Musings and comments about our common interest
No more HP50g blue!
As I have run out today of my last units of Hp50g blue, I have contacted my sources - only to discover that all stocks of any kind of HP50g have disappeared!
In a way, it has been a stupidity on our side not to build sufficient stock, now that it has been announced that the hp50g is going to be discontinued. All distributors are giving good prices on their black units - but apparently there are no more blue units.
Here you have a picture comparing both. While the black model has a more professional look, the blue had a much better contrast, and it was more in line with the style a student needs nowadays. From the functional point of view, both were exactly equal. I think that different versions of this model had different cases going with it - some in faux leather, some in different fabric qualities. I have one of each, but you cannot know it from the model number.
All of them could be connected (and can be connected, in the case of the black HP50g) with the StreamSmart 410 and its probes. I see this feature being advertised for the HP Prime, which is HP’s current interest - but there were other calculators that could use it, and which already had software developed for it.
There is yet another Easter Egg in the HP50g. Apparently, the one shown in the previous blog page is the latest, appearing only in ROM versions over 1.18. This one apparently appears in all versions, but looks as a more primitive version of the game.
You need to write "HpMad", between inverted commas and within an entry field in any form - even the beep "tick" of the modes menu works. See the screenshot below:
You then will get a tetris screen in landscape format. (if you use the computer emulator, it is exceedingly fast and not fun at all to play with). The pieces are much more elementary, and the aspect is rougher than in the other Easter Egg. I am putting both here for comparison. You'll choose which one to use!
When you finish the game, you will be rewarded with your score in the same command line you abandoned shortly ago:
(I told you that the screen was moving too fast for my slow fingers - I was not able to score a single line!)
There is another easter egg in this calculator. This time is a little bit less useful: it just show a puzzle with the names of the developers of the HP49g calculator - at the time it was under Australian Calculator operation (ACO) team. You need to write RULES and press enter, and you will see this acreen:
Easter eggs seem to appear with some frequency in mainstream software. In some programmer ambients, you cannot possibly release a significant piece of software without including these.
In a previous blog installment, we incuded a video with a chronometer in an HP45. The Easter eggs in HP calculators seem to have existed since very early in their history!
Googling for HP Calculator Easter Eggs will give you 480.000 results. It seems that this is not only existing, but as well interesting enough for many of us! Not only calculators, but also the HP 54600B oscilloscope has a Tetris inside.
In the company I work in, the AS/400 software development is under my responsibility area (although I am not directly related with programming or analysis. We are not a software company, just a AS/400 user with volume enough to do our own developments). I wonder if our developers are playing that kind of games in our much more serious business software...
This is one of the times you feel stupid. You think you know quite well what you have, and there comes someone that shows you know nothing.
Today, at work, I was using my HP50g, and a companion said to me: "wow, that's the calculator that comes with Tetris".
"You mean you can load games, do you? of course you can find a lot of games for it", I replied.
"No, I mean that it comes with Tetris in its software", he said.
"I don't think so".
"Try this: open the formula editor (right arrow + EQW), set alpha, and write MINEISBETTER".
"Now, select it:"
"and now, de-select alpha and press "SIMP" (F6). Voilà!!"
You play it with the keys 2, 4 and 6 for movement across the screen, and 5 to rotate. Backspace to stop it.
Again: all the time in front of my nose, and I did not know!!
We have finally found a good, reliable source for the HP50g Blue. We have been able to lower the price to the level of the HP50g black - 119,99 €, VAT included (without VAT for overseas shipments)
Apparently, this model is good as well for some view diseases - see Deuteranopia and HP50g
It can be shipped to the US as well, of course!
If you have seen recently our home page, or our classic calculator section, you will have found several outstanding items:
The Blue HP50g is back. We have located a secure supply of blue 50g and are able to ship them again.
An excellent HP25 - a simple programmable machine from '76, with excellent screen and very good keyboard. Battery contacts are shiny!
And, Finally, an excellent HP28s - the father of all RPL machines, with a fantastic keyboard, very easy to write alphanumerics with:
You can find them in their respective pages. Enjoy!
Please take a look to the Blue-white HP 50g
It sure doesn't look engineer-like but school-like; but then, most of my customers for this product are in college!
There have been discussions as well about label contrast and readability - despite its looks, methinks this one scores high. Take a look at this close up. Sorry for not taking it out of the sleeve - I do not intend to use one myself. But for collectors: I have available as many as you want!
This is the presentation - exactly like the "normal" one. I have found it just in Spanish/Portuguese, while it could be done in any language, if volume was enough: