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VINE VOICEon June 29, 2012
In short, this is a great product. You should buy it.

The HP 50g Calculator Tutor Volume 1 contains 31 video lessons (on two DVDs) that will teach you how to operate your HP 50g calculator (HP 50g Graphing Calculator). Refer to the Amazon product page (or the MathTutorDVD web page) for a listing of lesson topics. Programming is not covered. Apparently, Volume 2 of this series not yet available.

This course uses the calculator in RPN mode. If you don't know what RPN mode is, then do a little web research. If you want to use Algebraic mode, then don't buy this course, and don't buy the HP 50g (get a Texas Instruments calculator instead). If you are going to be a math, science, or engineering major, then switch to RPN mode today.

You need to know a lot of high-level math to use all of the functions of the HP 50g. However, if are just starting college as a math, physics, chemistry, or engineering major, do not worry! You will learn the math over the next few years. The HP 50g will be the only calculator you will ever need.

If you wish to sample this product before buying, you may watch the first lesson (free) on the MathTutorDVD website. I watched the sample lesson before purchasing this product.

If Hewlett Packard produced this product, I would have given it a four-star rating. However, when I considered that this course is the creation of just one person (who is the writer, star, director, producer, etc., etc.), I had to give it a five-star rating. However, I do have some criticisms about excluded content. Instead of cluttering this review with a critique, I shall attach it as a comment. Perhaps the excluded content is destined for (the yet-to-be-released) Volume 2?

This outstanding video training program is your best choice for a quick, professional tutorial on using the calculator. I bought it just because I needed to evaluate a MathTutorDVD product (this is my first one). I am impressed. Visit the MathTutorDVD website to look at their other products. The instructor is excellent. The quality of the product is very high. I recommend that you buy this, without reading the rest of the review.

If you are still reading, it probably means that you are trying to decide whether or not you should spend your money on this product. Of course, only you can make that decision. If you have never before used a Hewlett Packard calculator, then you should get this DVD course (if you can afford it). It will save you lots of time and aggravation. If you were previously an expert user of the HP 28S, the HP 42 series, the HP 48 series, or the HP 49 series, then this DVD course may be of less value to you. Even if you are an experienced HP user, if you are new to the HP 50g this course will save you a lot of time in learning how to use your new toy. It will only take you two or three days to go through this DVD course; however, it might take you one or two weeks to figure this stuff out on your own. Of course, if you are a college freshman, you have YEARS (ahead of you) in which to learn some of these functions.

The HP 50g is not really a calculator (or a toy); instead, it is a complicated math computer with a calculator-style human-machine interface. This calculator has over 2300 built-in functions. It can do derivatives, integrals, complex numbers, vectors, and matrix math (and lots more); it can create tables and graphs; it can be programmed; you can store hundreds of equations or use the built-in equation library. Such capabilities are impressive, but it means that it takes a very long time to learn how to use the calculator.

So the question is: Can you learn how to use the HP 50g without these video lessons? Of course you can! Just download the three manuals (discussed later) from the Hewlett Packard (HP) website, and spend 40 to 100 hours figuring things out for yourself. Also, there are many HP 50g tutorials posted on the web (including you tube and university websites). Only you can decide if this product is worth the cost (to you personally). The instructor of this course has first-hand experience using an HP calculator during many years of college math, engineering, and physics courses. You can let him transfer a lot of his experience to you in just seven hours of video lectures, or you can try to figure things out by yourself.

If you are only going to be using simple math functions, then you do not need this course (or the HP 50g, for that matter). The HP 50g is for folks who perform higher mathematics (e.g., folks in math, physics, engineering, chemistry, or statistics). If you are not going to use higher-level math, then you can probably figure out basic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, powers, logs, roots, inverse, trig) on your own using the "User's Manual" that comes with the calculator.

In the early days, Hewlett Packard would include wonderful instruction manuals with their calculators. Although HP does not provide a training manual for the HP 50g, they do have three documents for the HP 50g: (1) a 184 page "User's Manual," and (2) an 887 page "User's Guide," and (3) a 693 page "Advanced User's Reference Manual." You can download all three of these from the Hewlett Packard (HP) website. You can learn nearly everything you need to know about the HP 50g by studying these documents; however, it will take you a very long time.

You can find some good tutorials online. For example, search university websites (*.edu) for HP 50g tutorials (e.g., Thiel college). Please note, the HP 49g is so similar, tutorials for the HP 49g will help you too. Look on you tube for HP 50g tutorials (one fellow in particular has posted a series of great videos). Go through a textbook and get practice entering equations and solving problems. Work on your social skills: Make friends with an expert HP 50g user.

