Hp 48 Sx Scientific Expandable Calculator Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

HP-48SX Scientific Expandable Calculator

History
The HP-48SX Scientific Expandable calculator was manufactured by Hewlett Packard and the copyright is dated 1989. At the time of release, the HP-48 series was the most advanced line of scientific calculators available to those in the technical fields. I purchased the calculator in 1991 through a high school mathematics program. It has been used extensively since then for virtually every class I have taken. So far, the calculator has never malfunctioned.

Material
The main material of the HP-48SX is plastic. The case is hard brown plastic. The front panel is a thin metal sheet with soft plastic buttons. The screen is a large liquid ...view middle of the document...

The HP-48SX has little other ornaments besides the screen and keypad interface. These few ornaments are comprised of the Hewlett Packard logo, the 48SX model number, and the serial number on the back. Soon after purchasing the calculator, I carved my first name, last name, and high school nickname into the plastic back cover in order to identify the calculator as mine.

Function
The intended functions of the HP-48SX are the standard functions of a scientific calculator, plus several unique to the HP. This calculator can graph all functions, perform all mathematic operations, convert units for most properties, and solve equations. It also can store data in a database and perform statistical operations on this data. This last ability reveals one of the calculator's intended functions of laboratory assistant.

There are many unintended functions for the HP. The main one is a source of entertainment. Games such as Pac-man, Joust, Tron, and Tetris can all be easily obtained and installed on the calculator. The wide selection of games can provide hours of amusement.

The data storage capability gives the HP-48SX many more unintended functions. It can hold phone numbers, grades, banking information, formulas, and almost any other data imaginable. The HP can be used as a personal organizer for virtually all aspects of life.

Evaluation
The HP-48SX calculator performs its functions more than adequately. Some even consider its abilities excessive for typical coursework; however, most people in technical fields find it an invaluable asset. The HP-48SX is also very reliable and rarely encounters errors or malfunctions. The calculator is also expandable to suit any technical need.

Compared to other scientific programmable calculators, the HP-48SX is one of the best. When it first became available, it was top of the line. Only recently have its abilities been surpassed by the HP-48GX and the new Texas Instruments calculators. Its upgradability is a rare feature for a calculator and is one that sets it apart from all others. The quality of the HP product is also superior and the calculators experience fewer problems.

Cultural Analysis
Most people in society view the HP-48SX in its intended role. It is commonly seen as a powerful aid in the technical fields. The abilities to program and upgrade the unit are viewed as advantages the HP has over other calculators. Most people treat the calculator as a utilitarian device and not an object of luxury or a status symbol. Of course there are those who view the calculator differently.

Because of its relatively high price, especially after its initial release, some people view the HP-48SX as a status symbol....

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