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Suggestion for new Prime Application
09-26-2016, 05:06 AM
Post: #1
Suggestion for new Prime Application
I like many things about the HP Prime, and am concerned that many users don't find it similar enough to past products, such as favorites like the HP-48, HP-49 and HP-50 to really embrace it.

And this is unnecessary. I have really enjoyed the HP-28 styled folders for more than 20 years to keep my work projects separate and clean. If I were asked what I miss the most from previous calculators that is not available in the HP Prime it would be:

  1. The ability to keep work separate.
  2. The ability to attach programs to soft keys by simply storing them in whatever directory I choose.
  3. The ability to set the dfirectory, set variables in that directory, and then run the programs I have written with a single push of the key very quickly.
  4. The ability to NOT SEE extraneous variables or programs and focus more specifically on a particular goal.
  5. The ability to prototype applications I would later make libraries. Of course, many were not made libraries -- the prototyping with stored programs and variables attached to keys was all I needed.
  6. The incredible EFFICIENCY of being able to create a folder, type a short program, perhaps creating a few variables to be manipulated, and having these automatically attach to the soft keys. This allows very fast experimentation, often solving a perplexing problem in just minutes, in a seemingly very natural way.


What would fix this? a Folder Manager application could be added to the default applications and included in a future ROM update.

This would appear as a new icon, along with the other applications. However, when activated, it would show 6 empty buttons from left-to-right on the soft menu. This would be very similar in look to a fresh HP-48 (or similar) without any programs or variables yet stored in the HOME directory.

While the Folder Manager application is running, commands such as CRDIR, PATH, HOME, PGDIR, UPDIR, CLDIR, CLVAR, PURGE, RENAME, TVARS, and TYPE become available for typing (and, of course, assigning to buttons). Once a folder is created, it would appear as a button, just as in the HP-48/49/50. It could be recalled, and stored again with another name and, of course, backed up to a connected PC, just as the standard-named variables are right now. One big difference is that there would be no standard names already cluttering the area. Also, the child folders would inherit the ability to read/run/change the parent's variables and applications.

Numbers, both complex and real, matrices, lists, or programs could be then stored easily and have their names appear under soft keys, just as in previous calculators. This allows quick, quick work and emulates many of the features that writing one's applications would, without HP having to release and possibly support a developer SDK. It would simply be one more application under the current 18.

This would also enhance the functionality and personality of the HP Prime by giving the user the ability to compartmentalize work on disparate problems - a feature available on many previous-generation calculators, but is strangely absent on the HP Prime.

Now, in previous generations, STO and RCL could not be conveniently be used with complete paths that included folders. If one wished to a program to access a variable somewhere else, the path had to be changed, variable accessed/stored, and the path changed back. This could be either enhanced in the HP Prime's Folder Manager application, but I see no compelling reason why this would have to be the case. Perhaps new commands could be made: ST and RC (in the context of the running Folder Manager.

Additionally, there could be an EDIT command which would start the program editor in whatever the default directory being used (often shorted to just ED with a short program, or attached to a key). Since long names cannot appear under a button of limited size, an option to give a program a longer, more global name might be added at some point. This could allow customized/extended applications to access programs written within the context of the Folder Manager application.

In particular, there would be a HOME directory would be the default for all the other applications with this idea. If a user never runs the Folder Manager application, then all the applications simply use the default folder. Thus, the user is not overwhelmed by undesired complexity, and need not be aware that such complexity is possible at all. On the other hand, if the user wishes to keep certain work done in an application by itself, the applications could either:
  1. Each have their own default directory under a parent directory (under HOME) called HP.
  2. Each application could simply use the HOME folder by default, and be enhanced to allow the user to choose/change the default directory for that application, perhaps as an option under the MENU key.


This would allow exactly as much complexity as a user wants, which I perceive to be very important in the bonding process between humans and machines, especially complex one such as the HP Prime.

Lastly, I note that this change could be done in steps: the first step need not include having all the current applications become folder-aware. Indeed, such a root-and-branch change would hardly be advisable.

In fact, having all the applications become folder-aware is purely optional and need not happen at all, really. This is apparent by the fact that programs written in the context of the Folder Manager application need not be capable of accessing the other applications at all. Conversely, I see no requirement for users writing their own extensions of currently available applications to also be able to access these from the Folder Manager application. The mechanism for extending applications could remain exactly the same. In this way, my proposal to provide a Folder Manager application minimizes the investment required and keeps potential feature-creep to a minimum.

I have called my proposal a Folder Manager application because it seemed appropriate. However, it really deserves a name that entices HP-50 lovers who don't currently appreciate the HP Prime to give it another try. In this light, I suggest the name HP-50 Folder Shell.

However, I am NOT suggesting the shell-like functionality of this HP Prime application support the old RPL language. It would be sweet, I admit. But as much as I love the User RPL, System RPL and Saturn Assembly language, I must concede that the average newcomer will find the HP PPL better in every way, and ultimately unnecessary, since the HP Prime can make up any speed lost in the interpreter speed tax with its faster processor.

Cheers!

Thomas Adkins
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09-26-2016, 03:55 PM
Post: #2
RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
Hi .

I would die for a 300 euros device that would be a wolfram-mathematica-in-your-hand with a 2 ghz processor and a 10 cm by 10 cm screen.
Add to that an ability to print and the suitable battery and we're done.
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09-26-2016, 06:02 PM
Post: #3
RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
Hi zahi48g, buy an iPad!!
Install the right apps like the HP Prime, PocketCas pro and others!!

