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On the fence
05-07-2014, 06:04 PM
Post: #1
On the fence
The title might be little misleading. I'm definitely going to buy a Prime, but I'm on the fence as whether to pull the trigger right away, or wait until they become available with the "just-on-the-horizon" firmware update.

The only thread I could find about updating the firmware suggested that the users were having a hard time getting through that step, but that could've been a Linux issue. If that's a problem on all platforms, I don't want to buy one and be stuck with the older firmware.

I'm running Win8 and would like to know if anyone has been successful using the Prime connectivity kit on Win8 to make firmware updates. If it's a no-brainer, that'll help me decide when to buy. If it's a problem, I'll wait. Does anyone have experience with that?
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05-07-2014, 06:16 PM
Post: #2
RE: On the fence
I just got mine last week and am wishing I had waited till the next firmware release (is claimed to be due before the end of the month according to the facebook page) since the bugs and eccentricities are really detracting from the 'cool new toy' experience.
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05-07-2014, 06:28 PM
Post: #3
RE: On the fence
Update is a no-brainer, and if it fails (probably <1%, usually it's just an user issue) HP should exchange your calc. So buy it Tongue

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05-07-2014, 08:22 PM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2014 08:23 PM by Brad Barton.)
Post: #4
RE: On the fence
>Update is a no-brainer,

Does that mean you've done it with Win8?
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05-07-2014, 08:49 PM
Post: #5
RE: On the fence
Yes, 8.1 probably.

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05-07-2014, 09:29 PM
Post: #6
RE: On the fence
It depends on what you want it for. If you're in your mid-20's with no previous experience of what HP as an engineering company used to produce, you'll likely be happy with it as it is.

How's your eyesight though?

The key color choice was simply moronic; secondary labels are hard to see and read.

The sort-of RPN implementation will disappoint if you know what they used to make in this area.

Don't count on the firmware upgrade. Wait for the reviews.
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05-08-2014, 02:19 AM
Post: #7
RE: On the fence
(05-07-2014 09:29 PM)Craig Thomas Wrote:  It depends on what you want it for. If you're in your mid-20's with no previous experience of what HP as an engineering company used to produce, you'll likely be happy with it as it is.

My mid-20's was a long time ago; say mid-20 ago. I don't expect to ever see the quality we saw then, but there's more capability available today. Thought I might try to use the Prime's programming and graphics capability to assist in balancing rotating equipment.

Quote:How's your eyesight though?

Yeah, that might be a problem, but fairly easily overcome.

Quote:The sort-of RPN implementation will disappoint if you know what they used to make in this area.

Yeah, I've been reading up on it, and that aspect does look like a downer. I've got plenty of RPN/RPL machines around if I really get to missing it. I'm looking at the Prime as another iteration of HP calculators. I'm sure there'll be some adjustments to make on my part. I seem to remember the 49 took it on the chin pretty hard when it was released, but everyone seems to like 'em pretty well now.

Quote:Don't count on the firmware upgrade. Wait for the reviews.

That's probably the safest course, and the one I've been following for now. But I feel like I'm missing out on learning a new machine, and I'm pretty sure that TW and crew will keep working on improving it, even if the upcoming release doesn't hit all the marks. They might even get the RPN implementation straightened out.
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05-08-2014, 02:35 AM
Post: #8
RE: On the fence
More Primes sold = Better firmwares Smile

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05-08-2014, 04:44 AM
Post: #9
RE: On the fence
I forgot to mention the 'documentation', available only as a download...not counting the old version on disc it ships with. Hopefully, they may update it someday as well. It's a bit problematic, again vastly unlike what used to ship. I've simply put my Prime aside against the day of 'upgraded' firmware and accompanying and accurate documentation.

Guess I'm a bit peeved buying something as incomplete as this. Yes, lots of promise, with no actual promises' about what it will eventually become. It's easy to get the idea 'they' don't know either.
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05-08-2014, 04:45 AM
Post: #10
RE: On the fence
(05-08-2014 02:35 AM)eried Wrote:  More Primes sold = Better firmwares Smile

That's called wishful thinking. :-)
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05-08-2014, 05:06 AM
Post: #11
RE: On the fence
Well..... I was just about to pull the trigger and then I read this thread.

It must be a sign.

A [CHS] sign!

So, thanks for ya'll posting here; I agree to hold off and will.
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05-08-2014, 05:45 AM
Post: #12
RE: On the fence
Remember if you have access to a Windows computer you can download the HP Prime Virtual Calculator Emulator and try it out before buying one.
The direct link is:
http://ftp.ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Pr..._11_25.exe

From the HP Prime FTP site:
http://ftp.ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Prime/
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05-08-2014, 07:46 AM
Post: #13
RE: On the fence
(05-08-2014 05:45 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  Remember if you have access to a Windows computer...

