My first newbie WP 34S question
01-28-2014, 08:34 AM
Post: #21
 walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(01-28-2014 03:23 AM)Bit Wrote:  Is the USB module that can be built into the WP 34S still available for purchase? If so, where could I get it from?

Please see the manual, App. H. There's a footnote stating, among other stuff:

d:-)
01-29-2014, 03:44 PM
Post: #22
 Bit Member Posts: 265 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(01-28-2014 05:31 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  That bit of code was one of the very last added. I'd trust the comment, although I don't remember exactly why. I do remember there being a problem with the wrong register being displayed at times.

Then I won't try to figure this out as that check causes no harm and it wouldn't be easy (for me) to prove that nothing breaks if it's removed.

The command line check is definitely needed for the Y register display to work correctly. But it isn't sufficient: If the X register was erased and the stack lift disabled and you start typing a number, the current Y register code will display 0 (the erased X register) instead of the Y register. [1] [ENTER] [<-] [1] will reproduce the problem.

This one is trivially easy to fix but some other problems (e.g. last digit cut off without correct rounding) are trickier. I don't yet have a means to load a new firmware into my WP 34S so I could only test my patch using the simulator. I'm planning to publish it once it's been thoroughly tested on real hardware so as not to waste anyone's time with something that's potentially broken. (But if someone would like to play with it now, just let me know.)
01-29-2014, 03:49 PM
Post: #23
 Bit Member Posts: 265 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(01-28-2014 08:34 AM)walter b Wrote:  Please see the manual, App. H. There's a footnote stating, among other stuff:

Thank you. I did see that document before but the email address didn't register in my mind for some reason (I guess I expected some sort of order form instead of a personal email address).
02-01-2014, 05:18 PM
Post: #24
 Marcus von Cube Senior Member Posts: 760 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(01-29-2014 03:44 PM)Bit Wrote:  I don't yet have a means to load a new firmware into my WP 34S so I could only test my patch using the simulator. I'm planning to publish it once it's been thoroughly tested on real hardware so as not to waste anyone's time with something that's potentially broken. (But if someone would like to play with it now, just let me know.)
You can trust the emulated (simulated?) version. I've done almost all of my code development and debugging on the Windows emulator.

Is it an emulator? Yes and no: It does not emulate the ARM processor and thus does not run the original ROM, but it's based on the same C code base, making all algorithms the same on all supported platforms.

Marcus von Cube
Wehrheim, Germany
http://www.mvcsys.de
http://wp34s.sf.net
http://mvcsys.de/doc/basic-compare.html
02-01-2014, 10:34 PM
Post: #25
 Bit Member Posts: 265 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(02-01-2014 05:18 PM)Marcus von Cube Wrote:  You can trust the emulated (simulated?) version. I've done almost all of my code development and debugging on the Windows emulator.
What I had in mind is that the size of the stack and the .data section is limited on the Atmel hardware, and compiler optimizations or bugs may be different, too. For example, one of my earlier attempts nearly doubled the stack space needed by set_status_sized(). I have no idea whether that would've been OK on the real hardware considering all possible code paths. The current version of my patch has a minimal impact on the stack and .data so this is probably no longer a concern.

I'll publish the patch once I've cleaned it up a little and have the time to write a post about what it does.

(02-01-2014 05:18 PM)Marcus von Cube Wrote:  Is it an emulator? Yes and no: It does not emulate the ARM processor and thus does not run the original ROM, but it's based on the same C code base, making all algorithms the same on all supported platforms.
Calling it a 'port' of the WP 34S software would be the most appropriate in my opinion. It's mostly the same code with platform specific changes and additions.
02-01-2014, 11:25 PM
Post: #26
 Marcus von Cube Senior Member Posts: 760 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(02-01-2014 10:34 PM)Bit Wrote:  Calling it a 'port' of the WP 34S software would be the most appropriate in my opinion. It's mostly the same code with platform specific changes and additions.
To be honest, the ARM version came after the Windows software. So what is the port?

