So I took a test with my Prime today ...



#2

And I really hope they work on the base conversions. I wanted to throw the calculator against the wall as I can not, in any entry mode, enter and convert bases quickly. The 48G (and as I recall so are my 32SII, 15C, and 11C) are very fast in this regard. I think I will stick to the 48G for my next test. I'll do my homework with the Prime and see if I can get better, but its so many key strokes more to do the same job it seems to me thus far. I could feel the test slipping from fingers due to the extra time and effort. Maybe I'm not doing this right. If anyone has suggestions that would help, thanks.


#3

Are you referring to the fact that if there is already an integer (of the form #___h or #___d etc) on the "stack" of the home screen, then pressing [SHIFT] [-] brings up this "editor" whereas if no integer were on the screen then it is impossible to enter a second integer without using the [SHIFT] [VARS] character catalog?

From what I can tell, we can only enter in ONE integer using [SHIFT] [-] to produce '#' on the command line; after that it always brings up an integer editor.

Here's what I learned (edit: in algebraic mode):

To enter many different types of integers, use [SHIFT] [-] to get the '#' symbol. If one already exists on the "top" of the stack (even in non-RPN mode), then you can still get a '#' character by pressing the space button first, followed by [SHIFT][-].

So you can do something like:

#34 + #23d

and the calculator will consider this as #34h + #23d. The answer will always be in base 16, but we can then convert using the (clunky) integer editor with:

[SHIFT][-] -- no space this time -- and use the [+] or [-] key to switch the format of the integer to the desired base. Exit with "OK"

Edit: In RPN mode, there does not seem to be _any_ way to convert the displayed integer in a different base as [SHIFT][-] does not bring up the integer editor. However, it is still possible to do integer arithmetic using a space prior to [SHIFT][-] to produce the '#' symbol quickly (though it is the same keystrokes as [SHIFT][VARS][tap screen on #]).


Edited: 25 Sept 2013, 4:17 p.m.

#4

Could you please explain the "rapid base conversions" on the 48. My memory/experience was that that was quite clunky too when compared with a dedicated scientific.

What specific things exactly did you like and find so quick?

TW


#5

On the HP48, one simply needed to access the [MTH] -> [BASE] (softmen) to get a menu where the current base can be toggled via the soft menu. Entering the integer was as simple as #123 where the suffix behaves like it does on the HP Prime -- the suffix is whatever the default base is unless you explicitly use a suffix. Once integers are on the stack, operations work as usual (+, -, *, etc). To change base, simply hit the soft menu key to toggle to a different base and the display automagically changes accordingly.

I suppose reassigning keys via a user app could get the same effect, but I think there is a good reason to have it close the HP48 as is possible (i.e. everything is quickly accessible).

On that note, I just want to comment that the directory structure of the HP48 menu system was very nice in that everything could be accessed with a few keystrokes. These graphical menus -- while pretty, tend to slow the more advanced users down by quite a bit. I imagine it also makes designing the menus a pain in the butt given the myriad commands that the HP Prime has built-in. It's one of the things I hated about the TI-89 and am willing to put up with on the Prime ('cause it's an HP calc).


#6

Yes, thanks and that's it. I have a soft key menu that I can toggle between bases and I use the GreenArrow # tag to enter them.


#7

You know.... Overloading the [a b/c] key to convert integers would actually be a good use of overloading. It could be used to toggle the base.


#8

How would I do that? I really like this calculator and I've been waiting for it to come out, but this kind of stuff makes it hard for me to use at the moment. I tried making my own program but no matter what I do its around three times the key strokes I'd guess.

I do like the programming language on this calculator over the 48.

This program doesn't do what I want in the end really. I can change the base and look at the value but its not the same as I want to be able to manipulate them.

EXPORT BC(V, B)
BEGIN
IF B=0 AND V=0
THEN
MSGBOX("Bases:
bin = 1
dec = 3
hex = 4");
ELSE
SETBASE(R->B(V), B);
END;
END;

I thought about writing a program to change the default base, but then its a drag to call it. I would have to go to the tool box and find it there or type it, and that's about the same amount of trouble as Shift-Home to edit it there. How can one beat a toggle? During my test I had to refer to hex and binary over and over for instance. I need something similar to the 48G. If I can overload a key, that sounds like its worth a try.


