|Re: HP-41CY Turbo: How can the RAMBOX be reactivated ?|
Message #4 Posted by Werner (Germany) on 12 May 2006, 3:13 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Ronald
Hi Ronald, and Marco,
recovering a HP-41CY or its W&W RAMBOX II (which was sold by W&W as main part of the HP-41CY and as separate box in cardreader housing) is possible.
I do not know the specific problems of your HP-41CY but concerning the one which is offered at Ebay (Marco mentionned it here) from my personal perspective the symptoms indicate two possible cases (IMHO of course and without guarantee, but it is my own belief):
1.) Either due to low battery and dead RAMBOX buffer battery the soft operating system may be partly erased.
Principally it is no problem to recover / reload that operating system. Please see links given below.
2.) Much more likely is the following case: The operating system of the W&W RAMBOX is not erased at all (there are still functions like "Clear Rambox" being recognized), but parts of the code are masked by microcode inside the RAMBOX address space which makes the HP-41 partly reacting in a "chaotic way". This "garbage code" can e.g. be generated by low buffer plus low calc battery.
Microcode is very effective for making the HP-41 to do whatever you want it to do [nearly whatever ;-)... so only the top-10 world class programmers can do the microcode programming to make the HP-41 run the current Powerpoint version ;-) ].
On the other hand "garbage microcode" can also skrew up the HP-41 completely. It can run crazy.
But also case 2.) can be repaired by some steps. In this case you need not clear the RAMBOX operating system and you need not reload it.
Of course if the hardware of a RAMBOX is damaged there is no help by the decribed software reactivation. Nevertheless in most cases the hardware is not the problem, it seems to be very robust.
In most cases the reason is the old buffer battery which is down in 20 years old calcs thus leading to the described software confusions that can be corrected.
I must admit that due to a tough job period during the last two years and completely lacking of time for my beloved HP-41 (I also have a HP-41CY which unfortunately is in sleep mode these days) I forgot about the details to recover a HP-41CY, repectively its RAMBOX, but I searched in the archive of the HPMUSEUM, where I had put my experiences when I had had the problems with my HP-41CY in November/December 2003. There were also very valuable responses by the very good HP-41 hard- and software experts Raymond, Christoph, Mike and Angel.
Here you can find the three archive articles:
I hope this helps.
P.S.: Also best greetings to Raymond!!
Edited: 12 May 2006, 8:12 a.m.