[HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
12-15-2013, 04:12 PM
Post: #1
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
[HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi all,

Not a great milestone though, but I'm (reasonably) proud of having brought many users (literally hundreds) the joy of accessing a huge buch of ROM packs and modules for the last ten years, allowing them to find what a tech masterpiece of it's time the HP-41 was... and how much fun it is still able to bring to any RPN/Synthetic/FOCAL/M-code enthusiast.

This note won't be fair if I don't mention a number of persons who's contributions in one or other way lead to the achievement of the Clonix and NoV modules family.

In no particular order, please forgive any error/omission (my memory is no longer like the NoV-64's... :-)

Warren Furlow, John Iohannidis, Ángel Martín, Meindert Kuipers, David Hicks, Bill Holes, Jean-Francoise Garnier, Christoph Klug, Raymond Del Tondo, Massimo Gnerucci... and a long etc.

Thanks to the HP-41'ers community for its always helpful advice and comprehension with the many bugs along this ten years journey.

I'll also try to find a way to celebrate this occasion with something more than a few words, and create some sort of special edition bundle. Stay tuned. ;-)

All the best from Canary Islands.

Diego Díaz.
12-15-2013, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 12-15-2013 04:26 PM by bhtooefr.)
Post: #2
 bhtooefr Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Here's a rather extensive feature request, given that your modules have a microcontroller in them...

Use a USB-capable MCU, and maybe add in HP-IL/PIL-Box emulation. That way, one module can do it all, ROM, RAM, and file transfer, without any additional hardware other than a Micro-USB cable. And then you've also got access to power the calc over USB, I think.

If one module could do all that, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I think it'd be a great way to quickly get a 41CX to full capability without having to buy a bunch of accessories, and it could be far more compact than the HP-IL module (meaning it fits in the small case, not needing the case for the card reader).

And, I wonder how one of the MSP430s with FRAM would do in that application, as far as power consumption, although I know you're using PIC now. (Edit: Or not, looks like they don't have USB...)
12-15-2013, 05:12 PM
Post: #3
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 1,516 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
(12-15-2013 04:12 PM)Diego Diaz Wrote:  Thanks to the HP-41'ers community for its always helpful advice and comprehension with the many bugs along this ten years journey.

I'll also try to find a way to celebrate this occasion with something more than a few words, and create some sort of special edition bundle. Stay tuned. ;-)

All the best from Canary Islands.

Diego Díaz.

Being your first customer it's me the one to say Thank you! for the Clonix project and everything that came after it.

Eagerly awaiting this Special Edition...

Wow! Ten years?!? Time flies.

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
12-15-2013, 07:02 PM
Post: #4
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi "bhtooefr",

And thanks for your interest. I'm actively seeking for suitable uC which can cope with as many features a possible. Regrettably, the requirements of the HP-41 system in terms of operation voltage, timing, serial interfacing, word size, physical footprint, etc. makes a difficult task out of it.

Regarding the TI MPS430 uC series, it lacks enough FRAM (max 64K) since they don't have flash. Note that a NoV-64 currently has 64Kbyte Flash ROM + 128Kbyte FRAM. It (MPS430) also have a working voltage of 3.6v max, which means some sort of level shifters are required and the total area inside a module shell is less than half a square inch...

The USB itself is not a big deal. Last year's project, USB-41 interface module, actually handles it by means of an USB<>serial converter and it's enough since HP-41s needs neither a high speed or data volume for its transfers. I'm confident in having the page transfer software for this module working before the summer... but I'm a very poor OO programmer.... :-(

Massimo!

Nice to read from you; and yes, as astronomers do know well "eveywhere you look at, you're looking at the past". But even from a non-astronomical point of view "Tempus fugit" (like your ancestors -and probably mine too- used to say... :-)

Sincerely hope you have a good and healthy end of 2013.

Best wishes.

Diego.
12-16-2013, 11:29 AM (This post was last modified: 12-16-2013 11:29 AM by Ángel Martin.)
Post: #5
 Ángel Martin Senior Member Posts: 867 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Diego, congrats indeed on the milestone! A full decade of Clonix sure is to celebrate; I think there's little doubt that your modules have made a huge difference and helped to re-kindle and extend the 41 system beyond its legacy.

On the wish-list for me (besides the page transfer for USB-41) still are the SD_controller (yes I remember you explained to me a few times why it'll be near impossible but... flesh is weak :-), and the "magic cable" - to connect/control the real machine with a V41-like emulator. Pipe dreaming? For sure, but hey. it's almost Xmas time!

