WP-34S: Alpha lock



#17

Possibly silly question: if I am entering a program and I have turned on alpha lock mode, how do I turn it off?


#18

Manual 3.0 page 71 of 118 says something about H P.FCN ALPHA for off and on, but I haven't played with it enough to figure it out.

#19

Yeah, that's it. H-shift P.FCN, then use up or down arrow to point to alpha-off or alpha-on. There might be an easier way...


#20

When in programming mode, f-Enter puts you into input mode. By default you would be entering one character per line. However, by hitting f-Enter a second time you enter alpha lock mode, where you get to enter 3 characters per line. This is indicated by the fact that the alpha instruction in the display is followed by a single quote.

However, once I entered this alpha lock mode, I have not figured how to get out of it. I can turn off input mode, but if I enter input mode again, it is automatically in alpha lock mode.

How do I put it back in a state where you are entering single characters per line again and there is no single quote following the alpha instruction?


#21

Printed manual, p. 121, explains this mode and the way out.

d:-)


#22

Well, I can't duplicate my odd issue this morning and it seems to be working. So, I don't know what was going on last night.

I was working with the physical hardware and several times while in programming mode, as I was entering an instruction, the calculator would suddenly say "Reset" and pop me out of programming mode. I would just go back into programming mode as if nothing had happened and continue.

What causes that message to happen?


#23

Marcel, "Reset" is always bad news. Something must be awry with your device. The message occurs when the watchdog kicks in or when an invalid instruction is executed which causes a branch to the reset code. It might be a hardware problem as well. What is the battery level reported? Can you reproduce the behavior after the execution of the SLOW command?


#24

The battery level is 2.9

I have not been able to reproduce anything but I got a flurry of them last night when I was fiddling around with alpha mode. I had just entered a long program and been playing with it and I had not had any problems at all. It was only when I started making modifications to the program and was struggling with alpha mode that I started getting occasional resets.

I have tried to retrace my steps this morning, but things seems working.

All of the resets happened in programming mode. I've never had one when using the calculator otherwise. I am not 100% certain whether it was all of the resets, but I do know that several of them happened either as I entered a catalog or when I was in a catalog and hit a key to jump to a position in it.

If it starts happening again, I will do a SLOW command see if I can detect any change in behavior.


#25

Thanks. Real software on real hardware is always a challenge. The resources on this machine are quite limited: 2 KB of persistent RAM, 4 KB of volatile RAM, 128 KB of flash (program) memory, all run from two coin cells. Power management is a real chore...

#26

Now maybe I see your problem. When you enter Alpha Lock mode, the H-shift P.FCN no longer brings up the choices. In this instance just press F alpha and it will exit alpha lock mode.


#27

I'm playing with the emulator...I HAVE to get one of these awesome machines soon!


#28

Quote:
I'm playing with the emulator...I HAVE to get one of these awesome machines soon!

Good point! I sent an email to Eric and got no answer. Is he still selling these machines?


#29

Build your own! Get yourself a 30b, ask Eric for an overlay (or two), ask Gene for a cable, download the software, and you are there! If you are in Europe (Schweiz?) I may help you with the programming. I know people who are good at modifying the hardware if desired, too.


#30

+1

d:-)

#31

I'd very much like to, but since the arrival of my little baby girl my free time has become extremely limited (although she *might* like to assist me as she always wants to help when I fix something...). And I'm definitely not equipped (eyes and tools) for SMD soldering, which would be required for getting the timer/stopwatch functions to work. I once did manage to re-solder an HP-42S memory chip, but that chip was already in place ;-)


Hmmm...

PS Just reading through the manual, two things come to my mind:

  1. It's simply amazing how much funtionality can be fit into such a small calculator!
  2. If only current HP manuals were of such quality... (he sighed, frowning at a completely unusable 1000-page-HP-50g-manual, caringly translated to German by non-German-speaking Chinese office clerks, thereby destroying any content that might have accidentaly been left in).

#32

The last brilliant HP manual was the HP-48S one. Thick, rich, smart, useful, you name it...

After that - bunch of jokes.

I'm keeping one of them as a love letter ;)


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