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HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
05-05-2015, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2015 06:27 AM by AnalogJoe.)
Post: #1
HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
I got a 35s the other day, I also have a 48GX, a 50G and a Prime, but I had to take an admission test and none of those were accepted during the exam, im so used to RPN that I decided to go out and buy the only RPN scientific calculator I could find, the 35s.

First impression this is a great calc, it has wonderfull keys, RPN, and great looks, however after further use, I found out that this calculator is what might be refered to as 'wasted potential', or in other words the limitations the calc has are due to a lack of functions that could have been easily programmed into the calc rather than hardware limitations of the calc itself.

First of all let me say that im completely aware that this calculator is a big upgrade compared to the original HP 35, but im just saying, if the calc is getting an upgrade why not go all the way and do it right.

I know its been a long time since 2007 when this calculator came out, but let me add a list of all the things I think are missing that should have been implemented, things which are defacto on all calculators in the same price range as the 35s:

- Dedicated polynomial root finder program: The solution finder on the 35s is great, but having to suggest values for a solution, and tinker around with different values to find something as simple as the roots to a cuadratic equation is not efficient. It needs a simple polynomial root finder program up to at least the 3rd degree like any other calculator in the same price range as the 35s. I had to program my own root finder, it involved 100 lines of code, it can only solve up to 2nd degree polynomials and it could be easily wiped out from the memory if I press the wrong keys.

- Polynomial complex root support: come on, my $10 Casio gives me the complex roots of a polynomial up to the 3rd degree. If theres a complex root, the 35s will not find any solution.

- Numerical differentiation: Im just saying, if the 35s can integrate, why not differentiate?

- 2X2 and 3X3 solvers with complex number support: Again, being limited to only real number 2X2 and 3X3 systems is very unappealing to an EE like me.

- Vector cross product: This very simple feature could have been very easily implemented. In fact, what I found shocking is that the hp manual has a vector cross product program used as an example, why did they left this to the user instead of having it pre-programmed beats me....

- Complex number fuctions: Things like conjugate, polar to rect, rect to polar are completely missing. I also would have liked real to complex and complex to real functions.

- 'a b/c' to 'b/c' and 'b/c' to 'a b/c' decimal conversion: Not being able to convert something like 1 3/4 to 7/4 and back is just annoying, again a $5 scientific will do that.

- Matrix support: if an old 15C has matrix support why not the new 35s?


I think everything boils down to: Complex number support, aside from the very basic arithmetic operations, this calculator does not support complex numbers, period.

When I look at this calc I see a very nice piece of hardware programmed by lazy programmers. All the necessary horsepower is there but the software is not. It shouldnt be left to the user to spend hours programming simple functions that could have been easily factory programmed, or if you are planning on having the user program their own functions at least add an extra $5 to the price tag and include a USB port, that way, people who dont want to program stuff like vector cross product can just download a program from the internet and upload it to the calc, not to mention that you could also backup your programs in case the calculator's memory is wiped off.

So how are you guys overcoming these step backs? I would like to hear some tips and tricks, and listen to what you guys have done to improve your calcs.
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05-05-2015, 05:07 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
Joe;

The most common omission to be addressed here was the lack of P<>R & R<>P. There were a couple of good tight programs shared here for that. I believe i remember some disappointment at the lack of complex number support too, and comments that that problem is now inherent in every HP but the 50g.

The lacks you're referring to were not possible to fill due to a lack of ROM memory. It's full. When HP got about everything in it that could fit, they threw in a few constants for what common conversions would fit and that was it. Something else would have had to have been chucked out.

Most of us would have chosen differently than HP, but differently from each other too. -db
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05-05-2015, 05:09 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
To overcome these steps back I believe the best option for a pocket calculator is use a WP34S.

Fellows here much more experienced than me can explain better.
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05-05-2015, 05:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
(05-05-2015 03:44 PM)AnalogJoe Wrote:  I think everything boils down to: Complex number support, aside from the very basic arithmetic operations, this calculator does not support complex numbers, period.

Correct!

Quote:When I look at this calc I see a very nice piece of hardware programmed by lazy programmers.

Couldn't agree more.

Quote:So how are you guys overcoming these step backs?

Mostly by not using it often.

Quote:I would like to hear some tips and tricks, and listen to what you guys have done to improve your calcs.

Vector cross product
cross-product function

Dedicated polynomial root finder program
A "Cadillac " Quadratic Solver for the hp 33s and HP35s
Explanation: Solve the real quadratic equation \(c-2bz+az^2=0\) for real or complex roots.
Not for the HP-35s but maybe inspiring: Short Quadratic Solver (HP-42S)

Matrix support
A Matrix Multi-Tool for the HP 35s Programmable Calculator

HTH
Thomas
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05-05-2015, 06:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
Derivative in a point for the HP-35s:
http://www.hpmuseum.org/software/35derivp.htm

A Valentín Albillo's program which will allow you to find any roots, real or complex, of most any equation, polynomial or not:
http://web.archive.org/web/2011090613551...eVA031.pdf

An Extension for Stefan's Matrix Multi-Tool Program
http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...i?read=886

Palmer's Matrix Multi-Tool Extension
http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...?read=1197
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05-05-2015, 08:31 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2015 02:24 AM by Steve Simpkin.)
Post: #6
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
AnalogJoe, This is not the calculator you are looking forSmile

Here are some insights as to why the HP35s was made and why it turned out like it did.

