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HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
12-10-2018, 08:00 PM
Post: #1
HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
The “SUPERLEX” LEX file for the 71B was developed by Titan Software Company (“Titan” was HP’s internal the code name for the 71B) and sold through EduCALC (for example see p. 41 in Catalog 34 from 1987) and likely other similar dealers. A copy of the supplied “User Manual” for the LEX file is available here.

From the EduCALC description:
Quote:47 handy new BASIC keywords. There are 34 Time, Temperature and Metric Unit Conversions – cubic meters to cubic feet, hrs/min/sec to decimal hrs, etc. It also contains 13 keywords that control the AC and ALARM annunciators, quick contrast and display scroll control, lowercase string conversion, a running clock keyword, and more. All keywords may be used in programs or from the keyboard.

So, while there’s nothing too exciting in here, it is possibly useful and certainly interesting to explore.

The LEX file itself is available in Joe Horn’s OLDP. There seem to be two versions, with slightly different spelling of some of the keywords; the files are in HORN\HP7101 (shorter keywords that match this manual) and HORN\LEX01 (longer keywords – likely changes to add clarity).

If the copyright holder of the manual objects to this being shared, please notify me and I will remove the file and access. I made reasonable efforts to locate the owner to no avail.

If you have similar rare documentation, please consider sharing it with the community. I will also provide a copy to Dave to include in future releases of his MoHPC Document Collection.

--Bob Prosperi
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12-11-2018, 11:55 AM
Post: #2
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
Was the ability to add these extra commands only done for the HP-71b or did any other software companies or individuals produce code like this for any other programmable calculators or pocket computers?

Denny
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12-11-2018, 12:57 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
The Sharp PC-1500/A and the TRS-80 PC-2 have this ability to add BASIC keywords. You can find an example of a software adding some new keywords here.
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12-11-2018, 02:17 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
In the HP world, the HP-75C/D and the HP-83/85/86/87 series all used similar processes to extend their BASIC vocabulary. (The same may be true for the 9x00 series desktop computers, I'm not sure how they worked.) The 75 series used RAM (or ROM) based LEX files, similar to the 71B, while the Series-80 used ROM-based extensions (e.g. Graphics ROM added new commands for Graphics features, etc.). The 71 and 75 series LEX files could be copied into the machine's RAM, while for Series-80, the ROM module must be present.

As for the 71B itself, there were many (at least 10?) companies developing/selling LEX files for various kinds of applications, utilities, etc.

--Bob Prosperi
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12-11-2018, 05:04 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
(12-11-2018 02:17 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  In the HP world, the HP-75C/D and the HP-83/85/86/87 series all used similar processes to extend their BASIC vocabulary. (The same may be true for the 9x00 series desktop computers, I'm not sure how they worked.) The 75 series used RAM (or ROM) based LEX files, similar to the 71B, while the Series-80 used ROM-based extensions (e.g. Graphics ROM added new commands for Graphics features, etc.). The 71 and 75 series LEX files could be copied into the machine's RAM, while for Series-80, the ROM module must be present.

As for the 71B itself, there were many (at least 10?) companies developing/selling LEX files for various kinds of applications, utilities, etc.
I can say for certain that that the 9825 (HPL not BASIC) 9831, 9835 and 9845 all used ROMs to add additional function and I believe this went all the way back to the 9810. When the Rocky Mountain BASIC came along with the 9000 200 and 300 series machines instead of ROM they had optional binaries you could link for some extra function and for device support.
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12-11-2018, 10:59 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
.
Hi, Bob:

(12-11-2018 02:17 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  The 75 series used RAM (or ROM) based LEX files, similar to the 71B, while the Series-80 used ROM-based extensions (e.g. Graphics ROM added new commands for Graphics features, etc.).

Not so, Series 80 models (i.e., HP86, HP87) coud also use RAM-based binary files (BIN) to extend the BASIC language and the operating system's capabilities, and of course conversely the Series 70 models (HP-71, HP-75) could also use ROM-based extensions. There were no differences between both series in that regard.

Quote:The 71 and 75 series LEX files could be copied into the machine's RAM, while for Series-80, the ROM module must be present.

Again, there's no difference in that regard. For the Series 70 machines, you can have both ROM-based extensions, say the Math ROM's keywords, which can or can't be copied to RAM depending on several factors (hardwired, PRIVATE, etc) and RAM-based extensions, say LEX files, either copied from mass storage or directly created and assembled in the machine proper..

Same for Series 80 machines. You can have ROM-based extensions (the Matrix ROM for example), which usually can't be copied to RAM, but you can also use RAM-based extensions in the form of binary (BIN) programs, the equivalent of LEX files, which you could either load from mass storage (using the BASIC keyword LOADBIN) or create and assemble in place (using either the Assembler ROM or a RAM-based assembler program).

So, there's really no difference. The HP-85 operating system could only load one binary program at a time, using the mainframe LOADBIN keyword, but the developers were thick enough that they didn't include the sorely needed SCRATCHBIN keyword in the basic BASIC and thus you could only load and use just one BIN file at a time, no way to unload it to make room for another.

In time they learnt and began to include the SCRATCHBIN keyword in newer BIN files (and even retrofitted existing ones to include it) so that the programmer could load one binary, use its keywords, then unload it and load another one, in a serial fashion. The source code for the SCRATCHBIN keyword was made available by HP and I included it in every BIN file that I created at the time, using a RAM-based assembler (no Aseembler ROM required).

By the time they released the HP86/87, the developers had fully learnt the lesson and now you could load up to five binary programs at a time, which was extremely convenient. The professional programs I developed back then frequently loaded all 5 slots available for binary programs, some HP-provided and some created and assembled by myself (this time using the Assembler ROM).

I could go on and on re Series 80 binary subprogramas and their creation but I've digressed long enough. I'll only add one thing: the HP86/87 Assembler ROM came with the very worst documentation set I've ever seen HP produce. The manual in particular was of abysmal quality, utterly incomplete and insufficient for any serious, professional work, actually it was utter rubbish.

Regards.
V.

  
Find All My HP-related Materials here:  Valentin Albillo's HP Collection
 
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12-12-2018, 01:33 AM
Post: #7
RE: HP-71B SUPERLEX LEX File Manual
Thanks very much for the additional background and explanation Valentin. I frankly forgot all about the BIN (via LOADBIN) files on Series-80. This clearly means I don't use my S80 machines nearly enough....

I guess the key difference is on Series-70 one could simply copy ROM-based LEX files to RAM and they worked fine (and conversely could burn RAM-based files into EPROM, or copy to IRAM/PMS/emulated ROM).

I've assumed this was not possible on Series-80, as I understood the ROM- and RAM-based files are quite different, but please correct me if this is not true; I've no information at all about using files this way on S80.

Thanks!

--Bob Prosperi
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