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Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
02-19-2014, 03:28 AM (This post was last modified: 02-19-2014 03:30 AM by DeucesAx.)
Post: #1
Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
First off, I apologize for swamping this forum with so many questions. Im coming form the TI89, had a short NSPIRE intermezzo which I hated and am new to the HP world. If you guys would prefer a "Deuces newbie questions" thread, I would happily do that.

Now to my questions:
Is there a more sophisticated notes app, or is there one under development? I would be happy with something similar to the TI89 where one note file can have different tabs.

Is there a way to store equations that I use often? On the NSPIRE CX Cas I just saved "calculators" which was pretty cool. The best I could come up with on the prime (haven't tried out yet) is to save them in a program. Is it possible to print out text "Click one for ... equtation, 2 for ,,," and so forth, then have the equation put into cas mode?

How do I best start programming on the calc? I have a little c+ experience, but never did anything on a calculator before. Is there a book/website you can recommend?

To answer my one question: This seems like a good start: http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-216.html
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02-19-2014, 06:50 AM
Post: #2
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
I have found that define is useful for equations. I am not sure if there are better solution(s).

Cheers

Mick C

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02-21-2014, 06:07 AM
Post: #3
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Thanks for the info, but as far as I understand that isn't real ong term storage, is it?

How could HP miss something as simple as including folders for programs/notes/apps maybe multiple spreadsheet sheets and so forth? This is really disappointing.
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02-21-2014, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 07:43 AM by hape.)
Post: #4
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Sadly it seems they forgot a LOT of things. Even things you can hardly believe.
One is a more consistant behaviour, memory structure and Variable handling.
A flag that can be set to protect from unwanted deletion would be nice to have, too since there is no real way do do Backups of needed programs in the calculator itself. Or do I miss it? In the 48/49/50 you could not kill a used library that easy and rpl Programs could be seperatly stored on the sd-card (at least on later devices).

Good thing, that surprises me in a way, is that the community is still quite forgiving. There are many suggestions and bug reports given to HP without any flaming. For the german speaking people I found http://www.hp-prime.de/ a pretty good source for bugs and missing features.
I do hope very much that HP is willing to understand that a sole school centric approach is not the way to go and many traditional loyal users, engineers, technicians would love to get a new satisfying workhorse.
HP needs to work hard and improve the primes firmware. That said: is there any roadmap for 2014? When do we get new Software? :-)
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02-21-2014, 08:14 AM
Post: #5
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 07:42 AM)hape Wrote:  I do hope very much that HP is willing to understand that a sole school centric approach is not the way to go and many traditional loyal users, engineers, technicians would love to get a new satisfying workhorse.

9.99999999999E499 +

If I could get a 50g with the build quality of my old 67 I would be overjoyed!
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02-21-2014, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 04:28 PM by Tim Wessman.)
Post: #6
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 07:42 AM)hape Wrote:  I do hope very much that HP is willing to understand that a sole school centric approach is not the way to go and many traditional loyal users, engineers, technicians would love to get a new satisfying workhorse.

Indeed, we do. Prime is not directly targeted at that group. While it may eventually get there, you were not the primary target for this product.

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
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02-21-2014, 07:45 PM
Post: #7
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
My 2cents to that: 90% of students don't understand what their TI calculator can do for them. And I'd say TI calculators are comparably simple to use. Who's idea was it to target students with an even more complicated device?
There is an article by girl on the previously mentioned forum which explains this in more detail, and I completly concur with her opinion: http://forum.hp-prime.de/discussion/53/h...nbrauchbar

The problem is, that the Prime is (in my opinion) still in a Beta test phase and should never have been released to a wider public yet. But nonetheless the decision was made to do this "public beta test" and even let the users pay for their beta devices, but then there is the next big problem:
In a beta test one would expect to have some sort of bug tracker or other means of closer communication with the developing company. (And by communication I mean two-way communication). But HP did not prepare for that: The only way for the users is to post on one of the forums out there and *hope* that some HP guy reads the post and reacts.
Don't get me wrong, Tim Wessman and the other HP guys usually respond quickly to questions. But one never knows whether a problem was mentioned before by another user, one never knows whether someone was assigned to a problem, one never knows if or when a fix is about to come for the problem.

