30B - On The Way - from USA !



#34

To All:

30B finally on HP domestic shopping site:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/calculator/HP/1/storefronts/NW238AA%2523ABA?jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

Ordered the beastie today and will have a review after receipt and familiarization.

As a Classic (45 and 80 used daily) and 12-C fan (when the 80 is "too little gun") , this will be an interesting experience.


#35

I'm still waiting for mine from Dynatech.de. I sent an inquiry and got the response that HP wasn't shipping yet.

...

Still waiting...


#36

Dear Marcus:

Uh-oh.....

Thought they were rolling this machine out in Europe first.

Will keep everyone posted on the buying experience as it unfolds.

HP sure is not what is when the 45,55,and 65 ruled the roost.

Cheers.

John

#37

To All:

My 30B showed up today - sharp one day after ordering.

Initial impressions:

- Nice blister packaging - "Cut Here" line to remove; no Kung-Fu
swordplay to open the retail packaging

- Case shape similar to "Casio" -derived SmartCalc 300S - would prefer closer to HP-35S

- Unusually light weight. Put some lead or depeleted plutonium in the hollow spaces to give it some heft :)


- Good keyboard tactile feel

- Scientific functions on shifted Blue keys; i believe they were originally buried in a menu somewhere.

- Crappy sleeve/pocket case - typical Ch****e stuff.


- Overall a nice horizontal-format business/stat/scientific machine. Good successor to HP-27 "Woodstock" (one of my favorites)

Will post detailed functional evaluation later.

Marcus - I hope you get yours quickly.

John Stark


#38

To all:

Sorry 'bout describing HP.30B as "nice HORIZONTAL format unit", I ment nice "VERTICAL" format calculator layout.

John

#39

Quote:
Put some lead or depeleted plutonium in the hollow spaces to give it some heft :)

Better stick with lead; however, if you really need the extra density, use depleted uranium.{:-)

#40

Here is something with a little less component of unobtainium:

http://www.maximum-velocity.com/tungstenputty.htm

#41

John,

Did you get a keypad "programming" overlay in the package? Per the 20b/30b User's Guide, it's supposed to be included and shows the position of the programming functions that are accessed by pressing and holding SHIFT along with one of the keys marked on the overlay.

-Katie


#42

Dear Katie:

Sure did. Slipped in amongst the HP promotional flyers and reply card.

I have no use for it. If it can't be done with keystrokes, out comes Excel,SPSS,Systat and the like on the ol' Lap-top.

If you need one, I will be happy to send mine to you.

John Stark


#43

John, but suppose there is a keystroke that is in a menu somewhere on the 30b, and you need to use it frequently so you'd like to assign it to a key (or a shift key or, even better, a shift hold key). You can do it with a simple program. See Gene's examples in the learning modules at the HP site.

Don

#44

John, here is Gene's learning module about assigning functions in menus to a key. He has two examples here. It's really pretty cool.

Edited: 20 June 2010, 11:08 a.m.

#45

John,

I didn't get an overlay (and I just purchased it a couple of weeks ago via hp.com). Can I take you up on your offer of sending the overlay? If so, you can contact me at sancerre @ gmail . com (no spaces).

--Sancerre


#46

They usually are in the back cover of the QSG. Did you flip through all of the pages there?

TW

#47

Dear Sancerre:

Will be glad to forward the overlay.

Please send address info to:

jtstark@gmail <<<dot>>>com

Have a fine day.

John

#48

John,

I'm not a fan of keyboard overlays either, but thank you for the offer. Given the "Black S" (Black Scholes) printing above the "Bond" key I think it would have been ok if HP printed all the programming-related SHIFT-HOLD functions as well instead of providing them on a template. I suppose that this might make the calculator more intimidating to financial users, but no more so than the HP-12C is. Anyway, it's not hard to memorize the key locations and avoid the overlay.

-Katie


#49

Katie:

Assume you don not want the overlay; if that is the case then Sancerre gets it.

John


#50

John,

Thanks again, but please send it to Sancerre.

-Katie

#51

I must admit I can't quite understand the comment:

"I have no use for it. If it can't be done with keystrokes, out comes Excel..."


