The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 05

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A good 28C/28S simulator
Message #1 Posted by Steve (USA) on 19 Jan 2001, 10:35 p.m.

Is there a good simulator program usable on handheld devices (Palms (TM) and Compaq Ipaqs and such) for the 28C/28S? How about for a full blown windows desktop/laptop? By good I mean handling matrices/complex/binary-numbers implicitly without changing modes, and having an infinite stack with 4 line visibility. I may be one of the few supporters of the 28 series calcs.


Re: A good 28C/28S simulator
Message #2 Posted by Jan (CH) on 21 Jan 2001, 3:11 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Steve (USA)

I wished, somebody would take up this great idea for the most important HP calcs (27S, 28, 41…). I would be willing to pay an amount for a reliable Palm HP emulator in the area of a new HP calculator.

Re: A good 28C/28S simulator
Message #3 Posted by Paul Brogger on 22 Jan 2001, 11:45 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Steve (USA)

HP could probably make some money on HP-branded calculator software for PDA's. A 28S "skin" for the Palm & CE devices (Journada???) would be right on. No nice button feel, but all the functionality and RPN usefulness anyone could ask for, plus the opportunity to save and restore programs, etc. Most of HP's investment in functionality and software could be leveraged into new, profitable manifestatons of a truly venerated product line. (The future lies in customizable software running on connected, general-purpose hardware, anyway.) Knock, knock! Aytch Pee? Anyone listening in there?

A good simulator / Calculator applications
Message #4 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez (Argentina) on 22 Jan 2001, 4:20 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Paul Brogger

HP had an excellent calculator application software, running on the limited HP 100LX/200LX palmtops. Although a little business oriented (I suppose it is similar to the HP 27S), it included logs, trigs, plotting, solver, stats, 4-model curve fitting, lest from date calculations, TVM, amortizations... Oh, it also accepted both algebraic and RPN modes. It lacks programability, complex mode, matrices, symbolic math, base conversions; but is very usable and friendly, at least for engineers that became managers like me :-)

As I had stated in this Forum before, when the first Windows CE machines appeared in 1997, I expected HP to announce a model which a good calculator application. I could not believe when the WinCE based HP 300LX appeared... and the "calculator" feature was a very basic Windows 4-function calc! Needless to say, I was much dissapointed because of that step back from the 200LX.

If HP had such good calculator application in 1994, running on a 8086-class, 7 MHz chip with 1 MBy RAM, and even made it multitasking on a MS-DOS 5.0 environment, the only reason for HP not doing something comparable for a current PDA is that HP does not believe it makes sense (for them) on a business perspective.

On the other hand, if you see the HP home page, where a legal settlement notice shows how HP had to spend a lot of money in reimbursements and lawyer fees due to a supposedly misleading Jornada advertising, you could understand that HP may be reluctant to announce any new product or software that may lead to such situations. For collectors, an "allbugs" machine is a dream, but the business rules of today make a big financial problem from any imperfection.

I know I am getting too nostalgic for old times, but sometimes I wonder if the HP 35, (with some initial bugs), or the HP 41 (with its bugs and weak contacts), or, for that matter, the almost perfect HP42S, with its PERM and COMB bug, could be announced today without being subjects of lawsuits; instead of being the functional marvels they were at their time...

Just in case, I am not affiliated with HP in any way, and have no position or interest on the Jornada claim.

Re: A good simulator / Calculator applications
Message #5 Posted by Mike on 22 Jan 2001, 6:30 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Andrés C. Rodríguez (Argentina)

You might want to check these out

I have a slightly different opinion and think an interface like RPN by Russ Webb is more suited to these kind of devices. The HP keyboard layout was awesome but in my opinion doesn't translate well to the touchpad screens.

Re: A good simulator / Calculator applications
Message #6 Posted by Steve (USA) on 23 Jan 2001, 1:19 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Mike

Thanks for the info. The KK15C looks interesting. I am, however, suspecting that I need to use my C++ skills to create an emulator with a 4 line display and infinite stack. Keyboard layout need not be exactly like the 28 series, but it does need '#', '[', ']', '(', ')', plus a few more. As well as inherently doing all I think is right with the 28 series ("everything is an entity and no mode changes are needed" concept) Anyone out there in HP-calculator-geek-land interested?

I have to agree with you to some degree on the 28 series. The book format seems an accident waiting to happen and the split keyboard is kludgy. But if one was to take out unecessary keys and combine the keys to one pad while keeping all the good features, it would be a thing of beauty. And, NO, it would not be the 48/49 series. I think 'handheld calculators' should be 'hand holdable'!!

Re: A good simulator / Calculator applications
Message #7 Posted by Paul Brogger on 23 Jan 2001, 12:10 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Steve (USA)


I'm not much of a C++ programmer (I've taken some classes and got peripherally involved in one project) I think I could pick it up more completely than I have.

I'm thinking of a hybrid 32S/42S keyboard (42S with alphas and an "alpha mode"), but with a 28S behavior and a 48G-style graphic screen (capable, at least, of a four-line stack display). The object type symbols (brackets etc.) would be needed, more of the various functions would have to be moved to multi-layer menus, but a 28S-style CUSTOM menu capability would allow return of the desired subset to a "place" of convenient access.

But really, being as it's a piece of software for a touch screen or workstation, the entire layout could be made more fluid, with a tabbed or other method of altering the available "keys" to suit particular circumstances . . .

Re: A good simulator / Calculator applications
Message #8 Posted by Mike on 23 Jan 2001, 8:29 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Paul Brogger

Agreed , actually I think all the HP calculator's with the possible exception of the 49G have wonderful keyboards. Earlier I was just remarking on the fact that hp keypad's are much larger than display's on most handheld's which means just copying the keypad doesn't work. I think something like the 42s user configurable menus are the answer also. Maybe two rows of keys with menu sets and some type of double shift with the keys dynamically renaming themselves. Instead of c++ how about quartus Forth it has a stack implementation inherently and supposedly compiles fairly fast executables

Those keyboards
Message #9 Posted by Viktor Toth on 24 Jan 2001, 6:51 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Mike

I never really believed just how good those old keyboards are until I recently came across an HP-95LX. Previously I was of the opinion that a pocket-size QWERTY keyboard is sheer nonsense. Now, having spent some of my free time in the last week or so replaying ZORK I on this HP-95LX, I have changed my opinion: a pocket-sized QWERTY keyboard makes a lot of sense if it's done right... like when it's done with the "old" HP keyboard technology!


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