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HP Forum Archive 20

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WP 34s manual pointer incorrect
Message #1 Posted by Jim Yohe on 18 June 2011, 3:04 a.m.

When selecting the Help > Manual up pops an error message saying that the path is incorrect to:

...wp34s\emulator\wp34s_Manual.pdf

when it should be pointing to:

...wp34s\doc\Manual_wp_34s_2_0.pdf

      
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect
Message #2 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 18 June 2011, 5:39 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jim Yohe

Jim, that's intentional. The help file is always in the directory the emulator is started from and carries the same name independent of version number. That's the reason for the small copy_manual.cmd script in the distribution.

            
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect
Message #3 Posted by Jim Yohe on 18 June 2011, 1:11 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Marcus von Cube, Germany

So, apparently, before Help > Manual works we need to manually run the copy_manual.cmd program so it will copy the Manual_wp_34s_{x}_{y}.pdf file from the doc directory into the emulator directory and name it wp34s_Manual.pdf.

I ran the program just now and it put the "missing" copy of the manual into the emulator director. Works fine now.

If selecting Help > Manual is supposed to first "check" for the existence of wp34s_Manual.pdf in the emulator directory and if not found then runs the copy_manual.cmd program before attempting to open the manual, then perhaps the routine needs adjusting because it wasn't doing this automatically.

                  
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect
Message #4 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 18 June 2011, 1:15 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Jim Yohe

Quote:
If selecting Help > Manual is supposed to first "check" for the existence of wp34s_Manual.pdf in the emulator directory and if not found then runs the copy_manual.cmd program before attempting to open the manual, then perhaps the routine needs adjusting because it wasn't doing this automatically.

The emulator knows nothing about the directory layout of the distribution zip file which in turn is different from the directory structure of the development environment. It simply assumes everything to be in one directory. I've no plans to change that.

                        
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect
Message #5 Posted by Joel Setton (France) on 19 June 2011, 2:08 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Marcus von Cube, Germany

I'm still seeing this problem. The directory from which the emulator is started also contains the file wp34s_Manual.pdf, but when I try to access the manual I get an error pop-up which says Windows can't access the file C:\Program. TIA for any help on this. Apart from this minor inconvenience, WP34s is an amazing calculator!

Joel Setton

                              
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect - fixed an issue with spaces in path name
Message #6 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 19 June 2011, 3:27 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Joel Setton (France)

Quote:
Windows can't access the file C:\Program

Sigh, Windows...

It's looking somewhere down "C:\Program Files\". I'll check if the help command depends on the fact that there are (no) spaces in the directory path to its location. Otherwise, the behavior will not be touched.

EDIT: The issue with the pathname containing spaces should be fixed now.

Edited: 19 June 2011, 4:26 a.m.

                                    
Re: WP 34s manual pointer incorrect - fixed an issue with spaces in path name
Message #7 Posted by Joel Setton (France) on 19 June 2011, 5:09 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Marcus von Cube, Germany

Good morning Marcus,

I tried the new version, and it works! This level of responsiveness is really wonderful (we would never expect the same kind of response from HP). Thanks a lot!!!

Joel Setton

      
Re: WP 34s manual typo
Message #8 Posted by fhub on 24 June 2011, 6:35 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jim Yohe

There's a small typo in the manual for the TVM formula:

PMT - I/k * [.....] = 0

should be

PMT + I/k * [.....] = 0

Edited: 24 June 2011, 6:47 p.m.

            
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #9 Posted by fhub on 25 June 2011, 6:30 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by fhub

Next error in the manual: the description of the stack arithmetic with RCL-nn and RCL/nn is wrong (doesn't matter for RCL+nn or RCL*nn)!

In the given example RCL-12 it subtracts r12 from x (not x from r12!), so the x<>y in the following "corresponding steps" is wrong.

Edited: 25 June 2011, 6:30 a.m.

                  
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #10 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 6:49 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by fhub

Just to clarify: this isn't a firmware bug, the manual is wrong.

