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New kid - where to start
09-21-2019, 07:43 AM
Post: #1
New kid - where to start
Okay, I'm a vintage HP guy from the land before time, but I like to learn new things. I thought about buying a Prime but I've already spent an embarrassing amount on "must buy" calculators this year. So I bought the Android HP Prime Pro app to get me started.

Is reading the user guide the best way to tackle this beasty? I'm mostly interested in the programming side of this device, how to turn it into a powerful astrophysics tool with named constants, handy functions and the like. I've done a bunch of programming on the DM42 and HP41CV before that. I want to at least replicate that, if not make a smarter environment.

BTW - I'm a retired IT dude so programming in virtually any language is second nature to me. I like the idea of a modern 3GL "Pascal-like" programmable device in my hand. The DM42 is great, but keystroke programming can get tedious at times.

Sadly I run Linux on my laptop so I've already been bashing my head against a brick wall with the connectivity tool fun. Never mind, that would be nice, but not a show stopper yet.

During my brief journey thus far I have discovered the "backup" function. Does that create a file in the Android file system by any chance? Has anybody worked out how to do anything clever with these?

I look forward to chatting more with you fine gents ( and ladies? ) in the future.

Onward and upward ...

Steve

HP11C, HP12C, HP15C, HP16C, HP25, HP32S, HP33C, HP41CV, DM42, HP46, HP65
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09-21-2019, 07:29 PM (This post was last modified: 09-21-2019 07:36 PM by HP67.)
Post: #2
RE: New kid - where to start
Hi and welcome,

I can't help with the 42 or 41 models, but if you think you might enjoy a FORTH-like language on a calculator as many of us do, then the 28/48/50 are great choices. Sadly they're all out of production but 48s in nice shape in many variants are available at reasonable prices. The S and SX are probably the most beautiful calculators HP has made aside from the 67 but the G, G+, and GX are more powerful. The 50g is more powerful yet but went out of production quickly and is now selling for exhorbitant prices.

I run mostly Linux and UNIX so I understand your frustration at the connectivity options in general. However Kermit works perfectly with the 48/50. There is also a port of the assembler for the 48 models which runs on Linux and supports user and system RPL also.

Of course, running Windows in VirtualBox etc. might also be an option if you want to try the many Windows-only tools.

I'm sure you'll get much better answers from the rest of the guys but since nobody replied yet I thought to put in my 2C.

Some intro. to RPL is here https://www.hpmuseum.org/rpl.htm

It ain't OVER 'till it's 2 PICK
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09-22-2019, 04:31 PM
Post: #3
RE: New kid - where to start
(09-21-2019 07:29 PM)HP67 Wrote:  The 50g is more powerful yet but went out of production quickly ...

The 50g was produced from 2006-2015. In fact, as the 49g+ and 50g were essentially the same calculator (with better buttons and black case), the production run of the 49g+/50g from 2003-2015 made it the longest production run of any of hp's graphing calculators.

I see reasonably priced used ones on TAS.
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09-24-2019, 09:09 AM
Post: #4
RE: New kid - where to start
Hi Steve,

(09-21-2019 07:43 AM)NoEqualsButton Wrote:  ... Is reading the user guide the best way to tackle this beasty? ...

For me https://www.hpcalc.org/prime/docs/ and https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-818.html were a good starting with the Prime.

(09-21-2019 07:43 AM)NoEqualsButton Wrote:  ... During my brief journey thus far I have discovered the "backup" function. Does that create a file in the Android file system by any chance? ...

Backups generated by Shift+Mem->Backups in Prime Emu can be found in /data/data/com.hp.primecalculator/files/Backups/<name_of_backup>.zip in Android. The zip contains the contents from /data/data/com.hp.primecalculator/files/UserData/ with its subdirs. Unfortunately all the /data/data/ ... is only accessible on rooted Androids. :-{

(09-21-2019 07:43 AM)NoEqualsButton Wrote:  ... So I bought the Android HP Prime Pro app to get me started.

I also only use the Prime Emu 2.1.14181 on Samsung Android 7.1. (unrooted) and a rooted Huawei Android 4.1.
Especially when starting Prime Emu I get in both environments approx. 10% of the starts aborted by Android's '"Application does not respond." message. Starting Prime a second time mostly succeeds and allows to restore a backup inside Prime Emu.
But in approx. 1% of Prime usage I do not get the Prime Emu running at all anymore. The only way out is using the PC Connectivity kit to restore my Prime Emu environment on the unrooted device (alternativly deleting the Prime Emu data by Android allows starting again but will vanish your work). On the rooted Android I can manually restore /data/data/com.hp.primecalculator/files/UserData/ to get happy again.
I seem to be not the only one with similar trouble, but in contrast to some other users running my favourite CAS calc on my phone is a much bigger plus than some instabilities with known workarounds.

(09-21-2019 07:43 AM)NoEqualsButton Wrote:  ... Sadly I run Linux on my laptop so I've already been bashing my head against a brick wall with the connectivity tool fun. ...

When you face instability described before on your (unrooted) Android, you might need to find a way for Connectivity Kit on Linux, I fear.

Have Prime-fun!
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09-24-2019, 10:06 AM
Post: #5
RE: New kid - where to start
I have used the CK under wine, and it works, but only with the virtual Prime (also running on Linux). This is because wine doesn't support any hardware, so the usb drivers would never work.

If you want to connect with a physical Prime or android version, the best and only way I found is running Windows on a Virtual Machine with usb pass through.

-Victor
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09-26-2019, 02:14 AM
Post: #6
RE: New kid - where to start
Altho still working I am also of retirement age. I started with the HP 35 in 1973.

For engineering problems or project type calculations, the 50g is hard to beat. I have 2 and keep them handy. But as already mentioned it is out of production. I now use the prime more than the 50g.

I bought a gen 1 prime in 2015 and a gen 2 in 2019. The early calculator tended to crash but improved with each software upgrade. Also new features were added in many areas such as the finance app.

For me the learning prime curve was steep but there are a lot of knowledgeable people on the forum. And, it has been worth the effort.

My career has been in electrical engineering and I only took 2 programming courses (fortran and pascal). The kids here at work refer to them as ancient alien languages.

Altho my programs are elementary, my experiences with the ancient alien programming languages made the prime programming structure recognizable.

I found the prime virtual calculator to be useful. It has a larger display and programs are easier to run and debug.

Good luck in choosing your new direction.
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