WP-34S: Alpha lock

Possibly silly question: if I am entering a program and I have turned on alpha lock mode, how do I turn it off?


Manual 3.0 page 71 of 118 says something about H P.FCN ALPHA for off and on, but I haven't played with it enough to figure it out.


Yeah, that's it. H-shift P.FCN, then use up or down arrow to point to alpha-off or alpha-on. There might be an easier way...


Now maybe I see your problem. When you enter Alpha Lock mode, the H-shift P.FCN no longer brings up the choices. In this instance just press F alpha and it will exit alpha lock mode.


I'm playing with the emulator...I HAVE to get one of these awesome machines soon!


When in programming mode, f-Enter puts you into input mode. By default you would be entering one character per line. However, by hitting f-Enter a second time you enter alpha lock mode, where you get to enter 3 characters per line. This is indicated by the fact that the alpha instruction in the display is followed by a single quote.

However, once I entered this alpha lock mode, I have not figured how to get out of it. I can turn off input mode, but if I enter input mode again, it is automatically in alpha lock mode.

How do I put it back in a state where you are entering single characters per line again and there is no single quote following the alpha instruction?


Printed manual, p. 121, explains this mode and the way out.



I'm playing with the emulator...I HAVE to get one of these awesome machines soon!

Good point! I sent an email to Eric and got no answer. Is he still selling these machines?


Build your own! Get yourself a 30b, ask Eric for an overlay (or two), ask Gene for a cable, download the software, and you are there! If you are in Europe (Schweiz?) I may help you with the programming. I know people who are good at modifying the hardware if desired, too.





I'd very much like to, but since the arrival of my little baby girl my free time has become extremely limited (although she *might* like to assist me as she always wants to help when I fix something...). And I'm definitely not equipped (eyes and tools) for SMD soldering, which would be required for getting the timer/stopwatch functions to work. I once did manage to re-solder an HP-42S memory chip, but that chip was already in place ;-)


PS Just reading through the manual, two things come to my mind:

  1. It's simply amazing how much funtionality can be fit into such a small calculator!
  2. If only current HP manuals were of such quality... (he sighed, frowning at a completely unusable 1000-page-HP-50g-manual, caringly translated to German by non-German-speaking Chinese office clerks, thereby destroying any content that might have accidentaly been left in).

The last brilliant HP manual was the HP-48S one. Thick, rich, smart, useful, you name it...

After that - bunch of jokes.

I'm keeping one of them as a love letter ;)


Well, I can't duplicate my odd issue this morning and it seems to be working. So, I don't know what was going on last night.

I was working with the physical hardware and several times while in programming mode, as I was entering an instruction, the calculator would suddenly say "Reset" and pop me out of programming mode. I would just go back into programming mode as if nothing had happened and continue.

What causes that message to happen?


Marcel, "Reset" is always bad news. Something must be awry with your device. The message occurs when the watchdog kicks in or when an invalid instruction is executed which causes a branch to the reset code. It might be a hardware problem as well. What is the battery level reported? Can you reproduce the behavior after the execution of the SLOW command?


The battery level is 2.9

I have not been able to reproduce anything but I got a flurry of them last night when I was fiddling around with alpha mode. I had just entered a long program and been playing with it and I had not had any problems at all. It was only when I started making modifications to the program and was struggling with alpha mode that I started getting occasional resets.

I have tried to retrace my steps this morning, but things seems working.

All of the resets happened in programming mode. I've never had one when using the calculator otherwise. I am not 100% certain whether it was all of the resets, but I do know that several of them happened either as I entered a catalog or when I was in a catalog and hit a key to jump to a position in it.

If it starts happening again, I will do a SLOW command see if I can detect any change in behavior.


Thanks. Real software on real hardware is always a challenge. The resources on this machine are quite limited: 2 KB of persistent RAM, 4 KB of volatile RAM, 128 KB of flash (program) memory, all run from two coin cells. Power management is a real chore...

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