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Calculator blog

Musings and comments about our common interest


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News for HP41CL users

Some of the users of HP41CL bought it with serial interface. They did it in order to be able to load new modules, I guess that many of them never did - it was too risky if you didn’t have the right instructions. At least this was my case - other users might have bee more experienced or daring.

Well, Monte Dalrymple has prepared a guide for the updating of modules in your calculator. You can find it here:

I have not tried it, but I plan to do it during these holidays. But for you users, it may be of help.

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offers for Black Friday - 3


4509629This is a calculator that was designed for China. Based in the same hardware-software platform as the HP Prime, and running the same HPBasic language (albeit with some less functions), this is a very powerful calculator. The main differences firmware-wise with the HP Prime is its lack of PRN entry method, and the lack of CAS. In the hardware side, it has very sharp screen with 16 grey levels, and a set of batteries run on parallel: yes, you can even run it with a single battery, but it won't last long that way!
And, at the special price of 50€ during Black Friday, it is a fantastic opportunity for a collector that wants to have the complete HP set.
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Offers for Black Friday - 2

DSC_7897_LSince the HP42s, then has not been any significant development in Scientific calculators, at least in the RPN flavor. When HP released the HP30b calculator, it provided also a Software Development Kit with it. The machine used a well known third party chipset, and had a Pogo connector for upgrading software. Some aficionados saw the opportunity of creating the best RPN calculator ever.
It has all the mathematical functions you can imagine, and then some; it can have a 4 or 8 level stack; and it has many constants you can use in your equations. And, of course, it is programmable.
We install the latest version of the WP34s firmware on a brand new HP30b calculator;and we supply an adhesive overlay with it (we have found that customers prefer to collate the key labels themselves. We have reduced the price from 94€ to 75€ for our Black Friday.
Only three available.

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Más sobre: wp34s
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Offers for Black Friday - 1

Now that Christmas is close, it is the time to think about gifts for others - and for yourself. You can recall your youth, and the time when you were longing for an HP41c, and you had to settle with a lower choice; or you could afford it, but not the wealth of modules and options; or you had it, and got it lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair. Now you have the opportunity of having it back!
With a new processor, totally compatible with the original Coconut CPU but 50 times faster, having burned in its memory the contents of all known program modules and then some invented by today's programmers, and carefully assembled on pristine bodies without corrosion or screen damage, you can now buy the HP41CL from
  • 50 x speed compared with the original; Switchable to several speeds including the 1:1 original.
  • All known software modules of that time
  • Many new modules designed lately, including the Sandmath family, an HP16c emulator, complex numbers, advanced matrix, etc.
  • All the addressable memory of the original
  • Additional flash memory where you can download and write new modules.
  • Possibility of a serial module to download new modules and capabilities from your PC
  • Compatibility with all external modules and interfaces (time module, infrared module, printers, barcode readers, interfaces, etc.
Pricing: usually 625€; 550€ during the Black Friday period, and 625€ if we include a time module with manual. For more options, please look in our website

Limited to 4 units only.
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Comments on HP41CL troubleshooting

The users of the hp41c machines need to be careful while taking their calculators on a trip. The machine is sensitive to vibrations, and doesn’t have as big a capacitor as the original one (which could allow you to change batteries taking your sweet time, and all the programs and configuration would still remain). It has happened already a couple of times that a calculator sent has lost its configuration, or even wouldn’t start.

We reviewed the case in this blog issue, but we think it is relevant - when you buy such a expensive calculator, you need to be sure to be able to revive it when it has a hiccup!

The question comes then on how to initialize the calculator. There are different possible initializations, but in have to confess that this is beyond my knowledge. The only thing that I want to make sure of, is that library #4 is installed in page #4. This library comprises several subroutines that are used by a number of modules programmed and/or compiled by Angel Martin. Basically these are the sole modules being developed today, and include an interesting clone of the hp16c, the extremely powerful Sandmath modules (which turn the hp41 into a very powerful mathematical machine), the advanced matrix ROM, the Complex Functions ROM, the matrix/polynomial ROM and other operating systems and toolbox-oriented ROMs. The interesting thing is that it doesn’t use any of the typical ports, so you are free to use all your modules (also taking into account that, if you plug in the real Time module, it doesn’t occupy the corresponding pages since its functions are already in memory in the hp 41cl)

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CHOOSE() menu function for HP Prime

Two blog issues ago, we discussed the screen menu and how to make it work. We had to descend to pixel level programming. It is still far from low level, but it is considerably lower than anything done before. This is what “tab menus” entail.

There is a different (and simpler) way of choosing between different alternatives: the CHOOSE() command. Let’s see an example:

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Mac Prime Emulator

I am trying to get the HP Prime to work in my mac - again. I have Windows Parallels running XP, and it worked well until the last two firmware versions, where it doesn’t work anymore. I'va been told that I need Windows 7 at least.

There is a HP Prime emulator in internet for MAC. It is based on wine, and you can find it here:

However, it comes with firmware 5447 - a few moons before! It doesn’t have most of the features that we now love about the Prime.

