HP Prime - This is ridiculous



#51

For the third time I've had to re-format the flash drive on the Prime to recover the OS. This time the settings screens locked up and I couldn't make any changes. When I did the restore from my pc with the connectivity kit, I got the old Apps key reboot routine, so I had to re-format again. Next I transferred some programs from my Emulator to the Prime, but the Apps transfer caused memory to explode, so I'll have to type them all back in on the Prime, which I'm not about to do.

But it gets better, since now programs that used to work no longer do, despite all settings being the same. CAS solve won't work in a program despite working fine previously, so basically the program is now worthless.

In short, this calculator is a nightmare, and possibly the worst product ever to wear the hp logo. I may continue working with the Emulator, but the physical Prime is going into permanent storage.


#52

Once again I share my suspicion: All is fine with the HP Prime, UNTIL you connect it to the PC with HP Connectivity kit!

Until now, no one proofed me wrong :-)

Kind regards, Ralf.

#53

Last night, my Prime crashed three times in a row. I was about to enter a new program, and the screen went blank, then re-booted. I pressed a key, same thing happened again - - and one more time after that.

When I was finally able to get it to respond to key presses, I discovered that all my CAS programs and CAS variables were gone.

#54

Hi again Michael,

hours ago I post:

SUBJECT: HP PRIME: APP program code DISAPPEARS !!



Hi Friends,



Last week I received a friend´s HP Prime calculator (and before many other with same problem), to send to it an APP of about 74KB (on program catalog indicate about 10K may be the PROGSIZE MOD 64 issue) any way...


The program sent fine, run fine but reseting with ON+Symb or even trying to edit the app program code, the code DISAPPEARS.


Please FIX IT, IT IS VERY FUSTRAITING AND IS NECESARY TO SEND, RE-SEND RE-RE-SEND and so ... UNTIL in program size finaly says about 10k then it is sure to use...


After days or weeks of use some people indicated me that the app does not run any more, and AGAIN THE APP PROGRAM CODE DISAPPEARED.



FIX IT ASAP. THANKS

best regards!!

jose


#55

When you clear all programs with Shift+Esc, exit and go back to the program list, some of the programs are in there again, maybe this is related with some programs disappearing?


#56

Hi Erwin,



The problems is sending a file to real calc (the big app that I send to You by email).



You SEND and can execute but if You try to edit in the program catalog you see 0KB OR <1KB size and editing only appear:

EXPORT App_name
BEGIN

END;

then the app source code DISAPPEARED.



IS necesary repeat the proces UNTIL some time in the program catalog says 7KB then you can see the real code there.



May be some weeks later the program code desappears... and I don´t know the reason, some people only told me that one day they used the app and all fine, turn the calc off... next day SORPRISE!!! the app doesn´t run any more.



Various persons were requiring to re-send the app from my laptop, and even when I sell one hp prime, I need to send the app about 4 to 6 times until I get 7KB, then I deliver the calc... with the hope that the issue don´t repeat. (Today I send the app 7 times and never used Shift+Esc in the process)



Amen.


Joseph

#57

Maybe this is the program protection you wanted LOL! you are just using the calculator wrong

#58

I get the same issue now and again between a PC and my Prime. I sometimes get the same with DEBUG on a program: hitting STEP or SKIP crashes the calc and when I go back into program mode and pick the app all I see is:

EXPORT App_name
BEGIN

END;

Coming out of program mode, turning off & on usually restores the app source code and it can be run again.

Generally I find connection between the Connectivity Kit and Prime to be very unreliable. I have a large program that works perfectly, then connect to the PC to backup and after disconnecting the Prime the program fails to run. Eventually a pin in the back and normality is returned. The trouble is that this is so unpredictable that it is very difficult to nail down the exact operations which cause the failure.


#59

I think the connectivity kit is a very large part of the problem. It has crashed several times on my pc, and once it froze up where I needed to do Ctrl-Alt-Del and use the Windows task manager to shut it down. Afterwards, my USB port was dead, and I had to reboot my pc to recover it. Also, I've found that the CK backup is useless, as somehow it gets corrupted and when you use it to restore the calculator the OS is corrupted and the calc won't work properly. I would hope that someday HP adds an external SD card reader like I have for my iPad, so I can save and load individual programs and Apps.

