Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
05-06-2017, 04:03 PM
Post: #1
 Gene Moderator Posts: 1,286 Joined: Dec 2013
Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
The final separate issue of Keynotes was V8N2.

However, it is rumored that the REAL final issue of keynotes came AS PART OF the HP Program Library Catalog (or whatever it was called).

Problem is ? We don't have a copy of any of that from the Contributors Library that might have this last issue or two of Key Notes.

It is ALSO possible that it is these last issues where the name for the hP 41 programming language was actually announced.

Yes, we all "know" it is supposed to be called "FOCAL" but the last published issue of key notes does not say that. Was this announced post-Henry Horn in these key note issues in a program library catalog ?

The last separate issue of Keynotes, V8N2, is dated "August 1983". I would suspect a search of the program library catalogs from 1983 until they quite publishing them might reveal it.

So, the challenge is to find any of those catalogs from 1983 and afterward and look through them for a Key Notes type of section, probably near the front. Keep a close eye out for the contest to name the HP 41 programming language.

If you find that or have any program library catalogs, Jake Schwartz would like to borrow them to scan them.
05-06-2017, 05:56 PM
Post: #2
 richardjnelson Junior Member Posts: 6 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Gene. I looked and here is what I found.

I looked at three consecutive Series 40 Software catalogs.

1. March 1983. 0.80” thick. Marked $10 2. August 1983. 0.40” thick Marked$5
3. February 1984. 0.31” thick, Marked \$5

The March edition Contents lists Key Notes starting on page 1. It was a black and white version of the normal looking HP Key Notes dated January-march 1983 Vol. 7 No.1 It had an Editorial on page 1. That page is attached. Note in column one that the winner will be announced in the first issue of a new publication called Portable-Computation Guide.

A quick internet search (HP "Portable-Computation Guide" August 1983) didn’t show it. Was this ever published? Did HP use the title for a later publication?

The August issue also had a similar Key Notes issue dated August 1983 Vol.8 No. 2. In my copy a line is through the 8 and replaced with a 7 (Vol. 7 No.2). This issue had the blue headings and the photo of Henry on the cover with his “My Last “Editorial.”

No mention of Key Notes is made in the February issue.

It seems that the search should now be for the promised publication or sales flyer called Portable-Computation Guide. I have lots of HP publications but they are not organized. I don’t remember the name.

Are we are getting a bit closer to an answer?

Right now I would bet 2 cents that the publication never happened based on an internet search. Someone may remember. What did it look like? Was it printed on slick paper? Was it in color? Knowing what to look for would make it easier for me to search the library.

X < > Y, Richard

Attached File(s)
05-06-2017, 06:41 PM
Post: #3
 Sylvain Cote Senior Member Posts: 1,848 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Hello Gene,

Same here,
• 1983-03 : Users' Library - Catalog of Contributed Programs for the HP-41, HP-67 and HP-97
-> HP Key Notes / January-March 1983 v7n1 / 8 b&w pages / complete issue / embedded in the catalog
-> note: I also have a separate color original of this issue
.
• 1983-08 : Users' Library - Series 40 Software Catalog
-> HP Key Notes / August 1983 v8n2 / 16 color pages / complete issue / embedded in the catalog
-> note 1: as Richard, the Vol 8 has a pencil mark on it and there is a 7 above meaning v7n2
-> note 2: I have never seen a separate color original of this issue
.
• 1984-02 : Users' Library - Series 40 Software Catalog
-> No HP Key Notes in it
Sylvain
05-06-2017, 07:11 PM
Post: #4
 Gene Moderator Posts: 1,286 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Thanks all.

The real challenge is finding documentation of the FOCAL name being applied as the winner of the contest begun in key notes. A group of us were wondering if there were any key note issues in the library catalogs and if those had the answer, if they existed at all.

Did this actually happen? Where is the proof?

Or is it an urban legend?

Any missing key note issues (and there may be none) might have the answer.
05-06-2017, 07:39 PM
Post: #5
 rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,433 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Key Notes V6N4 included a letter from HP announcing that was the last issue as a newsletter, and that the final Key Notes would come in the next User's Library Catalog, and that a new publication "Portable Computation Guide" for Series 10, 40 and 70, which never materialized, would include a Key Notes column with similar Material.

V7N1 came in the Spring '83 Catalog, printed in black only.

V8N2 (typo, s/b V7N2) came in the Aug '83 Catalog, printed in Blue & Black, like the original KN issues.

I have original copies of the 2 above issues, apparently trimmed out of those catalogs which I did not keep.

Note these 2 are opposite color styles of Sylvain's original copies, no idea why.

A copy of the HP letter will be included in the next issue of Jake's DVD.

--Bob Prosperi
05-06-2017, 07:51 PM
Post: #6
 Jake Schwartz Senior Member Posts: 325 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Hi,

Just for the record, this is the list of the Key Notes issues currently contained in the PPC Archive DVD:

Jake
05-06-2017, 08:17 PM
Post: #7
 richardjnelson Junior Member Posts: 6 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
To summarize the question. Did HP actually announce the winner of the HP-41 programming language contest in the Key Notes replacement "magazine" called Portable-Computation Guide or did the new "magazine" never happen? Does anyone remember seeing such a publication?

Once we can resolve that question the next one is. How did the FOCAL urban legend get started? From the documentation found so far it is clear that HP would/could NOT have used FOCAL because it was trademarked. That much is very clear.

Many thanks to Bob for finding th letter he mentioned. It is attached. it provides the most compete information related to this so far.

