WP 34S experience (cable, flashing, overlay, etc)



The photo above is my 30b flashed with the 34S firmware. I purchased the 30b with the intent of making the conversion, so I didn't do much with the calculator prior to flashing. I requested and received the cable very quickly (thanks Gene!). I followed the instructions and the flashing process worked as expected with no surprises.

Immediately after flashing, the the display seemed to be at the highest contrast it was capable of. The first thing I needed to do was adjust the contrast. I searched the 34S Owner's Manual but didn't find anything regarding adjustment of the display. Holding "On" while pressing "+" and "-" made the adjustments, as it does on every other HP calculator I have and it was documented in the Quick Start Guide that come with the 30b. The WP 34S Owner's Manual seems to cover the software extremely well, but the addition of this basic hardware adjustment would be helpful to someone who wasn't familiar with the method from previous experience.

A few days after flashing the calculator (and frustrating myself with my inability to coordinate between the keyboard on screen and the physical calculator) my overlay arrived (thanks Eric!). I had read a few other descriptions and suggestions on this forum for applying the overlay and decided to give it a shot. The overlay proved more durable than it felt as I had to peel back and make a few slight adjustments. Three keys, "h" "<-" and "divide" seem a bit mushy after applying the overlay. After pressing a couple times though they regain their original feel and only feel mushy again after a few hours of no use. I hope they eventually permanently adjust to the normal feel. I believe I had read someone else making the suggestion of slightly larger key openings and I'd second that suggestion, but only slightly larger. The current fit seems almost perfect, but achieving that fit isn't easy and takes a lot of patience. Slightly larger openings would make installation a bit easier. Applying the overlay took a total of about an hour, but I wasn't giving it 100% of my attention at the time. I did use tweezers for holding and aligning the key labels and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. Aesthetics wise, I think I'd prefer rounded corners on the main overlay to mirror the factory corners on the hp logo, metallic bezel, and lcd opening. So far the material and printing seems pretty durable.

Everything I've attempted regarding the software has worked as expected. I haven't had a chance to really stress it, but I've done a bit and between my previous experience, reading this forum, and reading the Owner's Manual I have been able to figure things out so far. I'll certainly ask questions when they arise.

Finally, congratulations to Paul, Walter, Marcus and everyone involved with the WP 34S. This is an extremely impressive project and the results are tremendous. I look forward to using the calculator, showing it to friends and coworkers, and watching the project continue to improve and gain users and popularity.

Edited: 13 June 2011, 9:52 p.m.



Thank you for your kind words. I've included ON + and - in the documentation now. Please see the paragraph "Support Commands" in the most recent Manual_wp_34s_2_0.pdf :-)



You must have downloaded your flash file through the web interface as it does not show the internal revision number but blanks instead. It's better to use either a regular SVN client or wait for another "official" release. The SVN version is always "the leading edge" but at times will be totally broken. Such is progress...

I need to update the zip file soon because we surely do not want people to install and work with a version that is no longer binary compatible with what we have now in the current build.

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