Question for Thomas Okken. A Free35 Simulator?



You gave us the wonderful Free42 simulator. How about a Free35 simulator (free or for pay)? Such a piece of software will allow folks to save and load their programs very easily.


Edited: 11 Aug 2007, 8:28 a.m.


Hi Namir!

How about a Free35 simulator (free or for pay)?

Short answer: Sorry, no.

Long answer: The HP-42S is a truly excellent calculator, and I consider the 1000+ hours it took me to write Free42 to be time well spent; partly because it means that I will always have a virtual HP-42S available to me, even after all the real ones have given up the ghost or ended up sitting unused in collectors' display cases, and also because the fact that many other people are able to use Free42 on their PCs and PDAs gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. (I'm tempted to say "proud", but living in the USA has given me a mild allergy to that word, so I'll settle for "happy" instead. <g>)

I have been asked to write simulators for other HP models before, but unfortunately, with every new simulator I would have to start almost from scratch...

An HP-35s simulator would probably be less work than Free42 was, but it would still amount to hundreds of hours of research and coding, and that doesn't seem worthwhile, just to simulate a calculator that is inferior to the HP-42S in almost every way. It would take a *lot* of donations to make me seriously consider such a project. :-)

- Thomas



Thank you for your answer. I know writing emulators takes a lot of time and effort. A few years ago I wrote one for the HP-67 and I am in the process of developing RPN2 which is an VBA/Excel-based application that implements a programmable RPN engine that supports module-type of labels and paged variables (i.e. variables with namespaces). The RPN2 interpreter also supports matrices, vectors, numerical variables, flags, and string variables. I intend RPN2 to compete with RPL, because you can write libraries that have their own set of variables (named or numbered) and their own labels that don't clash with other routines or the main module that use same names 9with different namespace).

While the RPN2 runs as an Excel application it makes good use of spreadsheets to store single variables, vectors, and matrices. Also the RPN2 implementation makes use of Excel commands to manipulate matrices and manage variables.


Edited: 11 Aug 2007, 12:03 p.m.


Hi Namir,

Have you thought about a stand-alone command-line version of this engine? That would give bc a run for its money...

- Thomas


Sounds a bit like you're recreating the effort that went into the OpenRPN project's *fix interpreter :-)

- Pauli



I have to agree with Thomas. The Free42 simulator does just as much as 35s simulation could and more. I would far rather see Thomas dedicate his simulator program energies to what he does now--a vigilant and quick response to all bug reports (at least mine) and an attitude of continuous improvement.

For me, Free42 is the best HP calculator simulator out there for Palm OS, among other things. I run it on my Palm XT in the ARM version, and even the old 68K version performs fairly well (certainly faster than the real 42s) on my now obsolete Sony Clie. (I really like Power48 too, but that is a work in progress and I believe Robert Hildinger has gotten busy and I think that project is on hold indefinitely.)

35s is a decent calculator, and certainly an improvement over some of HP's recent work, but it isn't so excellent that it deserves simulation. The 42S had it all except for lightning speed (though it was still much faster than the 15C or 41), and is well worth of being perpetuated in Thomas's excellent simulation.


Edited: 12 Aug 2007, 8:31 p.m.


I don't see myself using the 35s emulator. Other emulators including the 42s would be a better emulator to use. The 35s is a good calculator because it's one that you can buy a real unit, new and not for a lot of money. I found myself using the 48 emulator a lot often.

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