Best,
ÁM
12-16-2013, 11:49 AM
Post: #6
 HrastProgrammer Member Posts: 141 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
I don't own Clonix and I don't even own an HP-41C anymore, but this doesn't mean that I cannot congratulate you on X Anniversary

http://www.hrastprogrammer.com/hrastwerk/
http://hrastprogrammer.bandcamp.com/
12-16-2013, 01:38 PM
Post: #7
 Sylvain Cote Senior Member Posts: 869 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Happy anniversary! 8-)

Thank you for having took the time to make those modules and by keeping them up to date.
I use your modules daily and they are a marvel to use.
I may have missed the first years of their existence but I sure dont now.

Best regards,

Sylvain

PS: You got mail!
12-16-2013, 08:36 PM
Post: #8
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi again,

I've always had a feeling of rewarding aknowledgment from our little community.

On my first post I named some people whose contributions helped in developing the modules. Needless to say that keeping these personal projects alive for a decade couldn't be achieved without the continued support from all of you.

Really appreciate your kind words. :-)

I also feel somehow overwhelmed by the confidence in my designing skills showed in your messages ;-) USB, SD interface, V41<>real HP-41 interoperability... Wow!! That would be a 'super-duper'!

On the other hand, there's no better way to find out what's possible, but dreaming on what seems impossible... so thank you also for keeping on pushing the limits.

2014 will hopefully bring some new features, but for now it's time o take a break.

Enjoy this time with yours.

Diego.

"Do not suppose, check it twice."
12-16-2013, 08:52 PM
Post: #9
 Geoff Quickfall Senior Member Posts: 621 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Diego,

Your Clonix opened up an entire new window into my CX and then when Monte came up with the CL the clonix had to do double time.

Absolultely fantastic! Brought the CX into the 21st century.

Also your new battery/module block conductive overlays!!!

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Geoff
12-17-2013, 02:42 PM (This post was last modified: 12-17-2013 03:04 PM by aurelio.)
Post: #10
 aurelio Senior Member Posts: 355 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi Diego, how are you?
maybe what i think it's just funny, but have you already thought to a a new module, a combo device, IR based module with all the features of the usb 41 cable with a jack for a plug-in connector USB + cable, for the connectivity utilities (power)..

Actually I found the original cable used for the HP wand or other peripherals devices not so handy to use....too rigid I means
I've not yet your 41 USB, so that I don't know if you have already fixed this flexibility problem.

ciao
12-17-2013, 08:27 PM
Post: #11
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi Geir,

I'm glad to read from you. And thanks for your patience and friendly support with some of the early bugs in the NoV-64 development... :-)

Aurelio,

The decision of using a connector or an attached cable for the USB-41 was one of the most relevant concerns when designing this interface module. I may be proven wrong of course but considering, by one hand, the type of use the module was intended for which is mainly a connection with a PC with little to no movement (not like the Wand which requires constant movement) and the fact that the module itself has a very poor structural strength. I assumed that this is why all modules manufactured by HP which require cables have that cable attached: HP-IL, Wand and 82143A Printer and built my module with the same concept. On the other hand, the footprint of the mini or micro USB female connector, anthough not very big, is an important drawback. Also, the small rubber relief in the USB-41 cable allows the mechanical stress to be handled by the plastic case instead of delivering it to the soldered wires, which will be the case if a connector is used.

The USB-41 cable is a bit thinner (and longer) than the one in the Wand. This made it a bit more easy to handle but it bears similar overall flexibility. And of course it also provides power to the HP-41 when required (i.e. if no batteries are present).

I don't quite understand your reference to an IR module with USB interface. An IR module to include Clonix features & IR printer interface may be interesting, but using a physical HP-printer (IR, 82143A, or 82162A) offer very little benefits (except for the limited graphical features) when compared with the USB-41 printer emulation, where you can save your printings or produce a hardcopy of them on any available PC printer, saving the need of special (and time-fading) thermo paper.

BTW I still wonder when a skilled user will come along with an utility to convert the richtext output file of a program listing from the USB-41, into a program file for (say) V41 emulator... Any volunteer? ;-)

Well, as usual I wrote much more than needed (and desired) when it comes to technical aspects. My apologies.

Diego.

"Do not suppose, check it twice."
12-18-2013, 07:32 AM
Post: #12
 MeindertKuipers Junior Member Posts: 40 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Congratulations from me as well with maintaining a 'hobby' project for such a ling time and improving the Clonix every time. From experience I know how difficult that is. I am glad to be a part of this community,

Regards, Meindert
12-18-2013, 10:03 AM
Post: #13
 aurelio Senior Member Posts: 355 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
(12-17-2013 08:27 PM)Diego Diaz Wrote:  Hi Geir,

I'm glad to read from you. And thanks for your patience and friendly support with some of the early bugs in the NoV-64 development... :-)

Aurelio,

The decision of using a connector or an attached cable for the USB-41 was one of the most relevant concerns when designing this interface module. I may be proven wrong of course but considering, by one hand, the type of use the module was intended for which is mainly a connection with a PC with little to no movement (not like the Wand which requires constant movement) and the fact that the module itself has a very poor structural strength. I assumed that this is why all modules manufactured by HP which require cables have that cable attached: HP-IL, Wand and 82143A Printer and built my module with the same concept. On the other hand, the footprint of the mini or micro USB female connector, anthough not very big, is an important drawback. Also, the small rubber relief in the USB-41 cable allows the mechanical stress to be handled by the plastic case instead of delivering it to the soldered wires, which will be the case if a connector is used.

