The HP-49G series are Hewlett-Packard (HP)-manufactured graphing calculators. They are the successors of the HP-48 series, one of the best-selling calculator ranges among engineers, scientists, and students.
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The calculator is often compared to the Texas Instruments TI-89, which is targeted more towards classroom use and employs a drastically faster CPU. Speed of calculation varies between the two calculators for each particular problem, but generally the TI-89 CAS (based on Texas Instruments' Derive engine) outperforms that of the 49G (in areas such as simultaneous equation solving, integration, and matrix manipulation), though the 49G is faster in other areas – notably 3D plot generation and series expansion. A rare comparison is of this calculator to computer software such as Maple or Matlab. The CAS for complex numbers is more powerful on the HP49G+ than either Matlab or Maple. The HP49 has the ability to solve many equations symbolically that come up in circuit analysis that both Matlab and Maple are incapable of solving.
- Screen resolution: 131×64 pixels
- CPU: 4MHz Saturn
- Memory: 2 MB flash memory and 512 KB RAM
- Computer algebra system: improved ALG48+Erable combination from the HP-48
- Communication: Serial port
The HP-49G Plus (sometimes written HP-49G+) features an ARM 75MHz CPU and chipset, an SD memory card port, and a USB communications interface, amongst other improvements over previous HP-48/49 models.
The HP-49 series of calculators support a stack-based programming language named Reverse Polish Lisp (RPL), a combination of Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) and Lisp. RPL adds the concepts of lists and functions to stack-based programming, allowing the programmer to pass unevaluated code as arguments to functions, or return unevaluated code from a function by leaving it on the stack.
Issues and bugs
There have been some issues regarding the 49G+. Initially there was a problem with battery life, but an upgrade of the system ROM has apparently fixed that. Also, some people have reported spurrious alarms and missing keypresses. Turning off the clock display ('-40 CF' in RPN mode) reduces, but does not eliminate, this problem.
The current ROM version can be determined by the command VERSION. The most recent version at the time this was written was 2.00, which should report as:
"Version HP49-C Revision #2.00" "Copyright HP 2005"
If the version reported is less than 2.00, the ROM should be updated. A current ROM, and installation instructions, can be found at HP's 49G+ homepage (see external links, below).