For example, computing the coefficient of variation requires accessing the standard deviation and the mean. Both of these are in menus, so they are accessible by "keystrokes". By my count, it takes 5 keystrokes to get to the mean and 7 to get to the standard deviation, plus the keystrokes to store these values and do the required division. Since those are keystrokes, your comment might suggest you would use the 30b and not go off to Excel.

However, by writing an INCREDIBLY short / easy program ONE TIME, you can compute the coefficient of variation in a total of 2 keystrokes.

So, at least 14-15 keystrokes turned into 2 by spending 5-10 minutes writing a program.

Sure, if you only compute that one time, then why bother? But if there are any things you do that you might need to do repeatedly, then the time spent is very well rewarded.

Using functions in menus are much more user-friendly when placed into VERY short programs and assigned to keys. The examples in the learning modules show how to assign the inverse trig functions to the shift-hold trig key positions. MUCH easier and faster than going through the menus.

I think that was Don's point. You can certainly access those through keystrokes, but why not consider entering a few short programs one time to reduce your keystroke count by a large number?

And, yes, we're all different, I know.


#52

Now I remember why I switched majors from Engineering to Finance.

Engineers ALWAYS HAVE TO BE RIGHT. AND SAY IT IN CAPS.

Anyway, will investigate doing repetitive things on the 30B via short "keystroke" programs.

John


#53

John; Not sure you knew it but Gene is a bean counter, albeit one of the few that writes his own programs (not to mention- a textbook on bean analysis).

#54

That was actually the original intent of the 30b "programming". In fact, it was called "macros" for a long time. The idea was you could pull frequently used things out of menus, and write a short little equations to use with the solver.

However, those nasty beta testers kept asking and complaining for more and more. . . pretty soon you had loops, tests, subroutines and more just to shut them up! ;-)

TW


#55

Dear Tim:

Very interesting. Good example of a "muddled" feature set, terminology, and message to the end-user.

"Programmable" scares off some folks, and raises the expectations of others.

"Keystroke Shortcuts", or "Macros" implies convenience and end user customization.

The latter recalls the user-defined keys on the Classic card-programmables and the 48-50 series. Indeed I have used the U/D keys on 48-series to quickly access functions buried in the menu system, although I am by no means a "programmer".

Appreciate everyone's comments - hope HP is listening.

John


#56

We do. Whether we can do anything about it is another question entirely. :-D

TW

P.S. - Does this forum support a signature of any kind? It would be very nice to have if not. . .


#57

Quote:
We do.

By "We", you mean Cyrille and yourself?
Quote:
Whether we can do anything about it is another question entirely. :-D

Then who can?
#58

Quote:
However, those nasty beta testers kept asking and complaining for more and more. . . pretty soon you had loops, tests, subroutines and more just to shut them up! ;-)

Again, this makes me concerned about the processes and procedures at HP.

First determine the feature set
Then freeze the baseline
Minimize product feature creep - beta testers are testers, not product developers
Keep the valuable feature requests from your beta testers as a wish list for a product upgrade, people are more willing to buy an upgrade if the original worked properly in the first place.

40 years ago one could get away with loose development methods because markup margins were high, but in today's cut-throat, short-time-to-market environment, stricter processes and procedures are needed and have to be followed in order to survive.

AND THIS IS MY OPINION (which is always right, of course ;-) )

#59

Quote:
Again, this makes me concerned about the processes and procedures at HP.

First determine the feature set
Then freeze the baseline
Minimize product feature creep - beta testers are testers, not product developers
Keep the valuable feature requests from your beta testers as a wish list for a product upgrade [...]

But if the beta testers are screaming for something, it's a very safe bet that the end-users will also. Basically, it means that the original feature set wasn't right.

If the 30b just had macros and no loops or other flow-of-control instructions, we would be roasting HP for making such an obvious mistake.

Dave


#60

Just so you feel a bit better Bart, all the major features were determined before the full beta group was officially organized. I was being a bit sarcastic when I was talking about them "whining and complaining" causing things to be added. In initial product feedback with a few individuals is where the requests for that showed up. Us being calculator nuts, we tend to agree with stuff like that. :-)

Mostly, the beta testers did a fantastic job with the polishing - especially to get the 30b the point that everyone was happy with the program editing. Originally, it had a few quirks due to the underlying system and everyone was much happier after the polishing.