The USB-41 cable is a bit thinner (and longer) than the one in the Wand. This made it a bit more easy to handle but it bears similar overall flexibility. And of course it also provides power to the HP-41 when required (i.e. if no batteries are present).

I don't quite understand your reference to an IR module with USB interface. An IR module to include Clonix features & IR printer interface may be interesting, but using a physical HP-printer (IR, 82143A, or 82162A) offer very little benefits (except for the limited graphical features) when compared with the USB-41 printer emulation, where you can save your printings or produce a hardcopy of them on any available PC printer, saving the need of special (and time-fading) thermo paper.

BTW I still wonder when a skilled user will come along with an utility to convert the richtext output file of a program listing from the USB-41, into a program file for (say) V41 emulator... Any volunteer? ;-)

Well, as usual I wrote much more than needed (and desired) when it comes to technical aspects. My apologies.

Diego.

No apologies, DIEGO, it's a pleasure to read you, I've only to learn and understand much more!
Yes I meant just a IR module to include Clonix features, but the other features suitable with the possibility to use a plug-in cable.

Now in Spain or in the Dominican Republic?
Regards
12-18-2013, 02:19 PM
Post: #14
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi Meindert,

I appreciate your kind words, mostly comming from somene who really "know how difficult that is." :-)

Also count on me among the users that will be very happy with a new MLDL (or any other project from your hands). Just a point, I'd prefer not to wait untill 3000 to see it; 2015 would be much more preferrable. ;-)

Aurelio,

My pleasure that you find these extra-long explanations useful.

I'm currently in the Canary Islands for Xmas & New Year.

All the best.

Diego.

"Do not suppose, check it twice."
12-18-2013, 11:14 PM
Post: #15
 Michael Fehlhammer Member Posts: 181 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hello Diego,
I'm afraid I am a little late, but here they are, my congratulations to clonix' tenth anniversary!
Despite of the existence of the marvelous 41CL the Clonix/NoV64 family still is of huge importance in the 41 world. You can upgrade any calculator without undertaking a cardiac transplantation, and speed in many typical calculator applications is of minor importance.
Diego, you just was faced with a huge wish list, please let me add a very tiny request; you certainly know what is to come now, it is about making NoV64 capable of hosting Angel's huge bank-switching modules.
His latest creation is the combination of LIBRARY4, SANDMATH 3x3 and SANDMATRIX, which consume not less than eleven 4 k pages. NoV64 has got twelve 4 k ROM pages, seemingly enough, but the button to disable HEPAX ( saving 4 pages ) still isn't part of the configuration software ...
I know that isn't fair. You expected us to bake a birthday cake, instead you receive a big job list. Life is unjust, and calculator fans are insatiable!
Cheers! :-)
12-19-2013, 10:55 PM
Post: #16
 Diego Diaz Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi Michael,

Good to see you here too.

Yep, the HP-41 users (me included) are pretty difficult to satisfy... :-)

Nonetheless, from the 'wish lists' in the messages above, yours is quite like the one which is going to be first in becoming available.

I'm doing my best to have it ready along with the next version of the configuration utility (v.4.2), hopefully during 2014 1Q.

Enjoy!

Diego.

"Do not suppose, check it twice."
12-20-2013, 12:54 AM
Post: #17
 Raymond Del Tondo Member Posts: 192 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Hi Diego,

congrats from me, too (a bit late, but still in the same month;-)

As Angel wrote, Clonix and its relatives _are_ milestones!

Enjoy your Xmas and year switch in sunny DomRep.

-- Ray
12-21-2013, 07:36 AM
Post: #18
 Garth Wilson Senior Member Posts: 318 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
Diego Wrote:[HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)

Congratulations, and thankyou for your extremely valuable contributions to the 41 field and community!

Diego Wrote:I'll also try to find a way to celebrate this occasion with something more than a few words, and create some sort of special edition bundle. Stay tuned. ;-)

Wow, that would be terrific! I have been wanting to get a NoV-64, but my wife keeps coming up with more things she wants to do the house (or another car repair or something), so I have kept delaying getting a NoV-64-- although I have gotten the keyboard overlays for Ángel's 41z and Sandmath modules that I want to put in the NoV-64 and have downloaded and read the manuals.

bhtooefr Wrote:Use a USB-capable MCU, and maybe add in HP-IL/PIL-Box emulation. That way, one module can do it all, ROM, RAM, and file transfer, without any additional hardware other than a Micro-USB cable. And then you've also got access to power the calc over USB, I think.

