HP Prime... NOT meant to replace HP48,49,50 ?



#23

I'm a long time HP48,49,50 user... started in 1991 with a 48SX... used them through Engineering school and still use 3 models today. Not trying to bash the new Prime; but I find it to be a truly frustrating experience trying to use it. I'll explain.

HP: you've stolen my variables. By restricting where I can use lower or upper case variables, you've DESTROYED my work-flow. Equations require a combination of upper and lower case variables... what were you thinking?

You've broken my ability to quickly do symbolic manipulation by removing RPN in the CAS. IT WAS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE THAT DEFINED HP AS DEFACTO STANDARD FOR SERIOUS ENGINEERING WORK. RPN eliminated calculator input errors ! The copy/paste method on the Prime, in short, sucks. Very inefficient compared to moving sub-expressions around on the stack, diving level 2 by level 1, or taking level 2 to level 1 power... etc. Very error-prone as well.

I'm guessing this machine is not meant to replace the 48,49,50? I honestly cannot recommend it to anyone wanting to solve engineering problems efficiently.

I LOVE the new screen. Anyone who has spent years staring at the 48,49,50 series welcomes this change. As for the touch screen ability: HP wasted the potential here. Use the machine for a day. Then look at your fingerprint smudges... it's a "heat map" of where you've interacted with the device. You'll see that you've only been using the bottom 25% of the screen. Why not utilize the rest of the screen with intuitive menu items, laid out in a grid pattern, covering the display? Cascading, drop-down menu items on a touch screen are, in my opinion, horrible. Can you think of a single iOS/Android app that uses that technique? None. For good reason. Just give me buttons. I promise to push them with my fingers !

Not trying to flame here... but have I simply made a mistake in thinking this machine is more than it really is? At this point I prefer my 2MHz, 64K HP 48 over this 400MHz 32/256M machine any day. The Prime causes PEBKAC that I just cannot overcome efficiently.

One last item... where in the flip did you put Euler's number "e" in the CAS output? Are we really going to have to look at "EXP(1)" in our equations? Dear God.


#24

I wish this group of beta-testers had been made available to test the US's new healthcare web site before it went live. ;-)


John

#25

I'm studying engineering, I'm in sixth semester and I bought HP Prime, I had never used an HP calculator before, for me entering expression on textbook mode is efficient and fast I like the copy and paste with the touchscreen is easy to modify values on the expressions. For "serious" engineering work I'd recommend : Maple, Mathematica or Matlab, depends of what engineering.
Just my humble opinion.


#26

It says in your profile that you are interested in "poms". What is that ?


#27

Pomeranians, its a dog hahaha


#28

I thought maybe you liked cheerleaders with pom poms.


#29

I am thinking liking Pomeranians and cheerleaders with pom poms are not mutually exclusive things :)


#30

Perritos y muchachas bonitas, si me gustan :)

#31

Chris,
i have writen somewhere in this forum more or less the same message, what you said is true.

i have bought a prime, but this machine is catastrophic, bug, lag, crashes.

finally i'm working each days with my hp48gx.

tim,cyrille, please: REACT !!!
for those wo continue to use this machine, when did you produce a good software, peoples wait an update, and perhaps you could ask to your director to change the unsuable color of the keys.


#32

Quote:
... and perhaps you could ask to your director to change the unsuable color of the keys.

Yes, the orange text on some keys lacks enough contrast to be seen easily.

#33

Quote:
I'm studying engineering, I'm in sixth semester and I bought HP Prime, I had never used an HP calculator before, for me entering expression on textbook mode is efficient and fast...

Then you owe it to yourself to give real, 100% RPN a try on a 48,49,50. Fast, Reliable, Predictable and Accurate... you'll NEVER look back. And the price on the OUTSTANDING HP 50g dropped to approx $80 recently... Or just run the Droid48 app on your phone for a while to see what your missing.

The Prime hardware is amazing... but the software is botched. If this is someone's first HP calc, they may never realize that.

Quote:
For "serious" engineering work I'd recommend : Maple, Mathematica or Matlab, depends of what engineering.
Just my humble opinion.

I use Mathematica every day.

This will blow you mind ... Wolfram has Mathematica 10.0 running on the raspberry pi... Calculators are obsolete when you can get that quality software on an arm-powered device in your hand. It's Bring Your Own Device time !

So to answer my own question: this Prime is not meant to replace the 48,49,50 line. To bad... so much potential wasted.

#34

... and I do not recall it being promoted as such.


Also, as it has been approved for numerous exams and has an "exam mode".
From the information leaflet:

Quote:
Wireless connectivity and the HP Connectivity Kit allow you to connect to a PC. Using this formative assessment bundle, teachers can conduct student polls, push exam-mode configurations to students and view student work in real time.