As posted by Tim Wessman: "The goal was to a) make money, b) fix the abomination that was the 33s (hey look! It has a modern shape and shiny colors! Look how cool it is!), and c) to give a nice improvement in capability and functionality while still meeting NCEES requirements."
See: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=191740

Also as posted by Jeff O:
"In case you did not discover the reason for the lack of USB or other means to upload and download data: if the 35s had such capability, it would not and could not be permitted for use when taking Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor examinations sponsored by National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in the US. The NCEES prohibits any calculator with such capabilities, and produces a a list of approved calculators each year for use on the following year's examinations (see: http://ncees.org/exams/calculator-policy/). The 35s is on that list, as is the 33s. These are the only rpn-capable calculators allowed on the test. Without the market driven by rpn-users taking the PE/PS examinations, the 35s might very well not exist."
See: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=146646
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05-06-2015, 02:18 AM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2015 02:41 AM by AnalogJoe.)
Post: #7
RE: HP 35s missing functions that coulda have been easily implemented
Thanks for all your replies!, I will definitely look into the links you guys provided. And I just ordered a WP34S! that is exactly what I was looking for, an HP calc with RPN and all the standard scientific functions, I just hope that the little stickers last long enough. I must admit that my 48G and 50G have spoiled me with a lot of functions including their ability to solve some of the largest linear systems and higher degree polynomials, but when it comes to simple operations, I need something that can do at least a 3X3 system with complex coefficients, and at least 2nd degree polynomials with complex roots.

Dont get me wrong, I love Gauss-Jordan, determinants, Cramers Rule, and synthetic divisions, but when Im solving a circuit which involves Fourier transforms, multiple meshes and components, I dont have any time to spare.

Steve: I forgot all about the NCEES exams, so yeah I understand the USB thing now, however I dont think it could have been discredited by adding the other extra features.

Den: I see your point, im just saying that If the programmers ran out of ROM space, they could have easily added an SPI ROM which costs next to nothing. I would expect something like "We ran out of ROM space" as a good excuse back in the 80s, or even 90s, but nowadays having HP say that is just insane.

P.S. Do you guys know of any way in which I can protect a program on the HP35s from getting altered or deleted? Sometimes Ill accidentally modify or add an instruction in the middle of an existing program which somehow alters the goto instructions "GX000" and the program ends up completely crippled.
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05-06-2015, 07:23 AM
Post: #8
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
Well Im glad to report that I coded some of the programs you suggested, and after 3 or 4 hours I completed most of them.

With the programs, the calculator is a lot more useable, but all of the programs are very slugish, entering each value into the calculator, say the matrix program takes forever (compared to other scientifics). The calc also takes a very long time for anything greater than 6X6 matrices and 4th power polynomials, but thats ok for me since most of the time I wont need anything greater than that, most standards scientifics wont even go beyond 3X3 and 3rd power, so thats a big hurray! for the 35s, still one has to tinker with the suggested values and wait a while for only one of the solutions, I guess you cant have everything in life!

I still have to program the Matrix expansion program, but thats another 400 lines!, so no more programming for today. If only HP could do all this in the factory the 35s would be an amazing calculator.

I still wish the calc had some sort of "lock" function to avoid deleting any of the programs accidentaly, when ever I clean the stack is just a matter of hitting 3 and 'Y' instead of 5 and all is forever gone.
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05-06-2015, 12:15 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
(05-06-2015 02:18 AM)AnalogJoe Wrote:  ... And I just ordered a WP34S!

Since you are an EE, make sure you check out the complex lock mode discussed here. Makes entering and calculating with complex numbers quite natural and easy.

If you bought a pre-made wp34s from Eric Rechlin, then you will need to find a way to load the firmware version with complex lock mode. You may want to build a cable, or buy the usb board to do it yourself. Or send me your wp34s and I'll load the firmware for you.

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
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05-06-2015, 11:42 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
Thanks Jeff I appreciate that!, do you have any links to the USB cable/board and the complex lock mode firmware?
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05-07-2015, 06:44 AM
Post: #11
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
Since you seem to be interested in the WP-34S and EE:

2X2 and 3X3 solvers with complex number support
[WP-34S] Calculations With Complex Matrices
(WP-34S) The Complex Transformations Between \(Z^P\) and \(\tilde{Z}\)

Cheers
Thomas
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05-07-2015, 05:08 PM
Post: #12
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
(05-06-2015 11:42 PM)AnalogJoe Wrote:  Thanks Jeff I appreciate that!, do you have any links to the USB cable/board and the complex lock mode firmware?

Here is a thread at the old Forum presenting the USB board that can be installed in a wp34s:

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...158#219158

I believe Harald still sells these.

Firmware can be found at the new complex code branch at sourceforge, and is also attached at the end of the first message in the "Complex Lock mode for WP-34s" thread.

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
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05-10-2015, 11:37 PM
Post: #13
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
Ill check it out and report back when I get my new calc. Thanks everyone!
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06-22-2015, 02:56 AM
Post: #14
RE: HP 35s missing functions that could have been easily implemented
(05-05-2015 05:40 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  Matrix support
A Matrix Multi-Tool for the HP 35s Programmable Calculator
HTH
Thomas

This program is top-notch. Thanks for sharing.
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