X < > Y,

Richard

Attached File(s)
05-06-2017, 08:31 PM
Post: #8
 Didier Lachieze Senior Member Posts: 1,506 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
According to the Computing Information Directory published in 1994 the Portable Computation Guide was never published :

05-06-2017, 09:10 PM
Post: #9
 rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,433 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
(05-06-2017 08:31 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  According to the Computing Information Directory published in 1994 the Portable Computation Guide was never published :

Thanks Didier! It's always nice to have evidence of otherwise well known facts. I wonder how many non-existing publications they include??

--Bob Prosperi
05-06-2017, 11:41 PM
Post: #10
 Sylvain Cote Senior Member Posts: 1,848 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
(05-06-2017 07:51 PM)Jake Schwartz Wrote:  I would love to know about any additional issues.

There was another HP European magazine in the same line as HP-65 Key Note called HP-65 Users' News

Unfortunately, I only have the first issue, here: HP-65 Users' News V1N1

Sylvain
05-06-2017, 11:47 PM
Post: #11
 Sylvain Cote Senior Member Posts: 1,848 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
(05-06-2017 07:39 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  V7N1 came in the Spring '83 Catalog, printed in black only.
Yep! in the catalog it is in black and white but HP also had made it available like the previous ones in blue, black and white

(05-06-2017 07:39 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Note these 2 are opposite color styles of Sylvain's original copies, no idea why.
Well, I said in color because it was not black & white but like you said in blue, black and white
05-07-2017, 02:25 AM
Post: #12
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,873 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
I tried doing a Usenet search for "FOCAL" and found the following.

The earliest posting that I can find which refers to "FOCAL" as the HP-41's programming language was by Jake Schwartz on comp.sys.handhelds on 3 March 1990, in which he said, "The 1987 HP28C introduction had only a relative handful of people switching from HP41 "FOCAL" language to the newer RPL..." Here's a link to the original posting: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.sys...Xllxaceo8J

Jeremy Smith referred to "FOCAL" (twice) in a posting on the same newsgroup on 3 November 1990: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.sys...uHRYYanQEJ

On the same newsgroup, on 16 September 1996, Eric Smith said "Some people tried to establish the name "FOCAL" for it.": https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.sys...BZzRl-_ccJ

There have been a few references to "FOCAL" as the HP-41 programming language on the comp.sys.hp48 newsgroup over the years, but all of the postings simply assume that "FOCAL" is its proper name. All of the above indicates to me that the urban legend about "FOCAL" winning HP's Name That Language contest was already well established by 1990.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
05-07-2017, 05:39 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2017 05:45 AM by Didier Lachieze.)
Post: #13
 Didier Lachieze Senior Member Posts: 1,506 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
(05-06-2017 08:31 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  According to the Computing Information Directory published in 1994 the Portable Computation Guide was never published

Quote:Portable Computation Guide. NEVER PUBLISHED. Corvallis, OR: Hewlett-Packard, Corvallis Division. Note: Was to supersede HP Key Notes, but publication was cancelled. The editor, Henry Horn retired so HP decided not to launch the new publication.

There are several references to FOCAL in the HEPAX manual from 1988, and on page 95 (vol. 2 pg 16) it's defined as the "Forty One CAlculator Language."
05-07-2017, 11:25 AM
Post: #14
 Gene Moderator Posts: 1,286 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Getting closer with this!

Hepax Manual: "There are several references to FOCAL in the HEPAX manual from 1988, and on page 95 (vol. 2 pg 16) it's defined as the 'Forty One CAlculator Language.' "
05-07-2017, 04:26 PM
Post: #15
 hth Senior Member Posts: 414 Joined: Mar 2014
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
If you are looking for "FOCAL" then it is also mentioned in "Extend you HP-41" on page 12, my copy is from 1985.

Håkan
05-07-2017, 05:30 PM
Post: #16
 rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,433 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
The Aug/Sept '84 issue of Wiley's Professional Computing Magazine (V1N3) states, on p.65 in the Series 40 File column:

Quote:The June-August 1982 issue of
HP Key Notes had a "Name-That-Language"
contest for the keystroke code
used on the 41.
FOCAL, for Forty-One Calculator
Language, was the winning entry. Although
not widely recognized due to
lack of publicity, it was supposed to
be, and yet may become, the common
description for standard keystroke
language.

While not definitive, this is the earliest formal comment I've found so far. I suspect that FOCAL likely won the contest, but since DEC owned that, HP decided to not formally announce this, but it trickled out and after appearing in publications like this and the PPC and/or CHHU journals, came to be accepted as the 'official name'.

--Bob Prosperi
05-07-2017, 09:52 PM
Post: #17
 richardjnelson Junior Member Posts: 6 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
Hello Bob,

Thanks Bob. That sounds likely. I searched the 1984 issues of the PPC Journal and I found mention of the contest in V11N1P7 editors note 2, - the page is attached. I still would like to know the winner of the contest if there was one. It seems like speculation to me.

It is now quite well accepted in the community. Here are two links to its usage. A Standard?

http://hp41programs.yolasite.com/factorial.php

https://isene.me/hp-41/coding-standard/

X < > Y,

Richard

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05-10-2017, 10:02 PM
Post: #18
 richardjnelson Junior Member Posts: 6 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Challenge - finding the last issue or two of key notes AFTER V8N2
The search for HP-41 FOCAL's history continues. I searched the CHHU Chronicles (1984-1986) and the results are attached. The winner is still unknown, but it is "Proven" that the contest winning name was FOCAL - via Professional Computing and its close ties with HP.

Its use is well established as documented in this thread. BTW I found a CHHU letter that states that Henry Horn retired from HP on April 6, 1984 CHHU Chronicle V1N1P13c.

Two questions remain.

(1) Was Professional Computing magazine the only and primary source of the announcement?

(2) Who and when (if indeed a winner was real) was the winner notified?

It seems that the "Urban Legend" is documented as real - as most HP users believed anyway. We now, however, have documented resources with dates.

X < > Y,

Richard

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