Edited: 25 Sept 2013, 7:42 p.m.


#9

I was reading up on changing the keyboard. What I had in mind was a program that would simply compute something like:

BASE:=(BASE+1) MOD 5;

where BASE is the presumed system-wide variable that saves the current base. This would only affect integers entered without a suffix. A program like yours would probably be better -- I'd test it but I'm still working on how to create an app =/

#10

OK, so I found a few things out about what you were referring to. On page 516 of the manual. This will more than likely work. I can get the SIN key to overload but for some reason the K_Abc key doesn't want to play. I could use SIN for Hex, COS for DEC, and TAN for BIN. I will play with that some more and see how it goes. A great suggestion!

I like that they have a user keyboard mode, but the idea seems a bit backwards to me as soft keys would allow labeling them with nice descriptors these hard keys may require tape and a sharpie LOL. I now have to mentally remember my mapping and that only goes so deep and that's why the 48G did what it did with the directories I'd say. This seems like HP is putting the cart in front of the horse on this one to me. As with anything new, I think I need to learn and play as there may be a reason.


#11

So, it seems to not work so far as it won't update the old values.

KEY K_Sin()
BEGIN
CHOOSE(Base, "bin", "oct", "dec", "hex");
Return "";
END;

Is what I have so far. If I don't include a "Return" of some type the calculator opens up the App menu in some form or variation. I think its the last App in memory. The program does change the base, but it doesn't update past numbers declared with only the # tag. Its interesting that if I change the base via the Home Settings it does. There must be a function call that its using that I'm not.

Edited: 25 Sept 2013, 9:14 p.m.


#12

Quote:
So, it seems to not work so far as it won't update the old values.

KEY K_Sin()
BEGIN
CHOOSE(Base, "bin", "oct", "dec", "hex");
Return "";
END;

Is what I have so far. If I don't include a "Return" of some type the calculator opens up the App menu in some form or variation. I think its the last App in memory. The program does change the base, but it doesn't update past numbers declared with only the # tag. Its interesting that if I change the base via the Home Settings it does. There must be a function call that its using that I'm not.


Try the following instead:

KEY K_Sin()
BEGIN
B->R(Ans);
Base:=(Base+1) MOD 4;
R->B(Ans);
RETURN "Ans";
END;

If I am not mistaken, the user key mode on the HP Prime is very weak. The manual makes it seem as though user keys were really meant for shortcuts to typing out full commands. Hence the required RETURN "blah"; line at the end.

This won't change what's on the stack. However, if you press [SIN] followed by [ENTER] it converts whatever is on the first level, but it will give you a conversion of what is already there _and_ switches the mode.

This does not work in RPN mode -- in fact it will crash. It seems a lot of stuff is broken because of the current implementation of compile-upon-exit with respect to the program editor. Basically any user-program that will replace any built-in interface (be it user keys, or app keys) can crash the calculator upon making the changes them while those user-replacing programs are resident in memory.

Edited: 27 Sept 2013, 12:27 a.m.

#13

There are several non-obvious shortcuts.

(1) You can convert hex to decimal with no keystrokes whatsoever by typing it in CAS in 0x format. For example, in CAS, you can convert #99h to #153d by typing 0x99 and pressing Enter. You can also use 0o format for octal, and 0b format for binary.

(2) The "Edit Integer" screen in Home allows single-keystroke base conversions. For example, in Home, type #99h and press Enter. Then press Shift [-] (Base) [-] [-] and see #153d. If you set decimal as the default system base in Home Settings, you only have to press [-] once instead of twice.

-Joe-


#14

I was using the Edit Integer, but its cumbersome. Say I want to enter a binary number its Alpha # 11110000 Alpha Shift b Enter ... then I get to go Shift Base look at the Edit Integer screen and then + or - to cycle the bases. They only way I can find to shift the default base it seems is Shift Home and adjust it there or through the Vars with the Base variable all of which takes three or four key strokes.

Green Arrow # 11110000 then hit whatever base key I want is the 48G way and its superior. I hope they will add this to the next software rev.

I will try the other method you mentioned.

Thanks for the advice and response.

Edited: 25 Sept 2013, 7:21 p.m.


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