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find the "seven" differences
08-11-2016, 10:46 PM
Post: #21
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-11-2016 02:53 PM)DrD Wrote:  Given the available key color change, and the near consensus opinion of the older color scheme, as well as the state of the current firmware, do you feel that the hp prime hardware is a product that meets an overall expectation of excellence?

I'll qualify my answer: of any current production calculator excluding the 50g, I very much prefer Prime - no question ... but there are still some things I'd like to see addressed.

In a perfect world, I'd want excellence, but given the choice, I'd rather have the HP team continue to push boundaries than have every minor bug fixed.

The fact that we are able to have this discussion (and many others) with HP and members of the community are able to participate on their beta team, should be some indication that your Hewlett-Packard isn't entirely gone.
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08-12-2016, 02:34 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2016 02:40 AM by ekeppel.)
Post: #22
RE: find the "seven" differences
Hi All,

I have been considering buying a Prime for a while now, but the awful button readability issue had been a black mark against it for me. What group of color-blind folks in R&D decided those were good color choices anyway? The secondary and alpha lettering on the NW280AA and G8X92AA is a low-contrast mess! Undecided

Despite their false-start, I'm very excited to see that HP is revising the keypad with higher contrast buttons, so in response, I've decided to go ahead and buy one.

Is there a new model number to go with the revised keypad hardware? I checked the official HP website today and all the photos are of the old model, so I'm guessing that even if I order direct from them, I'd get one of the original models until they clear out old inventory. Does anyone have any idea on that or suggestions of US retailers who have the revised model for sale?

Thanks!
Eric
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08-12-2016, 05:53 AM
Post: #23
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-12-2016 02:34 AM)ekeppel Wrote:  folks in R&D

There's kind of an assumption in that statement... :-D

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
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08-12-2016, 09:51 AM
Post: #24
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-12-2016 05:53 AM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  
(08-12-2016 02:34 AM)ekeppel Wrote:  folks in R&D

There's kind of an assumption in that statement... :-D

Apologies, Tim. I certainly don't mean to include you in that sweeping statement.

I'm sure there is an 'artistic design' department somewhere, and maybe the blame should be laid there. If it isn't obvious, I definitely have no clue about HP's design team structure, so I just lashed out at what seemed to be within easy reach! :-)

Eric
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08-12-2016, 03:05 PM
Post: #25
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-12-2016 09:51 AM)ekeppel Wrote:  I'm sure there is an 'artistic design' department somewhere, and maybe the blame should be laid there. If it isn't obvious, I definitely have no clue about HP's design team structure, so I just lashed out at what seemed to be within easy reach! :-)

Honestly, there are times that I don't have a clue either! I'll happily serve as a punching bag. :-)

In this case, HP was in a "centralized ID from one single group" stage so there was "many a meeting".

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
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08-12-2016, 05:53 PM
Post: #26
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-11-2016 06:18 PM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  
(08-11-2016 05:52 PM)StephenG1CMZ Wrote:  One concern: If you compare the two photos, as well as the keys looking much clearer, the screen also looks different to me - which might lead some to wonder to what extent the keys are clearer, rather than merely the photograph.

There appears to be a screen cover the OP has placed on the left one unless I am mistaken. I think that is probably the difference.

Now that you explained that, that gives us 3 differences with the keys, and 1 with the screen cover... So that leaves 3 of the seven differences still to discover.

I was hoping one might be some way of backlighting the keys, but I see no sign of that. And if the firmware was updated, that wouldn't be a visible change. I never was good at these "spot the differences" challenges.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
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08-12-2016, 09:17 PM
Post: #27
RE: find the "seven" differences
I remember deception of HP with the HP-39gii calculator. Therefore I do not use any new banana products of this firm, including emulators.
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08-13-2016, 07:14 AM
Post: #28
RE: find the "seven" differences
Quote:We as client of HP expect an official statement with, a) excuses and/or an explanation why it is not possible to make bugs free software, b) a planning for the next bugs free update. In my opinion it's a bad attitude of HP to ignore/not inform there clients.
a) the fact that it's basically impossible, in practice, to make bug-free software has to do with e.g.:
* fundamental physics reasons: trying to limit the growth of entropy is an error-generating process;
* the fact that software is made by us petty imperfect humans, who make mistakes and errors;
* monetary cost reasons: coding with formally proven methods is horrendously complex and expensive, and can only be cornered to code bases with extremely low number of lines. One of the most complex such code bases is seL4, which is only formally proven for a small subset of its targets (and even then, the proof has to assume that the processor's components are running according to their specification), and has the order of magnitude of 10K (1e4) LoC. Modern desktop / tablet / smartphone computers are considered to be running the order of magnitude of 1G (1e9) LoC, or at least multiple hundreds of millions (1e8) of LoC.

