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I just received an email from a dealer (Jose Gonzalez at TheCalculatorStore) whom I purchased some of my HP15c LE calculators from, indicating that there is a new version of the HP15c emulator that allows an unlimited number of activations, available by ftp from HP.

I was wondering whether there has been any official announcement from HP and do we still need to obtain activation codes from HP?



[...] do we still need to obtain activation codes from HP?

Mine didn't require a code at all, but has a limited activation count. Would you mind posting the link?

Emulator seems to have the PAUSE-bug too!!



With this in mind, Tim was once joking how well the emulation is ;-).

Any ARMed hacker could use it to debug the 15C LE, as I think the 15C emulating hardware inside the LE is emulated itself. Three CPUs involved!

...as I think the 15C emulating hardware inside the LE is emulated itself.

Those layers all add up to monumental wastes of battery energy and other disadvantages.

The HP 15C-LE with emulation performs a 2500-iteration Savage benchmark in 48 seconds. The HP 30b with no emulation layer and a similar processor and CPU speed as the HP 15C-LE performs the same benchmark with identical numerical results in 6 seconds. Thus HP 15C-LE emulation results in 8 times the run time and 8 times the energy usage to complete the same task as the HP 30b. As the HP 15C-LE has infamously shown, emulation adds another realm for introduction of bugs as well.

Emulation = Slow + Energy Inefficient + Buggy.

Emulation = Slow + Energy Inefficient + Buggy.

Certainly, but a small price to pay for HP to actually release what so many have asked for over the years. Could a more robust approach have resulted in a faster, more energy efficient, less buggy HP 15C-LE? I'm sure it could have done, but we'd never have seen it. The world has moved on, and the LE is a nice (albeit imperfect) nostalgia of days gone by. I use mine every day and appreciate that it was a labor of love to (more or less) satisfy a small crowd of dinosaurs, not a benchmark product.


Emulation = Slow + Energy Inefficient + Buggy.

Sorry as emulator developer I couldn't agree. ;-)

- Slow

Sorry, show me a real HP48 that is faster than a HP48 emulated on Emu48 using a PC as host (even if the PC is 10 or more years old).

- Energy Inefficient

I mainly agree, but you might also compare a LED driven HP35 from 1972 with a hardware like DM-15CC emulating a HP35. I'm mostly sure that the emulation would be more energy efficient than the real device.

- Buggy

Of course an emulator is also only software, so it couldn't be, from definition, bug free. 2nd, every description is incomplete. So the description of the original calculator hardware is also incomplete. In many situations a developer use undocumented features. When you ask why, you get answered like "I tested my solution and it works properly. For a documented way I had to spend much more time at development. Further my solution is faster". So the emulator developer must have a look behind the official documentation.

For Emu48 I wrote many test programs for analysing the behavior on non documented situations. Anyway, an emulator cannot emulate the original hardware into it's finest detail, if so you have the original hardware and not an emulation. So an emulator in real world is full of compromises.

Finally, every solution must be payable. It's a big difference if I spend hours of my free time on my personal projects like Emu28, Emu42, Emu48 and Emu71 and a company which have to earn money with their products.

But I agree, sometimes it would be better that companies in general would have a closer look to their products before selling them, than deliver products in poor quality. On the other side, what is better, a product with poor quality or getting nothing comparable?

Your choice. :)

I was...I think fairly obviously...addressing actual real calculator implementation in both its hardware and firmware.

I consider the emulation of a machine on a personal computer or smartphone to be a very good and positive undertaking. But for the real device that is to be sold to consumers, like the HP 15C-LE or the HP 49g+/50g, the emulation layer has only one positive quality...it gets some older legacy system out on the street with some upgraded qualities. Other than that, emulation running on calculator hardware has no positive attributes.

I am really annoyed by the 15C LE emulator. I was able to install it on my previous Windows Vista 64bit machine, but it won't install (or rather: activate) on my new Windows 8 64bit computer. The offline activation procedure (through activate.hpcalculating.com) does not work, because the website is inactive. While I understand (to a certain extent) the DRM obsession of HP in this regard, their implementation is crappy, thus barring legitimate customers from using the product they bought.

If you tell me the exact filesize (in bytes) and the date of your HP15C.exe, I guess I could help you with your activation problem. ;-)


Apparently the online activation isn't working either, at least for me. I had installed the HP-15C Emulator only once on my HP notebook (Vista Home Premium 32 bits). After a hard-drive failure I've decided to updowngraded it to WinXP Pro (also because the System Recovering Disk wouldn't install Vista on the new hard-drive). The HP-15C LE Emulator is the only program I wasn't able to reinstall so far. I keep on receiving the message "Please check the serial number and try again".

If you contact support, they will be able to get you an updated installer that does not have any issues.

The issue is that the server was not hosted internally within HP and we could not renew the account hosting the activation/update mechanism we had been using for several years.


Edited: 17 Jan 2013, 7:22 p.m.

I believe you are thinking of the old one that just wrapped a small bit of code around the exe. The one we've been using for 3 years comes in a dll...

Much easier just to contact support and they will be able to resolve the problem.


Edited: 17 Jan 2013, 7:23 p.m.

Thanks Tim, I'll do that.

I believe you are thinking of the old one that just wrapped a small bit of code around the exe. The one we've been using for 3 years comes in a dll...

No, I don't mean the activation procedure at all. My solution to this problem is just patching the EXE a bit, so that it doesn't ask for (or need) any serial/code number at all. :-)


The size of the executable (HP15C.exe) is 20,408,657 bytes.

Thanks, Tim, for your response. I will contact support.

Kind regards,

The size of the executable (HP15C.exe) is 20,408,657 bytes.

I didn't mean the size of the installer, what I would need is the size of the already installed HP15C.exe (should be something like 160 kB).

I'm sorry, the size of the installed executable is 163.640 bytes.

I'm sorry, the size of the installed executable is 163.640 bytes.

Ok, I've just sent you an email via the forum ... :-)


It's my understanding that HP's emulators are built natively from the C source code of the calculator software, rather than by emulating the ARM and running the object code.

If this is the case, the 15C LE emulator is native (x86) code running the Nut emulator, with no ARM emulation involved.

This emulator does not require activation. It does come with a very nice advanced functions handbook, re-written in full colour and new fonts, as opposed to the original roughly scanned one.

This handbook is also available on the hp website HERE.

Hi there. I have exactly the same problem, upgraded my laptop to Windows 8 recently but haven't been able to activate the 15C emulator. Contacted an HP representative (as listed in a support forum addressing this very same issue), but haven't heard back from her. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers from Costa Rica.