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HP Forum Archive 12

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email fromHP
Message #1 Posted by Eddie Mabillard on 7 May 2003, 2:31 p.m.

Today I received an email from HP telling me to take a look at te new calcs' website, full of hope I jumped on it to find out about that new RPN, but as you can immagine was deceived disappointed, did not find any new in technical scientific or student model, I mailed them back perhaps am I too stupid to find them, but was told to be more patient, I have to wait some more, fall they told me! I hope it is fall this year. Eddie

Re: email fromHP
Message #2 Posted by Jrgen (CH) on 7 May 2003, 2:50 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eddie Mabillard

Although the eMail from HP sounds promising, I'll stick to my HP-41 (helps me to kill time until it's fall). I do not expect too much, so I won't be disappointed. But perhaps HP manages it to suprise us all?

Juergen (still believing in the impossible)

Re: email fromHP
Message #3 Posted by Bill Wiese on 7 May 2003, 2:52 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eddie Mabillard

Well, I'll post the email I got from HP.

They got my email addr, I'm pretty sure, from when I sent an email to Lee Khuan Goh and Ken? John? SomebodyElseInHPPR back in Dec (maybe early Jan.) after HP'd made some noises about new RPN calcs.

Never got a reply back - even though my email letter was nicely written, detailed, non-assailing, etc. - but guess I was added to the spam list.

And, of course, the email was in HTML, not plain text, which really makes me love it. (I usu delete all HTML email: emailing in HTML without a very good reason is just plain rude.)

To wit (text extracted, HTML eliminated, slight reformatting):

-------------------------------------------------------- Dear Customer (sic)

Nothing adds up to value like the indispensable HP handheld calculator. Since HP first invented the handheld scientific calculator in 1972, we have developed a full, comprehensive range of financial, scientific and graphing calculators. In keeping with tradition, this year promises to be another exciting one for HP calculators as we plan to unveil several new models throughout 2003.

In an effort to complete your HP calculator experience, we are pleased to launch the WebZone, HPs official calculator website. This site provides you with a one-stop dedicated place to get up-to-speed on the latest HP calculator products and gain access to valuable guides and support files. This site also makes it easy for you to determine the right HP calculator for your needs. Check the HP Calculator Webzone often, especially before back-to-school, to get information on HPs exciting new models launching this year.

We invite you to visit the WebZone at:

The site offers:

- Product features, benefits and specifications for the full range of HP calculators

- Product pages that include:

o Full descriptions o Images o Downloadable manuals o Customer support information o Valuable training modules for each calculator

- Best fit guide for identifying the right calculator

- Purchasing information with the option to purchase online

- A primer on Reverse Polish Notation (RPN)

- New product launches with training modules

The Webzone reflects HPs continued commitment to innovation in the handheld calculator space. The above list is just the beginning. Stay tuned for many more exciting additions to the site and the HP Calculator product line throughout 2003 and beyond!

Please log onto Business Week's latest online edition and read about our HP 12c Platinum financial calculator, to be made available at retail from early June in the United States and Latin America. For Europe and Asia-Pacific, this will be widely available by the end of June:

(signature block follows)

Re: email
Message #4 Posted by glynn on 7 May 2003, 3:57 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Bill Wiese

So, actually it wasn't a misfire, but a formal launching of the "Webzone" site. S'cool.

HTML e-mail *IS* probably inconsiderate of those who use mail-readers like Eudora, or alternate platforms to PCs. Unfortunately, Microsoft made it the DEFAULT mode in Outlook Express, and if your circle of contacts is amongst Win folk, chances are you don't even KNOW that the stationery, rich-text and graphics and so on are NOT naturally part of that 7-bit ASCII world email belongs to.

I admit I send mail in HTML all the time to my friends. It is simply more visual control outta my native mail application. It is only when someone complains or states beforehand that I will think to turn OFF the HTML.

I would imagine that eventually, even the RFCs will catch up and HTML will be THE mail standard. (Just as annoying as finding that EVERYTHING is being .pdf'ed, just when the current Acrobat Reader 5.1 sucks so badly).

Oh well. :-/

Re: PDF files
Message #5 Posted by bill platt on 7 May 2003, 11:49 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by glynn

What is wrong with PDF? (I am not defending--just want to know what you have seen.....) We use it all the time for pulling graphics, word documents, excel sreadsheets, hand sketches that are scanned etc etc into one easily ported, distributed and archived printable file. Seems a pretty good deal all around. Of course, I am using Acrobat (not the reader, the full program) and 5.- is much better than 4.- for making acrobat files.

Maybe the reader is another story.

Looking forward to your 2 cents

Re: PDF files
Message #6 Posted by Christof on 8 May 2003, 11:55 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by bill platt

There are a few things wrong with PDF-

1: I don't want to be forced to pay a few hundred bcks to be able to generate it.