Marcus von Cube
Wehrheim, Germany
http://www.mvcsys.de
http://wp34s.sf.net
http://mvcsys.de/doc/basic-compare.html
02-01-2014, 11:36 PM
Post: #27
 Bit Member Posts: 265 Joined: Jan 2014
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(02-01-2014 11:25 PM)Marcus von Cube Wrote:
(02-01-2014 10:34 PM)Bit Wrote:  Calling it a 'port' of the WP 34S software would be the most appropriate in my opinion. It's mostly the same code with platform specific changes and additions.
To be honest, the ARM version came after the Windows software. So what is the port?
I'm using the Qt version on Linux, that's definitely a port.
05-17-2015, 02:12 AM
Post: #28
 striegel Member Posts: 204 Joined: May 2015
Another newbie WP 34S question - entering 'narrow-space' character
Trying to follow the example of the TVM-Solver, I ran into an item that I could not figure out. In the portion of code where the top line of the display is populated, it calls for the following entries:

025 [alpha]'N[narrow-space][narrow-space]'
026 [alpha]'I[narrow-space][narrow-space]'
027 [alpha]'PV[narrow-space]'
028 [alpha]'PMT'
029 [alpha]'[narrow-space]FV'

There is nothing in the WP 34S Owner's Manual Firmware V3.3 that tells me how to enter this special 'narrow-space' character.

I have searched the PDF manual and hardcopy version, checked the Beginner's Guide, and tried to see if anything from the HP 42S manual applied, but have come up empty.

Can anybody tell me a key sequence that works? Using the regular space character makes it too wide to fit.
05-17-2015, 02:27 AM
Post: #29
 Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,531 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
The TVM solver is designed to be built using the assembler which handles this character just fine. I'm not sure there is a way to input it from the keyboard, I suspect not.

It might be possible to add to the keyboard, but where without ruining consistency.

- Pauli
05-17-2015, 02:29 AM
Post: #30
 Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,531 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(02-01-2014 11:36 PM)Bit Wrote:  I'm using the Qt version on Linux, that's definitely a port.

The non-graphical Linux & Mac versions were the very first. I don't remember which actually ran first but they're basically the same.

- Pauli
05-17-2015, 12:46 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2015 12:47 PM by striegel.)
Post: #31
 striegel Member Posts: 204 Joined: May 2015
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(05-17-2015 02:27 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  The TVM solver is designed to be built using the assembler which handles this character just fine. I'm not sure there is a way to input it from the keyboard, I suspect not.
...

Ah, well that's disappointing. The reason I was working through the exercise was that I managed to wipe out the TVM code from flash and was planning to put it back manually. I do not have a programming cable.

On the plus side, I have been getting very well acquainted with my new calculator's keyboard and how to enter programs. :-)
05-17-2015, 03:18 PM
Post: #32
 Marcio Senior Member Posts: 438 Joined: Feb 2015
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(01-09-2014 01:28 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  I've just had my WP 34S for a day and already have a basic question. I tried to reproduce a simple program from my HP 42S with a 4 character label, but the WP 34S won't let me enter more than 3 characters before it moves to the next program step. Labels in the HP 42S can be up to 7 characters long, so I'm puzzled by this apparent restriction to only 3 characters. Hopefully I'm just missing something here.
Michael, in your opinion - although others are more than welcome to answer - how does the 34s compare against the 35s in terms of functionality? No need to consider the bugs of the latter.

Thank you.

Marcio
05-18-2015, 01:54 PM
Post: #33
 Nigel (UK) Senior Member Posts: 347 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(05-17-2015 03:18 PM)Marcio Wrote:
(01-09-2014 01:28 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  I've just had my WP 34S for a day and already have a basic question. I tried to reproduce a simple program from my HP 42S with a 4 character label, but the WP 34S won't let me enter more than 3 characters before it moves to the next program step. Labels in the HP 42S can be up to 7 characters long, so I'm puzzled by this apparent restriction to only 3 characters. Hopefully I'm just missing something here.
Michael, in your opinion - although others are more than welcome to answer - how does the 34s compare against the 35s in terms of functionality? No need to consider the bugs of the latter.

Thank you.

Marcio

(Disclaimer: I'm not Michael, although I do have both a WP-34s and an HP-35s.)