— Dirk Hartland
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09-26-2016, 06:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
Yessss.

What I want is:

A 10 GHZ device, 1 TB SSD drive with a battery that last 100 years with 1 minute charge. IP68. With a neuronal probe helmet that reads what features I want and implements it on the fly in the device.

It has to be made of a meta-material-electronically-re-shapeable plastic that can reshape and relabel labels, colors and buttons based on the helmet.

Has to cost under 200 USD otherwise is garbage.

_____________________

Answering to the original OP:

(09-26-2016 05:06 AM)thomasadkins64 Wrote:  I like many things about the HP Prime, and am concerned that many users don't find it similar enough to past products, such as favorites like the HP-48, HP-49 and HP-50 to really embrace it.

And this is unnecessary. I have really enjoyed the HP-28 styled folders for more than 20 years to keep my work projects separate and clean. If I were asked what I miss the most from previous calculators that is not available in the HP Prime it would be:

  1. The ability to keep work separate.
Isn't this the same but different concept of cloning a Prime app?
(09-26-2016 05:06 AM)thomasadkins64 Wrote:  
  • The ability to attach programs to soft keys by simply storing them in whatever directory I choose.
  • I agree with this, there should be some kind of customization of the soft keys.
    (09-26-2016 05:06 AM)thomasadkins64 Wrote:  
  • The ability to set the dfirectory, set variables in that directory, and then run the programs I have written with a single push of the key very quickly.
  • The ability to NOT SEE extraneous variables or programs and focus more specifically on a particular goal.
  • The ability to prototype applications I would later make libraries. Of course, many were not made libraries -- the prototyping with stored programs and variables attached to keys was all I needed.
  • All these are kind of against the design of the prime. The directory for example is the current app, you can use local variables and duplicate the app and change the variables. The libraries are the app folder itself, you copy it from the conn kit and it appears as a new app...
    (09-26-2016 05:06 AM)thomasadkins64 Wrote:  
  • The incredible EFFICIENCY of being able to create a folder, type a short program, perhaps creating a few variables to be manipulated, and having these automatically attach to the soft keys. This allows very fast experimentation, often solving a perplexing problem in just minutes, in a seemingly very natural way.
  • After all these suggestions, wont be easier that HP just puts the whole HP48 rom and an emulator inside the prime as an APP?

    My website: erwin.ried.cl
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    09-26-2016, 08:41 PM
    Post: #5
    RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
    (09-26-2016 06:02 PM)Dirk.nl Wrote:  Hi zahi48g, buy an iPad!!
    Install the right apps like the HP Prime, PocketCas pro and others!!

    Nope, I'm a hp-fanboy.
    I don't want a tablet but a calculator.
    Moreover , nowadays, memory is really cheap so why not a micro sd card that would leave us the
    choice.
    Today cheap mobile phones offer more than 1 Ghz processor , so should the best calculator on the market.
    Before the prime , hp calculators offered the ability to print , so should the prime .
    By those requests , I don't want to be negative . At all !
    It's just that software wise I'm soooo happy with the prime !
    It even goes beyond my expectations !
    The thing is it the prime made me greedy , the more I learn on its abilities the more I get frustrated.
    For instance , imagine you want to generate the variance-covariance matrix of a portofolio of
    say 120 stocks . You know the prime has the tools but not the power or the sufficient memory
    for several matrices of this kind . Hence the frustration .
    It's like being in the same bedroom with the most beautiful girl in the world but not being able to .... You know what I mean !
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    09-28-2016, 12:08 AM (This post was last modified: 09-28-2016 10:22 AM by zahi48g.)
    Post: #6
    RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
    Hi .

    I must apologize to the hp team.

    Using list2mat , I have managed to created a 100*100 matrix , that is to say 100 random variables
    with 100 values for each variable . That's huge. I have also computed the associated covariance
    matrix . Each matrix in five minutes . unbelievable !
    Actually , update after update , the prime goes from good to great .

    Huge congratulations to B.Parisse , C.de Brébisson and the hole team !

    By the way , if you want to create a n-order identity matrix using IDENTMAT(n) , n cannot be
    greater than 31. While Using MAKEMAT(IFTE(I=J,1,0),n,n) , n can goes up to 140 !
    Yes , a 140-order identity matrix !!!
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    09-28-2016, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 09-28-2016 09:15 AM by akmon.)
    Post: #7
    RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
    Quote:After all these suggestions, wont be easier that HP just puts the whole HP48 rom and an emulator inside the prime as an APP?

    My biggest dream and a way to use a whole hp developers legacy from many years of programming.
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    09-28-2016, 03:23 PM
    Post: #8
    RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
    (09-26-2016 08:41 PM)zahi48g Wrote:  It's like being in the same bedroom with the most beautiful girl in the world but not being able to .... You know what I mean !

    Not being able to what, play Gin Rummy? SCUBA dive? Reorganize a filing cabinet?

    Apparently, I lead a quiet life. Smile

    Tom L

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    I think therefore you are-Gorgias
    You're not here to think-Army Sergeant
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    09-28-2016, 04:03 PM
    Post: #9
    RE: Suggestion for new Prime Application
    Hi .

    Let's say open the connectivity kit !

    (LOL)^2 .
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