New HP Solve issue now posted at HP site


New HP Solve issue is out


Thanks for the link, Gene.

I read Palmer Hanson's interesting article on algebraic, with its comparison and contrast to RPN. He made the point at the end of the article:

Here's a possible solution for calculators which offer both RPN and algebraic: RPNers frequently use RollDown and x<>y. Algebraic users rarely, if ever, do. Why not share the RollDown function with the left parenthesis function and the x<>y function with the right parenthesis function with the software deciding which option to use depending on which mode the calculator is in.

I actually think HP has gone in the right direction with having already done this on both the 20b and 30b.



Isn't this exactly what HP did in 1990 on the 17bii?


Actually, on the 17bII and 17bII+, the roll down and x<>y functions are shifted. Even with the most recent versions, this is the case. On the 20b and 30b, the roll down and x<>y functions share the keys with the parentheses and are engaged based upon the mode that is selected. This functionality is what Palmer is suggesting as a solution.


Edited: 19 Jan 2011, 10:56 p.m.


Um, no I don't think that's right. I don't have my 17bii+ around right now, but when it is in RPN mode, the parenthesis function as the swap and drop keys. I distinctly remember that being the case.

Can anyone confirm or deny?




I guess I could be wrong as I have never used the 17bII+ in RPN - just algebraic when it was on a store display a number of years ago. What I have seen in pics, and in person, have suggested to me that they are shifted functions. However, I can concede to the idea that the key cap labeling is idiosyncratic.




Ah, it's definitely a shifted function in algebraic, yes.

(I've been searching through piles for the last hour trying to find my 17bii+ now... lol)




I've got a 17bii (not a 17bii+) in front of me:

In ALG mode parens are available without shifting, while in RPN mode the unshifted-paren keys are roll-down and swap. You can shift for these if you'd like to but the shift is not needed.

Additionally, in ALG mode you can use the roll-down and swap functions if you shift first.

Edited: 20 Jan 2011, 2:15 a.m.


Same for 17bii+ Silver.


I read Palmer Hanson's interesting article on algebraic...

I, too enjoyed this article, and I like Palmer's categorization of the three main types of "algebraic" calculators.

Nitpicking, Palmer, I wish you had included reference to the "almost algebraic" HP's that operate similar to the TI's you mentioned, such as 20s, 21s, 22s and 27s.

Except I would further break them down into those that do or don't actually display the parentheses. I.E., some are more "almost" than others!

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