HP 15C LE Owner's Manual comments



#2

The manual seems to be a virtual copy of the original 1980s manual, updated to produce a good quality PDF. Unfortunately, the font used seems to be a bit smaller, and as a result text uses less space on each page. The effect is that there is too much white space on many pages, or at least all the white space is not distributed in the same manner that was attempted in the original manual. I suppose this is done to maintain page agreement as closely as possible with the original manual. There were odd formatting results in the 1980s manual, too, with regard to white space and page layout. The new fonts are easier to read.

Despite my criticisms, there is a quality about the writing that is less prevalent today than yesteryear, and it is delightful to read it.

Some of the changes I recommend are subtle, involving, for example, changing a period to a comma. Such differences are difficult to spot at first glance.

p20: "Decimal digits from the mantissa that spill into the exponent field will disappear from the display when you press ¯, but will be retained internally."
Huh?

p22: "+, -, x and ÷ are examples of two-number functions."
should be
"+, -, x, and ÷ are examples of two-number functions."

p23: Not sure why the last example is bolded.

p41:
"be sure and clear the display before entering the new variable."
but I think it should read
"be sure to clear the display before entering the new variable."

p 49: "disable stack lift, so the stack will not lift when the next number is keyed in."
But this follows a single subject, so I opine that it should read
"disable[s] stack lift, so the stack will not lift when the next number is keyed in."

p 53: "calculate the average fertilizer application, x."
should be ?
"calculate the average fertilizer application, x,"
or, alternatively, if x is restrictive,
"calculate the average fertilizer application x," (no comma) as I believe it should be, similar to "average grain yield y" following.
(At any rate, they should both be the same, and there is still the matter of the period in the middle of the sentence.)

p57: In the symbol set following
"Polar vector coordinates must be converted to rectangular coordinates upon entry"
there should be a comma after r.

...and I opine that the minus sign for "-200 and 200 grads" should be on the same line with the 200, because it is not a hyphen, but the sign of 200 grads.

[A matter of preference, this next bit...]
"Up to six decimal places can be shown since the exponent display takes three spaces."
might be changed to
"Up to six decimal places can be shown BECAUSE the exponent display takes three spaces."
While /I/ think of "since" as relating to time, I recognize that it is increasingly accepted for "because," though I regret the acceptance.

p61: "12.345.6700" should be
"12.345,6700"

p61: "The blinking can be stopped and flag 9 cleared by pressing"
should be ?
"The blinking can be stopped, and flag 9, cleared by pressing"
and a comma after the ON that follows it (I think).

p67: In several places, dashes | hyphens | minus signs are used for an em [dash].
It is used in other places (p61): "If you attempt an improper operation—such as division by zero—an error".
In this instance, the minus sign looks out of place
"A label instruction –"
In general, the usage is not consistent; even where the em dash is used, spacing around the em dash varies:
p70: "registers—RI, R0, and R1 — remaining);"

p74: I think the series here "(1, 2, 9, 0 from left to right)."
might be better as
"(1, 2...9, 0) from left to right."

p78: when I first read this line,
"press any one key to remove"
I thought that I must press the 1 key, which I knew to be incorrect...perhaps it could be rewritten...
"press any single key to remove"

p81: There is an oddly short sentence in the middle of a paragraph.
"level (138 db) at a point near the source,"
but I have not checked to see if it was also in the original manual.
db should be dB?

[aside] It appears that this manual was not rewritten in its entirely, because there are some images that show lossy compression effects.

p81: "(r = 3 km)" the r is not italic as it is elsewhere in this section.

p81: I found the quotes in this phrase
A "typical large" tomato
It seems that
A "typical" large tomato
A "typical large tomato"
might be better, or even skip the quotes...

p81:
It seems that "Answer: for the 230 g tomato above"
might be better as
"Answer: For the 230 g tomato above"
because the answer is a complete sentence.

p93, 94: I b'lieve the abbreviation for Curie is Ci -> mCi

p94: graphical error on key displays

p105: There seems to be some sort of artifact a few lines from the bottom of the page, following the GSB key.

p109: "Is the increment of decrement value"
should be
"Is the increment or decrement value"

p110: All the blue graphics that bracket 0.0 5 0 0 2 are misplaced to the left.

p113: The value 3.000001 seems to be incorrect; I think it should be 3.00001. See text at top of p113.

