifty or more for companies which expect to run custom MS-DOS software for their employees on the go.

Finally, on April 6th at a math teachers' conference in Boston, Hewlett-Packard revealed its first attempt at hitting the high-school calculator market in the new HP38G. This 512K ROM, 32K RAM graphics machine is to be street priced in the 80-dollar range and represents a major departure from anything HP has previously released in a handheld. Carrying 8-line-by-22-character LCD, serial I/O and two-way IR capability (but no plug-in expansion), the unit reminds us of the 48G, however the resemblance ends there. This algebraic-only machine offers a completely new user interface along with the ability to download teacher-developed math lessons called ApLets, which are supposed to aid in students' step-by-step mathematics education. The official HP press release text is included in this handout, along with the text of Richard Nelson's Educalc Newsline announcement of the HP38G. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the HP38G with the Texas Instruments TI-82 machine, provided by Richard Nelson of Educalc on their weekly-changing phone "newsline" message (714-582-3976):

Feature TI-82 HP-38G
No. of user programs 37 RAM limit
Notes and sketches NO YES
User-created ApLets NO YES
Split graphics screen Horizontal Vertical
Parametric & polar plots 6 10
Sequence plots 2 10
ZOOM features 13 15
No. of matrices 5 10
Max. matrix size 15 by 15 RAM limit
No. of lists 6 10
Max. list length 99 RAM limit
Polynomial rootfinder NO YES
Complex Number NO YES
LCD size 8 by 16 8 by 22
Infrared I/O NO YES
Battery power 4 AAA 3 AAA
Educalc price $97.95 $84.95

HP38G Philly Demo Coming Soon

At our next weekday evening meeting at Drexel, we are planning to have Jim Lawson of Handi Calc (our local HP dealer/member) to make a rather thorough presentation/demonstration of the HP38G. That meeting will happen as soon as Jim can get his hands on a machine, which is expected to be some time in May. I will be mailing notices to announce this meeting as soon as the date is known. In the mean time, feel free to contact me (856-751-1310 at home or 856-722-6695 at work) or Jim Lawson (732-928-9528 at home evenings before 8 PM) for additional details.

HP PDA Still Coming

Check out the PC Week article on PDA operating systems elsewhere in this handout. There is mention of the still-expected HP PDA, now known to be codenamed "Jedi" and, according to their sources, planned to be released in August. If this is so, perhaps we will have even more excitement at the HP Handhelds/Palmtops conference in Minnesota on 8/6/95.

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