2: readers are not available for enough platforms- and unlike even html (which is *fine* as a formatting language, and great as an email attachment, and takes FAR less bandwidth than pdf) PDF requires a lot of gui crap. I can read most things- even silly word doc, on a text only screen. An ssh connection, telnet, older computer without X running, even DOS on my 200LX

There are good points to PDF- and I'd probably like it a LOT more if there were readers for a few more platforms (like jornada 720) and it wasn't a monopolistic ploy on the part of one company to charge the world for a 'standard'

As for html in email---- it is fine, as an attachment.

Re: PDF files
Message #7 Posted by Vassilis Prevelakis on 8 May 2003, 5:27 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Christof

Christof on 8 May 2003, 11:55 a.m., wrote:

> There are a few things wrong with PDF- > > 1: I don't want to be forced to pay a few hundred bcks to be able to generate it.

Come on, there are open source PDF generation software, you don't have to use Acrobat.


PDF files - free generators
Message #8 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 8 May 2003, 5:37 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Vassilis Prevelakis


LaTeX based environments for text processors (MikTeX is one of them) and PS viewers usually offer PDF viewing and generation. I downloaded MikTeX (about 300MB) and installed it in order to type my final post-graduation text. Works great, but usualy needs a few "tunning" before producing stable PDF files if vector images and dot-based images are mixed in the same document.

Just my US$ 0.01 contribution.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil

Re: PDF files
Message #9 Posted by Les Bell [Sydney] on 9 May 2003, 6:06 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Christof

1: I don't want to be forced to pay a few hundred bcks to be able to generate it.

Nah. Just about every Linux system comes with ps2pdf. I routinely print from my Win2K laptop, through a Postscript printer driver, to a file on our Samba server, which I then run through ps2pdf to come up with a PDF. Total cost $0.

I'm thinking about writing a print filter to do the whole thing automatically. Just click on print, and have the PDF emailed back as an attachment. Real easy.

You should also check out HTMLDOC ( which is available for Windows and various UNIXes, and converts HTML pages into PDF books. Quite nice.


--- Les Bell []

Re: PDF files
Message #10 Posted by Richard Garner on 8 May 2003, 12:57 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by bill platt

Speaking for myself, I have no problem with a limited amount of things on PDFs for internet use. My biggest issue is if I am going to spend $200 or more for a calculator or software, it had better come with a detailed printed manual. It is stupid to have to go online and download a manual that should be provided with the product, then spend several hours printing it out. What about those people that do not have access to the internet, how are they to get manuals to learn how to use the calculator. I think that marketing has taken giant step backward when they stoped having good detailed manuals with the electronic products you buy.

Re: PDF files
Message #11 Posted by christof on 8 May 2003, 6:12 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by bill platt


you know, after even all this time on solaris, I've never tried to generate anything other than postscript.

it's buggy, but yeah, I can make pdf.


Re: PDF files (yes, the Reader is a different story)
Message #12 Posted by glynn on 8 May 2003, 9:02 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by bill platt

Hey Bill;

As I said: "(Just as annoying as finding that EVERYTHING is being .pdf'ed, just when the current Acrobat Reader 5.1 sucks so badly)."

My problem is not so much with the file format itself (though I could whine about people who are lazily scanning stuff to place in .pdf instead of actually creating a page of information visible and usable WITHOUT plug-ins, add-ons, etc.)

God knows we need better standards than those that the PC world usually gets sucked in to adopting. Real Audio? Flash, Shockwave and so forth?

I am 100% behind vector-based web document standards like SVG, but because nobody is pushing content-creation software for this very hard for FREE (not even Adobe), it'll probably go nowhere.

But my MAIN complaint is the "gratis" Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5.1. Specifically, "Adobe Acrobat Reader v.5.1 (32-bit) for Windows 98SE, 2000, and XP". I do not know about the Macintosh version, nor the Unix/Linux version.

Now, if someone wanted to "compete" and put out a better reader, they could; but since it would likely have to go head-to-head against FREE, I don't really expect a lot of enthusiastic effort to be expended here.

I have just looked at Google. I figured that more people than just me have had difficulties with A.R.5.1. But I now guess I am the only one with a bitter taste over it. All I was able to find were 10,460 web-sites asking you to install it so you can read their files, providing the link.

And so my story is atypical, I'll admit. I tell it anyway:

It was a dark and stormy night (heehee). On that fateful February day, I was surfing around, trying to find spec sheets on components and wanting full documentation on certain CPU parts. I was able to see most of these using Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0, which was a slow, dog of a program which crashed with a protection error every once in a while, on specific documents. But, generally, I got the docs I was looking for.

The website I was looking at had a warning that I might not be able to read their files unless I upgraded to Acrobat Reader 5.1. I had ignored that message a few times previous, with no major consequences; why I chose, finally, to heed it, I do not know.