p114: The sequence at the top of the page, 15 CHS STO I, has run into the next sequence, f A.

p114: Is there enough room to put "Running program loop counter = 3." on one line?

p114: OK. This is one of my pet peeves. What happened to the word "use"?
"It utilizes a loop containing" sounds so pretentious. There may be a place to use (!) "utilize" rather than "use," but it seems that no one writes with "use" these days.

p116: "Refer to page 58-59" might be better as "Refer to pages 58-59".

p124: "Press f Re<>Im twice restore a number to its original form."
should be
"Pressing f Re<>Im twice restores a number to its original form.".

p124:"Hold the key down to maintain the display."
This is not a clear instruction: what key?

p127: Not sure why the (<=) key and the (0.0000) are in ()...

p131: "The x<>y function. for instance,"
should be
"The x<>y function, for instance,"

p133: "The sequence ... is not used because it would combine any numbers, in the real X-. and Y-registers into a single complex number."
should be
p133: "The sequence ... is not used because it would combine any numbers in the real X-. and Y-registers into a single complex number."
Interesting enough, this mistake was not in the 1985 rG manual.

p135: "express the result in polar form, (In phasor form,"
should be
"express the result in polar form. (In phasor form,"
Also, the angle mark in this sentence is misaligned twixt the 2 and 65°.

p141: Appendix is capitalized, but elsewhere in the text is it not. I think that is because it begins a sentence there, but the period is missing. However, it also capped on p 74.

p148: "(possibly with same rows"
should be
"(possibly with some rows"

p150: "The Frobenius of Euclidean norm"
should be (2 places)
"The Frobenius, or Euclidean norm, "

p153: "calculates the sum or difference of the matrices"
Here, as in other places in the manual, it isn't clear why a word is italicized." "or" is not italic in the original manual. I have not compared all the other instances that I saw that seemed odd. I can appreciate that an author may have his own style...as I do, for example ;-)

p160: "You don’t need to activate Complex mode for calculations with complex matrices."
The whole sentence should be italic.

p161: "Imaginary Part"
Text is scrambled.

p166: "Imaginary Part"
Text is scrambled.

p171: "0.0372 0.1311i"
i is merged with last digit in both numbers.

p173: The div key in the right column seems to be unnecessarily moved to the next line...a bit distracting and confusing.

p174: : "registers, Conditional tests can be used to control program execution"
should be
"registers. Conditional tests can be used to control program execution"

p176: "D:" is bold, but only the D should be.

p178: "Frobenius or Euclidean norm"
should be
"Frobenius, or Euclidean, norm"

p178: "register, Place LU in result matrix."
should be
"register. Place LU in result matrix.

p181: It's an odd way to write this part, anyway, but even accepting that, "In Run mode:" seems more attached to the preceding paragraph, than the following...

p184: There seems to be a stray r near the graph of f(x).

p184: "become more apparent"
should be
"becomes more apparent"

p186: "{x} = 1." Remove trailing period.

p192...This is one of my pet peeves. In the paragraph beginning "The use of SOLVE as an instruction in a program utilizes...," "utilize" is "used" four times. I have always felt that the utilization of "utilize" is a pretentious attempt to sound more sophisticated, and it grates on me nearly every time I read it. Doesn't that last sentence sound stuffy and awkward?

I /do/see a place for utilize. "Effective utilization of ground water runoff can be facilitated by the use of underground cisterns." I'd replace nearly most, and possibly all, of the "utilize" variants in the manual with an appropriate variant of use. And I opine that most utilizations of utilize are incorrect, anyway. Please see the Oxford English Dictionary for the definitions of "use" and "utilize."

p195: Now, in Run mode key the lower limit" might be written as "Now, in Run mode, key the lower limit".
See p198 for similar usage.

p196: "on the order of 2 to 10 seconds; but some integrals"
might be better as
p196: "on the order of 2 to 10 seconds, but some integrals"
Ditto the next line. Please see
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/04/
(viewed on 2012-04-05)

p197: "be sure to fill the stack manually with the value of x, by pressing"
should be
p197: "be sure to fill the stack manually with the value of x by pressing"

p200: "compute the integral more quickly;‡ but it will presume"
> I have seen these in earlier parts of the manual, but I didn't comment on them earlier.
p200: "compute the integral more quickly,‡ but it will presume"

p201: The values "1.38 00" and "1.88 -03" are messed up.