#60

oh boy, and this coming from whom I regarded as one of the PRIME enthusiasts - with good and solid contributions in this forum ... I think I'll definitely stick to the archaeological 41-MCODE activities :-)


#61

Hear, hear!!

#62

I think the last time my 41 crashed was in the 1980's, and it wouldn't have if I hadn't been a newbie fooling with synthetic programming.

#63

Ain't that the truth! My 41's are still chugging along, better than ever. And if I want buggy software, Adobe will be happy to oblige. . .

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#64

Reminds me of the Heat Transfer midterm exam... sweat pouring off our heads working as fast as humanly possible to get through the problems on time... A friend sitting near me experienced a calculator failure (TI-89). We could all see the panic in his eyes as he desperately tried to get it working again. Prof even tossed him some fresh batteries out of his own calc... no use. The stress finally got too much and he POUNDED his calc several times on the edge of the table in a futile attempt to "fix it". We felt horrible for the guy. Nobody had a second calc to loan him.

That was the first and only time any of us had ever seen a calc fail. Horrific timing.


#65

Quote:
Reminds me of the Heat Transfer midterm exam... sweat pouring off our heads working as fast as humanly possible to get through the problems on time... A friend sitting near me experienced a calculator failure (TI-89). We could all see the panic in his eyes as he desperately tried to get it working again. Prof even tossed him some fresh batteries out of his own calc... no use. The stress finally got too much and he POUNDED his calc several times on the edge of the table in a futile attempt to "fix it". We felt horrible for the guy. Nobody had a second calc to loan him.

That was the first and only time any of us had ever seen a calc fail. Horrific timing.


Never hit a calculator like above but I did sweat out a couple of Engineering and Hydro-Geology Exams. Heat transfer,Advanced Fluids,Thermodynamics,etc. Anything where you needed to use the tables in the back of the text.I also hated iterative solutions to exam problems.
Sometimes, if the problem was not too big,I could always write a short program on my 41 or 48GX and solve it.
Got 23 out of 25 points by doing it that way for a Thermo problem that should have been solved explicitly(Calculus).
Can not remember having this kind of Problem with Physics. Engineering yes Physics no.
I always tell my students to get fresh batteries for their calculators,or bring a spare. We do not lend calculators for exams.This is a Physics Dept policy.

#66

I always wanted a complete steam/refrigerant properties program on my 48. Never got around to programming one back in college. I suppose the Prime's spreadsheet app would be perfect for this now.


#67

Except that it will get corrupted at some point and you will need to re-enter it from scratch. Trust me, I've been there.

#68

Why didn't he bring one more calculator for backup purpose?


#69

In the university you don't have even a pen backup, at least in engineering.

#70

For the same reason I don't carry two cell phones in my pocket: simple economics. When you have something that performs absolutely reliably for years, the thought of it failing never enters into your brain. Other than this Prime, and one TI calc 15 years ago, I've never experienced a "calculator failure" first-hand.


#71

Perhaps I'm too conservative. I brought at least two calculators for any test or exam even though I hadn't experienced any calculator failure before.

#72

I agree hp has alot of work to do, to get the prime up to speed, I was losing code after resets and started using the backup command on the connectivity kit frequently, but apparently something went wrong with the backup and it was empty crap


#73

The only reliable backup method for program code is to write it all in simple ANSI characters (no unicode or special characters) and copy it as text from the connectivity kit and save it with a text editor like Notepad. I also print all the code on paper (that stuff made from trees that used to be used to make something called books). The process is reversed to recover from the inevitable reformat of the flash drive. Unfortunately Apps can't be saved that way, so you just have to re-enter them on the calculator keyboard every time they're lost. I tried sending them back from the Emulator, but they just seem to get all messed up in the transmission.

I think mine may actually have some hardware problems, since even after a re-format it doesn't work properly. I've emailed hp customer support requesting a replacement unit. And the way it just randomly changes operation seems to be more than just firmware problems.

Edited: 26 Nov 2013, 11:21 a.m.


#74

I just received an email from HP Calculator Support that they will be sending me a replacement, so it will be interesting to see how many of my problems have been hardware related and not simply buggy firmware. They have also requested that I return the faulty Prime to Fort Collins for examination, so maybe Tim W. will get to play with it.


#75

You do seem to be having a ridiculous number of issues compared with the huge majority...

