Help! I just bought the HP 50g. - Hewlett Packard

This is a discussion on Help! I just bought the HP 50g. - Hewlett Packard ; Hello, I just bought the HP 50g, but I have not had time to look at it much as teaching takes up so much of my time. Also I am not used to fancy programmable graphing calculators! I am presently ...

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Thread: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

  1. Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    Hello,

    I just bought the HP 50g, but I have not had time to look at it much
    as teaching takes up so much of my time. Also I am not used to fancy
    programmable graphing calculators!

    I am presently using these two scientific calculators: a Texas
    Instruments TI-30XS and a Casio fx-991ES. Both are non-programmable,
    non-graphical fairly easy-to-use scientific calculators for algebra
    and trigonometry.

    I have read that the HP 50g has a steep learning curve, so to make the
    transition from my TI-30XS & fx-991ES as painless as possible, I would
    like (at first) to have the HP50g behave like an easy-to-use
    scientific calculator for algebra and trigonometry.

    1) Right out of the box, can I use the HP50g like an easy-to-use
    scientific calculator for algebra and trigonometry?

    2) I do not want to use RPN, will I find there are missing keys or
    keys in weird places if I use Infix?

    3) Will I find any other limitations if I use Infix instead of RPN?

    4) Are there some things I can do to make the HP50g more user friendly
    for a first time user needing algebra and trigonometry?

    5) Will I have trouble trying to use the HP50g as a decent but more
    basic scientific calculator as compared to my TI-30XS and Casio
    fx-991ES?

    6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    1/X button!

    7) I understand the programs for the HP50g use RPN, is there a way to
    easily program the HP50g without RPN?

    Much thanks indeed!

  2. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    On Jun 21, 8:39*am, Chumly wrote:

    > I have read that the HP 50g has a steep learning curve ...


    That's just a rumor. The 50g manual is a good place to start.

    > 1) Right out of the box, can I use the HP50g like an easy-to-use
    > scientific calculator for algebra and trigonometry?


    Out of the box the 50g takes a step out of the light and against its
    heritage. I.e. it defaults to algebraic mode. Don't panic, it is
    still quite usable in a mathematically natural sense. But the leap to
    RPN is not that great and there are many benefits.

    > 2) I do not want to use RPN, will I find there are missing keys or
    > keys in weird places if I use Infix?


    AFAIK, no.

    > 3) Will I find any other limitations if I use Infix instead of RPN?


    IMHO, just your efficiency will suffer.

    > 4) Are there some things I can do to make the HP50g more user friendly
    > for a first time user needing algebra and trigonometry?


    Read the fine manual.

    > 5) Will I have trouble trying to use the HP50g as a decent but more
    > basic scientific calculator as compared to my TI-30XS and Casio
    > fx-991ES?


    No.

    > 6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    > hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    > 1/X button!


    Yes.

    > 7) I understand the programs for the HP50g use RPN, is there a way to
    > easily program the HP50g without RPN?


    Technically its called RPL, but in any case, it is easy. Of course, I
    find C easier (http://sense.net/~egan/hpgcc/). :-)

  3. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.


    "Chumly" wrote in message
    news:a767a532-4242-4341-a5ad-e8231fd08d80@w1g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
    > Hello,


    > 3) Will I find any other limitations if I use Infix instead of RPN?


    Yes, you won't be able to get much help from the experts. They are whizzes
    at RPL and RPN but most don't really know (or feign ignorance?) about
    algebraic mode.

    > 6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    > hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    > 1/X button!


    It doesn't but it has an inverse function that does the same thing. It's a
    superscripted "-1" symbol and you have to use the catalog to get it.

    Tom Lake

    ** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

  4. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    On Jun 21, 10:39*am, Chumly wrote:
    > 1) Right out of the box, can I use the HP50g like an easy-to-use
    > scientific calculator for algebra and trigonometry?


    Yes, the 50g is a great number cruncher, superior to the TI-89 (yes, I
    have both). It can also perform many scientific functions that the
    TI-30 and Casio fx-991 can't do, such as complex arithmetic, complex
    trig, and even complex inverse trig. With the 50g, complex numbers are
    handled just as easily as real numbers and the usage is the same.

    > 2) I do not want to use RPN, will I find there are missing keys or
    > keys in weird places if I use Infix?


    No, the key layout with the ENTER key in the bottom right corner
    actually suits infix. The only thing is that the parenthesis are
    shifted. Still, they insert both parenthesis "(" and ")" and put your
    cursor in between. Very convenient, though I still find RPN the way to
    go.

    > 3) Will I find any other limitations if I use Infix instead of RPN?