p207: "Subroutine nested more than seven deep."
>
p207: "Subroutines nested more than seven deep."

p208:
The + or - on the first line is not aligned with text below.
Under MATRIX 5, double bullets.

p216: "19 f DIM (i)" in the example is not formatted correctly.

p231: In the code, e^(-|x|) is not on the line containing "004– 12". Lines 007 and 011 are similarly misaligned.

p232: It is unfortunate that we cannot fit EEX CHS 20 ENTER on the same line. There is a great deal of white space on the pages. This version, compared to the 1985 version, is very easy on the eyes, however.
p236: Ditto, as well as elsewhere.

p239: "more accurately than is justify by the problem"
>
"more accurately than is justified by the problem"

p245: "specified in the display format, but also, to a certain extent on the limits of integration."
choose 1:
"specified in the display format, but also to a certain extent on the limits of integration."
"specified in the display format, but also, to a certain extent, on the limits of integration."

p247: "Similarly, if a function value is display"
>
p247: "Similarly, if a function value is displayed"

p248: "calculating an integral seem strange, It may be more appropriate"
>
"calculating an integral seem strange, it may be more appropriate"

p251: "But the problem is not that you represented [inf] by 10^99 since the actual integral
>
"But the problem is not that you represented [inf] by 10^99, since the actual integral

p252: "Functions that could lead to incorrect results can be identified in simple terms by how rapidly it and its low-order derivatives"
"Functions" disagrees in number with "it".

p261: "Press any key to exit"
>
"Press any key to exit."

p261: "and the screen is clear, press on any key to return to the test screen."
>
"and the screen is clear, press any key to return to the test screen."

I stopped reading here, so, all things otherwise being equal, this is the last time I'll write of the manual...and, of course, I may have created my own mistakes for others to find in their turn. ;-)

I appreciate having a searchable manual available, and at any rate, it is very easy on the eyes. Mostly, I am grateful, as are many others, that HP has brought back the 15C. There was a time when I believed that HP was a serious competitor in the handheld calculator field. (I prefer to use only RPN machines. I don't know what I'd do faced with living life in the slow lane of algebraic devices ;-) ) I know that the field is constantly changing, and the impact that these devices had will never again be the same --- ah, those halcyon days of anticipating each new offering by HP, and challenging owners of those "other" devices to problem-solving contests.

Yours &c.,
~R~


#3

Thanks for the detailed list! I will make sure it is kept around for when/if there is another revision.

TW

#4

The HP staff needs to hire an editor.


#5

Quote:
The HP staff needs to hire an editor.

Or simply take aboard volunteers' work from this forum - which is the better solution IMHO. Work for love is always better than work for money - see what the WP34s development team have been doing.

#6

You are assuming there weren't...

TW

Edited: 8 Apr 2012, 3:50 a.m.


#7

I know you're looking, just not always commenting. Which is perfectly reasonable.

In fact, this is beyond reasonable for most manufactures in my experience.


- Pauli

#8

The interesting issue is that no matter how many times you look at something, your brain will miss things. The brain is amazingly good at filtering to see what it expects to see - ask anyone involved with publishing (especially technical documentation). :-)

I promise you that there were many people looking at this document - many of whom participate in this forum. Yet with all those eyes there were still issues that were missed.

It is essentially impossible to "get all the mistakes", but you can get pretty darn close over several revisions if there are enough eyes looking and reporting.

The other way to get close is to invest a lot of time and cost into the documentation. Unfortunately, the world we live in right now doesn't value documentation, nobody reads it, and therefore businesses don't look at it as more then a check box in the steps of putting out a product. :~(

TW

Edited: 8 Apr 2012, 4:01 a.m.


#9

Agreed with every word here, unfortunately.

#10

Tim,

I agree with you. I wrote a novel a few months ago and have spent the last two months going over the text repeatedly. On Monday I will go over it for the fourth time and still expect to catch typos here and there. I use text to speech software that reads the text to me. This way, it is easier for me to hear the error, because my eyes will "auto-correct" it. The weak point for this method, in my case, is not focusing on what the reader is saying! I am planning to send it to someone who will edit it, after I do my best part to hunt for as many errors as possible.

