More text

Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

16 June 2010

Breaking Electronic News!!!

No, I haven't broken my new HP calculator.  It arrived this morning via DHL (a courier).  In impeccable HP fashion the calculator is slightly smaller, slightly heavier and slightly less useful than the prior scientific calculator that I owned.  Okay so I found a way to make as useful as the HP 48 GX  but it took some time,

What's my beef?  Well because of the nature of my job I spend quite a bit of time converting units back and forth.  While my HP 48GX didn't provide fundamental expression of units like my HP 28S it did actually make unit conversion easier by having the CONVERT function bound to the menu keys.  Instead of having to laboriously enter the dimensional quantity and the dimension to be converted to and then hitting the CONVERT key like on the 28S with a right shift and touch of a menu button VOILA the whole operation was complete.  The lower number of key presses was, forgive the pun, the key to the improvement in the process.

Wait, hold it, HP actually made it worse than on the HP 28S, two steps back and then some.  Now I have to go through windows, pardon me that would be a trademark infringement, CHOOSE boxes  to select the units.   Then enter the units I want to convert to (put a 1 on the stack and select the unit for the HP aficionados).  And then, get this,  open up the UNITS and select TOOLS and then select CONVERT.  There is no direct keyboard shortcut that I've found in the p|$$ poor manual that came with the DAMNED CALCULATOR.  I thought I'd have to write a frickin program just to do the common conversions that I use each day.

Okay, so I went to a discussion board for the HP 50G, not the useless frickin' one sponsored by HP but to one called the Museum of HP Calculators.  It took me forty-five minutes to find and parse through the discussions.  Eventually I found the three key (another key pun) pieces of information required to damn well set the frickin' stupid piece of utter drek up in the same manner as my HP 48GX.  To save one of my 3 three readers the monumental frustration here's what you do:

  1. Press MODE (second row from the top second key from the left)
  2. Select FLAGS from the menu at the bottom of the screen (press F1)
  3. Scroll down using the arrow keys to Flag 117
  4. Press F3.  A check mark should appear and the text should change from CHOOSE Boxes to Soft MENU.
That's it you're done.  Now you can select the units using the menu and left shit to convert to the unit you select.  Forty-Five minutes to find something THAT IS NOT DOCUMENTED IN THE POORLY-TRANSLATED-FROM-FRICKIN'-CHINESE-TO-ENGLISH-LOUSY-STINKIN'-DAMN MANUAL THAT CAME WITH THE OVER PRICED PIECE OF DREK.

The camel humping diseased offspring of slime mould that approved the translation of the manual needs to be dry humped with a splintered 6x6 and then have bucket of iodine poured over his bleeding nether region.  The software is worse, the software team deserves crucifixion as does the executive that approved the USB cable without a ferrite bead.

If HP wasn't the only game in town for RPN calculators I'd buy something else.


I spent some more quality time with the POS manual last night.  Other than a few missing words and a couple of grammar mistakes my charactarization of it as being poorly translated from Chinese is incorrect.  It's still damn near useless in my opinion but mostly grammatically correct.  It took me about two hours to get the HP 50G satisfactorily configured.  Most of the time was spent experimenting with the flag settings since the manual was damn near useless.


  1. Anonymous18 June, 2010

    Reading this series? (Yes, total thread-jacking...)

    RPN spoils you for calculation process. The other way is the stupid way.

    And btw, what is the left shit key?

    "Now you can select the units using the menu and left shit to convert to the unit you select"

  2. I've finished Mighty Fortress and thought it was about worst book Weber's written so far (doesn't mean it was bad just not as good as most of his stuff).

    I've been using RPN for over two decades, regular calculators are just useless.

    The shift keys are marked with arrows, on one key the arrow points left, hence the term 'left shift key'.

  3. Notice what I quoted, not what you think you wrote, then see why I mentioned it.


Polite and erudite comments by