What you describe fits very well using a traditional waterfall development method. However, your description of a 1) cut-throat 2) short-time-to-market situation describes a perfect example of where one would choose to use a more agile method IMO.

TW

Edited: 22 June 2010, 10:25 a.m.


#61

Quote:
Just so you feel a bit better Bart, all the major features were determined before the full beta group was officially organized.

That's good to know.


Quote:
I was being a bit sarcastic...

Sorry, I didn't pick up on that, having a glum day at the office.


Quote:
Mostly, the beta testers did a fantastic job with the polishing...

I realise that and did say their input was "valuable".


Quote:
However, your description of a 1) cut-throat 2) short-time-to-market situation describes a perfect example of where one would choose to use a more agile method IMO.

I feel exactly the opposite, let's agree to dis-agree.

I guess I've touched on this point enough times now, so I'll attempt to restrain myself from doing so in future posts.
#62

Either the original feature set wasn't thought out properly, otherwise, TOUGH - there's too much risk of faults like those on the 35s slipping through due to last miniute changes.

We're already continually roasting HP for not making the quality products of old and going on and on about "HP integrity" and quoting the "2.02 ln e^x" bug. Both sides (producers and users) must understand you can't have it all. In 1972 it was easy, there was nothing like the original 35 out there. Now everybody has had calculators for years there's an endless wish list - we all know how to build a better one.

By the way, apart from a few eager programmers (which most of this forum's members consist of), there are probably many more financial calculator users out there that just want to acces deep menu items quickly - macro's would be just fine for them. They would probably not need to program new functions or formula's or routines that require loops etc.

Besides, adding loops and flow control would be well partnered with more user memory, in a 30bii.

#63

Actually, I didn't feel I was being all that testy.

I just didn't understand the blanket rejection of anything "non-keyboard".

If you really don't want to be efficient (and finance people usually do), then by all means, pull out a laptop, wake it from sleep, start Excel, and do something you could have already loaded into the HP 30b.

I did not even mention the HP SOLVE feature on the HP 30b. Since you are in finance, you might have a need to solve loan problems where the first period does not have exactly 30 days in it. By entering the program found in this learning module once, you will always have the ability to run the program and solve for all the TVM variables when there are an odd number of days in the first period. Useful? Perhaps.

Generalized odd-days loan solver example for the HP 30b

And, yes, I have enough of my undergraduate computer science degree to act somewhat like an engineer, but as a former college professor, I have always tried to encourage people to choose wisely and not dismiss things out of hand.

Testy? Not yet.

#64

Quote:
Engineers always have to be right. And say it in caps.

JOHN, I THINK YOU MUST BE WRONG, BECAUSE I'M NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL.

#65

dear martin:

neither am i.

perhaps you are the exception to the observed anecdotal rule.

anyway - what an INTERESTING!!!! :) thread on the 30B; to repeat meyself, I sure hope HP listens to this entire forum and considers it in its development cycle.

of course, not being ever involved in a large corporate structure, i do not konw or understand the details of how a new product is developed in today's lean, mean world.

keep on posting, everyone !

john

PS: My fling with the 30B started when I wanted to supplement an HP.80 in use for some time. I had an older 12.C which started getting flaky.

Bought 30B online and began my narrative.

This morning, went to Office Despot and got another 12.C. Two batteries and a "programming" plug under the cover. You experts can tell me what that means.

Bottom line, emotionally, not logically: The 12.C still has a "soul"; the 30B is "hollow". Both do what I need in terms of simple financial,bond,and statistical work.


30B will most likely wind up in the "For Sale" section of this forum available to a good home.

Thanks for listening to a "McCoy" in the midst of a forum of "Spocks" :).

JTS


#66

Quote:
This morning, went to Office Despot and got another 12.C. Two batteries and a "programming" plug under the cover. You experts can tell me what that means.

It means that you bought a calculator with "the soul of an old machine". It's got an new ARM-based processor in there that's running an emulator of the original voyager CPU and the code the emulator is running is the original 12C ROM image. So it's both really fast and really old.

I have to say that I like the 12C+ (what you bought) better than the 30b as a financial calculator. You can certainly do much more on the 30b, in the way of financial functions, statistics and programming, but for overall usability and looks I like the 12C+ the best.


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