b) Tim already explained in the past why neither the development team, nor the management, nor the finance people, are informing users. "Forward-looking statements" and all that legal and finance stuff is one of the reason Smile

FTR, the mere fact that Tim and Cyrille, who are on HP's payroll and are developing HP's calculators, post publicly on user message boards (mainly this one, but occasionally other ones mainly focusing on TI calculators), and are allowed to post something along the lines of "this issue or idea is on the list of things which may be investigated at some point and might even reach the user, should there ever be another firmware release", is already more than what TI, let alone Casio, are doing with their communities of calculator users.
It's a fact that there are contacts between people on TI EdTech's payroll and some community users / programmers, even outside TI's T^3 initiative, but they're private.
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08-13-2016, 10:13 AM
Post: #29
RE: find the "seven" differences
Quote:a) the fact that it's basically impossible, in practice, to make bug-free software has to do with e.g.:
* fundamental physics reasons: trying to limit the growth of entropy is an error-generating process;
* the fact that software is made by us petty imperfect humans, who make mistakes and errors;
* monetary cost reasons: coding with formally proven methods is horrendously complex and expensive, and can only be cornered to code bases with extremely low number of lines. One of the most complex such code bases is seL4, which is only formally proven for a small subset of its targets (and even then, the proof has to assume that the processor's components are running according to their specification), and has the order of magnitude of 10K (1e4) LoC. Modern desktop / tablet / smartphone computers are considered to be running the order of magnitude of 1G (1e9) LoC, or at least multiple hundreds of millions (1e8) of LoC.

True enough, the broader message in point a, but specifically point a is just another set of excuses for marketing products that are underdeveloped.

Software issues are a bit different than hardware issues, such as the keys of the hp prime. A huge number of lines of code, is a composite set of smaller, more manageable fragments. Each fragment can be developed to attain a business model goal. The goal includes the components you identified in point a, but also reflects on the corporate overall market image, which is to say, that if you market a product as being suitable for a task, and your corporate mission consistently meets those objectives, the customer base will respond confidently, and vice versa.

Hardware issues, have an intuitive feature of feature of being self-evident. Quality hardware reinforces product confidence. Hp represented the best in overall product quality available, and anything less is very disappointing. Fall back on the available excuses, is out of character.

A counter-example to demonstrate the corporate effect, is the emissions misrepresentation by Volkswagen on diesel fueled vehicles. To the list of excuses from point a, we can also identify and consider this corporate value, when purchasing VW products. Plan to buy a new diesel fueled vehicle anytime soon?
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08-13-2016, 11:03 AM
Post: #30
RE: find the "seven" differences
A lot of smart and empty words about the importance of the real problem. I have always been interested in the peculiarities of the hardware. Here CASIO won the competition of the whole world. I wanted to have a discussion regarding hardware solutions for FX 2.0. But it's for business not necessary. Prime is a cheap Chinese product from businessmen who earn their dirty money in HP.
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08-13-2016, 04:51 PM
Post: #31
RE: find the "seven" differences
Quote:Prime is a cheap Chinese product

cheap?
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08-13-2016, 10:07 PM
Post: #32
RE: find the "seven" differences
I like the newer colors on the keyboard.
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08-16-2016, 08:18 AM
Post: #33
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-13-2016 10:07 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  I like the newer colors on the keyboard.

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08-16-2016, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2016 11:13 AM by AVL.)
Post: #34
RE: find the "seven" differences
What I find really amusing is how all the HP-50G worshippers tend to forget how bad the HP-50G was back in the days of it's launch (when it still was called the HP-49G+). It crashed literally every ten minutes, the keyboard failed to respond to every third keystroke, and the CAS was a joke compared to that of the TI-89 (Derive!). It took a new hardware with new colors and new keyboard internals, a name change and countless firmware upgrades to correct most of the bugs.

