OT: Sharp PC-1280


I need the manual in English for Sharp PC-1280.
Happy New Year !!

Image (c) www.thimet.de


You can buy it here:


or get the German version here


Judging by the source of your image, I suspect you know that link to the German manual...

Best wishes for 2009!

George Bailey

Edited: 31 Dec 2008, 8:58 a.m.


I'm working on a BASIC comparison sheet that includes the PC-1280. Up to now the first page is ready: Memory allocation, programming environment and variables.

OpenOffice format


I plan to add more computers (TI-74 and HP-71) and to complete the comparison in more areas like functions, control structures, I/O, etc.



Great !!! Thank's


The sheet is work in progress so check back often. My last addition includes the HP-71 and the TI-74/CC-40.

There is still a lot to do.


I plan to add more computers (TI-74 and HP-71)
Make sure you include even the third-party modules, LEX files and so on, since part of the power of the 71 was in how it allowed third-party developers and manufacturers to dramatically increase its capabilities beyond what HP gave us. The same was not true of other manufacturers' hand-held computers

Edited: 8 Jan 2009, 4:13 p.m.


I'm afraid I wont because that would go beyond my capabilities. I don't own any of the modules (except HP-IL in my machine) and haven't loaded any LEX files. The comparison sheet is meant to aid in porting from one architecture to the other or to see, how the models and lines have evolved with time. With all the language extensions included there would be one lengthy HP-71 column and nothing to compare to.

I leave this part of the task to others who know more about the HP-71. It would be interesting to have a compact document detailing what the various language extensions (modules or LEX files) add to the base architecture.

When reading the HP-71 manual, a was a bit disappointed how restricted the base language, especially the variable naming, is. Are there any extensions that lift these limits?

Please don't be disappointed, the task is already big enough and the comparison will always be incomplete in some way or the other.



When reading the HP-71 manual, a was a bit disappointed how restricted the base language, especially the variable naming, is. Are there any extensions that lift these limits?
I don't know of anything that totally lifts this particular limitation, but with few exceptions, it did allow entering lines with everything run together with no spaces, and it's smart enough to figure it out anyway and tell you immediately if there are syntax errors, without having to wait until you try to run it. What I have done sometimes is to write programs in text, with longer variable names, indentation, etc. for readability, and no line numbers, then use a search-and-replace function to give it native variable names and a short program to add the line numbers and remove the comments and blank lines before TRANSFORMing to BASIC. Having the readable text version sure made maintenance much easier if you had to go back and figure it out a couple of years later and update the program. I used a full-featured text editor I wrote, which was made possible by the many added LEX files.

After having learned the HP-71 system, I used HP BASIC 5.1 at work which was supposed to be the cat's meow of BAISCs and was very frustratedted with the latter. The Rocky Mountain HP group could have stood to learn a few things from the Corvallis HP group. HP BASIC 5.1 was a big step down from what I had on my 71 which included scores of added keywords and functions from free LEX files I keyed in from the article "LEX Files From Paris" from the CHHU Chronicle. The amount of RAM required for this was small compared to the 177KB of RAM I have. When the 71 was being sold, there was a company that would install 256KB of RAM inside the unit for you, leaving all the ports still available. I just couldn't afford it at the time.

If you don't own any of the modules, you need to at least find out what's in the Math module, since the 71 is considered incomplete without it. It's very impressive. Valentin Albillo or someone else here on the forum has a web page about it but I can't find it at the moment. Maybe he'll see this and tell us where it is.

When you consider all these things, it's an understatement to say it left its competition in the dust.

A few of the resources I have bookmarked are http://holyjoe.org/HP71/index.htm , http://www.hpmuseum.net/exhibit.php?hwdoc=118 , and http://membres.lycos.fr/jeffcalc/jpcrom.html .


I'm not very proficient with the 71. I know that Valentin is very fond of its capabilities, especially concerning the Math module. For me $220 on the auction site is way too much. I once heard that it were possible to load the module contents in one of the ports (my unit has a card reader RAM module from CMT) but I've forgotten where to find this information.

I still believe that a complete listing of this module's features would exceed the scope of my comparison sheet.


The sheet is growing. :)

My understanding of the HP-75 is very weak, because I don't have a machine to play around but I did my best to include it in the comparison.

I've included many functions, like statistics, probability, trigs and hyperbolics,...

Does anybody know how I can extract the HP-71 MATH module LEX from the files coming with EMU-71 and how I can download it to the real thing? I have HP-IL but didn't fire up the ISA-PC for years. I need an "idot's guide" explanation for this.



I have an interesting fact about the PC-1430, another of the BASIC Sharp pocket computers.

I found something really funny, a buffer overflow condition that allows one to recover the password and access the program contents. It's a bit tricky and it corrupts part of the memory, but with this technique you can recover most of the protected contents.

The trick is to fill the complete input buffer (it's around 64 or 80 characters, I don't remember now). When you cannot add more, press the "INS" key repeteadly. Each time you press it, you will "insert" a character, which actually starts moving memory contents at the left of the cursor. You will see some curious characters, supported by the character generator in the computer, although not available on the keyboard. A frequent character is "~", which I guess is the representation of a 0 for that character generator.

If you keep pressing INS repeteadly for some time, more garbage will show, until you find a readable word (of course assuming that the user hasn't put a very weird password).

You Have found it, but it's been overwritten, most likely by the most frequently occuring characters in that memory zone, "~".

Now just clean up the input buffer, keeping eight "~", add the quotes around the new password ("~~~~~~~~"), and the PASS command at the left, press enter, and, voila!


Borja, that's an interesting trick. I don't plan to include it in my comparison sheet but will keep it in mind. The Sharps have an 80 column input buffer.

Work on the sheet will continue soon.

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