Editing requires someone with a gift of details, like the TV character Monk! I wonder if he is available for editing the 15C's manual or my manuscript.

Namir

Edited: 8 Apr 2012, 5:10 a.m.

#11

Your last paragraph is so true and yet so ironic. Selling goods to Europe today requires a record-breaking amount of paperwork, including owner's manuals for all sorts of things which, as you point out, nobody will read anyway.

A rowboat requires an owner's manual.

What do you put in there? "please, do not use a paddle. This is a rowboat."

Edited: 9 Apr 2012, 12:38 a.m.


#12

Warning: Occupant may get wet. Do not eat.

TW

Edited: 9 Apr 2012, 10:28 a.m.


#13

"This Side Up"?


#14

;-)

#15

Would you care to elaborate on this?


As far as I know, European regulation does not require producers to put such warnings in their manuals. There is a legal obligation in EU law to include an understandable manual in the language of the country you are selling, but wouldn't you agree that is a reasonable requirement? And I am not going into the issue of the quality of the translations of the manual. Suffice it to say that I frequently have to read the English manual in order to understand how I have to operate the product/device in question.



I dare say that these silly warnings like "do not swallow" are the result of good old American tort case law, rather than of "these silly EU regulations".


#16

Quote:
"do not swallow" are the result of good old American tort case law

Yes, I agree!

Quote:
There is a legal obligation in EU law to include an understandable manual in the language of the country you are selling, but wouldn't you agree that is a reasonable requirement?

It seems reasonable, but it is pretty much a blanket statement and completely stupidly redundant and wasteful. So much for saving trees:

2.5. Owner's manual
Each craft shall be provided with an owner's manual in the official
Community language or languages which may be determined by the
Member State in which it is marketed in accordance with the Treaty.
This manual should draw particular attention to risks of fire and
flooding and shall contain the information listed in sections 2.2, 3.6
and 4 as well as the unladen weight of the craft in kilograms.

If you look up the relevant sections, they are labeling requirements that go on the boat itself--similar in principle to the American or Canadian "capacity and builder's plate"requirements.

But putting this in a manual, too? It leaves one incredulous. Something complicated such as a motor, OK, require it (yet even there, one would think market forces would be adequate...). But a rowboat? A manual? Yes, amazingly so, even though it would be a rather short manual after all haha :-)

All bureaucracies suffer from the same disease. We are just lucky that in the states, we still have a few areas that they leave alone yet. (Perhaps there are some blissful areas in Europe, too. God knows, there are some American bureaucracies that leave one feeling completely stifled.)


#17

Quote:
But a rowboat? A manual? Yes, amazingly so, even though it would be a rather short manual after all haha :-)

Apart from instructions on how to row (I doubt, that someone really needs this), I can easily imagine some information that I would love to have in a rowboat's manual:

- how to assemble the boat if it comes in parts

- is it good for fresh and sea water? temperature range to safely operate in?

- how to maintain it after use to best preserve its quality, what chemicals to use or not to use on the various materials

- how to easily repair/service it

- how to ecologically get rid of it once it has to be de-commissioned (plastic, metal, wood, possibly poisonous liquids, who knows)


#18

Those are nice things to know, but they hardly warrant a Legally Compulsory manual.


#19

Quote:
Those are nice things to know, but they hardly warrant a Legally Compulsory manual.

For your safety:

Quote:
is it good for fresh and sea water? temperature range to safely operate in?

For the company's safety:
Quote:
how to maintain it after use to best preserve its quality, what chemicals to use or not to use on the various materials

For environmental protection:
Quote:
how to ecologically get rid of it once it has to be de-commissioned (plastic, metal, wood, possibly poisonous liquids, who knows)

All that just nice-to-know things?

#20

"is it good for fresh and sea water? temperature range to safely operate in? "

Not a function of the boat. That is an operator issue.

"is it good for fresh and sea water?"

Rowboat. What's the issue?

"how to maintain it after use to best preserve its quality, what chemicals to use or not to use on the various materials "

Again, an operator issue. Idiots can't be helped. They paint their bike helmets whether there is a label forbidding it or not...

Again, there is no need to *legislate* this. The buyer can ask the seller, "hey, how do I paint this?" No manual needed. Commonsense and lots of books/magazines out there on boat maintenance. If the seller wants to put out that info in a manual or on a sticker or plaque, fine, but Compuslory? WTF?

