Basics Archives Community Services Programming
Hardware Help About Search Your Account
   Home :: Archives :: News :: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander

News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Posted by Nick on 6 August 2000, 18:09 GMT

This doesn't have very much to do with the world of TI calculators, per se, but Hewlett-Packard, the good manufacturers of my CD-R drive and my scanner, have released a tinge of info on their new calculator-to-end-all-calculators, called the Xpander (also a fine song by DJ Sasha). Here's the info, which may or may not be true (grin):

  • a 32 bit, 133MHz RISC CPU
  • a 320x200 screen with 256 shades of gray
  • true sound for reading mp3's (mmmm... drool)
  • possibly a "futuristic look"

This looks fantastic. The news release is here, but it's in French. As always, one can use the Fish of Many Languages to read it. Yowza! Props to Alex Cooke for bringing this to my attention.


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Chris Fazio  Account Info


     6 August 2000, 23:58 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Cybeross  Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow! I wonder what 256 shades of gray will look like. i also like the song, DJ sasha rules!

     7 August 2000, 00:21 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Chris Fazio  Account Info

$400!!! NOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This cant be happening! that cost more than my guitar!

     7 August 2000, 02:08 GMT

Re: Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander


That cost more then my computer-233 mhz.

     7 August 2000, 08:06 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
surck  Account Info
(Web Page)

Hah, this Xpander will NEVER beat my TI-83plus! Considering that it is a whopping 400, my Ti-83plus only costed me around $80. I'd rather buy a laptop. I'm sure I can buy a 133mhz laptop for much less. And it'd be in color too, not to mention probably better for playing both MP3s and games.

I wonder if you can overclock the Xpander to its true speed.......

     7 August 2000, 04:33 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Henry Chang  Account Info

you can but you'll need to change the battery every hour!!!

     11 August 2000, 06:47 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Mike Kolassa  Account Info
(Web Page)

Oh my god... I'm buying this puppy. The price will probably be near $300 though, but oh well, I can always find a job around here...

     7 August 2000, 07:41 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Ernie Smith  Account Info
(Web Page)

I think you guys are looking for too little by making it only into a "calculator".

To me, it sounds like a computer you can take around with you everywhere, like a PDA, except with the focus put on college students in general (NOT high school students). That's why it isn't as advanced as other calcs mathematically -- not all college students need to use the things for math. By taking a scalable approach, HP is trying to get college students going into majors as vastly different as Theatre and Math to use the same machine. You can add and remove features at will, and it is much more inviting than a calculator. I'd pay $400 for something like this, and I'm going to major in Journalism. :P

Most students only need something with the power of a TI-82 in college, so taking the focus off of math is a way for HP to expand their market.

     7 August 2000, 12:05 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

This sounds like it might be a fun little machine to write code for. The screen size is a bit odd, at the suggested 320x200. Having 320x240 would make more sense, giving you a 4:3 aspect ratio, and square pixels. As anyone who has tried to do graphics programming on the PC in mode 13h (which is 320x200) can tell you, 1.6:1 is a very odd aspect ratio which makes doing any sort of 3d quite troublesome. Pixels are not square, thus any sort of circular transformations must be adjusted so as not to appear distorted. Hopefully they will correct the aspect ratio since 320x240 is so much nicer anyway, or will make the pixels square anyway at the odd ratio.

On the plus side, the machine is very fast and the display sounds like it should be good enough for real 3d shooters comparable to DOOM or Quake. Not that a game like Quake is necessarily good on a small screen, actually DOOM looks much better, but still very possible to have a full 3d polygon game running at decent speeds. A game like Duke 3D or Descent would be very cool :)

One interesting fact is that the display IS bigger than the Advanced Game Boy, which is 240x160 (according to Nintendo's site). This new calc's resolution will actually make it more suitable to games than the AGB. And while grayscale sounds bad, the display will probably be much shaper than the display of the CGB (can't say anything about the AGB since I haven't seen it).

This calculator might be a good platform for early console emulation, such as Atari 2600, NES, SMS and GB. The memory size is more than adequate to hold many NES or GB games. NES and probably SMS game screens would have to be partially scaled down (1 pixel per 8 for the NES), but this should still look good. For Atari 2600 games, the memory could probably fit every single game ever made.

     7 August 2000, 15:17 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Matthew McLean  Account Info

Ever think that maybe the screen is wide, meaning the pixels could be square?
Also, it may be a small screen with man pixels per square inch as opposed to a large screen with large pixels…

     7 August 2000, 16:26 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
calcfreak901  Account Info
(Web Page)

What about Intellivision? We still have one of those. I think it even still works, too. As it is, I already have WAY TOO MANY video games and systems. Its faster to list the ones I don't have: any Atari system, Sega Master System, Sega CD, Sega 32X, GBC, and that's about it (Not counting computers or calculators in there). Don't even think of asking me how many games I have just on console systems (no computer or calculator counts either, *please!*).

e_of_pi and unimatrix zero's 45.59985035114 cents

     11 August 2000, 03:37 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Nick Disabato  Account Info
(Web Page)

A respected HP type guy sent me the following email. This is coming to you unedited.


Just thought I'd let you know that the specs posted on the Xpander are inaccurate. I've spent some time working with Jean-Yves (of HP Europe and formerly of HP Australia's ACO) and know him fairly well, so I have an idea of what's really going on.

The only thing that's right about what you (and HP Sources, an unofficial French HP calculator "fan club" that formed after the disbanding of hpcalc.com) posted is that it will have a "futuristic look". All specifications are confidential, and no one not under NDA has been told details about it.

BTW, HP released the 49G with its translucent cover before TI released its translucent covers. Also, the HP 30S scientific calculator has interchangable face plates (three are included -- black, purple, and translucent green). The 30S is very powerful for a $15 calculator (I just bought one yesterday, and it can solve quadratic equations and do lots of
other cool stuff).

Also, I see some people responding to the /. post think that the next HP calculator is codenamed Ranger. Actually, this was a misunderstanding due to a confusing post to the comp.sys.hp48 newsgroup by Joe Horn, as Ranger is a surveying device made by TDS that has been available for some time. I've used an early prototype of the Ranger (the keyboard didn't work and it crashed a lot ;), but that was nearly a year ago and I haven't actually used the final product.



     7 August 2000, 23:16 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander

Whew. This was really starting to sound like a PDA with math software. I mean, a touch screen? I am hopefully waiting to find out what this really is.

     9 August 2000, 00:31 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
Skavoovie  Account Info

This has nothing to do with calcs (and is my first post on here in over 6 months. :) ), but the only thing HP CD-Rs are good for is burning coasters. :)
Plextor is the way.

     9 August 2000, 06:28 GMT

Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander

Dear God... Can you CONSIDER that thing a calc!?!?

O, and I think it sux about the 92. The school system is beaurocrat infested anyway, so what do we expect?

     11 August 2000, 02:28 GMT

Re: Re: News on Hewlett-Packard's Xpander
calcfreak901  Account Info
(Web Page)

My school permits the use of any calculator, as long as it is officially called a calculator. However, laptops are not permitted.

Anything with builtin mp3 capabilities is certainly not a calculator, but these are not the actual specs, either.

School systems are, always have been, and always will be centers of bureaucratic concentration, along with politics and upper management.

     11 August 2000, 20:49 GMT
1  2  3  

You can change the number of comments per page in Account Preferences.

  Copyright © 1996-2012, the ticalc.org project. All rights reserved. | Contact Us | Disclaimer