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HP-15C Manual Revisions
Message #1 Posted by Warren Anderson on 3 Jan 2007, 12:23 p.m.

I've looked at three revisions of the Owner's Handbook:

Rev. C (at home, around Oct 93 I think), spiral bound Rev. F January 1985, copyright 1982, spiral bound Rev. G November 1985, on www.hp15c.org website (don't have my MoHPC DVD handy for the version there)

They all have the same page count, and I don't see any changes after sampling the text in each.

Were these simply reprintings, or are there corrections/revisions? If so, anyone have a list of changes from version to version?

Also, was there a single revision of the Advanced Functions Handbook,or several?

I can't say why I am infatuated by this calculator and its HP documentation, but I believe they did set an early benchmark for extraordinary ergonomics and clarity.

      
Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
Message #2 Posted by Charlie O. on 3 Jan 2007, 2:02 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Anderson

I was wondering the same thing about the 12C. I have several, with some being "Edition" and others being "Rev." I think the editions were numbered and the revs were lettered. These also had the same page count. Some are wire bound, some not.

      
Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
Message #3 Posted by Karl Schneider on 3 Jan 2007, 11:12 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Anderson

Hello, Warren --

Quote:
I've looked at three revisions of the (HP-15C) Owner's Handbook:

Rev. C (at home, around Oct 93 I think), spiral bound Rev. F January 1985, copyright 1982, spiral bound Rev. G November 1985, on www.hp15c.org website (don't have my MoHPC DVD handy for the version there)


The two PDF's offered at www.hp15c.org are the ones from the MoHPC CD #1 or DVD.

I have the OH Rev. C (printed in USA, February 1983) and Rev. G (Canada, November 1985).

I also have the German-language OH "Benutzerhandbuch" (Singapore, August 1982). On MoHPC CD #7 is a July 1982 version.

Quote:
Also, was there a single revision of the Advanced Functions Handbook,or several?

I have the AFH Rev. B (USA, June 1984). On MoHPC CD #1 is the original with no revision number (USA, August 1982).

Quote:
Were these simply reprintings, or are there corrections/revisions? If so, anyone have a list of changes from version to version?

I'm sure that there were subtle differences -- probably just corrections of minor errors and typos, and perhaps some wordsmithing. I've never noticed anything new or different in later revisions.

Speaking of errors, the only substantial ones I've ever found in the HP-15C Owner's Handbook are on page 218 (all versions, English or German): A list of 2-byte programmable instructions omits the following ones:

  • [GSB][.] label
  • x<> {A-E}
  • DSE {A-E}
  • ISG {A-E}

    None of the listed instructions were available on the predecessor HP-11C, which also did not have any two-byte instructions.

    Quote:
    I can't say why I am infatuated by this calculator and its HP documentation, but I believe they did set an early benchmark for extraordinary ergonomics and clarity.

    I couldn't agree more. Here are several posts of mine:

    HP-15C general praise

    HP-15C perfect functional layout

    -- KS

    Edited: 3 Jan 2007, 11:28 p.m.

  •             
    Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
    Message #4 Posted by Warren Anderson on 7 Jan 2007, 10:41 a.m.,
    in response to message #3 by Karl Schneider

    Karl,

    Thank you so much for your detailed response and links to some of the Forum lore regarding the 15C. The enormity of material in the Forum archives and my poor search skills often lead to disappointment without the kind guidance of tenured forum members.

    Your post of 10 June 2006 is a wonderful analysis of key placement and labelling for greatest access to functionality and I think perfectly deconstructs the intuitive allure of the 15C.

    I must now briefly revisit my well-spent youth. The ubercalc of my college generation was the 25C and it served me superbly as a chemistry major at Mssrs Hewlett and Packard's alma mater. (But how much more meaningful would calculus and all the quantitative sciences have been with ready interactive visualization of functions on a graphing calc?!) I had a 15C for medical internship and after some tight coding was able to shoehorn a suite of patient cardiovascular parameter analysis routines into the limited memory so that I could accomplish about an hour's pre-rounds tedious manual calculations to prepare for 0700 coronary care unit morning report into a quick 5-10 minutes, which yielded 30 more minutes of precious sleep.

    Later that year I used the first of several 41C/V/Xs I owned, and finally a 28S which was awkward in the hand but amazingly capable. My 15C lived on my desk and balanced my checkbook, but had little other use. In 2004 it and all my accumulated HPs (along with my first original still-functional Macintosh) were washed out to sea by Hurricane Ivan along with most of the structure of my house.