    No, but many of the functions are easier and quicker to use in RPN
    mode. The software on the calculator is optimized for RPN mode anyway.

    > 4) Are there some things I can do to make the HP50g more user friendly
    > for a first time user needing algebra and trigonometry?


    RPN and softkeys (not CHOOSE boxes). Seriously, I was a bit reluctant
    to take the plunge for RPN at first, but now that I've used it for
    (only) a year, I would never go back. RPN is simply much more
    efficient than infix, saving time and keystrokes.

    > 5) Will I have trouble trying to use the HP50g as a decent but more
    > basic scientific calculator as compared to my TI-30XS and Casio
    > fx-991ES?


    No, except it goes through batteries quicker.

    > 6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    > hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    > 1/X button!


    Great layout. On the TI-89, the trig functions are all shifted! What
    were they thinking? Not so on the 50g.

    > 7) I understand the programs for the HP50g use RPN, is there a way to
    > easily program the HP50g without RPN?


    There's something called HP-BASIC, though I've never used it because I
    prefer the RPL programming.

    > Much thanks indeed!


    You're welcome!


    S.C.

  5. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    On Jun 21, 2:14*pm, "Tom Lake" wrote:
    > > 6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    > > hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    > > 1/X button!

    >
    > It doesn't but it has an inverse function that does the same thing. *It's a
    > superscripted "-1" symbol and you have to use the catalog to get it.
    >


    I wouldn't even bother with that function because finding that
    function in the vast catalog would take too long. Just use the carat
    for exponentiation and put in ^(-1).

    Of course, with the 50g in RPN mode, this operation takes 1 keystroke
    -- have the number on level 1 in the stack and press the 1/X key. One
    keystroke as opposed to six.

    S.C.

  6. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    Thank you all so very much! I look forward to chatting with you all
    and learning more as time goes on.

  7. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    On Jun 21, 5:39 pm, Chumly wrote:

    > 7) I understand the programs for the HP50g use RPN, is there a way to
    > easily program the HP50g without RPN?


    Yes, for simple programs, but as others have said, you're giving up a
    lot by not using RPL.

    That said, one of the strengths of the HP50g is its flexibility and
    the control that the user has over it, even if it's to do something
    unpopular. So if you really want to do Algebra mode programming,
    below are two simple Hi-Low Game programs that shows the basic
    Algebraic mode syntax and such.

    Use RightShift-decimal to insert newlines. (No need to enter the
    @comments.) You can use commas instead of semicolons and the compiler
    will replace them. If you really want a semicolon, you get one by
    either doing an Alpha-LeftShift-2, or by holding down the RightShift
    while pressing the Space key. Spacing and indenting do not matter.

    The \ is used as an escape character to indicate a non-ASCII
    character. For example
    \<< and \>> are the << and >> characters, RightShift PLUS (RS+)
    \-> is the right arrow, RS-0
    \|> is the STO> key

    @ must be entered in ALGEBRA MODE
    @ create a local variable N=0
    \<< 0. \-> N
    @ create a local variable G=0
    \<< 0. \-> G
    \<<
    @ store random number in N
    IP(RAND*100.)\|>N ;

    @ get guess, store string in G
    INPUT("GUESS A NUMBER, 1-100","")\|>G ;

    @ convert string to number and re-store in G
    OBJ\->(G)\|>G ;

    DO
    IF G>N THEN
    INPUT("TOO HIGH","")\|>G ;
    OBJ\->(G)\|>G
    ELSE
    IF G INPUT("TOO LOW","")\|>G ;
    OBJ\->(G)\|>G
    END
    END
    UNTIL G==N END ;

    CLLCD() ;
    MSGBOX(G+" IS CORRECT!")
    \>>
    \>>
    \>>


    A more compact version would be:

    \<< IP(RAND*100.) \-> N
    \<< OBJ\->(INPUT("GUESS A NUMBER, 1-100","")) \-> G
    \<<
    DO
    IF G>N THEN
    OBJ\->(INPUT("TOO HIGH",""))\|>G
    ELSE
    IF G OBJ\->(INPUT("TOO LOW",""))\|>G
    END
    END
    UNTIL G==N END ;
    CLLCD() ;
    MSGBOX(G+" IS CORRECT!")
    \>>
    \>>
    \>>


    And just in case you're ever interested, an equivalent RPL program is

    @ must be entered in RPN MODE
    \<<
    RAND 100. * 1. + IP
    "GUESS A NUMBER, 1-100" "" INPUT OBJ\->
    \-> N G
    \<<
    DO
    IF G N > THEN
    "TOO HIGH" "" INPUT OBJ\-> 'G' STO
    ELSE
    IF G N < THEN
    "TOO LOW" "" INPUT OBJ\-> 'G' STO
    END
    END
    UNTIL G N == END
    CLLCD
    G " IS CORRECT!" + MSGBOX
    \>>
    \>>

    See, it's not so bad. Same logic, just that the command names go
    after the arguments instead of either before or in between them.
    Parentheses, commas and semicolons are superfluous.

