Message #8 Posted by GE on 19 Oct 2006, 4:42 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Arnaud Amiel
Yes, a real pain to use. Here is a very short summary of the most itrritating problems I ran into (from memory) :
- keyboard : good for big boys like me, but exhausting for normal users
- no printing at any place on screen in the manual (DISPXY exists, but is not documented, JYA himself told me about it) : DISP always erases a line and prints from column 1
- no catalog : exists for some CAS commands (not all), but not normal commands
- doesn't recall which menu and menu item you last used. Must browse again and again.
- input form cannot have more than one (!!!) field
- screen should display 8 lines but : one is used by a title no one on earth cares about, one is permanently used by the input line (no way around this, really), space is used by silly useless "decorating" horizontal lines -- the result is you can only see 2 expressions with their results on screen !
- No way to use the syntax help while typing an expression : HELPWITH must be used on the input line.
- very slow (I mean it never finishes) on simple things like integral of (x+1)/(x-1) over [-1,0]...
- (CAS) Step by step is mandatory for some functions but if activated needs lots of [OK] keypresses to finish other calculations
- irritating features like doesn't switch to alpha when creating a program an it asks you for program name
- no STO key, no Alpha Lock key
- a grand total of 26 variables... HP32S users rejoice, this one is no better at 256 K RAM !!
- syntax invented by a commitee : ":" and ";" and "," MUST ABSOLUTELY be used or MUST ABSOLUTELY BE OMITTED if in front of an ELSE or a WHILE or not or ... mind boggling
- did I say that syntax help is not available in program mode ??
- doesn't know that the end of a line **ENDS** a line, you must still use ";" (or ":" or "," ?)
- usual automatic de-indentation of your programs (no better than on the 49, maybe worse actually due to the contrived syntax)
- no function definitions (would be useful in the graphing environment in an ideal world)
- alpha characters are printed on the faceplate BELOW the offending key !! I typed the wrong character a countless number of times !!! This one is a killer.
- symbolic variables cannot have the same name in the CAS and in the normal environment -- <painful retyping on>
- Of course the aplets completely ignore each other, so some graph or solution cannot be combined into another aplet.
- Aplet programming is neither documented nor really possible on calc. Result : few aplets available compared to other models
- no access to RPL or any internal stuff
I regret that this machine has been so poorly designed. I don't care that the internal OS is capable of this or that, the user is just badly taken care of.
I purchase the 38G way back when and was disappointed, then purchased the 40G (these guys never learn !), and it happened again. This is bad.
Note that HP Basic is only slightly better on the 49, it needs te become simpler (easy on separators would relieve poor users a lot).