    So now I am on sabbatical/fellowship in an image analysis lab with lots of PhDs from various disciplines. We use MATLAB on PCs. But if I should happen to mention "HP," what is pulled out of briefcases or shirt pockets or purses or satchels? Battle-scarred HP-15Cs. Incredible that it has not really been superceded in the past nearly-quarter century. (Brief aside--a Curta II performs arithmetic with more significant digits!)

    The only features I wish were incorporated into the 15C are unit conversion and a table of constants. Of course a user-appropriate list of the latter can be entered into registers and saved for nearly forever so that isn't a valid complaint for other than the supremely lazy.

    eBay is a world-wide marketplace without peer in terms of ready access to relatively rare articles. Calculator antiques are a luxury, and so prices are inflated far above commodity values. I'm simply glad I can locate sellers of good-condition goods without having to prowl garages and corporate lot sales myself. Will HP ever make another 15C? I don't see how it makes business sense, unless it is a limited edition vanity commemorative item to celebrate an important anniversary for marketing and good will purposes rather than sales... Then I'm there with my VISA in a heartbeat.

    Warren

                      
    Re: HP-15C and memories
    Message #5 Posted by Karl Schneider on 9 Jan 2007, 12:35 a.m.,
    in response to message #4 by Warren Anderson

    Hello, Warren --

    Quote:
    Karl,

    Thank you so much for your detailed response and links to some of the Forum lore regarding the 15C. The enormity of material in the Forum archives and my poor search skills often lead to disappointment without the kind guidance of tenured forum members.


    My pleasure. The HP Forum Archives does offer a limited searching capability, but only for one archive file at a time. It could be possible to use Google search to obtain faster results, but I don't see a clear advantage.

    Quote:
    I must now briefly revisit my well-spent youth. The ubercalc of my college generation was the 25C and it served me superbly as a chemistry major at Mssrs Hewlett and Packard's alma mater. (But how much more meaningful would calculus and all the quantitative sciences have been with ready interactive visualization of functions on a graphing calc?!) I had a 15C for medical internship and after some tight coding was able to shoehorn a suite of patient cardiovascular parameter analysis routines into the limited memory so that I could accomplish about an hour's pre-rounds tedious manual calculations to prepare for 0700 coronary care unit morning report into a quick 5-10 minutes, which yielded 30 more minutes of precious sleep.

    Later that year I used the first of several 41C/V/Xs I owned, and finally a 28S which was awkward in the hand but amazingly capable. My 15C lived on my desk and balanced my checkbook, but had little other use. In 2004 it and all my accumulated HPs (along with my first original still-functional Macintosh) were washed out to sea by Hurricane Ivan along with most of the structure of my house.


    Our condolences about your house and valued possessions. Ivan was one of four(!) hurricanes to hit Florida in 2004, but it struck other states harder.

    Quote:
    But if I should happen to mention "HP," what is pulled out of briefcases or shirt pockets or purses or satchels? Battle-scarred HP-15Cs. Incredible that it has not really been superceded in the past nearly-quarter century.

    I've noticed that HP-15C's (including my own) and HP-11C's tend to be "battle-scarred" from being carried everywhere -- unlike HP-16C's with their more limited application, usually at a design desk.

    The Pioneer-series models introduced in 1988 are the direct successors of the HP-15C and the rest of the Voyager series. Some models offer capabilities not found in the HP-15C and all are substantially faster, but none offer the excellence of easy usability and near-flawless design of the HP-15C.

    You might consider expanding upon your HP-15C applications during your medical internship for the MoHPC "Memories Forum", if you are so inclined. It sounds interesting.

    Regards,

    -- KS

                      
    Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
    Message #6 Posted by Les Wright on 9 Jan 2007, 1:20 a.m.,
    in response to message #4 by Warren Anderson

    Quote:
    I had a 15C for medical internship and after some tight coding was able to shoehorn a suite of patient cardiovascular parameter analysis routines into the limited memory so that I could accomplish about an hour's pre-rounds tedious manual calculations to prepare for 0700 coronary care unit morning report into a quick 5-10 minutes, which yielded 30 more minutes of precious sleep.

    As a cardiology resident you actually found a practical, job-related application of an HP programmable.

    I am psychiatrist, taking some time away from full time practice to study music. My HP collection and the many hours I spend with it serves no practical use in my life whatsoever :) Funny, I remember in residency training some of my colleagues waxing syncopal at the appearance of statistical methods or anything quantitative that appeared in any teaching session....

    Les

    Edited: 9 Jan 2007, 1:21 a.m.