That is my problem for holding off. I have a Mac... And I don't want to install Parallels etc. just for updating the Prime.
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05-08-2014, 09:59 AM
Post: #14
RE: On the fence
(05-08-2014 07:46 AM)kusmi Wrote:  
(05-08-2014 05:45 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  Remember if you have access to a Windows computer...

That is my problem for holding off. I have a Mac... And I don't want to install Parallels etc. just for updating the Prime.

Just a note that Parallels is fine; I use it whenever I need to access some Windows stuff, and then just quit out of it when done. Not a problem at all and I never have to worry about deciding to go Windows or Mac. I hardly ever use it but it is there whenever I need it. You can even drag and drop files between the two systems.
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05-08-2014, 02:39 PM
Post: #15
RE: On the fence
(05-07-2014 06:04 PM)Brad Barton Wrote:  The title might be little misleading. I'm definitely going to buy a Prime, but I'm on the fence as whether to pull the trigger right away, or wait until they become available with the "just-on-the-horizon" firmware update.

The only thread I could find about updating the firmware suggested that the users were having a hard time getting through that step, but that could've been a Linux issue. If that's a problem on all platforms, I don't want to buy one and be stuck with the older firmware.

I'm running Win8 and would like to know if anyone has been successful using the Prime connectivity kit on Win8 to make firmware updates. If it's a no-brainer, that'll help me decide when to buy. If it's a problem, I'll wait. Does anyone have experience with that?
It's easily(stupendously so) upgradeable(and it's REALLY REALLY REALLY FAST for a calc 50g -> Prime is WAY more impressive than 28S -> 48SX or 48SX -> 49G). i.e. I'd only wait if you think that the price might fall further...

win8: hmmm... so far only tried it on my win7 x64 pro desktop, but I'll try to remember to try it on my 8.1 pro notebook unless someone is already doing it or beats me to getting around to trying it out. I'd imagine that it should work just fine though, although I customized the crap out of win 8.1, i.e. startisback, turning off all the useless secur annoyances(same as in win7), not installing stuff to "Programs XYZ", etc. (I really don't use windows to do anything useful, as that's what linux is for...)
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05-08-2014, 03:30 PM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2014 03:32 PM by Brad Barton.)
Post: #16
RE: On the fence
(05-08-2014 04:44 AM)Craig Thomas Wrote:  I forgot to mention the 'documentation', available only as a download...not counting the old version on disc it ships with. Hopefully, they may update it someday as well. It's a bit problematic, again vastly unlike what used to ship. I've simply put my Prime aside against the day of 'upgraded' firmware and accompanying and accurate documentation.

Guess I'm a bit peeved buying something as incomplete as this. Yes, lots of promise, with no actual promises' about what it will eventually become. It's easy to get the idea 'they' don't know either.

You seem pretty disappointed with the Prime at this point, and that's understandable if you're used to the way HP used to be. That HP existed in a different time and a different market though. The market in those days allowed them to take the time to perfect the manual. The market in those days allowed them to beta-test the hell out of the product. The market in those days allowed them to make double-shot keys and beautifully made user's manuals.

Remember that the HP-67 was $450 in 1976 dollars when it came out. A quick trip to http://www.inflationdata.com shows that's equivalent to $1,912.44 in today's money. If they were getting that much for the Prime, I'll bet the quality and manual would be closer to that we saw in the 70's and 80's.

But does the quality have to be as good as the old machines when the cost of a new super-capable calculator has dropped 93.2%? I suppose not. It's the market that's made it the way it is. Back in the day it was TI and HP, and everyone else was an also-ran. Now there's Casio and others, Excel and tablet PCs, iphones and ipads. HP can't ask $2K for a calculator and expect to get ANY sales. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on the most perfect Prime, built and documented like a 41CX, would you?

Plus the new models have so much more capability than before! Every feature you add increases the potential for bugs exponentially. I have no idea what HP's calculator division has for a budget, but I'll bet it's a lot smaller than the printer division (who btw turns out complete crap). There's almost no way to economically beta-test every feature given the resources HP allows. We're part of that process like it or not. As long as this dialog exists though, we've got a chance to improve the end result. You wouldn't have seen that in the 70's or 80's. Not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but there it is.

Speaking of the increased capability, have you seen how the Prime operates compared to some of the other graphing calculators. Here's a link to a youtube video comparing it with Casios and TIs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmdudS30OBI It looks pretty damn amazing to me, and so fast! Very impressive and a big boost in my mind in the Prime's attraction.

