Another example: I do mostly programming, but not a lot of advanced math. So I have keys to run frequently used programs, toggle between User/SysRPL stack view, save/restore the current stack for later, push/pop the current directory/flags, frequently-used stack operations (replacing sin/cos/tan and their shift functions), paste/run frequently used programming words and self-written convenience routines, enter frequently-used characters that don't have built-in keys (left-arrow and ..., for instance), and so on.

I leave my keyboard locked in USER mode 99.9% of the time, but on occasions where I need to access the default functions that I replaced, it's a simple matter to temporarily turn USER mode off.
shundra9 wrote:
@wes. Wow that [i]is[\i] awesome! See I thought customizing keys would mean like, u make the enter button be the division button, or u switch the alpha and shift keys, or u make the on button do graphing...abilities which obviously seemed kinda pointless to me.

You could make silly assignments like that if you wanted to have some fun with somebody. Very Happy
Some years ago, we had a TI-83+ that came with the [+] and [-] keys swapped. I had fun letting students use it. The resulting monologue would go something like...

"What? I must have hit the wrong button..."
"Rats, I did hit the wrong button again..."
"AHHHH, I did it AGAIN..."

I finally opened up the calculator and switched the keys back, but it was a fun prank.

During the 80's and 90's, one of my main work functions was programming modules for the HP41.

I am anxious to see the HP Prime, but am a bit concerned about how to store and retrieve large programs, if I can program using RPN, and if there will be an external printer.

During the golden days when calculators were King (TI59 and HP41), there were lots and lots of great times.
On the one hand, the HP Prime is more oriented towards students than other models, as far as we can tell from some of the features (or externally imposed anti-features, such as exam mode), and from HP's communication about the Prime. I'm therefore not convinced an external printer would be high priority.
On the other hand, the Prime has a host-capable USB port (since it can host wireless dongles and sensors), so it could be possible to implement the USB Printer class ( ), although the Prime will be shorter on RAM than the '2011 Nspire CX.

When the calculator is programmable through native code (it's not really a matter of "if" - even on closed platforms, it eventually occurs if enough people are interested in the platform), it might, in theory, be done by third parties...
I still suspect there's fun to be had by exploiting the link protocol, based on the 39gII connkit not accepting arbitrary files.

As far as printing, I suspect that's considered old news and irrelevant nowadays - it was very relevant in 1980 when the 82143A came out for the 41C, it was quite relevant in 1987 when the 82240A came out in 1986 for the 18C (and later 28C), and it was still pretty relevant in 1989 when the 82240B came out ahead of the 48SX.

Everything after that only kept supporting it because it was a RPL machine that already supported it and it had the IR hardware for other reasons anyway, or was based on such a machine (for instance, the 17BII+ can print, even when it's one of the Sunplus-based ones that isn't RPL at all).
Does anyone remember the HP41 Petroleum Fluid Pac? The HP engineer who did it was Eric Vogel and soon after, there appeared a masterpiece, The Reservoir Engineering Manual, written by Nathan Meehan and Eric Vogel.

After inserting the ROM into a port on the 41, using the HP bar code reader inserted into another port, you would read one of the many companion programs bar code
into the calculator, and then run the program(s).

To do this, was astonishingly amazing, especially when you could easily set up what units you desired for input and output, and having a printer attached was a big plus, but if you didn't, the display would stop and display each output, and you could then press a key to see the current unit.

Even writing about it now gets me excited enough to grab the book, the chip and the wand and printer and go through some practice problems.

Someone earlier referred to the HP Prime as the best calculator ever ... when I read that, I thought about making a comment, but realized that he or she had never used a 41 to its full potential. If you want to argue that point,then what I will do is discuss the HP HP-IL 8x10 professional plotter and plotter ROM Smile

A few years ago, I tried to regain contact with Eric, but failed to do so. If anyone knows him, please let him know that I was asking about him, and give him my regards. He should remember me even after all these years: I was there at an SPE convention in Denver, or maybe it was San Antonio, where he introduced the Petroleum Fluids Pac; I was the one jumping up and down with great excitement because I instantly saw the future had changed for the better.
I always thought a portable printer for my 50g would be cool. Could come in handy for notes, images/graphs, etc. Can such a thing still be obtained?
You can get an HP 82240B used, and I believe it'll just work.
To discuss another aspect of what the HP Prime hopefully will have, I looked for any comments concerning the HP-71, but could not locate a blog comment. Am I missing a technique to do the search?