The only reason why HP can do that is that the few people who bought the calculator so far fall manly in these groups
1. The loyal HP crowd
2. The 10% students/calculator geeks who understand their TI calculator and who just have fun trying stuff (which is the group where I'd count myself to).

But is this a working business model?
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02-21-2014, 07:55 PM
Post: #8
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 07:42 AM)hape Wrote:  Good thing, that surprises me in a way, is that the community is still quite forgiving. There are many suggestions and bug reports given to HP without any flaming.
I think the community is so forgiving because the community consists mostly of engineers which know (or do we only think that? :-P) that it's usually not the engineers who f*ck up a product, but the decision makers and marketing.

I think the Prime would make an excellent topic for a Dilbert comic ^^.
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02-21-2014, 07:59 PM
Post: #9
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 04:28 PM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  
(02-21-2014 07:42 AM)hape Wrote:  I do hope very much that HP is willing to understand that a sole school centric approach is not the way to go and many traditional loyal users, engineers, technicians would love to get a new satisfying workhorse.

Indeed, we do. Prime is not directly targeted at that group. While it may eventually get there, you were not the primary target for this product.

Hi Tim - I hope you (and we) get there with the HP Prime. To me, one of the most compelling values of HP calculators has been their ability to perform well for the user for for many years, not just through some high school and university coursework. Someday the "primary targets" for the HP Prime will graduate and start working - I hope the Primes go along to work with them.

Let us know how we can constructively help in "getting there".
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02-21-2014, 09:06 PM
Post: #10
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 07:45 PM)Stefan Wrote:  There is an article by girl on the previously mentioned forum which explains this in more detail, and I completly concur with her opinion: http://forum.hp-prime.de/discussion/53/h...nbrauchbar

I find it interesting that she mentions twice that the keyboard is "unreadable."

It is not just the aged and colorblind! Even young eyes have problems with the Prime's color scheme!

Mark Hardman

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02-21-2014, 11:51 PM
Post: #11
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Yes, its the same for me. I am 27, not colorblind, and I can only read the orange characters under a very certain angle, and even then I often "count" from the "most easy to read key" ...S,T,U,V,W... until I find the one I need.

I think the thread about the key colors is by far the longest thread here, and the "views" count for that thread is even larger, like somewhere in the 4000s. Plus in the old forum there was a similar long thread about the key colors.
The sad thing is that this cannot be fixed with a software update (unless they introduce a on screen keyboard, which would be nice anyway).
A similar problem which cannot really be fixed in software is that the Home calculation environment is pretty much obsolete because of the CAS. I mean the hardware keys are there, so they can't really just throw out the "Home" environment.
It's like the device was developed by 3 different people without talking to each other :-D. One person developed the CAS, one the Numeric Home environment and one person the "Apps". And when they were all done they just glued it all together, and each person got their own key on the keyboard.
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02-22-2014, 01:07 AM
Post: #12
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-21-2014 07:59 PM)CR Haeger Wrote:  
(02-21-2014 04:28 PM)Tim Wessmanto Wrote:  Indeed, we do. Prime is not directly targeted at that group. Whilend it may eventually get there, you were not the primary target for this product.

Hi Tim - I hope you (and we) get there with the HP Prime. To me, one of the most compelling values of HP calculators has been their ability to perform well for the user for for many years, not just through some high school and university coursework. Someday the "primary targets" for the HP Prime will graduate and start working - I hope the Primes go along to work with them.