If you still have the instruction manual for an old HP calculator (like HP 48), try going through that manual with the HP 50g. Access to functions may be different, but the concepts and examples are still (mostly) valid.

The instructor should have taken a couple of minutes to provide experienced Hewlett Packard users with a quick overview of changes (from older calculator models). Specifically, he should have explained that SOLVE, PURGE, EDIT, STACK, MEMORY, equation library, and constant library are no longer accessible directly from the keyboard. It would have been nice for experienced HP users to have these (sad) facts stated up front (and altogether in one place).

This course teaches only HP 50g operations; it does not teach you the math. However, before you can use all of the functions of the HP 50g, you will need to learn quite a lot of math. You will need to learn: algebra (of course); calculus 1, 2, & 3; differential equations; linear algebra; numerical analysis; control theory; statistics; and mathematical methods for physicists. Three years in a college math department should do the trick. But then, lots of folks also learn this math on their own (under fire, so to speak) when the need arises. Check out the MathTutorDVD website: he has video courses for most of the math subjects listed above.

HP 50g Calculator Tutor Volume 1 is really just a basic course; if you wish to become a "power user," then you will need to spend weeks (maybe months) figuring out how to work with advanced functions and programming. You can, of course, spend many (fun) hours sweating and bleeding over the three HP books (mentioned previously). You can also try the books by Gilberto Urroz.

Science and Engineering Mathematics with the HP 49 G - Volume 1 (Gu) and Science and Engineering Mathematics with the HP 49 G - Volume II - Calculus, differential equations, statistics) by Gilberto Urroz are based on university lectures he gave to engineering students at his university. He teaches the calculator at a higher level than the MathTutorDVD course. Although the Urroz books were specifically written for the HP 49G, they work just as well for the HP 50g. If you are a math nerd with lots of money, you might like these books. I have both of them; they are pretty good (in spite of the many typos and editorial errors).