    Enjoy,
    -wes

  8. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    wrote in message
    news:e2864c3c-2c88-4cdb-9c4e-0f8707669722@k37g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    On Jun 21, 10:39 am, Chumly wrote:
    X
    > 7) I understand the programs for the HP50g use RPN, is there a way to
    > easily program the HP50g without RPN?


    There's something called HP-BASIC, though I've never used it because I
    prefer the RPL programming.
    _________________________________________________
    The Algebraic mode is also programmable and
    one can call RPL programs from the "Dark Side of the Force" and vice versa.
    One "problem" is that Vectored ENTER is no longer supported on the 49-series
    Avenard used it for algebraic argument autoevaluation prevention (or
    something like that)
    starting from ROM 19.3 (or so) on the old HP-49G model (aka "Blue
    Lightning")
    I would have used it for some needed tricks in ALG mode...
    For a basic user I see no remarkable omissions on either side
    Perhaps the stack history on the ALG mode gives an advantage :-D



  9. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.


    "Tom Lake" wrote in message
    news:ab768$485d4521$11878@news.teranews.com...
    >
    > "Chumly" wrote in message
    > news:a767a532-4242-4341-a5ad-e8231fd08d80@w1g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
    >> Hello,

    >
    >> 3) Will I find any other limitations if I use Infix instead of RPN?

    >
    > Yes, you won't be able to get much help from the experts. They are
    > whizzes
    > at RPL and RPN but most don't really know (or feign ignorance?) about
    > algebraic mode.


    Except some (I'm lazily reading this ng now and then...)



  10. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    wrote in message
    news:e2864c3c-2c88-4cdb-9c4e-0f8707669722@k37g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    On Jun 21, 10:39 am, Chumly wrote:
    X
    > 6) Are all the usual scientific calculator keys easy to find and not
    > hidden? For example Iíve read the TI-89 Titanium does not even have a
    > 1/X button!


    Great layout. On the TI-89, the trig functions are all shifted! What
    were they thinking? Not so on the 50g.
    __________________________________________
    HP top-line calculators have also a very flexible User Mode,
    where you can define your own keys.
    One can also use Custom Menus to aid using the most needed routines



  11. Re: Help! I just bought the HP 50g.

    On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 04:47:19 -0500:

    S.C.
    > There's something called HP-BASIC


    Pure marketing flummery, trying to fool TI users
    (who could write programs in realistic TI-BASIC)
    that HP's "ALGebraic entry mode" was in any way like BASIC.

    VPN?
    > The Algebraic mode is also programmable and
    > one can call RPL programs from the "Dark Side of the Force" and vice versa.
    > One "problem" is that Vectored ENTER is no longer supported on the 49-series


    For those wondering, "Vectored ENTER" means that a user program
    can optionally be automatically called at either or both of these places:

    o Where any "command line" or manual entry is ready for parsing.

    o After any keyboard function has been invoked.

    "Vectored ENTER" is in fact still available, as always,
    on the entire HP48/49/50 series, when in original "RPN mode,"
    but not in the added ALGebraic-entry mode of HP49/50 series.

    Even in early versions of 49G ROM, Vectored ENTER in ALG entry mode
    existed, but was not compatible with its original design and abilities,
    apparently because of the "virtual stack" in ALG mode;
    subsequent revelation of all the internals of the virtual stack
    could enable one to overcome this, but only via SysRPL programming,
    so the significant discrepancy was instead removed by
    not calling any user programs more likely designed only for RPN mode,
    and in any case not capable of doing much in UserRPL in ALG mode.

    Tom Lake:
    > you won't be able to get much help from the experts.
    > They are whizzes at RPL and RPN but most don't really know
    > (or feign ignorance?) about algebraic mode.


    Aside from how much work was done by JYA, Cyrille, and all of HP-ACO
    to implement and market it, while preserving the RPL central design,
    what else is there to know, about a mode
    which also exists only to imitate a TI style of doing things,
    and includes RPL commands only as formulas with parenthesized arguments,
    many of which are rendered useless by ALG mode anyway.

    Besides, you can always write directly to Tom about it -- if he can read
    everyone else's mind, he must surely know the mind of the calculator

    [r->] [OFF]

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