TW


#76

Remember when I told you the calculator failed the CHK BAD FLASH test in the Diagnostic utilities. It shows some bad block addresses, where perhaps data is being corrupted or lost. The first thing I'll do when I get the new unit is to run this test.


#77

michael :
i have the same problem like you,
this machine is for me a toy and nothing else, and i don't speak about the bad RPN support, the mathematic error seen using teh prime in electronic's formulla and the TERRIBLE color of key impossible to read.
i will not pay to send this toy to the usa, i prefer to return to the hp-48


#78

I am having similar problems.

I wanted myself to keep the prime for daily use but couldn't.

now , 48gx and everything is fantastic.

having those problems with the prime made me buy another nib 48gx.

regards

#79

Can you provide steps to run the checksum tests? I ran the tests in F/A TESTS and they all returned OK.


#80

I'm not sure what you mean. You simply run all the tests and they either return OK or NG (no good). The test I ran that failed was 5. Evaluation and then 4. CHK BAD FLASH.


#81

Yeah, probably yours is messed up. Mine says OK in all

#82

Mine fails with 12 bad blocks. How many bad ones did you have?
I have never had any corruption, and a single lock-up.


Edited: 27 Nov 2013, 10:02 a.m.


#83

Mine shows 7 bad blocks. Maybe it's similar to a hard drive, where the bad blocks are cordoned off during low level format, such that they never get used and don't create problems. The recent problems I had were truly weird, and suggested that there might be something wrong with my unit on the hardware side.


#84

Yes, remembering what happened to you, I got a little scared when I saw my bad blocks.
Tonight I'll try to re-format the flash drive, it's possible that the format utility will "black-list" the faulty sectors, and I hope no new ones will appear...


#85

I think the format utility is high level only, so I doubt it would make any difference. The bad blocks were flagged on mine before I did my first reformat, and have not changed at all after numerous reformats since then. If you aren't having a lot of problems with your calculator, and simple resets are fixing any problems, I'd leave if alone and not reformat, which will erase all your programs and data.


#86

Well, I didn't have much data at all, so I just tried anyway. Before formatting, I made a backup and I also copied the two only programs into the emulator.
After the format, as you said, nothing has changed in the FLASH test.
So I tried to restore from the backup, and while the programs and variables were restored OK, now the calculator rebooted every time I tried to push APPS. I had to format again to get back to a working state. For now I think we'll just have to forget about the backup function.


#87

Yes, the backup utility absolutely does not work and is completely worthless. The only reliable way to backup your programs is to save them as simple ANSI text files (no Unicode or special characters like Greek letters) using Notepad or other text editor. You can save them on the Emulator, but I've found that files can get corrupted during transmission to and from the Emulator. There is no way to reliably backup Apps you've created on the Prime such as saved Spreadsheets, although you can save those on your Emulator to your pc .


#88

That's why I'm looking forward to the third-party comm package, which also works on Linux, so I'll be able to connect the Prime to my own computers! :)
By the way, when I tried to check for firmware updates, the calculator entered a "firmware upgrade mode" from which I couldn't exit except by pressing the reset button, even though there was no update. Is this normal?


#89

The check for update in the CK is for updates to the CK software and not firmware. If you had the Prime connected and tried to do an update firmware operation w/o one already downloaded to your pc, then maybe the Prime would lock up like that. When I did it, the Prime went into recovery mode until the update was complete and then automatically reset itself. There is no reason to do this since the current firmware version is the same a the factory version.


#90

Hm, if it only checks the CK firmware, why did the calculator too go into firmware upgrade mode?

I know there's no new firmware yet, I was just "rehearsing" the correct procedure, so I don't get left behind if/when an update actually appears! :)


#91

Well, it's CK software i.e. the CK program itself. It has nothing to do with firmware AFAIK. I have no idea why yours did that, since mine never has done this.

#92

Quote:
The only reliable way to backup your programs is to save them as simple ANSI text files (no Unicode or special characters like Greek letters) using Notepad or other text editor.

Interesting. With the 39gII I copy & paste programs into Notepad and specifically save it as Unicode to preserve the characters.

#93

True in the specific case of Notepad you can do that, but it is not a simple Ctrl-S save operation, and if you forget then you lose those characters. Also, not all utility text editors support this.

#94

I agree. The HP Prime is a one of the worst calculators I have ever used.

Some of my dislikes, I suspect, are personal choices. I do not like the touchscreen, I find touchscreens in general to be difficult to use. Fortunately there are keyboard shortcuts for most such operations.