- Pauli

                        
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #11 Posted by fhub on 25 June 2011, 6:59 a.m.,
in response to message #10 by Paul Dale

Quote:
Just to clarify: this isn't a firmware bug, the manual is wrong.
Yes, and there are still a few other things not clear (or wrong?) in the manual:

I'm just starting to experiment with the WP34s emulator, and if I understand it correctly then the SLV command needs 2 initial guesses (in x and y).
But now in the manual I see a routine to calculate 'PMT' with the TVM and the SLV command, and it says "routine is entered with a first guess in X"!?

So what's now correct? 2 initial guesses (in which case the manual routine would be wrong) or is just 1 enough?

                              
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #12 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 7:02 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by fhub

Solve wants two guesses but they can be the same & if so it tries to work out a second itself. It will use whatever is in X and Y as the two guesses.

- Pauli

                                    
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #13 Posted by fhub on 25 June 2011, 7:22 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Paul Dale

Ok, then the manual is not very exact about using this 'PMT' routine.

But what's confusing me even more in this routine is the NOP after SLV 01 with the comment "this step must be included since SLV acts as test".
What does this mean? What purpose has this NOP? I also can't find any more detailled description for SLV in the command list.

                                          
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #14 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 7:26 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by fhub

Solve acts as a conditional test. If it fails to find a root, it skips the next step. This is documented in the 34c and 15c manuals, the latter is pointed to in the description of solve in the command table.

- Pauli

                                                
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #15 Posted by fhub on 25 June 2011, 7:47 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Paul Dale

Thanks, now I understand!
But IMO this could have been mentioned in the command list for SLV (and maybe SLV? would have been a better choice then).

And I see now that it would be a good idea to find manuals for the 34c, 15c (and maybe also for 41c, 32s, 16c etc....) and learn so how to use the WP34s. ;-)

BTW, for a calculator which has been a financial calc in its original state, this TVM handling is quite complicated and also very 'primitive'.
You could have implemented 2 additional 'variables' (NP=payments per year and NI=interest(compounds) per year), and so with a few additional program steps to convert the annual effective interest rate I to an internal periodical interest rate (e.g. IC) you could also solve problems where the compounding period (which is usually one year) differs from the payment periods (which are often one month).
This extension of the TVM calculations is exactly what I'm trying at the moment, thus all my remarks about these functions and the unexact manual descriptions ...

Franz

                                                      
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #16 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 8:02 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by fhub

If you want a financial calculator, don't re-flash the 30b. I am never going to do as good a job on the financial functions as HP has done. I don't want to and I've little interest in doing so as a hobby.

The TVM program has been included because Walter thought it would be worthwhile even in this primitive state. I tend to agree and occasionally have to estimate loan repayments and durations. The command as implemented occupies a total of forty bytes of flash. I can live with that much to provide this service. I wouldn't want to dedicate too much more to what is not and never will be a core function for a scientific calculator.

If you're reworking this, then the best solution would be to use the explicit formulas for the unknowns whenever possible and to resort to the solver only when absolutely required. Also there are some numeric stability and accuracy concerns -- there was an article by Willam Kahan discussing the 12C (?) financial functions in some depth. These are difficult to get accurate everywhere.

In case it helps, the xrom code for this one is:

81fe: 1054 4d56  LBL'TVM'
8200: 8b50       RCL 80
8201: 8b51       RCL 81
8202: 8c52       RCL+ 82
8203: 0006       1
8204: 8c53       RCL+ 83
8205: 8b54       RCL 84
8206: 0300       y[^x]
8207: b964       DEC X
8208: 0304       /
8209: 8c51       RCL+ 81
820a: 8e53       RCL[times] 83
820b: ce50       FC? 80
820c: b303       SKIP 03
820d: 8b53       RCL 83
820e: ba64       INC X
820f: 0304       /
8210: 0301       +
8211: 013a       RTN

Anyway, I doubt we'd include any augmented functions in the flash image, however adding them to the growing software library would be worthwhile.

- Pauli

                                                            
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #17 Posted by fhub on 25 June 2011, 8:15 a.m.,
in response to message #16 by Paul Dale

Yes, I've already extracted this XROM routine for TVM with the wp34s commandline version. :-)

Just one last short question:
Why has y^x those brackets in its token, ie. y[^x]?
And why is the token RCL[times] used instead of just RCL* (as for +,- and /) ?

                                                                  
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #18 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 8:18 a.m.,
in response to message #17 by fhub

They are the console version converting internal characters into printable versions. [times] is not '*' they are different characters. Likewise, [^x] is a superscript x not the two characters '^' and 'x'.