"how to ecologically get rid of it once it has to be de-commissioned (plastic, metal, wood, possibly poisonous liquids, who knows)"

This is the least useful of all. Usually the original buyer doesnt do the disposing of boats. Usually Owner's Manuals disappear--even for cars bought from dealers--and so who would benefit?

Recycling is more an issue for design, not for documentation...

Again, think *rowboat*. Really complicated stuff here....but even for more complicated stuff, there is a brisk market in junk (always has been) and that takes care of it...

And interestingly enough, even the EU labeling / manual requirements don't speak to these issues for boats--yet.


Edited: 10 Apr 2012, 2:49 p.m.


#21

Bill,

one of our machines fell from a crane, which was entirely the crane operators fault. The whole case might depend on whether the COMs have been drawn correctly in the *manual* despite being clearly visible on the machine.

If I further think of what silly questions raise when assembling, maintaining, cleaning, and operating our (very simple HVAC) machines, I *must* assume people are in need of a clear technical documentation.

I fully understand why people in charge sometimes exaggerate about documentation. Even more, I very much welcome it - I'm doing this for a living ;^).

Thomas


#22

Good technical documentation is absolutely essential to many systems--just not to all products :-) We love our HP manuals, even while the rest of the world shunned them :-(


#23

Heavy equipment, aircraft and other complicated machinery need good documentation but for the simpler tools not really. When i was a young man starting out in the world an older coworker told me something that holds true for most things. "You only have to be 2% smarter than the thing you are trying to operate." The internet is full of videos where people did not meet this criteria.

#24

Quote:
p22: "+, -, x and ÷ are examples of two-number functions."
should be
"+, -, x, and ÷ are examples of two-number

I don't agree with you in this case.

Edited: 8 Apr 2012, 5:42 a.m.


#25

Comma rules in English and German unfortunately are quite different... ;-(


Quote:
Use a comma to separate the elements in a series (three or more things), including the last two. "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base." You may have learned that the comma before the "and" is unnecessary, which is fine if you're in control of things. However, there are situations in which, if you don't use this comma (especially when the list is complex or lengthy), these last two items in the list will try to glom together (like macaroni and cheese). Using a comma between all the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem. This last comma—the one between the word "and" and the preceding word—is often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. In newspaper writing, incidentally, you will seldom find a serial comma, but that is not necessarily a sign that it should be omitted in academic prose.

from here


#26

As with markups, the most important thing is to use commas *consistently*. People get used to how you do things in lengthy texts, but they stumble upon any inconsistency.

#27

With very few exceptions, the text should match the original 1980's document. So even if the comma rules were different, the error is real.

#28

This is an incredible list. Thanks for taking the time to post it. As Tim said, I hope that HP will include the corrections in any future version of the manual.

If you compare the new manual to the original, you'll find that the page numbers are identical all the way up to the end of Appendix E (p258). Spacing in the original manual was added or removed manually to make the layout pleasing. This is most easily seen in the headings. Maintaining the pagination in the new manual was probably tricky.

I believe that the goal was to exactly reproduce the text of the original manual, except where the run time of the calculator was mentioned. Thus, some of the usage that seems odd by today's standards is as it was.

#29

It's strange that there are many misstakes in the HP-15C limited editon manual. Why did HP not use the original manual?
I've examined the items and this is my comment:

p20: "Decimal digits from the mantissa that spill into the exponent field will disappear from the display when you press ¯, but will be retained internally."
Is correct in the original manual. (+, -, x, and)
(Decimal digits from the mantissa that spill into the exponent field will disappear from the display when you press EEX , but will be retained internally.)

p22: "+, -, x and ÷ are examples of two-number functions."
Is correct in the original manual. (+, -, x, and)

p 49: "disable stack lift, so the stack will not lift when the next number is keyed in."
Is correct in the original manual. (disables)

p 53: "calculate the average fertilizer application, x."
Is correct in the original manual. (x,)

p70: "registers—RI, R0, and R1 — remaining);"
Is correct in the original manual.

p74: I think the series here "(1, 2, 9, 0 from left to right)." might be better as "(1, 2...9, 0) from left to right."
Is correct in the original manual. (1, 2...9, 0)

p78: when I first read this line, "press any one key to remove"
Is correct in the original manual. (Pressing Any Key. Pressing any key will halt program execution )

p81: There is an oddly short sentence in the middle of a paragraph. "level (138 db)
Correct must be "dB".

