HP 15C LE....It's a calculator.....not a finger massager



#34

After reading the previous thread about a negative review and tech support i decided to check out the reviews on the HP website. In the business listing for the 15C LE someone left a one star review for "tactile feedback" not being good. This to me is an over reaction. Being someone who uses calculators at home and p.o.s. (credit/debit card devices at stores) plus tools at work with numeric keypads they are all complete mush compared to the 15C LE. I understand writing a negative review for a unit with a malfunctioning key. To write a one star review on a calculator that IMHO still puts everything else out there to shame in the key department that is new manufacture......come on...... that wasn't necessary.


#35

Not that my opinion counts(even though I have bought 6 15cLEs...), but I concur Mr. Conner.

#36

Well, against all odds and when I had lost all hope, my unit surfaced at the customs office (in a town that will remain unnamed) - so finally I got mine (only bought ONE, that suffices as I'm not interested in speculative auctioning :-) - ordered back in early July, from the supplier that sells international - that's a while ago.

It arrived in good shape, despite it was in an envelop (no cardboard box). Luckily it must be one of the good ones: no rattling keys, all registering properly, self-tests passed with flying colors. In sum, a great looking calculator, rivaling the original one in my book.

I'm happy ;-)


#37

Quote:
... self-tests passed with flying colors.

That must refer to the new self-tests, not the original 15C self tests. The old 'ON plus *' and 'ON plus +' self tests always fail on the 15C-LE, and corrupt program memory.


#38

No, it correctly emulates the 15c which also corrupts memory when it fails the self test.

TW

Edited: 6 Oct 2011, 5:20 p.m.


#39

Tim, I'm sure you must be joking!

I replied to a post alleging "...self-tests passed with flying colors" (some rather pertinent information missing!) with:

"That must refer to the new self-tests, not the original 15C self tests."

Do you contest my statement? If so, what is inaccurate?

I then continued:

"The old 'ON plus *' and 'ON plus +' self tests always fail on the 15C-LE, and corrupt program memory."

Do you contest my statement? If so, what is inaccurate?

Your response was "No, it correctly emulates the 15c which also corrupts memory when it fails the self test."

You use "No" in your response with an apparently novel sense of meaning, one with which I am not familiar. :-)

What remains unacknowledged within your response is the fact that the 15C-LE always fails these tests. This is a 'feature' that, I have the honor to point out, the original 15C does not possess.

It seems fabulous that all those months of beta testing did not reveal this fault. Eliminating reference to the old self tests in version 2.4 of the Owner's Handbook does not make this fault go away, even if some would like to believe that's all it takes.


Edited: 6 Oct 2011, 6:13 p.m.


#40

Mike; Tim's answer is consistent with his sense of (gallows) humor. Read it like that.

And while i think that he's funny; i'll acknowledge that frau Wessman must be a saint.

I understand none of the 15's problems would have happened on Rickover's watch, but these guys didn't have Rickover's budget either.


#41

Quote:
I understand none of the 15's problems would have happened on Rickover's watch, but these guys didn't have Rickover's budget either.

If you are referring to "the Admiral", many of us who worked in his program considered him a legend, but also a liability who should have been retired at least 20 years earlier.

#42

Quote:
It seems fabulous that all those months of beta testing did not reveal this fault.

You could never be accused of less than entertaining editorials. ;)

Quote:
Eliminating reference to the old self tests in version 2.4 of the Owner's Handbook does not make this fault go away, even if some would like to believe that's all it takes.

I have to agree. This is so engrained in the synapses of
the captive market for this device, dismissing it as a
documentation footnote feels at least a little sacrilegious.
Same for rotate-22 which deserves recognition in its own right
and is effectively trivial to support.

Edited: 6 Oct 2011, 9:53 p.m.

#43

Uh, emulators are hard. Trying to make a program work on a new architecture when you have *NO SOURCE CODE* is hard. While it might make you feel all nostalgic to see the 'original' self tests working on your 15C LE, I'd imagine most of us would rather have the PSE bug and power consumption issues gone. If we could have both, that would be great, but I imagine the calculator division's programmers (who may consist solely of Cyrille) have things to work on besides the 15C.


#44

From my POV, the thing that bothers me most are the large percentage of keyboard failures. I'm fortunate that the 4 units I bought were good with no hard/bad keys, and had there been any, it would have been a simple matter to return them for refund/replacement, since I live in the USA. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone living outside the USA, waiting for weeks and paying high shipping costs and customs fees, only to discover that the calc is faulty. It's this poor physical quality control that I find to be unforgivable. I hope that HP has the good sense to hold up distribution of the remaining units, until all of the faulty units are identified and scrapped.


#45

Quote:
... I hope that HP has the good sense to hold up distribution of the remaining units, until all of the faulty units are identified and scrapped.

Me too, even nothing suggests so so far.
#46

Quote:
While it might make you feel all nostalgic to see the 'original' self tests working on your 15C LE,...

Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. Correcting a condition that can be executed from the keyboard and that always corrupts program memory is the really important point, but one upon which it seems little significance is being attached.

Quote:
...I'd imagine most of us would rather have the PSE bug and power consumption issues gone.

Certainly, the PSE bug noted here a month ago is the most urgent problem, followed closely by the power management problems...though emulation is always a grand waste of battery energy even under the best of circumstances.

Quote:
...I imagine the calculator division's programmers (who may consist solely of Cyrille) have things to work on besides the 15C.

However, at about $100 (-25/+100 percent), the HP 15C-LE is very expensive for what it offers. One can easily argue that a $13 Casio fx-115/991ES, though non-programmable, is more sophisticated in many areas. The HP 50G for a 25 percent premium is several orders of magnitude a better value than a 15C-LE. In any evaluation, the price of the 15C-LE justifies expectations of better firmware emulation, better alpha- and beta-testing, and an Owner's Handbook with fewer errors (including all those still in the most recent Edition 2.4).

I can't understand why HP wastes effort with inferior emulation of 30-year-old products. The HP 12C and the HP 15C are part of old old history, long since replaced by far more capable machines. Why isn't HP development effort being directed to producing something as or more capable and the same size as the never-equaled 23-year-old HP 42S? Let's climb above the standards of 1988.


#47

Quote:
I can't understand why HP wastes effort with inferior emulation of 30-year-old products. The HP 12C and the HP 15C are part of old old history, long since replaced by far more capable machines.

Answers: 12c, because it still sells well. 15c: because it appeals to nostalgic Baby Boomers (and more) therefore also sells well.
Quote:
Why isn't HP development effort being directed to producing something as or more capable and the same size as the never-equaled 23-year-old HP 42S?

Answer: It has. Its called the 30b. It's just not available in a scientific model, at least from HP. Yet.

Edited: 6 Oct 2011, 10:52 p.m.

#48

I paid $104 for my 50g from Amazon,

and $99 for my 15c LE from Amazon.

#49

Quote:
While it might make you feel all nostalgic to see the 'original' self tests working on your 15C LE, I'd imagine most of us would rather have the PSE bug and power consumption issues gone.

I probably wasn't clear. Compatibility rather than nostalgia is the
concern. Allowing a new user to pick up a 15c le and run the 30 year
familiar voyager legacy self test, resulting in both error and subtle
data corruption, isn't in anyone's best interest.

Furthermore given the precedent of the 12c+ supporting both system and
keyboard tests as did the original 12c, an expectation is setup for the
encore 15c le to behave functionally equivalent to its predecessor.


#50

That's been my whole point about the old self-tests for a month now. Thanks for expressing it so clearly.

#51

The question is "Can HP make the self tests work?" or "What makes them fail?". It must be an inconsistency in the emulation layer that may or may not be avoidable. If it's inevitable and patching the original ROM isn't an option then the best way to deal with the issue would be to trap the key combinations in the emulation layer and redirect them to the new self tests. This way, the old code has no chance to be ever executed which would eliminate the problem once and for all.


#52

Quote:
The question is "Can HP make the self tests work?" or "What makes them fail?". It must be an inconsistency in the emulation layer that may or may not be avoidable.

I'm sure its in the development pipe as it isn't that hard
to support. It was actually one of the first snags I encountered
with KEMU which I wanted to accommodate as it does validate basic
NUT/ram/rom integrity. It isn't however exhaustive and the
level of test attempted could in large part be accomplished
by statically validating the NUT instruction emulation accuracy.
I had several bugs due to my misinterpretation of the HP NOMAS
holy scroll documents which weren't caught by the system
self test. Other dark corners such as ptr == 13 scenarios
aren't addressed at all, which isn't surprising.

Quote:
If it's inevitable and patching the original ROM isn't an option then the best way to deal with the issue would be to trap the key combinations in the emulation layer and redirect them to the new self tests. This way, the old code has no chance to be ever executed which would eliminate the problem once and for all.

I think that's more work than just accommodating the self test
in the first place. Doing so also has the desirable scaling
property of functioning as the user most likely expects and
eliminating the ongoing tech support burden needed to explain
why the 15c le behaves differently.

Edited: 7 Oct 2011, 12:54 p.m.


#53

Quote:
...HP NOMAS holy scroll documents...

Hmmm. Are these generally available somewhere? I, for one, would love to have a look at these. Any links you can supply?

Cheers...

#54

only bought ONE, that suffices as I'm not interested in speculative auctioning :-)


Don't worry, all 6 are for me and mine. #1 is in my shirt pocket right now, #2 is on my friend's desk at the training nuclear reactor that he helps run. #3 is a spare for me if/when my first stringer fails... #4 is going to be a christmas present for an old engineer that i know that absolutely cherishes his original HP 15C (that he still uses and is on his desk EVERYDAY). #5 May go to my girlfriend if she can prove to me that she will use it (damned civil engineer...) and #6 is the only one that i have found to not be able to pass the self test and will be sent back to HP probably over the weekend. :(

When I try to run the self test or any other operation it will work fine for the first 1-10 keypresses but after the battery and components heat up it will really start screwing up. Normally it will begin missing segments of numbers or whole numbers all together in the display. Very wierd!!! If it has been off for awhile I can complete a self test and it will display the "15" at the end but try it again after 5 minutes of on time and it begins missing segments badly...