Let us know how we can constructively help in "getting there".
Right now I don't see this happening. I am the only guy at my college who was adventurous enough to buy the Prime over the Ti products. I really, really wanted to love it. But after week of trying it out I am simply frustrated. I don't see the point in the separation of cas, don't won't to think about when I need to capitalize stuff, just shake my head over not being able to create folders, completely hate that the build in variables have a value of zero and so forth and I can't even read the buttons under the lighting of library. The Prime is going on eBay and I am sure nobody will buy a prime at my college after hearing of my experiences.
This is a real bummer, as I don't like the rocker buttons on the nspire and hate ti for only allowing to install their software on one computer (to destroy the used market I belive) but at least it is a finished product were I can do pretty much anything without having to read the manual first.
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02-22-2014, 02:50 AM
Post: #13
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Also, as a college student, I have to say the way I choose a calculator isn't about how many bells and whistles, it isn't about whether the accuracy is to 12 or 14 digits, and surely isn't about if its in color or not. For me it comes down to what is going to get me the best grade on an exam. That is the bottom line for me. If you tell me this calculator can speed up my inputs, store all my equations, solve complex symbolic systems of equations, store various text/pdf notes, and give me meaningful errors when I input something wrong, I am going to buy this calculator.

In most of my classes I have one tool that I can bring with me into an exam, its my calculator. I am going to choose what is most efficient, versatile, and has a user friendly experience. That means, if I have to spend 5 minutes trying to figure out why converting units isn't working in CAS or Home mode, or I should be using capital letters or quotes around an expression to get it working, or why I have a reboot when I am in the middle of the exam its probably not the right tool for me.

I am going to buy a TI-Nspire™ CAS soon, just to compare. I really wish HP would give us some feedback on what is in the works or should I just say, what I see is what I get.
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02-22-2014, 08:18 AM
Post: #14
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Quote:as I don't like the rocker buttons on the nspire and hate ti for only allowing to install their software on one computer (to destroy the used market I believe) but at least it is a finished product were I can do pretty much anything without having to read the manual first.
The fact is that the Nspire is, at the time of this writing (i.e. nearly 7 years after it first hit the marketplace), a more finished and integrated product than the Prime (which first hit the marketplace less than 6 months ago) is.
I'd say "fortunately so": even with TI being the market leader for graphing calculators in education (due to both Casio and HP letting TI become so), it would suck for users if the Nspire's polish and integration level were still poor after all those years Smile
Among other things, there are computer-based and iPad-based versions of the Nspire software, and a third-party emulator. At the time of this writing, no Android-based versions were ever published, although we noticed at some point through LinkedIn that some Android developers had joined TI Education Technology.

The Nspire's polish and abilities are far from being perfect, that said:
* the computer software and calculator software behave differently in user-noticeable ways. I mean that in Lua programs (a platform-specific Lua with a proprietary event-driven API but no ability to read or write files...), special care must be taken in user programs for all three of computer, tablet and calculator support to be smooth;
* since April 2011 (yup, nearly three years ago), all Nspire OS versions 3.0.1.1753 and later have provided the dubious new "feature" of a bunch of brand-new CAS bugs which none of the 2007-2011 OS versions, let alone the 1995-2005 TI-68k OS versions (which have several bugs and limitations that the Nspire series' CAS doesn't have, that said) to users... At its core, the Nspire series' CAS remains fundamentally the same as the TI-92's CAS from 1995: in 2011, I showed that the core of an old TI-68k/AMS C CAS program of mine could be ported to the Nspire verbatim.
* its crippled BASIC language, which didn't even exist in the very first Nspire OS versions (yup, TI did the blunder of releasing a non-programmable graphing calculator, though it lasted only for several months), and remains willfully unable to draw pixels on the screen or read individual keys from the keyboard. On its side, the PPL has been there from the beginning, and it shines.
* have I mentioned that unlike HP for the Prime, TI is actively fighting its users' legitimate quest to use the full potential of the Nspire platform, and that such a silly and counter-productive strategy backfires ?
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02-22-2014, 08:30 AM
Post: #15
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-22-2014 08:18 AM)debrouxl Wrote:  * its crippled BASIC language, which didn't even exist in the very first Nspire OS versions (yup, TI did the blunder of releasing a non-programmable graphing calculator, though it lasted only for several months), and remains willfully unable to draw pixels on the screen or read individual keys from the keyboard. On its side, the PPL has been there from the beginning, and it shines.