p81: "(r = 3 km)" the r is not italic as it is elsewhere in this section.
Is correct in the original manual. (<i>r</i> = 3 km)

p81: I found the quotes in this phrase A "typical large" tomato
Is correct in the original manual. (A “typical” large tomato weighs about 200 grams)

p93, 94: I b'lieve the abbreviation for Curie is Ci -> mCi
Correct must be "mCi".

p109: "Is the increment of decrement value" should be "Is the increment or decrement value"
Is correct in the original manual. (is the increment or decrement value)

p116: "Refer to page 58-59" might be better as "Refer to pages 58-59".
Is correct in the original manual. (Refer to pages 58-59.)

p124: "Press f Re<>Im twice restore a number to its original form."
Is correct in the original manual. (Press f Re Im twice to restore a number to its original form.)

p124:"Hold the key down to maintain the display." This is not a clear instruction: what key?
Is correct, this instruction is clear because it is for the previous sentence.

p127: Not sure why the (<=) key and the (0.0000) are in ()...
()... => Omit this step if you’d rather save what’s in X and lose what’s in T.

p131: "The x<>y function. for instance," should be "The x<>y function, for instance,"
Is correct in the original manual. (The x y function, for instance)

p148: "(possibly with same rows"
Is correct in the original manual. (possibly with some rows interchanged)

p174 : "registers, Conditional tests can be used to control program execution"
Is correct in the original manual. (registers. Conditional tests)

p176: "D:" is bold, but only the D should be.
Is correct in the original manual. ("D" is bold)

p178: "register, Place LU in result matrix." should be "register. Place LU in result matrix.
Is correct in the original manual. ( the original is "register. Places LU in result matrix.")

p207: "Subroutine nested more than seven deep." > p207: "Subroutines nested more than seven deep."
Are you sure? It's about one subroutine.

p239: "more accurately than is justify by the problem" > "more accurately than is justified by the problem"
Is correct in the original manual.

p247: "Similarly, if a function value is display" > p247: "Similarly, if a function value is displayed"
Is correct in the original manual.

p248: "calculating an integral seem strange, It may be more appropriate" > "calculating an integral seem strange, it may be more appropriate"
Is correct in the original manual.

p251: "But the problem is not that you represented [inf] by 10^99 since the actual integral > "But the problem is not that you represented [inf] by 10^99, since the actual integral
Is correct in the original manual.


#30

Step 1 in an important project of this sort: get someone competent at the keyboard. Give the proofreaders as little to correct as possible.

#31

Thanks to everyone for their comments! I didn't think that it would generate so much discussion, and so much of that so on target. I did send the comments to a receptive customer service rep @ HP, who said that she would forward them to the calculator team. In a way, it is both an embarrassment and a blessing that I didn't read the old manual before looking at the new one and finding mistakes. The embarrassment is that I have not actually done much more than "discover" what the original authors had done so well in the 1980s. On the other hand, had I read the old manual before hand, I'd have likely concluded that HP was just fine with the new manual, and I'd not have bothered making the notes. ;-) (See below.)

In days of yore, reading a technical manual, such as the 15C manual, from HP was a delight. I rarely see that same precision of language, that same clarity of explanation, and those little asides in the text that showed the that the author was actually "involved" in the conversation. I learned much about math and physics before I attended college, just by studying the manuals that accompanied my HP purchases AND by reading the wealth of discussion that took place in the HP calculator community. When I read a modern manual, I find myself missing that rich experience. (There are some groups that carry on in this vein --- the MATLAB support group and community, for example.)

It /is/ a puzzle to me why HP would /not/ simply edit the manual and repost the PDF. It should take little time to do so?? Keep in mind that I don't know their internal processes, nor do I know in what format the manual exists, so the task may be more formidable than I imagine.

I opine that US society has become less literate over time. Compare writing in the 1800s, for example, to much of what is written of late. Literacy is not just the ability to read and write, but the ability to comprehend the full context of one’s circumstances, to articulate them clearly, and critically consider future alternatives. I opine that both sides of the literacy coin go hand-in-hand. As the audience becomes less literate (I see this at the university level with incoming students, in general, though there are many exceptions.), the quality of written and spoken material adjusts accordingly. If one wonders why HP tolerated publishing a document with such an embarrassing number of obvious mistakes, one need look no further for an explanation.