But when I clicked on the file, and a dialog box popped up that stated "a new version of this software is available-- do you wish to download it now?", I figured, what the heck. What could it hurt? <now spooky, foreshadowing music rises>

The installation was odd. In former times, a single, downloaded .EXE would transfer, and then unpack a few files, ask you to reboot, and after that, you had your program to run. THIS time, An install package was downloaded, which ran, and began the process of transferring additional files from the main server to me. It all took far too much time and seemed overly awkward.

So, mark this #1: Server-tied Installation is AWKWARD.

After this, I rebooted, and went back to the .pdf doc files I had wanted. Clicking onto one, my browser went into "wait" mode, and there was still nothing but a promise of a file five minutes later. I had to shut down the browser. Tried again. Rebooted and tried again. The Acrobat Reader plug-in to the browser would work one time out of four or so.

There's my #2. Browser/A.R.5.1 clash.

I found I could still get the files by "save target as"ing the .pdf names. I saved them to my hard drive. I could load up on .pdfs, then go offline, and start an instance of the main Acrobat Reader. Cool, huh?

So that's what I did. And after closing my browser, I ran A.R., opened my first file, scrolled down it, AND IT LOCKED UP the computer. No keyboard, no mouse; would not respond to Ctrl-Alt-Del; I had to use the reset button on the computer and reboot.

Number 3: Scrolling sometimes locks up computer.

I HAD to be able to see these docs; I found I could print them if, when I opened a file, I did NOT move in the document, but just went directly to PRINT menu. At least I got hard copy. But, some of the documents were long. And there appears to be a limitation, so that anything over 99 pages simply will NOT PRINT.

Number 4: Can't handle long documents.

I was angry x 4 by now. I wrote Adobe. They got back to me saying that the problem had been in installation. I simply had to remove A.R.5.1, reboot and re-install. So I did that. Now the browser plug-in worked 2 out of 3 times, but there was still the too-common chance that it would go off "waiting". AND, I still could not scroll more than a page or two, before the system would LOCK UP.

Still the same problems, in different mix of frequency. I uninstalled again and updated my video drivers (though they had been working fine up 'til then) then re-installed.

I still cannot use Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.1 for Windows.

My system has been totally stable since I completely reworked it in November '02-- with the exception of Acrobat Reader. It has always been the weakest link. I do NOT believe it is written correctly, even if I happen to be the ONLY ONE ON THE PLANET who has had these problems.

Needless to say, I encounter many websites where a .pdf is just behind a link, waiting for me to click on it. I now look at any link carefully before I click-- 'cause I can't click on a .pdf. I haven't uninstalled A.R.5.1, because I still need to print the small ones it will read. This is sort of a crapshoot-- most it will print, some it spits out part of.

My system has been experiencing random lock-ups now, always after using A.R.5.1. Even after it is closed, it runs in the background.

Number 5: Why is it running in the background after it is closed?

Number 6: Why does it want to use the modem so much?

For the record, the surfing system is: Celeron 533 w/256M RAM, 60gig drive. Win 98 Second Edition. All upgrades to OS installed. Internet Explorer 6.0.28 browser. HP Laserjet 4m postscript printer with 32M RAM. ATI Rage64 video.

I've been mad about this for some time, so forgive me for going off now. But no other application I have has given me so much grief. If I knew what I was doing with Postscript and the pdf construction, I'd write a damn Reader myself.

That, Bill, hopefully answers what you asked. I am sure the commercial products have a better Reader.

Re: PDF files (yes, the Reader is a different story)
Message #13 Posted by Veli-Pekka Nousiainen on 10 May 2003, 10:39 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by glynn

I would like to have a separate link to a RTF-document file OR just plain text when shown directly

HTML email
Message #14 Posted by Patrick on 8 May 2003, 2:05 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by glynn

Since HTML is the favourite son of spammers, it is also one of the best anti-spam devices known to man. All HTML mail I receive goes straight to the junk email folder. Of course, there is the occasional false positive, but not enough to make me want to see all that stupid spam in my Inbox.

Re: email fromHP
Message #15 Posted by Raymond Del Tondo on 8 May 2003, 5:59 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Bill Wiese

> (I usu delete all HTML email: emailing in HTML without a very good reason is just plain rude.) > I second that. Sometimes there may be reasons to use HTML, but in most cases it's just annoying. Of course, using HTML, you could easily make a light blue background and use blue and red characters, which may look nice, but usually is hard to read, and therefore junk;-)


Re: email fromHP
Message #16 Posted by Bob on 7 May 2003, 7:48 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eddie Mabillard

Well, it looks like the only thing new is the "Latest News from the General MAganer". It makes some vague references to new scientifics later this year, and the 12c platinum.

But nothing concrete.

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