Also the first thing I did when I got my 6 HP 15c LEs was run all three self tests then promptly remove the batteries (except for the one i keep in my shirt pocket and gave away to my nerdy nuclear friend...). I think that this is the only calculator that I have purchased that came with the batteries already in the device.


#55

I didn't mean to imply that everybody buying multiple units would be doing speculative auctioning - but certainly you'd agree with me that such cases have occurred?

Also I didn't specify which tests were passing with flying colors because there was NO NEED for it - we all know by now about that, it's been repeated to death. So I disagree with the comment 'pertinent information missing' - or would it be possible that they were the old ones? No, right.

Cheers,
'AM

#56

Honestly, I don't see the problem with the old self-tests such a big issue. Simply avoid them, that's one of the benefits of reading this forum so we all know about the glitch and also know how to invoke the new ones.

Yes for sure the information in the manual should be amended, but here again it'd've bothered me much more if the unit had loose keyes or non-reliable registering.

The PAUSE bug is much worse, IMHO. That and the battery beating with the current draw sure is claiming for a firmware update. Coincidentally I also got the cable from Gene yesterday (thanks mate!) so I'm all set... waiting for the bits of course.

Edited: 7 Oct 2011, 2:19 a.m.


#57

Quote:
Honestly, I don't see the problem with the old self-tests such a big issue. Simply avoid them,...

That would be an absolutely disastrous attitude for any company to adopt for any product! (Of course, HP has a history of such, even back in the 'good old days'. I hope they fired those responsible for the sheer incompetency of Woodstock battery/charger design, 36 years ago.)

Quote:
...that's one of the benefits of reading this forum so we all know about the glitch and also know how to invoke the new ones.

What percentage of 15C-LE users read this forum? Unfair question? Well then let's extend the time and ask what percentage of 15C-LE users five years from now will have read this forum at just the right time to have been exposed to these issues? Any company hanging its hope on an unofficial and somewhat obscure web forum to convey information to a customer five years from now would be woefully delusional. (Then there's the issue of how difficult it is to actually search old postings here, even if you know it's here somewhere.)

Edited: 7 Oct 2011, 11:46 a.m.


#58

Quote:
What percentage of 15C-LE users read this forum?

Probably 90%


#59

I think you either underestimate the widespread appeal of the 15c, or overestimate the membership of this forum.

#60

Quote:
Probably 90%

Undoubtedly too high by at least an order of magnitude. In fact, I think 0.9 percent would be an even better estimate.

Edited: 7 Oct 2011, 4:23 p.m.


#61

But how do people find out that the HP15C/LE is available ? Certainly outside USA it might mostly be from this forum ? I certainly wouldn't have known other than by chance seeing it mentioned here first.
It's certainly not on many country HP sites !


#62

Quote:
If you provide an optional email address, I will also try to keep you informed as to the progress of this effort.

I found this written at the "Bring Back the 15C" website. If the webmaster is true to his word, some percentage of the 15,479 signees received an email regarding the re-release, who then could have told friends.

Based on this knowledge, I would gamble Kevin Bacon heard about the re-release..


#63

I signed up the petition but never heard anything back from them.


#64

Same here.


#65

make that three.

If not for HP Forum I'd not have heard of the 15c LE and probably not the 12c 30AE.

#66

Quote:
Quote: Probably 90%

Undoubtedly too high by at least an order of magnitude. In fact, I think 0.9 percent would be an even better estimate.


Probably somewhere inbetween, perhaps towards the low end:

How many folks here on the forum have bought a 15C LE?

A lower limit would be the number reporting to the keyboard survey taken a week or two ago. Without looking it up, I recollect that around 50 people may have responded. Let's assume a comparable number didn't report (probably because their keyboard is fine - thereby skewing the "bad keyboard" fraction, by the way), so around 100.

This group collectively certainly bought an average of more than one calculator. Let's guess 2 or 3. So, forum members probably bought 200-300 new calculators.

If the original lot now being distributed is 3000, as surmised here several times, that leaves more than 2500 calculators to be ultimately bought by others (i.e. not counting the mass purchases by ebay speculators). Almost certainly these buyers will not purchase many more than 1 per person on average. (Many of these buyers may have spotted the calculator on ebay, from the resellers.)

So, around 100 buyers here, and around 2500 buyers elsewhere, or

around 4% of buyers are forum members (probably within a factor of 2 to 4)

This is to astronomical accuracy: a joke amongst astronomers goes "We feel good if we get the significant figures in the exponent correct!"


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