One of the earlier responses was...

p207: "Subroutine nested more than seven deep." > p207: "Subroutines nested more than seven deep." Are you sure? It's about one subroutine.

...and I agree that the comment is an appropriate question. One interpretation is that /this specific/ routine is nested too deeply, a valid perspective. In that case, the text is correct. Another interpretation is that subroutines are /generally/ nested too deep, and even though it was a /specific/ call that generated the error, it is a general error. It may be that this specific routine was not nested too deep when it was called at another time, but the current process has caused it to be nested beyond the limit. I took the latter interpretation, but I see the validity of the former, too. "Consultation is finding out what everyone else is thinking about." ;-)

Kind greetings to all,
~R~


#32

I assume that the printed paper was the last remaining "original" of the manual and that no electronic copy (except scans) existed at the time the group started with the new edition.

#33

Rich, I agree with you about use of the word "utilize." In college they taught us not to use fancy words like that when regular words will do. A pet peeve of mine is beginning a sentence with the word "so" (in both written and spoken word) when there is nothing that precedes it; I don't know why that habit began.

I'm curious about enclosing words in /slashes/. If your intent is bold or italics, the forum has codes for those.

Good work.


#34

The /slash/ notation is less invasive than bold or italic text and much /easier/ to type. I start liking it. :-)


#35

Quote:
The /slash/ notation is less invasive than bold or italic text and much /easier/ to type. I start liking it. :-)

Remember good old underlining?

#36

Old? Yes, in the olden days, when there was nothing but a simple typewriter, this was the only option. But "good"? No way. I consider underlining a typographic No-Go.

Dieter


#37

At least, nobody promoted ideas like using ", *, or / for emphasizing at that time :-) Oh happy days ...

BTW, some typewriters even allowed for bold printing. But don't be afraid - I don't want them back C|:-)

Edited: 9 Apr 2012, 1:45 p.m.

#38

Except the effect you apparently want is lost on those who don't know what it means. I don't mind bold when it's emphasis you want.

#39

It has been my experience that beginning sentences with "So" seems to be especially common among physics or science types. It seems to go hand in hand with lengthy linear explanations.


#40

Quote:
beginning sentences with "So" seems to be especially common among physics or science types

Yeah, I've noticed that. Drives me crazy.


#41

I think the use of "so" as a spoken lead in to a sentence has become extremely pervasive in the past few years. Listen to any NPR radio show where they have a lot "experts" talking, you'll hear it many times within an hour. It's not limited to science types, it seems to have become a way for experts to sound expert (or maybe not).


#42

"isten to any NPR radio show where they have a lot "experts" talking, "


So, I was noticing that myself only a few weeks back! I was bemused by it.

#43

I prefer to use plain text whenever possible for forums and email, but that choice comes w both a benefit and a price. Plain text is the most transportable text, eats the least amount of bandwidth, and requires a minimum of storage for archived documents. But plain text generally has no pretty tools to augment it. I have used // to indicate italic in plain text for as long as I recall. One comment was on target when it mentioned that if the reader didn't know what the // means, the effect is lost. I have seen a variety of plain text indications that some emphasis is meant: underscores, dashes, *, &c. I chose the // because it reminded me of italic, and is easy to reach on the kbd. I know that many of the forums today have features for changing the style of text, but unless I think that I really need it --- such as inserting code fragments --- I find it faster to hit //. This is the first time that I have been asked about it, but I wonder how many in the past have had the same question. Still, there is no convenient way to let folks know what I intend, so I guess that I'll go on using it and hope that it causes a minimum of puzzlement.

~R~


#44

Thanks Rich. That's kinda what I thought you meant. I'm sure there are some official rules for when to use bold, italics, underline, all caps, etc. (all caps really seem to get on some folks nerves). I'm also sure most people, including moi, don't know all the rules, but that's okay.

#45

Apart from the few cosmetic errors that are debatable, one (the only one?) factual error in the original manual has been reported here as:

There is a list of two-byte instructions on page 218 of the HP-15C Owner's Handbook. This list, however, omits [GSB][.] label , x< > {A-E}, DSE {A-E}, and ISG {A-E).


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