                      
    Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
    Message #7 Posted by Mike Morrow on 9 Jan 2007, 12:33 p.m.,
    in response to message #4 by Warren Anderson

    My first HP was the HP-67, which I could barely afford. Then other HPs joined my family: 35, 45, 21, 25, 19C, 41C, 41CX, 12C, 15C, 28C, 28S, 32SII, 42, 48SX, 48GX, 49g+, and a few others I can't recall right now.

    The HP-15C was overwhelmingly my favorite calculator for more than 11 years until I finally got a HP42. (I found two new HP42 units still in stock at the U. of Alabama-Huntsville bookstore in 1997, more than two years after HP discontinued the HP42. They had been held in stock since 1993!) The HP42 is clearly superior is every technical detail such as function, speed, and ease of use. Especially in ease of use! There seems to be a massive amount of affection for the HP-15C on this forum, yet having used both the 15C and the 42, I can't imagine anyone prefering the 15C over the 42 other than in appearance. HP42 performance simply overwhelms the 15C, in the same size package.

    A perfect calc for me would be a RPN (not RPL) ARM-based HP42-type with SD card and larger display and memory, clock/calendar, basic financial functions, in a package that used the same case and button color scheme as the HP-15C. Yeah, I know...where would sufficient batteries go. So maybe I could forego that ARM.

    HP really went off on a wrong track with their calculator color schemes since 1979. The HP-41 is uninspiring, the Pioneer and HP48S series are terrible, the HP48GX is eye-straining, and so on. But when I use a HP-11C or -15C, or a HP-19C or HP-67, I find their appearance to fully reflect the quality of the design underneath.

    Mike

                            
    HP-42S vs HP-15C, and color schemes
    Message #8 Posted by Karl Schneider on 9 Jan 2007, 10:29 p.m.,
    in response to message #7 by Mike Morrow

    Hello, Mike --

    Quote:
    The HP42 is clearly superior is every technical detail such as function, speed, and ease of use. Especially in ease of use! There seems to be a massive amount of affection for the HP-15C on this forum, yet having used both the 15C and the 42, I can't imagine anyone prefering the 15C over the 42 other than in appearance. HP42 performance simply overwhelms the 15C, in the same size package.

    Ain't it funny how the same ideas keep comin' around in the Forum? Here's one of my posts in a thread from 2004:

    Some 15C advantages over 42S

    Quote:
    HP really went off on a wrong track with their calculator color schemes since 1979. The HP-41 is uninspiring, the Pioneer and HP48S series are terrible, the HP48GX is eye-straining, and so on. But when I use a HP-11C or -15C, or a HP-19C or HP-67, I find their appearance to fully reflect the quality of the design underneath.

    Um, I don't quite follow. The "first-shift yellow, second-shift blue, third-shift black" scheme established in the mid-1970's was maintained with only several exceptions until 1993. The HP-41 used yellow for the shifted functions and blue for alpha characters. The HP-48S family used yellow and blue, as did the HP-71B and all of the Spice- and Voyager-series models introduced respectively in 1978-79 and 1981-82. (I believe that only the HP-34C had a third, black shift key.)

    The HP-28C/S in 1986-87 used a deep red shift key. The HP-22S and HP-27S from 1988 used a darker-blue shift on dark background that is hard to read, and the HP-48G family utilized "designer" colors that are more difficult to read.

    Fundamentally, I agree: The "traditional" scheme was ergonomic perfection, and shouldn't have been tampered with.

    -- KS

                            
    Re: HP-15C Manual Revisions
    Message #9 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 10 Jan 2007, 6:54 a.m.,
    in response to message #7 by Mike Morrow

    Hi, Mike:

    Mike posted:

      " I can't imagine anyone prefering the 15C over the 42 other than in appearance. HP42 performance simply overwhelms the 15C, in the same size package."

        I do. Performance isn't everything. Otherwise, why would some people prefer a classical analogic Rolex watch to the latest CASIO LCD digital do-it-all watches with tons of functions ?

        Further, usually the more knowledgeable and discerning "connoisseurs" are the ones preferring the Rolex while the rest go in 'function-hog' mode: the more functions, bells, and whistles, the better. It's frequently the case that many people owning such a digital watch would still dream of owning a classical analogic Rolex, while the reverse case is unheard of.

        In other words, there's no need to enter in a performance comparison between the HP-15C and the HP42S because we aren't comparing the same things, it would be as useless as comparing the analogic Rolex to the digital CASIO watch. You need an special sensibility to get to appreciate the HP-15C over allegedly more powerful models, and that sensibility can't be taught, either you do have/develop it or you don't.

    Best regards from V.


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