HP35s Loose Ends



#2

I did a little research of the forum archives to catch up on other observations of this little beast.

Did the uninterruptable program "feature" ever get worked out?

My HP35s serial number is 80700096. I note the lockup problems were reported with serial numbers 72100nnn. Looks like there was an effort to ferret out the problem, but I didn't find any posts reporting a resolution - or a way to reproduce.

I'm a little nonplussed about some of the programming features. Some are nice additions to the KSL programming paradigm, such as equation evaluation, but then I run into some really strange limitations, like not being able to name my programs with anything but a single letter, and not having any user defined function keys available! I'm sure this is a good calculator, but it's strangely less capable, in many ways, than the HP41 - a model nearly 30 years older.

I like the fact that I can absorb most of the details of this calculator in one day and use it to do some heavy lifting and write non-trivial programs fairly quickly. Overall, nice, but I think I'll end up classifying this tool the way I do my HP16C: a good, quick use, tool for knocking out rote calculations, but not a programming platform - there's just too many ways to lose programs with this model (no memory backup), and you really can't put that many programs on it at the same time anyway.

Could this calculator have been better? Probably. I'm sure it was tested quite a bit, but somehow it feels like it may have been rushed out the door a little prematurely. Still, I find I'm liking it quite a bit, even if there are a few loose ends left to work on.




MikeO


Edited: 19 Aug 2008, 1:40 a.m.


#3

Hi Mike,

Quote:
... nice additions to the KSL programming paradigm ...

??
Quote:
Could this calculator have been better? Probably.

Fully agreed. Please see a lot of earlier threads, and redesigns from June, 2007, on.

#4

Thanks Walter.

KSL "Key Stroke Language".


#5

Thanks Mike,

FWIW, my newest design proposals look like this - with the SD slots not visible in these views, of course ;)


Edited to correct an error noticed by Patrice (see below).


Edited: 19 Aug 2008, 6:51 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#6

Why don't you give your prototypes a real ALPHA keyboard (like the one on the 41 or on the 48/49/50 series)?

The lack of this keyboard is the main reason why I dislike the 42 and never really started writing programs on it. But i did write programs on the 41 and I do write programs on the 48/49/50.


#7

Hi Patrick,

you'll find alphabetic ALPHA keyboards in my older drafts (e.g. in message #2 above). There were some discussions about clutter in this forum and elsewhere, however, so I decided I'd rather place 26 different menus on the keyboard than spoil it with 26 labels for one single purpose. IMHO the 48-style keyboards are pretty cluttered. Your mileage may vary. Maybe we shall ask for a poll?

BTW, you may reach a *real* ALPHA keyboard (i.e. QWERT) with a Voyager-based design. But we talk about Portrait-shaped calcs here.

Edited: 19 Aug 2008, 4:57 a.m.


#8

Hello Walter.

Thanks for your answer!

Sure, there are different ways of approach. I personnally prefer a dedicated alpha keyboard, but tastes always vary.

I am sure that when being familiar with the HP42-way of entering text, it can certainly be done quite fast. But for someone who never really tried it, this way is really "strange".


#9

Quote:
Sure, there are different ways of approach.

For a new calculator I would prefer a mobile phone/SMS/T9 style text entry. Most new users are familiar with that one ;-)


#10

Quote:
For a new calculator I would prefer a mobile phone/SMS/T9 style text entry.

And don't forget to revert the numeric keys, else those folks won't find the letters ;)
#11

Hi Walter,

May be I miss someting but I don't understand why there is 2 menus named FLOW on the 45S.

Or I am affraid to understand: a too quick paste ?

By the way, nice work, even if it don't meet my tastes :(

Did you push thing to define what is in the menus ?

Regards
patrice


#12

Ooops, merci bien, Patrice, vraiment you're right. I will correct my fault in the original view. As you guessed, this happened when I shifted labels too often looking for their best location ;)

Quote:
Did you push thing to define what is in the menus ?

I did publish the complete mathematical part of the menu contents and some background information in HPCC DATAFILE V27N3 in May for the 44S. The 44S is a smaller sibling of the 45S, based on the HP 17bii Silver. In total, a family of 6 calculators was created (Portrait, Landscape, progrommable and non-programmable) sharing many ideas. If you are interested, please let me know.

Salutations, Walter

#13

Walter,
Nice layouts! Would the "ALPHA" menu would provide a softmenu access to the alpha characters similar to the 17BII?

I like the larger display.

Thanks,
Mike


#14

Hi Mike,

The ALPHA menu has a similar structure as in HP 42S. The first soft menu line showing up after calling ALPHA is

ABCDE FGHIJ KLMNO PQRST UVWXY Z.?}:"

After switching to lower case, the same will look like

abcde fghij klmno pqrst uvwxy z,!>;'

BTW, the display shall have 48x132 dots.

Regards, Walter

#15

Quote:
FWIW, my newest design proposals look like this

The 43s gets my vote - but I doubt that HP will produce anything like it. Marketing will say that the Pioneer form factor is too "dated". I guess that's why this "dated" engineer prefers that look.

Chances are, they will not even produce anything more in the 35s FF - that may end up being just a 35th anniversary "flash in the pan". If they do produce another programmable scientific in the near future, I'll bet it will be in the 20b FF.

#16

Quote:
Did the uninterruptable program "feature" ever get worked out?

My HP35s serial number is 80700096. I note the lockup problems were reported with serial numbers 72100nnn. Looks like there was an effort to ferret out the problem, but I didn't find any posts reporting a resolution - or a way to reproduce.


Cause and reproduction of the uninterruptible program bug are discussed here. Please try the tests on your unit and let us know if it has the bug. If not, maybe there has been an unpublicized rom revision which would hopefully also address some of the
other bugs and "features."


#17

Thanks Jeff! I overlooked this thread in my search.

I did try the program test given and it indeed locks up my HP35s.

I enjoyed reading the "is bug/is not bug" sideline in the later half of the thread! Should risk stating my opinion: if the R/S key can't stop a running/waiting program, that is a bug. 8-)

Is the running HP35s bug list still being maintained? As an article perhaps?

Thanks,
MikeO


#18

Yes the list is being maintained as an article: HP35 bug list.

There just hasn't been any activity on this for ages.

- Pauli


#19

Thanks Paul,
I searched with everything *except* HP-35s! Otherwise I would have found this. I don't know if item 10 in the top/bug half is exactly the same as item 1 in the bottom/notabug half, but they sure look similar.

Anyway, at least I know what to watch out for. Thanks for putting this together, and to the forum members for their help as well.

-MikeO


#20

Yes, they are the same. The non-bug version has been removed.
This means anybody checking the numbers will now get confused :-)

- Pauli

#21

Quote:
Could this calculator have been better? Probably. I'm sure it was tested quite a bit, but somehow it feels like it may have been rushed out the door a little prematurely.

To some extent the 35s was "rushed out the door" so that it could be part of the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the introduction of the 35. Additional design iterations to fix the bugs might have delayed the introduction into 2008, so ... marketing wins again.

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