• Very good build quality (for mine, at least). The HP-30b feels cheaper and more plastic, although to me still acceptable.
• Two-line dot matrix display. I actually like the 7-segment main display on the WP-34s but a proper dot-matrix display would be better.
• More RAM on the HP-35s, although with no link to the external world I'm not sure I'd want to fill it.
• A numeric solver / integrator that does not require you to write a program.
In every other regard there is simply no comparison between the two machines. The WP-34s is so far ahead of the HP-35s in terms of built-in functions, programmability, linking to computers, and sheer flexibility that, in my view, there is no contest. Some randomly chosen highlights:
• Double precision mode. You want 35 decimal digits in your answers, or numbers with four-digit exponents? You got it.
• Complex number support. Pretty much every function on the WP-34s works with complex arguments. Complex numbers on the HP-35s are limited.
• Base arithmetic is powerful and convenient on the WP-34s. It isn't convenient on the HP-35s.
• A vast number of statistical distribution functions - there's nothing comparable on the HP-35s.
• An assembler that can be used to compile programs on a PC which can then be transferred either to an emulator or to a physical calculator, if you have a cable.
I know that you said not to mention the bugs, so I'll confine myself to a simple observation - bugs in the WP-34s (and there have been many of these) reported here are fixed within a couple of days at the outside, with new firmware ready to download. Bugs in the HP-35s, on the other hand ......!

Hope this helps.

Nigel (UK)
Post: #34
 Michael de Estrada Senior Member Posts: 337 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
In addition to Nigel's comments, other shortcomings of the HP-35s in comparison with the WP34S are as follows:

1) No matrix operations
2) Single character labels (A through Z) only for programming
3) No direct rectangular <> polar coordinates conversion
4) Very poor battery life
05-25-2015, 12:20 PM
Post: #35
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,398 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(05-25-2015 03:37 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  4) Very poor battery life

That's something I cannot confirm. On the contrary: my 35s was bought in 2007 and runs on its 5th set of batteries. Roughly one set in 1 1/2 years. My 34s had the same battery consumption (5 sets) in just over two years (!).

No question, the 34s has far more mathematical power. There simply is no other comparable RPN calculator. But the 35s IMHO is the better device for everyday use. All important math functions are directly available without menu access, and the built-in equation mode is extremely convenient and useful in many situations. Finally, the solver is a class of its own.

That's why I use both of them. ;-)

Dieter
06-04-2015, 01:03 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 01:23 AM by Marcio.)
Post: #36
 Marcio Senior Member Posts: 438 Joined: Feb 2015
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(05-25-2015 12:20 PM)Dieter Wrote:  Finally, the solver is a class of its own.

That's why I use both of them. ;-)

Dieter

Dieter, have you ever compared them in terms of abilities to find roots? Has the solver of the 35s ever failed you?

EDIT: Others are more than welcome to answer.

Very much appreciated.

Marcio
06-05-2015, 06:12 PM
Post: #37
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,398 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(06-04-2015 01:03 AM)Marcio Wrote:  Dieter, have you ever compared them in terms of abilities to find roots? Has the solver of the 35s ever failed you?

As much as I like the 34s, I think there is no doubt that HP's solver algorithm is far more sophisticated. I never had any problems, and if there is a root I cannot remember the 35s (or earlier the good old 34C) was not able find it – provided you start with two reasonable guesses.

The 35s solver is also able to solve equations symbolically. This can be done in equation mode (which IMHO is an advantage on its own).

Example: flash photography
D = flash distance, G = nominal (ISO 100) guide number, I = ISO speed, A = aperture

Code:
 D=G*SQRT(I/100)/A

Assume your flash has GN 30 and you want to illuminate a subject at 20 m distance while your lens provides a maximum aperture of f/4. Which ISO setting is required?
Code:
SOLVE I D?  20 R/S G?  30 R/S A?  4  R/S I=  711,1111
So ISO 800 (next higher setting) is fine.

The result appears immediately without iteration or any guesses. The 35s internally rearranges the equation to I = 100*(D*A/G)² and calculates the solution directly.

Dieter
06-05-2015, 07:04 PM
Post: #38
 Marcio Senior Member Posts: 438 Joined: Feb 2015
RE: My first newbie WP 34S question
(06-05-2015 06:12 PM)Dieter Wrote:  As much as I like the 34s, I think there is no doubt that HP's solver algorithm is far more sophisticated. I never had any problems, and if there is a root I cannot remember the 35s (or earlier the good old 34C) was not able find it – provided you start with two reasonable guesses.
The solver on the 35s is packed with features, mostly because there is not much space in the UI to organize them, a much "larger" machine might be able to offer more flexibility, like the 50g, where you can use the every feature of the solver separately.

My question however was more centered around the robustness of the root finders specifically, in this regard, I think both solvers (34 and 35) are comparable. I have been testing them and got great results so far.

Marcio
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