Calculator blog

Musings and comments about our common interest


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HP15c LE emulator


Some of you bought the HP15c Limited Edition some time ago, when it was still available. It is still the calculator that I put in my jacket inner pocket. I prefer for desktop tasks either the HP41CL or the HP Prime; but for the frequent flyer, the 15c is quite convenient.

Those of you who bough the HP15C LE will remember that among the goods within the box there was a CD with manuals and, also, an emulator to be loaded on your computer. This emulated required a key, and access to an HP website to validate that key.

This emulator was good for 5 installations. You need to change your computer from time to time, and then you want to install it in your new computer too. So several of my customers.

However, 2 years after the introduction of the HP15c, the internet link to validate the password stopped to work, making the emulator disk useless.

Put in contact with HP, they provided us with an FTP address to a site where an unlocked emulator could be downloaded. That FTP site had password protections. We informed all of our customers that had bought the HP15c, and we received a lot of friendly feedback for that.

But this year, two old customers came back to us for help with the emulator. We tried the FTP site and it did not work. So I contacted HP for help.

HP gave us the following address:

Here, you can find the unlocked emulator for the HP15c. But hey! You can find there as well 3 more emulators for scientific calculators: for the 10s, for the 300s, and for the HP35s. (The only one worth looking into was the 35s, of course)

I have tried to locate the corresponding pages for the graphical and financial calculator emulators without success. At least, it is not the logical pages based on the one above!

One of the best thing of this emulator is the help menu. In it, you can find both the user manual (which has been a rewriting of the original one, keeping the pictures and imitating the typeface, but in HP’s current design) and the advanced functions handbook (which is closer to the original design). Both of these manuals are not to be used as a normal computer manual (i.e., the place you look into when you don’t know what to do, after having tried every possible hacker trick), but they should be mandatory reading from beginning to end. Both of them! If you really want to get into how errors propagate in computer calculations, there is no better introduction that Mr. Kahan’s in the advanced functions manual.

And now you don’t have any excuse to get both of them: they are free!

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A tip on the HP15c official emulator

A couple of customers signaled to us that, despite being advertised on the literature, there was no Advanced Functions Handbook in the CD that came with the HP15c Limited Edition.

You can find it, not on the CD, but using the "help" menu in the emulator itself: there you have the choice of normal manual or advanced functions handbook.

In the last emulator version I have, the manual reproduces the original one in colour, with nice types and and good pagination, as opposed to the roughly scanned document that came with the original emulator.


I hope this helps!

Question: now that the calculator stocks have ended, would it be worth it to re-edit it again? Is there anyone of you willing to buy some more?


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