HP48 Graphics

Quick Facts
Full Title HP48 Graphics
Author R. Ray Depew
Publisher Grapevine Publications, Inc.
ISBN Number 0-931011-33-7
General Topic Graphics
Target Reader Novice/Intermediate User
Number of Pages 298
Reviewer David J Porter

Aim of the book

This book is set out as a users guide to the graphic capabilities of the HP48, and although written with regard to the S(X) series, remains relevant to the G(X) as well.

The book is roughly divided into three parts with each being given roughly equal coverage. These are:

  1. The EquationWriter/Solver applications;
  2. Mathematical function plotting; and
  3. Freehand and programmable graphics and applications.

Brief table of contents with Notes


The EquationWriter

Simply covers entering mathematical equations using the EquationWriter application and editing equations once they have been entered. Although there is nothing here that isn't covered in the HP48G Users Guide it does give another perspective and a few more worked examples. Probably not much use if you are confident in using the EW, but may be handy for a novice.

The Solver

Again this section builds on the groundwork established by the HP48G Users Guide and adds invaluable examples and help on using the Solver application and the Plotting capabilities side by side. It also contains examples of customizing the Solver application and using the Solver within your own programs.

What's a Grob?

Simply explains what a Grob is in terms of its internal representation within the HP48. Also explained here is the interaction of pixel versus user units as they pertain to graphics and how to enter custom Grobs onto the stack.

Q: What Does a Grob Eat?
A: A Grob eats memory. Lots of it!

Graphics Basics

Graphics Improvements

These two chapters cover the use of the Plotter application and how the basic graphics generated can be enhanced with text and other goodies to impart more information. It also covers freehand drawings.

Programmable Graphics Applications

The former of these chapters conveys very little information at all and could very well have been folded into the latter except for the section on including icon Grobs in custom menus. Together they do introduce the concepts of graphics and programming combined in the creation of an application. These sections also contain the bulk of the included programs.

Graphics Beyond the 48

This section simply gives methods of printing graphics on a variety of printers connected through the IR or wire ports of the HP48, as well as handling graphics created on the HP48 on a PC. Mostly an overview of the requirements in the former case, and a quick survey of available HP and PC applications in the latter.


Here you'll find a review of the hexadecimal number along with tables running for four pages of lists of binary/decimal/hex numbers, and a listing of the graphics operations and commands available plus the obligatory list of the programs and objects listed in the book.


This book is handy in that it covers the graphics applications of the HP48 in some depth, and although written for use with the S(X) still remains relevant for the G(X) to a large extent. There is an updated version available specifically for the G(X) (Graphics on the HP48G/GX, Ray Depew, Grapevine Publications, Inc.) which is probably a better bet if you don't already own this edition. I used my copy extensively for the first few weeks after I purchased it, but I can't say that it is completely indispensible, although I'd be loathe to part with it.

Part of the HP Calculator Archive - http://www.hpcalc.org/