Isn't Lua available for the nspire? (or cas cx?)

My website: erwin.ried.cl
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02-22-2014, 09:25 AM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2014 09:26 AM by debrouxl.)
Post: #16
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Yup, the same OS 3.0.1.753 in April 2011 added some (then-undocumented) Lua programming capability to the whole Nspire series, but as I wrote:
Quote:a platform-specific Lua with a proprietary event-driven API but no ability to read or write files...
Among others, we've recently had to work around against that crippling, for the TI-Planet document generator (mViewer GX Creator). A much more efficient storage format could have been used if the Nspire's proprietary Lua could read from the filesystem Sad
That said, the Prime document format is even slightly more inefficient...
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02-22-2014, 01:44 PM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2014 02:22 PM by Stefan.)
Post: #17
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
(02-22-2014 08:18 AM)debrouxl Wrote:  The fact is that the Nspire is, at the time of this writing (i.e. nearly 7 years after it first hit the marketplace), a more finished and integrated product than the Prime (which first hit the marketplace less than 6 months ago) is.

Sure it is unfair to compare such a young product to a product which has proven itself 7+ years on the market. But its also a fact that *HP knew the competition*. So releasing the product in the current state, was either dumb or presumptuous.
I consider myself (and I think most of the users in this forum) as an early adopter and tech lover, hence I am really quite forgiving when it comes to *software* bugs because of that. But there are so many basic things missing (e.g. Undo, Redo, Documents), not working (e.g. CAS/Numeric integration) or too complicated (e.g. Copy/Paste, modifying expressions), and which shout for a new hardware revision. But this would mean that everyone who bought the Prime early and thus helped to improve it to a state where its usable, burned 100-150$.

(02-22-2014 08:18 AM)debrouxl Wrote:  The Nspire's polish and abilities are far from being perfect, that said:
I don't state that the NSpire is perfect, but it definitely has set a bar for calculators in usability and features.
I really would like the Prime to be successful. It has great (internal) hardware specs, and I like the touchscreen (edit: and I also like the Advanced Graphing App. I would love it even more if they wouldn't have called it "App" just to sound cool ^^). And I don't like that the NSpire is locked up so much. But I also must say that I never missed anything despite being locked up. It just annoys me because, being a Linux geek, I like things being open. But in the end it doesn't matter in 99% of the use cases (which are not only school purposes btw.).
But lets face it: If HP targets the education sector, than "the education sector" will demand that the exam mode is tamper proof. And to ensure this the best way (from a company's standpoint) is to lock up your product like crazy. So although this is speculation, I am not sure how long the "openness" point will be valid for the Prime.
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02-22-2014, 03:14 PM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2014 05:14 PM by debrouxl.)
Post: #18
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Quote:But its also a fact that *HP knew the competition*. So releasing the product in the current state, was either dumb or presumptuous.
Hard for anyone to disagree with you, but that would have meant no new calculator product on the market for at least another school season, which is a lot Smile
But yeah, I too think that the Nspire's document system is a good concept and that the Prime is lacking it. The efficiency of TI's implementation of documents is an atrocious abomination and aberration (encrypted + compressed documents, the modern version of formatted text is a crazy XML soup where three words, two with italic style and two with bold style, eats up more than 200 characters), so HP could do much better.

Quote:I really would like the Prime to be successful.
Yup, so do I. I'd be interested by retargeting the Prime platform with Linux (which already has good S3C241x support), and by the making of a Prime emulator, but I simply don't have enough free time... I've gathered links and explanations for both on the TI-Planet hpwiki, but I can't do much more.