When you try to update the firmware from within the app, it does find a new firmware in the hp servers, it connects to it and downloads it; but when it finishes downloading, it gets out of the app and nothing has been done.

The alternative is to buy Windows 10 (I can’t upgrade for free from XP - I need to have 7 or 8 at least to qualify for the free upgrade). And spending 120+ € for Windows when I have already a Windows PC at work hurts my Mac heart. So I will have to delve in the intricacies of Wine, in order to make it run properly. I understand that it has something to do with the installation of VC++ 2013 libraries, but I need to learn more. I would thank very much an of you that could help me in this ordeal!

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Screen tab menus on the HP Prime

The latest HP Prime firmware has introduced several important features, which were lacking in previous releases and that allow to better use the machine resources.

Here we will discuss the drop-down menus and the screen tab menus. This makes communicating with your program much more seamless, GUI-oriented, than the typical question/answer and input field method (that we had to use if we didn’t have access to a Prime SDK (software development kit)

Both need some event-management concepts beforehand. An event is either a key click, or a mouse event. Mouse events can be of several types: click, long click, drag, etc., but we will now concentrate on the simple mouse click, in order to get up and running a short application (this program has been modified from one published by Eddie B. Shore, as many here). We have included some comments so that you can see what’s happening.

We will now focus on the screen tab menus and leave the dropdown menus for tomorrow:




// CAS Custom Menu

// EWS 2014–04–20

LOCAL m,m1,mx,my; //variables containing the mouse event and coordinates



TEXTOUT_P(“Choose the function.”,1,1,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“Here you could put a description of the menu functions below”,1,18,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“2: …”,1,35,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“3: …”,1,52,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“4: …”,1,69,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“5: …”,1,86,4);

TEXTOUT_P(“6: …”,1,103,4);





UNTIL SIZE(m1)>0; //Waiting until the Mouse variable is filled with a mouse event

mx:=m1(1); //Getting the coordinates of such event - first X

my:=m1(2); //Then y

IF my≥220 AND my≤239 THEN //Only if the mouse event in in the lower part of the screen

IF mx≥0 AND mx≤51 THEN

RETURN SUB(x,1,1);


IF mx≥53 AND mx≤104 THEN

RETURN; //your code here;


IF mx≥106 AND mx≤157 THEN

RETURN ; //your code here;


IF mx≥159 AND mx≤210 THEN

RETURN; //your code here;


IF mx≥212 AND mx≤263 THEN

RETURN; //your code here;


IF mx≥265 AND mx≤319 THEN

RETURN; //your code here;




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Repair kits back in stock


I had not realized that the stock level for HP41c repair kit was at zero again! But we have reordered and we have again 12 units in stock.

As there were a lot of problems with the transport methods for this product, we have decided to have it included in the price. Therefore, from now on shipping is included in the price, and there are no more hassles when the system proposes an expensive shipping method (while it could always be changed to registered letter, once the user had logged in)

Good luck with your HP41c repairs!

Here are some tips in order to have a lasting, quality battery bay repair:

tips on using the HP41c repair kit

HP 41c battery bay repair kit

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HP Prime in secondary education

My elder son is beginning to enjoy maths! At 12 years old, he is fond of reading, and he has considered several possible future professions, all related with writing and reading: journalist, novel writer, actor, etc. But now that he has enjoyed a good teacher, that makes maths learning fun (basically by giving them homework that is based on investigation: he gives a general problem, and as you solve a question, other questions come that make you think and discover relations and laws by yourself), then he is beginning to enjoy maths.

What he hates (as I did and still do) is the mechanical part of maths. One of the problems of last week was to check which prime numbers below 100 could be expressed as the sum of two squares. While he has learn to check for “prime-ness” by himself, it is tiring to apply it to many numbers. Then I took the opportunity to show him some of the possibilities of the HP Prime CAS mode: the ifactor() function. This function gives the prime factors of an integer; for example, ifactor(60) would return 22*3*5; so, an integer is a prime number if there is a single factor. This speeds a lot the search!

Other concepts that were explained too were gcd and lcm; and it was explained using numbers in its factored form; here he could use the lcm() and gcd() functions once he had apprehended the concepts on the factored numbers, in order to test his results. Then the calculator is really a tool to learn faster, not to cheat on the learning process.

Another alternative that I could have used was the hp50g, or even the hp41cl running any of the Sandmath modules (this is what I use!), but a touch screen is difficult to fight against for a 12 year old kid. The fact that he can download some games written in HP basic helps too. The games are quite lame when compared with what he can get in a simple smartphone; but the beauty of them is that he can enter in the program and try to understand what it is doing; alter number of lives, speed, number of enemies or even their aspect by modifying their grobs; and learn some programming in the process. In that respect, HP basic is much more readable than RPL, and more adequate to write games too.

(For a good load of games for you HP Prime, visit or Some of them are fun enough, and it is surprising how fast can the HP Prime be)

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Más sobre: HP prime
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