Winner of Name that Ware April 2008!

I’m always impressed at how someone manages to nail even the most obscure wares — this one never made it into production, although its details are searchable in Google. Alex Badea is the winner for correctly naming the device first in his May 19th post. Congratulations, and email me to claim your prize!

The ware for April 2008 was the motherboard from the ill-fated HP Xpander project. Since it’s a reader-submitted ware, I’m not too familiar with the history of the project; it was apparently some kind of a graphing calculator plus Windows CE device. Talking about HP graphing calculators does bring back some nostalgia, though — I still have my old HP 48gx graphing calculator from my late high school days. Thinking back, I can’t believe how much of a nerd I was to carry that thing around with me everywhere in my front pocket (and that thing is not small). You couldn’t separate me from my graphing calculator. I guess I was one of the un-coolest guys in high school for a reason — but, I did score points for being able to fix other people’s graphing calculators when they got crushed at the bottom of a backpack.

Again, thanks to 92915810cf6b9f60b0bb06bc498ea884 for sharing the ware!

PS: previous winners, I finally mailed out your prizes, with the exception of Sii — I got an email from you and I responded, but I never heard back with your address. Maybe it got swallowed by the spam shark?

3 Responses to “Winner of Name that Ware April 2008!”

  1. Tyler says:

    I have a HP 50g, and I love it. HP has, unfortunately, pretty much abandoned their calculators. The HP 50g doesn’t even have the Saturn CPU in it. And if it makes you feel better, I usually have mine with me too.

  2. Bruce Walker says:

    Heh! I still have my (working) HP-25 …
    Got it new when they were introduced in 1975. I used to carry it around in its leatherette holster looped to my belt. We were inseparable. Needless to say, I too seriously lacked coolness. :-)

  3. 92915810cf6b9f60b0bb06bc498ea884 says:


    I think I owe you all a better explanation than that.

    As Bunnie said its an HP Xpander. It ran a stripped down and modified version of Windows CE that didn’t do much more than throw up a simple three button GUI. One of the buttons launched a fairly involved piece of software that gave the device its graphing calculator functionality. The users interacted with the device via a touch screen/stylus and a physical numeric keypad. (The touchscreen ribbon connector is missing on the board in the shots I provided – my bad.)
    The Compact Flash slot was supposed to be use for a range of external devices (temperature probes, ect.) and presumably external storage although everything I’ve plugged into it hasn’t done anything.

    The two sockets on either side of the bottom are for power (the device had two internal non-user serviceable rechargeable AA battery’s) and for the serial connection to a computer. There was a software package that gave access to the file system on the flash memory, and could upload new firmware.

    The high(er) density socket on the bottom is in fact for an external LCD screen that was intended to be used with an overhead projector. In fact, if anybody can ID that connector I’d be much obliged – I’m completely stumped as to its manufacturer and fear it might actually be HP proprietary.

    I’d offer more pictures but I think my camera finally gave up the ghost after these photos. Maybe in near future (when I have a new camera) if there is still interest I can take pictures of an assembled unit and accessory’s.