Not sure where I was going with all this. I guess I'm trying to say I see why you're disappointed, and I can identify with it. I'm trying to see why things are the way they are, and live within those constraints. I have faith that the Prime will improve, but I also see it's a pretty amazing device already. I see others are leaning away from the Prime, but I'm leaning more towards it than ever. Not pulling the trigger yet, but the hammer's cocked.
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05-08-2014, 03:34 PM
Post: #17
RE: On the fence
(05-08-2014 05:45 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  Remember if you have access to a Windows computer you can download the HP Prime Virtual Calculator Emulator and try it out before buying one.
The direct link is:
http://ftp.ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Pr..._11_25.exe

From the HP Prime FTP site:
http://ftp.ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Prime/

Thanks for the link. I have the emulator installed, but there's nothing quite like holding the machine in your hand. Sort of like comparing .pdf manuals to the real deal, only more so.
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05-08-2014, 10:07 PM
Post: #18
RE: On the fence
Buy it, you won't regret it.

I am very happy with my 50G, but I've migrated to the Prime for most of my work by now. The current firmware is stable. Does it have some bugs? Sure, as will the next update. So don't worry. And as pointed out before, it doesn't cost the world!
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05-09-2014, 01:04 PM
Post: #19
RE: On the fence
I say go for it. That is the beauty of calculators with upgradable firmware.
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05-10-2014, 05:28 AM
Post: #20
RE: On the fence
You are certainly correct. When it comes to large, modern corporations I HAVE gotten pretty cynical. 20 years at the Boeing Company living Dilbert's life will do that.

I actually sent a letter to David Packard while he was still alive and working, about the low-power indicator on the HP-29C (I think that was the one) and got a great letter back from some VP who said Mr. Packard wanted me satisfied and please don't send any more letters to Mr. Packard....it still makes me chuckle.

This calculator, the Prime, is potentially the best thing they've made. Except for the keys, the unfinished firmware, the math majors idea of RPN, the documentation....

It could be an excellent engineering calculator AND a great calc for students. It isn't yet.

It will be terrific if I'm proven overly cynical and it all comes together with a bow on top. I'll be glad to be wrong in my cynicism about it.


(05-08-2014 03:30 PM)Brad Barton Wrote:  
(05-08-2014 04:44 AM)Craig Thomas Wrote:  I forgot to mention the 'documentation', available only as a download...not counting the old version on disc it ships with. Hopefully, they may update it someday as well. It's a bit problematic, again vastly unlike what used to ship. I've simply put my Prime aside against the day of 'upgraded' firmware and accompanying and accurate documentation.

Guess I'm a bit peeved buying something as incomplete as this. Yes, lots of promise, with no actual promises' about what it will eventually become. It's easy to get the idea 'they' don't know either.

You seem pretty disappointed with the Prime at this point, and that's understandable if you're used to the way HP used to be. That HP existed in a different time and a different market though. The market in those days allowed them to take the time to perfect the manual. The market in those days allowed them to beta-test the hell out of the product. The market in those days allowed them to make double-shot keys and beautifully made user's manuals.

Remember that the HP-67 was $450 in 1976 dollars when it came out. A quick trip to http://www.inflationdata.com shows that's equivalent to $1,912.44 in today's money. If they were getting that much for the Prime, I'll bet the quality and manual would be closer to that we saw in the 70's and 80's.

But does the quality have to be as good as the old machines when the cost of a new super-capable calculator has dropped 93.2%? I suppose not. It's the market that's made it the way it is. Back in the day it was TI and HP, and everyone else was an also-ran. Now there's Casio and others, Excel and tablet PCs, iphones and ipads. HP can't ask $2K for a calculator and expect to get ANY sales. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on the most perfect Prime, built and documented like a 41CX, would you?

Plus the new models have so much more capability than before! Every feature you add increases the potential for bugs exponentially. I have no idea what HP's calculator division has for a budget, but I'll bet it's a lot smaller than the printer division (who btw turns out complete crap). There's almost no way to economically beta-test every feature given the resources HP allows. We're part of that process like it or not. As long as this dialog exists though, we've got a chance to improve the end result. You wouldn't have seen that in the 70's or 80's. Not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but there it is.

Speaking of the increased capability, have you seen how the Prime operates compared to some of the other graphing calculators. Here's a link to a youtube video comparing it with Casios and TIs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmdudS30OBI It looks pretty damn amazing to me, and so fast! Very impressive and a big boost in my mind in the Prime's attraction.

Not sure where I was going with all this. I guess I'm trying to say I see why you're disappointed, and I can identify with it. I'm trying to see why things are the way they are, and live within those constraints. I have faith that the Prime will improve, but I also see it's a pretty amazing device already. I see others are leaning away from the Prime, but I'm leaning more towards it than ever. Not pulling the trigger yet, but the hammer's cocked.
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