I also wanted to make a comment or two about the 35s, and did find that topic, but will wait and possibly discuss the 35s and the 71B at the same time.
David, you're more than welcome to start one or two topics of your own about the HP-71 and the HP-35. We've only expanded into Casio calculators in the last three years or so, and HP calculators within the last six months, so we have some work still to get up to speed on HP's full product line (plus a complement of HP users). So feel free to do your part in getting those discussions started.
I hope that the HP Prime will not be as useless as the HP 35s, which was overblown, over priced and useless; couldn't save programs, couldn't print code nor input/output. The instruction manual showed printout, but no way for the person who spent good money for something that is now at the bottom of the useful calculator list (my opinion).

When the HP 12c arrived, there was lots and lots of hype. Educalc's catalog had many books containing all sorts of financial programs, and everyone had to have one of the calculators; however, it too had a bit of a problem(s): no way to externally save programs, and no printer. The 12c is still very popular, perhaps for some a status symbol.

On the other hand, the HP 71b took full advantage of the HP-IL interface, plus you could buy third-party additional RAM, and you could also buy HP ROM modules to plug into one of the available slots on the 71b, which now brings me to what I really want to mention.

The best ever HP calculator was and still is the HP-41. It was easy to generate extremely useful programs via RPN. The 71b was an RPN calculator, but one could not compute using raw RPN per se; however, you could purchase an HP product called the HP RPN Translator Pac, which allowed you to connect a 41 to the 71 via HP-IL and print the 41 RPN program to the 71 using the PRP command. This RPN code, once inside the 71, would then be translated into FORTH and run considerably faster than the RPN code did on the 41. All I can add to this is to restate that back in the 80s and 90s, calculators rocked!

HP needs to be mindful not to glamorize the upcoming HP Prime, and then deliver a fiasco similar to the 35s.

Note: RPN originally was developed by a Polish mathematician, Jan Lukasiewicz, who when wanted to calculate 5*7, would say 5*, 7 enter. This Polish notation was later polished into RPN and the Wikipedia article concerning Reverse Polish Notation is very interesting.
A notation to the above: as many of us know, when writing RPN programs for the 41, the programs could call as a subroutine global labels from inserted ROMS. However, these programs, when exported to the 71 and the Translator ROM, obviously would not run.

I had used incorrectly the phrase complex programs rather than just basic 41 RPN code or programs.
Looks like there is new info:

Looks like I may be losing interest. Following links found in the above, suggest the HP Prime calculator will only access HP Prime software installed on a PC. Since HP overlooked the Mac, I will lose interest rapidly. HP needs to become bilingual to become successful.

Thanks for the forum.
DavidEngle wrote:
Looks like there is new info:

Looks like I may be losing interest. Following links found in the above, suggest the HP Prime calculator will only access HP Prime software installed on a PC. Since HP overlooked the Mac, I will lose interest rapidly. HP needs to become bilingual to become successful.

Thanks for the forum.
That's actually much older info, from before I interviewed GT Springer. That was from before HP publicly acknowledged the existence of the new calculator at all. If your question is whether the computer-side suite will be available for both Windows and Mac OS X, I can get in touch with my contacts and see if they know anything.
Considering all the primary sales info that initially appeared without notating that the HP Prime would be compatible with Apple OS makes me believe that compatibility is not in their plans.

Consider though all the Macs in education, wouldn't that user base be enough to prompt HP to jump on the Apple bandwagon?

If you can clarify this topic with your contacts, please do so. We are getting closer to the stocking date, so there should be no surprises for when school systems order this device, and whether or not there is software designed to be used on Apple computers should be general knowledge by now.
If HP doesn't provide a MacOS X version of the linking (communication) software, and there's enough interest, the community could reverse-engineer the communication protocol and build their own (portable) code. That's what we have always done in the TI community, especially for the Nspire.

Mac computers remain a minority, and fortunately so, given the pieces of expensive, unreliable hardware that they are...
After I wrote the above, my suggestion to Hewlett-Packard would be for them to write a variety of apps emulating the HP Prime ... suitable for each tablet platform.

When one considers actual calculator emulators that are on the iPad such as PCalc or i41CX, one might see a solution since education is now going towards the tablet. Since I don't have an android tablet or a windows tablet, I can't speak for them.

The i41CX app specs can be seen via this link:

As razzle-dazzle as the HP Prime may be, it would really be a spectacular app on a tablet.

Cheers Smile
Agreed, HP needs to catch up with TI wrt. tablet applications.
TI already sells an iPad app, and we know from LinkedIn profiles that a number of persons describing themselves as Android developers work at TI EdTech.
Does anyone have an update about the Prime calculator?
DavidEngle wrote:
Does anyone have an update about the Prime calculator?
Sadly, no. I'm still waiting for updates from my contacts so that I can give you guys a hands-on review like I did for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition.
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