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Nonpareil II status and plans
01-28-2024, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2024 07:01 AM by brouhaha.)
Post: #1
Nonpareil II status and plans
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Nonpareil II reached the point of successfully simulating its first calculator model, the HP-25. It is still using the non-scalable graphics from Nonpareil I, as I haven't yet had time to create scalable graphics for any model other than the 16C (proof-of-concept graphics, no simulation yet). The state save for the 25 is currently manually performed by File/Save as, and I'm just starting on state loading. Eventually it will be automatic like Nonpareil I.

I spent some time a few months ago making sure that I could "easily" build a Nonpareil release for Windows, and had that mostly working. More recently I've worked on getting it to build for macOS, which is still in progress. Today I've discovered that some of the things I did to make it build for the Mac actually broke the ability to build for Windows, and I spent a lot of today figuring out how to fix that. Even though I stick to the C++20 standard, not using any non-standard extensions, and use Qt6 for the user interface, which has good cross-platform support, it is still the case that cross-platform development can be very difficult.

Now that something is actually working, I plan to release a demo for Windows and macOS soon. I expect further progress to be more rapid, but I still want to, as soon as possible, get a minimally functional preview/demo release into the hands of people willing to try it.

Unlike what I've done in the pastI, I plan to put Nonpareil II into the Microsoft and Apple stores as a paid application, to raise funds to support further development. At first, Nonpareil II will NOT be open-source, though I still plan for it to be open source later. I think that if I publish the source right away, people will build releases they sell cheaper or give away, so I want to develop at least some user base before open sourcing it.

The early preview/demo will of course be distributed free-of-charge. I won't switch to the paid stores until it is much closer to the intended level of functionality

I've been agonizing for some time over this decision to not make it open source from day one, and I'm still not thrilled about it. I hope Nonpareil users are not too disappointed.
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01-28-2024, 09:00 PM
Post: #2
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Thanks! I'll be buying the MacOS versions when available.

Cambridge, UK
41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 17B/II/II+ 28S 42S/DM42 32SII 48GX 50g 35s WP34S PrimeG2 WP43S/pilot
Casio, Rockwell 18R
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01-29-2024, 01:39 AM
Post: #3
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
I support your selling them Eric, it's the right thing to do.

For years and years, folks have been taking your open source code and building products around it to sell on the various app stores, proving no reference or credit. Later if/when you do release it open source, hopefully you can also include come obfuscation code, hidden from a casual code review, to be able to track when they do it again, as it sadly seems inevitable these days.

Like cdmackay, I'm ready to buy a copy when it's ready.

Thanks!

--Bob Prosperi
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01-29-2024, 02:17 AM
Post: #4
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Eric,

I would like to test your MacOS (and Linux) demos when you are ready. Also I'll purchase a MacOs version when the time comes.

Try CC41!
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01-29-2024, 05:51 AM
Post: #5
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
I'll purchase the Windows version when it comes out.

Etienne
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01-29-2024, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2024 11:33 AM by mfleming.)
Post: #6
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Gratis versus libre see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_libre

No problem, think Bandcamp model for music
* Windows & Linux please

Remember kids, "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve."
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01-31-2024, 01:07 AM
Post: #7
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Thank you all for your support and encouragement! At some point I'll have to decide what price to assign in the stores. Would $39 be too expensive?

My expectation will be that the version I make available for sale will have scalable graphics for all supported models. The initial list of supported models will be:

Classic: 35, 45, 55, 70, 80
Woodstock: 19C, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29C, 67, 91, 92, 97
Spice: 31E, 32E, 33E, 33C, 34C, 37E, 38E, 38C
Nut: 41C, 41CV, 41CX
Voyager: 10C, 11C, 12C, 15C, 15C with expanded memory, 16C

As with the original Nonpareil, these will all have "continuous memory". 19C, 91, 92, and 97 will have printer support, and the 67 and 97 will have card reader support. On initial release, the 41C family might not have printer and card reader support, but they will be added, and evetually the 41C will support virtual HP-IL.
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01-31-2024, 03:19 AM
Post: #8
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(01-31-2024 01:07 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  Would $39 be too expensive?

No idea, but count me in for the 41 version.
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01-31-2024, 04:36 AM
Post: #9
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(01-31-2024 03:19 AM)agarza Wrote:  count me in for the 41 version.

