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Is there a single website for tutorials, etc..
09-20-2017, 01:38 PM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2017 03:25 PM by webmasterpdx.)
Post: #4
RE: Is there a single website for tutorials, etc..
Is that page updated? Is there a search engine directed to just those links (something that could be done and would be far more useful than a WAN search using google).
Also, all those are threads within this forum. These should be converted into articles or tutorials....ideally.

Here is the sort of thing I'm thinking of. It would be the main resource page for the Prime.

First, it would have a link to this forum.

Next, it would have a link to a list of links. Here people could add new links as they are created/discovered. We could have a search feature that only searches these links. This would be far more useful than a WAN search using google. e.g. You could enter "integration by parts" and you'd only get HP Prime relevant material. There would be a single line describing each link (shorter than a tweet). The page could run a script when submitting new links to check for duplicates, and if a duplicate, the new description line could be added. Then, maybe once in a while the maintainer of the site could combine these descriptions into one line.

Next, it would have a link to articles, where people can add small useful utilities they might add or a tutorial on a subject. e.g. take this forum link
It is a discussion on spectrum analysis using the prime with a useful example. This could be converted into a very useful article. Initially, someone could just grab the discussion and put it all together into a single post, and then later, that person could tidy it up a it would evolve. HP themselves could add useful extensions and errata to the help materials. I see lots of uses for this kind of a page.

Finally, I was thinking a link to a page where we could add articles that might be a bit longer about how the calculator is used in specific problem solving. e.g. I had a project I was working on where I needed to come up with a very fast and small (had to fit on a pic microcontroller with only 64 bytes of RAM) to filter sampled audio into 3 frequency bands (low, mid and high pass). I invented a new variation on a state variable filter based on a FIR filter. At the time I did this all using a TI86 calculator. (Note that the HP prime is so much better for algorithm emulation as we can specify that variables are 8-bit integers for example, whereas the TI86 assumed everything was a real number, and you can get slightly different results when doing that, so writing an algorithm that will run the same on the actual microcontroller is possible using the prime). To test my algorithm I created 3 sine waves each in the middle of the 3 frequency bands. I added these functions together and turned it into a sample array to use my algorithm on. I then took the output and could plot it for the different filter outputs (so the input would look like a noisy signal when plotted in the time domain, and the output should ideally be 3 sine waves). The prime is far more powerful so I could do an FFT and look at the frequency domain to see the output or even using CAS to get the outputs in terms of trig functions (fourier series). All this would include useful functions to turn the test functions into data streams, plotting outputs in both time domain and frequency domain, etc, etc...lots of useful utilities. More importantly, the result could be a useful and interesting article with real world examples of how to use the calculator that could help others in their work and perhaps inspire others to use the prime more than falling back on apps like matlab or octave, etc, etc..

This final part would also provide HP with better feedback for how professionals want to use the calculator. I also think that a lot of people do not realize how nice it is to do this kind of research and development using a calculator rather than some high priced, hugely complicated math applications, where you need a full PC to use it rather than being able to just lay back on your couch with just the calculator and a pen and paper. Makes this kind of work much more enjoyable and is much more efficient IMO. e.g. If I'm working on such a problem, and I think of a variation to try out, if using Octave, I have to turn on my laptop, boot it up, start the package, etc, etc...alternatively, I can just reach for my calculator and after pressing a few keys, I'm in business without ever getting up from my couch! This also isn't just for professionals, excluding students, as they could add how they are able to accomplish their assignments faster and easier using the prime, the idea being that people in similar fields and with similar problems can get ideas and solutions to their needs.

I know this would require a little bit of work by HP to set this up, but once set up, it would be mostly maintained and contributed to by the users.

So, for HP, I see that while they would have to invest a little to set this up, they would get the following in return.
1. There isn't currently any centralized way for people to share anything on the prime other than this forum. This would provide this.
2. This would create a far more cooperative user base, with greater user participation (currently there is nothing to participate in).
3. It would create a much better source of resources, and I believe it could grow with user participation, into a great source of utilities, tutorials, etc., to bring people up to speed with the calculator's more advanced functionality, which is what you really want to do to make the prime stand out against it's competitors.
4. With the 3rd link I mentioned (with the professional examples), it could serve as a vehicle to draw people back to using calculators again. Many people have left calculators behind to use the high end math packages, not realizing the actual advantages that the calculator can provide, mainly, both the comfort/convenience of use, plus when used this way, people become very familiar with the advanced features of the calculator....much more so than they would with all the features of a package like matlab. Also, many researchers don't realize how easy it is to whip out quick programs to test their algorithms this way.
5. New uses for calculators will be discovered this way. e.g. Just reading this, some people will realize that you can test algorithms that might be targeted for embedded microcontrollers, and this might not have occurred to them before. This site would both encourage and help people expand these uses.
6. This could help the prime become a hobby for many people. e.g. the way the raspberry pi or arduino have become huge hobby based items for the nerdier amongst us, I can see this happening for solving math problems or developing new algorithms, programming games, etc, etc... (Imagine one of the larger articles discussing game techniques, like using sprites for animation etc, etc.. could be a huge boost to people who like programming games for fun).
7. It would provide an invaluable source of feedback for future HP product production. Not just calculators, but possibly software and other products.
8. With a central source for information, I could see this helping the hacking community. I don't mean people trying to break the calculator, but possibly someone could come out with a USB stick with a piezo speaker and possibly the ability to connect via wifi to other i/o sensors (like HP's streaming product, but that is so closed, that I'm betting they don't sell too many of those). I'm thinking more the arduino type sensors like here:
Applying advanced math to various sensor data can be very useful. e.g. One project I worked with in the past involved getting real data from roller blades. I was coming up with a way to determine velocity of roller blades (was a real request for proposal for a product). One idea I was exploring was to record vibration using a piezo sensor. The idea was that a rear wheel will go over the same bumps as a front wheel (to some degree), so by recording this data and doing an auto-correlation, if I know the distance between the wheels I can figure out the velocity. So this is algorithm research, but I needed real data. I recorded the audio from a real roller blade boot using a tiny tape recorder. Then I played the tape into the mic on my pc, and extracted a sample stream. This would have been much easier if I could have grabbed it from a real sensor. This was another algorithm I researched using a TI86.

The bottom line here is that if such a site appeared, once people warmed up to it and became aware of it's existence, it could become one of the better support pages for any calculator to date. In addition it could promote a renaissance of people going back to using calculators for research instead of the big PC packages. Ultimately, it could help the Prime beat it's competitors in public opinion, and basically, sell more calculators for HP.
That's the advantage for HP, but for us, the users, it's a great support vehicle.

The basis for this is to get the thing in place and it should be mostly self running from that point on....

I know, it's unlikely to happen, but I figure while throwing around ideas, why not dream well :-)

OK I'll get off my soapbox now LOL :-)
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RE: Is there a single website for tutorials, etc.. - webmasterpdx - 09-20-2017 01:38 PM

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