Quote:It has great (internal) hardware specs
In relative terms, indeed, though only 32 MB of RAM is somewhat disappointing in 2013+, as the Nspire CX has had 64 MB since 2011.

Quote:If HP targets the education sector, than "the education sector" will demand that the exam mode is tamper proof.
All of us assume that standardized testing regulation authorities demand tamper-proof exam mode implementations, but facts would seem to show that they fantasize over exam tampering, and do nothing to achieve tamper-proof exam mode implementations (which is a good thing for users, as it would indeed mean more locked-down calculators).
The laughingstock that the TI-Z80 and Nspire series' PTT modes are, has strongly suggested for years that these authorities rubber-stamp any technology, without any technical review whatsoever. The fact that the Prime accepts firmware upgrades containing modified strings (which is a fantastic move from a user POV, even if the potential of such a capability remains untapped to this day) reinforces my belief.

Quote:So although this is speculation, I am not sure how long the "openness" point will be valid for the Prime.
I don't know either, but HP doesn't have a history of publishing highly locked-down products, so should they ever implement some lockdown for the Prime, they'd probably alienate themselves an even larger number of technical users wrt. the Prime Smile
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02-23-2014, 05:07 PM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2014 05:08 PM by Angus.)
Post: #19
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Hi there

I just registered on the forum and started gathering information about the prime.

There is not too much I want to comment on right now, since I am just at the beginning of my learning curve. Just this, little offtopic, post.

Being an electrical engineer using hp calculators in the 3rd decade I want to comment on this thread. Tim, are you an official or semi-official hp employee? You say the prime never ever targeted at us, so complaining is inappropriate?
Well, I did catch the information that hp targets the education sector, but reading the official announcements says: "Best used for Engineering; Computer science; Surveying; Trigonometry; Statistics; Geometry; Biology; Chemistry; Physics" It says "...RPL entry..." etc.
The 48 series, 49, 50 did not significantly differ I my eyes so I thought the prime was indended to be a technological step forward.
But an inconsistent behaviour, some weird data storage and variable managment, NO rpn, no(?) gon focus on the exploration apps, and many other small signs of hastily dispatch made me soon realize that kind of calculator that is worth being called hp prime. Inadequate dokumentation, flickering screen, problems with firmware updates and so on are signs of cheap development.

Worrying that hp does not make efforts in making the prime a sophisticated device useful for engineers and technicians aswell makes me mad. I have to spent hours in getting used with a new conception and in addition I am left alone by hp? No statements or whatsoever?
Why should we stick to hp? Why not trying something new?

I love hp calculators and I do my very best to utilize the prime, but knowing that hp is aware of its currents cons and working on a better product would help me cool down.

To be honest: I was shocked to hear that statement from Tim and while reading several posts I got the impression that maybe "prime" calculators from hp are not to be expected any more. :-(
Pleeeeaase: do your very best for the hp prime! There is a myth to be kept alive!
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02-23-2014, 05:25 PM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2014 06:53 PM by debrouxl.)
Post: #20
RE: Different note app / way to store often used formulas / how to start programming
Tim Wessman is indeed an HP employee. As part of his day programming job at HP Education, Tim is working hard on the Prime, doing his best to implement management decisions according to timelines, and going as far as spending some of his free time interacting with users on community message boards. Cyrille de Brébisson is the other HP Education employee (that I know of, at least; there may be others) attending community message boards.

TI Education or Casio Education "techie" staff members simply don't attend community message boards, and this isn't a good thing IMO - HP has got something right here.

I don't know what Tim and other HP (or TI / Casio, for that matter) staff members think about marketing and management decisions and timelines, but I do know that like all techies under management / marketing decisions (you or me included), they're not at liberty to tell about such thoughts anyway Smile
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