Great, thanks! The current plan is that there will be a single SKU that includes all of the calculator models. The installer will allow installing all, or a chosen subset.
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02-01-2024, 01:44 AM
Post: #10
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(01-31-2024 01:07 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  Would $39 be too expensive?

I think I would describe that as an "enthusiasts price" meaning it is great value for someone who wants all the machines. For "nostalgic buyers" who want a version of a calc they had as a student, but don't actually _need_ a calc then I think many will baulk at the price.

How about $5 for the app with one model included and then "in app" purchases of further models at $2 each? Especially if they can choose the first model.
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02-01-2024, 09:05 AM
Post: #11
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Hmm. I think - and it's only my guess - $39 is unlikely to sell any fewer than say $15. There are free RPN apps for anyone who is very price-sensitive. I see Thomas sells Plus42 at about $10 - that's a datapoint. And the official HP15C seem to be about $15. That's just for one model.

One possibility is a poll thread with a range of prices, asking what's the highest one would go. Although some people might take that negatively... but others will recognise the huge amount of work and the importance of encouraging further development. (I think Thomas may have said he makes disappointingly few sales of Plus42)
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02-02-2024, 12:41 AM
Post: #12
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(02-01-2024 01:44 AM)BruceH Wrote:  I think I would describe that as an "enthusiasts price" meaning it is great value for someone who wants all the machines. For "nostalgic buyers" who want a version of a calc they had as a student, but don't actually _need_ a calc then I think many will baulk at the price.

Thanks for the suggestion. I would be fully in agreement if I was talking about phone apps, but I'm less certain whether the same reasoning applies here. Since this is a desktop/laptop application, I think it's unlikely to sell to anyone not a serious enthusiast. Nevertheless, I should give it some thought. I'd rather make a few dollars from casual users than none at all.
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02-04-2024, 09:45 AM
Post: #13
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(01-31-2024 03:19 AM)agarza Wrote:  
(01-31-2024 01:07 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  Would $39 be too expensive?

No idea, but count me in for the 41 version.

+1!
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02-14-2024, 09:01 AM
Post: #14
I have the Nut processor and 16C calculator working
It's taken a surprising amount of time to debug the Nut simulation code in Nonpareil II, but since it is a total rewrite, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I have the 16C working. I haven't yet tested too throroughly, so there may still be some bugs, but the basic functionality seeks to work OK. Usually if a microinstruction is simulated incorrectly, it results in fairly obvious failures in the simulated calculator.

The HP-25 already worked, though with only the raster graphics from the original Nonpareil. I still need to create SVG graphics for it. (Before anyone volunteers any SVG files, I should mention that I have fairly specific requirements that most existing SVG models do not meet. While I'd welcome assistance, if anyoen does want to help we should talk first.)

Saving and restoring the calculator state in not yet implemented, so the calculators always start up in the same state as a physical calculator that has just been turned on after replacing the batteries. In other words, currently the 16C will always start up in the powered-off state, and the ON button must be pressed to get to "Pr Error".

Obviously in future versions I intend to have more models supported, scalable graphics, and state save and reload. That's why I only call this a preview release. I may put in an expiration date, because I'll want people to try newer previews rather than using this one indefinitely.

I plan to make a freely distributable installer for 64-bit Windows available in the next few days for anyone who cares to try it out. It will run on Windows 10, probably 11, and maybe 7 or 8. I only test the Windows builds on Windows 10. While my build system can produce a 32-bit Windows build, I don't currently plan to distribute one.

Reminders:
1. Nonpareil II is NOT open-source or free-software. That may come later, though I don't guarantee it.
2. Nonpareil II is a currently a program for desktop and laptop computers, not phones and tablets.

Once Nonpareil II reaches a state that is fairly stable and reasonably feature-complete, I will put it in the Apple and Microsoft stores.

Plans for Linux sales are not yet determined, because of the logistics involved in supporting various Linux distributions. I develop on Fedora, so that one is relatively easy. I'm not a huge fan of Docker, Flatpak, Snap, or AppImage, but I may have to consider those.
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02-14-2024, 05:25 PM
Post: #15
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
Out of curiosity, are you planning on including the 16C version with more memory in this or a future release? (he said, side-eyeing his profile picture nervously.)
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02-14-2024, 06:32 PM
Post: #16
RE: Nonpareil II status and plans
(02-14-2024 05:25 PM)badacktor Wrote:  Out of curiosity, are you planning on including the 16C version with more memory in this or a future release?

Not in this release because with the new code base, I want to focus on testing the basics. I do intend to put it n a future release.
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