The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 21

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A prime failure
Message #1 Posted by Jan on 6 Dec 2013, 11:01 a.m.

It seems like the forum turned into a combination of a beta-testing platform an a manual for the Prime. Both don't speak for HP's latest invention. Apparently the new device is full of bugs. And like in the case of the 50g HP is too lousy to supply a decent paper manual with all the inherent ease of use, making the learning curve for the novice a frustrating saga of scrolling along some PDF document in order to find what is being searched for. You may guess it right: I don't like the Prime itself either. My worst objection against it is the clumsy implementation of RPN, which for me as an old school RPN-addict is a reason in itself not to buy one (using the emulator was enough a disappointment). Furthermore, the simplistic programming language (I thought something like BASIC was not to be repeated after it seemed to have faded out) and the inefficient programming environment set the Prime miles apart from the RPL-models of yesteryear and the 50g. The Prime is obviously a calc for kids but not for pros (who better stick to their 50g or their older models). After all: what self-respecting scientist or engineer wants to be seen with a calculator having a triangle-solver dominantly placed among its preimplemented apps. The only thing I appreciate about the prime is its apparent speed, which I would rather see from an updated 50g though.

      
Re: A prime failure
Message #2 Posted by Chris Pem10 on 6 Dec 2013, 1:29 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jan

Quote:
.. too lousy to supply a decent paper manual with all the inherent ease of use, making the learning curve for the novice a frustrating saga of scrolling along some PDF document in order to find what is being searched for.
Print it out 4 pages per side double side and it only cost you about 75 peices of paper and a three ring binder. Perhaps 5 bucks? Or upgrade yourself to the deluxe edition, 2 pages per side double sided for about 5 bucks. Personally I'd opt for the limited edition one page per side... bigger binder... about 10 bucks. But before I put them all in a binder I'm going to run them through my scanner and make electronic copies to use on a PC... :)

I initially had the same misgivings about the Prime... until my wife remarked that I should either 1. send it back or 2. stop bitching and act like an engineer :)

I've kind of grown to love the machine lately... starting to notice my HP 50g has a slight layer of dust starting to accumulate on the case... starting to appreciate just how determined people are to fixing the bugs... hoping to contribute something myself (although my signal to noise ratio here needs improvement)
            
Re: A prime failure
Message #3 Posted by Cristian Arezzini on 6 Dec 2013, 2:09 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Chris Pem10

Quote:
Personally I'd opt for the limited edition one page per side... bigger binder... about 10 bucks.

Lucky you, that you can print it for those prices. I asked at the only local print shop, and they quoted about 30 euro (about 40 dollars) for a one page per side print, with plastic-ring binding... :/ At those prices, I'll want to wait for a more definitive version of the manual!

                  
Re: A prime failure
Message #4 Posted by Chris Pem10 on 6 Dec 2013, 2:14 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Cristian Arezzini

I was implying that I'd just print it at home :)

                        
Re: A prime failure
Message #5 Posted by Cristian Arezzini on 6 Dec 2013, 2:19 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Chris Pem10

Um... I have an HP inkjet printer... printing 600+ pages on that thing would drain more than a whole cartridge, which means I'd pay the same or more than what the shop charges... What kind of printer do you have to get those prices? :)

                              
Re: A prime failure
Message #6 Posted by Chris Pem10 on 6 Dec 2013, 2:39 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Cristian Arezzini

Brother MFC-490CW

Aftermarket ink cartridges are $6 shipped to my doorstep... and that's not $6 each... that's for a complete set of 3 colors and 1 black !

When you have 3 young girls that love to print coloring pages, you find a way !

                                    
Re: A prime failure
Message #7 Posted by Cristian Arezzini on 6 Dec 2013, 5:36 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Chris Pem10

Wow. Very instructive. I'll start looking into ink refills or new (different brand) printers.

                                          
Re: A prime failure
Message #8 Posted by Chris Pem10 on 6 Dec 2013, 8:26 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Cristian Arezzini

I've never tried them... but you can get special cartridges that syphon ink from small tanks.

Here is an example:

http://techreport.com/r.x/2011q3/cobra.jpg

            
Re: A prime failure
Message #9 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 6 Dec 2013, 3:58 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Chris Pem10

Chris,

Quote:
I'm going to run them through my scanner and make electronic copies to use on a PC... :)

Isn't the PDF already an electronic copy?

Just curious - why scan them?

Bill

                  
Re: A prime failure
Message #10 Posted by Chris Pem10 on 6 Dec 2013, 5:02 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

My poor attempt at humor... and to illustrate (poorly) that if HP had only shipped a printed manual, pepole would immediately complain that there was no electronic copy... :)

                        
Re: A prime failure
Message #11 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 6 Dec 2013, 5:06 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Chris Pem10

Okay - I get it now.

I had mossed the smiley face at the end of it.

Bill

            
Re: A prime failure
Message #12 Posted by Jan on 8 Dec 2013, 5:16 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Chris Pem10

"stop bitching and act like an engineer"

I did. By not buying a prime.

      
Re: A prime failure
Message #13 Posted by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada) on 6 Dec 2013, 2:13 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jan

The reason why the HP Prime seems to be a calculator for kids is because it actually is: HP people clearly stated that the HP Prime was aimed towards high school students, not engineers/professionals. I am pretty sure that their goal was not to upgrade the HP 50g, but rather to compete directly against the TI-Nspire.

That said, they need to work better on their marketing once they fixed the remaining bugs: First of all, the calculator is still not available in any brick-and-mortar store, it is unclear if it will ever be released in Canada (the only way for Canadians to buy it is Hpcalc.org. Even Amazon.ca doesn't have it listed) and finding any info about the HP Prime on HP website is next to impossible. That's now how they'll get the calculator out there.

            
Re: A prime failure
Message #14 Posted by Paul Berger (Canada) on 6 Dec 2013, 4:21 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada)

I know what you mean about the HP Canada website, it is completely useless for finding retailers for calculators, and I was very tersely told the HP Canada online store that the do not sell calculators. I gave up and bought one from Eric Rechlin (hpcalc.org).

                  
Re: A prime failure
Message #15 Posted by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada) on 6 Dec 2013, 5:00 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Paul Berger (Canada)

Yeah but even on the US website the official site doesn't even list the price and it's very cryptic when you try to find info on where you can buy calcs. Instead, they give you HP resellers that don't sell calcs. Also in Canada, they charge $207.99 for the HP 50g, while in USA, they charge between $90 and $150. And I thought that TI was bad for charging $20-30 higher in Canada than in USA.

If HP decided to charge $208 for the HP 50g in Canada, imagine how much the HP Prime will cost there.

Edited: 6 Dec 2013, 5:06 p.m.

                        
Re: A prime failure
Message #16 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 6 Dec 2013, 5:06 p.m.,
in response to message #15 by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada)

Quote:
Yeah but even on the US website the official site doesn't even list the price...

You are looking at the wrong website, see here.

Edited: 6 Dec 2013, 5:12 p.m.

                              
Re: A prime failure
Message #17 Posted by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada) on 6 Dec 2013, 7:49 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by Michael de Estrada

Thanks for the link. I actually tried to access the US site via http://www.hp.com/calculators/ and when I saw the calc list, the price wasn't listed for the Prime.

                                    
Re: A prime failure
Message #18 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 6 Dec 2013, 8:02 p.m.,
in response to message #17 by KÚvin Ouellet (Canada)

HP seems to have a bunch of disconnected websites that are totally inconsistent. I've found their commercial online store to be the most reliable, and it's where I've purchased HP calculators.

Edited: 6 Dec 2013, 8:05 p.m.


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