The printouts are exactly what is inside the calculator, not the usual short cuts people use.

- Pauli

                                                      
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #19 Posted by Paul Dale on 25 June 2011, 8:09 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by fhub

Quote:
And I see now that it would be a good idea to find manuals for the 34c, 15c (and maybe also for 41c, 32s, 16c etc....) and learn so how to use the WP34s.

Get the DVD archive of this museum. Worth every cent and it includes all the manuals you'll require.

- Pauli

                                                            
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #20 Posted by Walter B on 27 June 2011, 3:27 a.m.,
in response to message #19 by Paul Dale

Quote:
Get the DVD archive of this museum. Worth every cent and it includes all the manuals you'll require.
... as recommended in the welcome message of the WP 34S manual for long d8-) Our manual is a supplementary text only as stated there - I don't think it makes much sense to copy and paste what was written by better authors before.

Walter

Edited: 27 June 2011, 3:33 a.m.

                                                                  
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #21 Posted by fhub on 27 June 2011, 5:41 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by Walter B

Quote:
I don't think it makes much sense to copy and paste what was written by better authors before.
Well, I'm not sure whether I should agree or not.

Think about the following:
HP makes a new calculator and the manual has only 10 pages (describing just the few new features), but they include 5 manuals of 5 older calculators on which the new one is based.
Would you really like this? ;-)

BTW, my main reason were the errors in the manual that I've reported above, not the general quality of the manual.

Franz

Edited: 27 June 2011, 5:59 a.m.

                                                                        
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #22 Posted by Paul Dale on 27 June 2011, 6:10 a.m.,
in response to message #21 by fhub

Is this an offer to write the missing material for the project? This would be very welcome and greatly appreciated.

Walter and I are just two people who have been doing this in our spare time for a couple of years. Unlike HP and other commercial ventures, neither Walter nor I are planning on making any money from this exercise so we cannot realistically pay for the kind of professional writing you seem to believe is required. Our available time is finite and not great so we have to take short cuts. Referring to old and readily available manuals makes perfect sense to both Walter and myself and it saves a lot of writing and proofreading effort.

So if you or someone else is offering to write the missing manual sections, we'll provide all the assistance we can and be overjoyed someone else cares about the project to a similar level that we do. Otherwise, purchase the MoHPC DVD collection and you'll have the required reference material. As I've said before these DVDs are great value and worthwhile for any HP calculator fan.

- Pauli

Edited: 27 June 2011, 6:18 a.m.

                                                                              
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #23 Posted by gene wright on 27 June 2011, 11:00 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Paul Dale

Jake and I had offered to do just this, only requesting to get a word version of the current full manual.

However, all I was given was the word copy of a much older previous version.

The manual as it is now is a very complex reference document full of references to previous sections of the manual and is not easy to read, even by experienced users.

Well, it is what it is.

However, Jake and I were willing to write chapters in the style of previous manuals making as few assumptions as possible. Chapters on complex numbers, integration with examples, etc.

But, I have not understood the seeming reluctance to help and encourage this effort. Because of this apparent resistance or a NIH reaction, we have done little in this regard.

I think that is a real shame, as a much better manual with very few assumptions would do wonders for the spread of the fantastic 34s.

IMO.

                                                                                    
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #24 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 27 June 2011, 11:07 a.m.,
in response to message #23 by gene wright

Gene, I would not mix the reference manual with the user's guide i a single document because there is the danger of diverging versions of the same material. So the "much older version", together with its fonts and other support files, should be fine as a start. Just take the formatting to have a consistent style and start from scratch otherwise.

                                                                                    
Re: WP 34s manual error
Message #25 Posted by fhub on 27 June 2011, 1:04 p.m.,
in response to message #23 by gene wright

Quote:
The manual as it is now is a very complex reference document full of references to previous sections of the manual and is not easy to read, even by experienced users.
Yes, I agree!
I'm a mathematician, using and programming computers since about 30 years and so I would say I'm quite experienced, but when reading some parts of this manual (e.g. the tables of addressing modes) I have to put myself into a state of 'deep meditation' to understand anything ... ;-)

Edited: 27 June 2011, 1:05 p.m.


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