Therefore it can be assumed that it is primarily developed for educational use.

#35

Now, having said the above, I accept a device for what it is made for. I could even use it in my engineering career. But i'm disappointed by it and won't buy it for other reasons.

The Prime is probably the best evolution of graphing calculators to date. It would have been brilliant but let down in the execution. Software so buggy it makes it frustrating to use. Then there is the confusion of the upper and lower case variables. A non-square matrix ^-1 is invalid in HOME but in CAS the rules are changed and a matrix with inverted elements is returned. Not to mention inconsistency of commands: In CAS using ^-1 and INV on a square matrix give the same answer. Using the two commands on a non-square matrix gives different answers.

I don't care that the CAS is from XCAS. HP is selling it as part of their device, they are completely responsible for it. They should also provide the complete documentation for it.

Edited: 17 Nov 2013, 2:30 p.m.

#36

The packaging on mine says that it is recommended for Engineering and Surveying. If it's not intended for use in professional applications, then HP shouldn't market it as such.


#37

Hmmm, there is also a thread with the title "HP Prime - definitely no education tool".

Perhaps the Prime is trying be everything to everyone, but pleasing no-one.


#38

I think the problem is that this calculator works best in Apps mode, and trying to use it manually in command line mode is complicated, confusing and unreliable. For example, doing unit conversions on the Prime involves many more operations than it does on a 50g, so what is really needed is a Unit Conversions App, rather than a slew of pull down menus that must be used repeatedly to get that task done. It is also currently hampered by some serious reliability issues, which make it unacceptable for use by professionals, who are less concerned with bling and far more interested in dependability.


#39

Quote:
It is also currently hampered by some serious reliability issues, which make it unacceptable for use by professionals, who are less concerned with bling and far more interested in dependability.

This calc is a mine field: eventually you're going to blow up. Imagine what taking a college engineering exam would be like with a calc this unreliable. You stand a very good chance of failing an exam if you were foolish enough to rely on this calc in its current state.

HP48s NEVER failed**. You could press a key and had a 100% certainty the machine would not leave you hanging. Sure you may get an error message; but NEVER a crash. My Prime crashed twice (again) last night in 15 minutes.

** My experience: ~12 engineering students HAMMERING on their 48 keyboards for YEARS without a single let-down.


#40

Quote:


This calc is a mine field: eventually you're going to blow up. Imagine what taking a college engineering exam would be like with a calc this unreliable. You stand a very good chance of failing an exam if you were foolish enough to rely on this calc in its current state.

HP48s NEVER failed**. You could press a key and had a 100% certainty the machine would not leave you hanging. Sure you may get an error message; but NEVER a crash. My Prime crashed twice (again) last night in 15 minutes.

** My experience: ~12 engineering students HAMMERING on their 48 keyboards for YEARS without a single let-down.


I do not know how old you are; I remember that HP went through version R before the got it "Right" for the GX. I do not know about the the last ROM version for the SX, but I did send one back to HP because of known bug. Even for GX version R even then there were still a few bugs.

#41

There's a big difference between bugs that result in errors and Big Bugs which result in catastrophic loss of calculator control and stored information. I have an early version HP 48SX, which I used heavily for 15+ years w/o any loss or corruption of stored data/programs or loss of control. I've owned the Prime for only a month, and already had to reformat the flash drive twice to restore the OS and control with the complete loss of stored info each time. Crashes are a daily occurrence, even when doing totally benign activities such as navigating menus. It is often necessary to reset the calculator in order to restore proper operation.

Edited: 18 Nov 2013, 4:47 p.m.

#42

from
http://shopping.hp.com/calculators/surveying

Prime

Quote:
Best used for - Engineering; Computer science; Surveying; Trigonometry; Statistics; Geometry; Biology; Chemistry; Physics

#43

Quote:
... and I do not recall it being promoted as such.


Also, as it has been approved for numerous exams and has an "exam mode".
From the information leaflet:

Therefore it can be assumed that it is primarily developed for educational use.


My 8 year old daughter MASTERED RPN on a HP 50g in a few minutes. No joke.

I'm DAYS into messing around with the Prime and I'm still trying to get a good work-flow. I refuse to taint my daughter's mind with the Prime.


#44

My 10 year old did the same. Unfortunately her maths teacher complained that I'd broken her.

Then again, this is the maths teacher who marked 108 over 5 as 21r6 rather than 21r3 because she doesn't know the difference between a decimal (21.6) and remainder (21r3).

In the UK you can't complain about teachers either or they get all uppity and go on strike.


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