Not that it was a difficult goal to achieve, but the HP Prime is doing much better in that respect. The hardware and build quality were much better from day one (that was easy) and the firmware became more stable in less time compared to that of the 49G+/50G...
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08-16-2016, 01:29 PM
Post: #35
RE: find the "seven" differences
Looking to buy a Prime.
Is there a new model number for the one with new colors?
What about those last 3 letters: G8X92AA#B1K
Is that some sort of manufacturing date that could help determine if it's one of the new batch?
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08-16-2016, 01:47 PM
Post: #36
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-16-2016 11:00 AM)AVL Wrote:  What I find really amusing is how all the HP-50G worshippers tend to forget how bad the HP-50G was back in the days of it's launch (when it still was called the HP-49G+). It crashed literally every ten minutes, the keyboard failed to respond to every third keystroke, and the CAS was a joke compared to that of the TI-89 (Derive!). It took a new hardware with new colors and new keyboard internals, a name change and countless firmware upgrades to correct most of the bugs.

I could agree with most of the above, except:
a) The CAS hardly changed since launch (other than bugfixes), so if it was a joke to you then, it should still be a joke today.
b) Countless firmware upgrades. There weren't that many (don't count the unofficial ones). The Prime has had in 3 years twice as many firmware updates as the 49G+/50g combined (which is both a good thing and a bad thing).
ROM 2.09 for the 50g came out 3 years after the 49G+ launched and it was very stable. 2.15 came out after 3 years of silence, with only a few things done: the bulk of the bug fixes were done before 2.09. The Prime was launched 3 years ago, so it should be at a similar maturity point as rom 2.09.



(08-16-2016 11:00 AM)AVL Wrote:  Not that it was a difficult goal to achieve, but the HP Prime is doing much better in that respect. The hardware and build quality were much better from day one (that was easy) and the firmware became more stable in less time compared to that of the 49G+/50G...

The speed of development has more to do with the ROM being written in a more "human" language than Saturn assembler and sysRPL. Debugging code in those days required much more effort than today, and yet I think both Prime and 50g evolved in similar time frames.
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08-16-2016, 08:27 PM
Post: #37
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-16-2016 01:47 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:  The speed of development has more to do with the ROM being written in a more "human" language than Saturn assembler and sysRPL. Debugging code in those days required much more effort than today, and yet I think both Prime and 50g evolved in similar time frames.
Vous me faites rire :-)
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08-16-2016, 08:44 PM
Post: #38
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-16-2016 01:47 PM)Claudio L. Wrote:  
(08-16-2016 11:00 AM)AVL Wrote:  What I find really amusing is how all the HP-50G worshippers tend to forget how bad the HP-50G was back in the days of it's launch (when it still was called the HP-49G+). It crashed literally every ten minutes, the keyboard failed to respond to every third keystroke, and the CAS was a joke compared to that of the TI-89 (Derive!). It took a new hardware with new colors and new keyboard internals, a name change and countless firmware upgrades to correct most of the bugs.

b) Countless firmware upgrades. There weren't that many (don't count the unofficial ones). The Prime has had in 3 years twice as many firmware updates as the 49G+/50g combined (which is both a good thing and a bad thing).

Really, for a true comparison you'd have to count all the development time spent with the 28, 48s/g, and 49g since they were direct evolution from the common base. That probably means you have at least 5-6 years of work if not more to get the "50g" in its final form.

TW

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08-16-2016, 08:47 PM
Post: #39
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-16-2016 08:27 PM)Hlib Wrote:  Vous me faites rire :-)
Is this your new trend to react in other language?

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08-16-2016, 11:21 PM
Post: #40
RE: find the "seven" differences
(08-16-2016 08:44 PM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  Really, for a true comparison you'd have to count all the development time spent with the 28, 48s/g, and 49g since they were direct evolution from the common base. That probably means you have at least 5-6 years of work if not more to get the "50g" in its final form.
True, but then we need to take into account the development time on XCAS prior to Prime. I have no idea how much time Bernard put into xcas but I imagine quite a lot. So both products started from a relatively well established base.
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