If one module could do all that, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I think it'd be a great way to quickly get a 41CX to full capability without having to buy a bunch of accessories, and it could be far more compact than the HP-IL module

One thing I have against USB is that a handheld device cannot act as a controller. There is USB OTG that allows peers to be connected together, but what originally got me into the HP-41 was that HPIL allowed it to connect to and control and take data from many lab instruments at once (31, although I've never gone over 6, using the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter). USB cannot compete in that way. I do have two HP82161A tape drives but have not needed them in years, as I have not lost memory in the 41 since I was new at synthetic programming in the late 1980's. I also have the 82162 HPIL printer but I usually use a big parallel Epson printer instead, going through the FSI-164 (which is like the 82164A) or 82165A interface adapters.

Diego Wrote:On the other hand, the footprint of the mini or micro USB female connector, anthough not very big, is an important drawback.

(and the size of an IR transmitter & receiver offers no improvement in footprint either, right?) I would prefer any small 3-conductor connector for a TTL-level serial interface that's more hobbyist-friendly than USB. Then it could be connected to an FTDI USB-to-serial converter externally if desired. As you said, Diego,

Quote:Last year's project, USB-41 interface module, actually handles it by means of an USB<>serial converter and it's enough since HP-41s needs neither a high speed or data volume for its transfers.

Diego Wrote:Regarding the TI MPS430 uC series, it lacks enough FRAM (max 64K) since they don't have flash. Note that a NoV-64 currently has 64Kbyte Flash ROM + 128Kbyte FRAM. It (MPS430) also have a working voltage of 3.6v max,

We in our company know from plenty of experience over the decades that TI's technical customer service is terrible; so I would discourage using a TI part. The times we've gotten our hopes up, we ran into problems after having a lot of development time into a product, and TI's applications engineers were no help at all. One of the last was a DSP. Another was a class-D audio amplifier that made the drunken-mosquito noise in the background. TI seens ti be far worse than any other semiconductor manufacturer in this area.

Diego Wrote:Also count on me among the users that will be very happy with a new MLDL (or any other project from your hands).

Ditto here. I bought a card reader on eBay in order to have the shell to build the MLDL or similar into it if the need/oportunity arises. Such a shell is more suitable fore things that take the space, like SD card and other connectors, and IR port.

Michael Fehlhammer Wrote:You can upgrade any calculator without undertaking a cardiac transplantation, and speed in many typical calculator applications is of minor importance.

+1. I have a halfnut 41cx, so the CL upgrade is not an option for it, and the time module is extremely important to me (and built into the cx) but difficult to find separately.

Michael Fehlhammer Wrote:I know that isn't fair. You expected us to bake a birthday cake, instead you receive a big job list. Life is unjust, and calculator fans are insatiable!

We're just excitable visionaries who agree with Diego that even more can be done with the 41!

12-21-2013, 11:38 AM
Post: #19
 bhtooefr Member Posts: 56 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: [HP-41] Today is Clonix-41's X Anniversary... :-)
(12-21-2013 07:36 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  One thing I have against USB is that a handheld device cannot act as a controller. There is USB OTG that allows peers to be connected together, but what originally got me into the HP-41 was that HPIL allowed it to connect to and control and take data from many lab instruments at once (31, although I've never gone over 6, using the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter). USB cannot compete in that way. I do have two HP82161A tape drives but have not needed them in years, as I have not lost memory in the 41 since I was new at synthetic programming in the late 1980's. I also have the 82162 HPIL printer but I usually use a big parallel Epson printer instead, going through the FSI-164 (which is like the 82164A) or 82165A interface adapters.
It's worth noting two things.

First off, USB OTG simply adds a line to negotiate between host and device mode, and in host mode (which does need a special cable to get pure host mode), you can hang a hub off of a USB OTG port (if the USB stack on the host supports hubs).

Second, I was thinking of a different usage model entirely - your usage model would be best with a real HP-IL module. The usage model I was thinking of was HP-IL simulation for interfacing with a computer, reducing the cost of entry into the HP-41 platform - the cheapest HP-IL module I see on TAS is $230, and then you'd need a PIL-Box for file exchange, and that's the cheapest route for file exchange in both directions I think. For that matter, it's$180 for a wand, if you only care about getting things into the calculator.

That said, I wonder how hard it'd be to port the HP-IL firmware to the USB-41 and look to the 41 like an IL module, and to look to the computer like a PIL-Box.
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