In summary, this DVD course is an outstanding resource for the HP 50g owner. It will save you lots of time and aggravation (in exchange for a little money). If you are reluctant to spend your money, then: (1) check out the free sample lesson on the MathTutorDVD website; (2) download the three instruction manuals from the HP website; (3) check out the HP 50g or HP 49 videos on you tube; and (4) search university (*.edu) websites for HP 50g or HP 49 tutorials (e.g., Thiel college).
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on September 27, 2012
Since I've always liked HP calcs it was a natural to buy this one but at the time I wasn't fully aware of how complex and powerful it was. The documentation, while massive is dry to say the least. I learned what I had to but found myself contemplating all those other functions and wondering how I would ever learn them. Then I found this DVD! It's great. You'll be operating the calc like a pro after these lessons. Even after the first few lessons I was quickly able to orient myself and work things like a pro. The instructor is easy to follow, highlights key points and works more than a few examples and then 'bing' you've got it. You're a fool if you don't learn how to use the Equation Writer and Matrix Writer or the other nifty features on here.
You can use this DVD to quickly maneuver your way around the calc and then use the documentation for lookup. The MathTutor DVD is a must have if you have an HP50G. I would buy any other Math DVDs the site has to offer. This guy knows how to teach.
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on November 29, 2012
Wasn't sure I'd like a DVD explaining how to use a calculator. But after reading the reviews I decided to give it a try. I found that it is really helpful. I was already familiar with an HP 48SX plus earlier HP calculators, so I was very familiar with RPN. This DVD has been very helpful in learning the various capabilities of the 50g that are different from previous HP calculators. I had downloaded one of HP's instruction manuals and it was very disappointing. This DVD has been a great help.
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on September 13, 2013
The quick start guide for the HP50G, unlike the one for the 48G, is terrible. This video set really makes the difference, getting one up to speed on its use. That said, it is not all-inclusive, however knowing the author he probably will release a Vol 2 in order to give the user a bit more, perhaps even some RPL programming. I had my 50G for a week and was working through some tutorials on the internet (Thiel College site, highly recommended) so by the time this arrived I was already familiar with many of the functions of the device. The 2nd dvd is where this set really shines. A recommended buy if you want to get yourself up and running fast on this great computing device! HP and Jason have hit a home run here!
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on February 17, 2013
I also owned a 48sx so there was some native familiarity with the 50g but this DVD set has been indispensable! Jason is a fine instructor and while the material itself may be dry in nature, he presents this course with clarity and logic. You are shown numerous examples while button presses are shown with a cursor on screen along with the instruction/narration. This is an introductory presentation and will get most users up and running. As almost all other users have stated, the documentation for these machines tends to be lacking. I am delighted I purchased this set because it has saved me both time and frustration. The 50g is a very capable calculator to say the least - do yourself a major favor and consider this set. I am delighted with it and has saved me from certain frustration. Jason also teaches various other tutorials and I am presently looking at some of those sets as well. I hope he will also produce a volume 2 of this particular course, there is so much this calculator can do and I suspect that very few will ever truly exploit its full capabilities. To start however, this is a great way to go. I have found the instruction MUCH more accessible than any documentation. The 7 hours spent here will save you many many more elsewhere. If you are new to HP and RPN, this is especially recommended. Thanks Jason Gibson!
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on July 17, 2014
[The HP-50g Calculator Tutor] is a great product for folks that do not have the patience and time to slowly ascertain whether that awesome electronic gizmo once wanted now forgotten was purchased in haste. Fret not as the instructor on the DVD discs elucidate the features and application of every user button on the HP-50g calculator. He is displaying how to use and what happens when a button is depressed.
That is the "split-screen" allows the viewer to see exactly what is depressed (right half) and what happens (left half) at your monitor screen.
This DVD discs set is played back on your computer's DVD drive and also playable on any regular home $19.95 DVD Player.
Instructor gives presentation in a relaxed manner-- not monotony, but a firm and slightly varied tenor voice. The tempo or pace is easy enough for the viewing audience to keep up while depressing the calculator key strokes. There is always a slow reverse or fast forward button at the viewer's DVD Player. The information is accurate and corresponded to the 2013 issued retail version of the HP-50g
(appears not much changed since A.D.2003-2006 HP introduction of the HP-50g product.) Highly recommended for professionals wanting quick and practical in short time. Best part is user can always return to the DVDs for a refresher. Enjoy.
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on January 31, 2014
This is geared mainly for the first time user to the 50g. I have been using the 50g for over a year, and this DVD is what got me started. One start deducted for not going into some of the more powerful tools (FFT etc.) because it wouldn't have been that much more work. Do not buy this is looking for lessons on advanced capabilities of the 50g. If you have an HP50g in your Amazon cart right now, throw this in there too because it will be the quickest and easiest way to start using it effectively.
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on December 25, 2012
As previous reviewers have pointed out, this course doesn't cover all of the innumerable features of the HP-50g, but it does cover the most important ones in a thorough and understandable fashion. After a long, frustrating, and not very successful struggle trying to learn the basics from the online documentation provided by HP, I had all but given up on the calculator and was on the verge of springing for a TI despite previous favorable experience with HP calculators and a strong preference for RPM mode.

This course is titled "The HP-50G Calculator Tutor -Vol.1" I eagerly await Volume 2.
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on November 1, 2014
I own the HP50g. It comes a with a copy of the User's Manual and a CD containing connectivity software and a User' Guide.
I find the User's Manual to be much better for learning one's way around the HP50g than "The HP50g Calculator Tutor.
The tutorial doesn't provide a means of doing relevant in the moment practical exercises. Rather one is given what amounts to the calculator's capabilities.

The User's Manual provides screenshots of instructions that the reader can enter and experiment with. This is very important because the reader is forced to participate in learning how to navigate the calculator. This is not what is experienced by watching and replaying the tutorial CD. I must admit that I am from "the learn by doing" rather than "the learn by watching" school of thought.

If you already have some knowledge and/or proficiency with HP calculators other than the HP50g, this tutorial may allow you to apply that experience effectively to the HP50g. If you don't have experience with HP calculators, I suggest that you start with the included User's Manual and refer to the comprehensive User's Guide for additional details.

The HP 50g Calculator Tutor may be useful to gain information about the utility of the calculator; the tutorial contains 31 sections on two disk. On the other hand the User's Manual contains 19 Chapters that cover specific topics and examples that the reader can actually key in and practice navigating the HP50g. The Chapter names in the User's Manual identify the skill to be gained, for example, Chapter 14: Differential Equations.

If you have experience with the HP50g but haven't used it in awhile, The HP50g Calculator Tutor may be useful as a quick review of a specific topic without realtime participation.
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on January 2, 2013
Great starter dvd to get you familiar with the many hp keys and hidden functions built-in the calculator. You can try read all the e- manuals that come with the calculator, but this has been much more clear and much faster way to learn how to use the calculator using rpn. after viewing the dvds the manuals become easier to follow for more specific tasks. highly recommend this to anyone buying this calculator.
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