I dislike the fact that connectivity is limited to Windows PCs. The older RPL models would connect to _anything_. I've directly transferred programs between a VAX and my HP48SX.

Those are the personal dislikes. But other problems seem to be more general.

The documentation is atrocious. It's incomplete and it's badly written. IMHO documentation is the most important part of any product. It doesn't matter what features a device has, if you don't know about them, or can't find out how to use them, they might as well not be there. Personally, I also dislike manuals on disk. I find a paper manual much easier to flip through. I think a printed manual should be available, at least as an option.

The Prime crashes far too often. I (and others) have had it lock up doing quite normal things. Like trying to use the spreadsheet having selected RPN entry mode.

The problem I found with the triangle solver (and it's not the only one I've found) is mentioned elsewhere. For another one, try entering 2 of the sides as 1 (say a=1, b=1) and the angle between them as 1e-12 (C=1e-12). It will say there is no solution. There clearly is.

The linear solver is useless. It only handles 2 and 3 variable sets of equations. Heck, I found a commercial Radio Shack program tape for their first pocket computer (aka Sharp PC1211), over 30 years ago, which included an 8 variable solver. That, on a machine with a few K of RAM. Yes, I know the Prime can invert larger matrices, there are ways to solve larger sets of linear equations on the Prime, but...

Then there's the inconsistencies between Function mode and CAS. A trivial one. If you select 'allow complex results', then ASIN(2) gives a sensible result in the Function home screen. But in CAS it gives an error message.

RPN support (and for others here, to me RPL is a very pure form of RPN) is minimal. There should be an RPN-type programming language. Keep PPL if you want, but heck, there must be enough space in the flash ROM to have more than one language. PPL may be more readable than RPN-type languages, but it is also a lot less convenient for one-off hack-type programs. Not all problems get solved by the same tools, after all.

There must be more I've forgotten.

For the moment I am sticking to my RPL machines, HP41's, etc. They work. They only crash if I try low-level things like machine code. They do not give bogus answers.

I was given my Prime. Had I bought it, I would be returning it under the UK Sale of Goods Act. IMHO it is not of 'merchantable quality'


#95

Quote:
There must be more I've forgotten.

You wondered why the back plate engraving includes the supply voltage for the adaptor. :-)

#96

So I did...

Like others, I've found the 1000-terms limit on summations (which is IMHO ridiculous).

Even if all these bugs were sorted out, I would still find the Prime incredibly clumsy to use compared to older HP calculators...

#97

Quote:
If you select 'allow complex results', then ASIN(2) gives a sensible result in the Function home screen. But in CAS it gives an error message.

Not if you uncheck "Exact:" in the CAS settings.


#98

I've tried that now. It still doesn't work. I've tried various
other things too, like deselecting RPN mode in the 'Function' App settings (just in case, it messes up other things).

Can somebody tell me if there's a set of settings (and what they are) that will get ASIN(2) (that is ArcSine) to return a correct complex result in CAS?

Another oddity... In CAS, with Exact mode enabled, ln(2) stays as it is, it becomes a decimal when you approximate (shift-enter). That is what I would expect. But log(2) (log to base 10) returns a decimal approximation in Exact mode.

FWIW, I can find none of this in the so-called user manual


#99

No idea. My CAS settings are Radians, Standard, Decimal, None, Exact and Increasing unchecked, all else checked. ASIN(2) returns (1.571,-1.317) in both Home and CAS. I use only Textbook or Algebraic entry mode and Radians whenever I use complex trig or log functions. Also, if I check Exact in CAS settings the ASIN(2) results in (0,-1)*LN((0,2)+(0,1)*sqrt(3)), where sqrt displays as the symbol.

Edited: 29 Nov 2013, 9:36 a.m.

> I dislike the fact that connectivity is limited to Windows PCs.

Officially, yes. Unofficially, no: https://github.com/debrouxl/hplp works on Windows, MacOS X and Linux (and is untested on FreeBSD, but the hidapi library used for USB communication works there).

libhpcalcs is derived from the time-proven architecture of the main third-party "connectivity kit" (usually dubbed "linking software") for TI-Z80, TI-68k and TI-Nspire calculators, libti*/tilp.

However, libhpcalcs does not have a GUI front-end yet, only a TUI front-end, and therefore, it's not very usable.


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