Musings and comments about our common interest
I have very few units of HP30b left - anyone interested in the wp34s needs to act quickly - or we will exhaust our stocks.
I are finding increasing problems in sourcing HP30b. Despite being a good calculator, its external aspect never won a lot of friends and it is not part of the EAME HP calculator offer anymore. In fact, I can’t find it except in very strange language combinations - which is not relevant for wp34s conversions.
If you are not aware of what a wp34s is, please read here for a description. It is by far the most complete scientific, non-graphical calculator ever designed. Taking profit of the software development kit (SDK for short) made available by HP, Bonin, Dale and Von Cube, helped by the testing and feature suggestions of the best and more experienced HP calculator users, created the most advanced and fastest calculator ever. All imaginable constants - you have them. All imaginable probability distribution functions - are there. The most obscure mathematical functions - there too. Do you feel limited by a 4-level stack? Get 8 instead. Are you accustomed to use the 4th level replication feature, and you want to keep it? you can set it of 4-level stack too.
Eric Rochlin created overlays of very good quality, that, once applied to the calculator, create a professional product that you can take with you to work.
There is also a fully fledged, free version for smartphone - at least I have it on my iPhone and iPad. I think that it is an excellent way of getting in touch with it. You can search in the respective app shops for wp34s and you will find it. Install it!
You can download the manual from our website page too.
I received this week the overlays from Eric Rechlin. Wonderful quality and choice of material. You cannot touch it from where you are - believe me that feeling is good and adherence superb:
I have received several overlays. I plan to set the complete kit: the flashed HP30b + the overlays. Just to Europe to avoid competition with Eric; and 10 € of each sale will be donated to the wp34s project.
Now, let's see the machine under surgery:
It was updated with the latest available build, 1125 at the time:
Now, let's see how it ended up:
Sorry - the light condition was low and my pulse unstable -> fuzzy picture.
This one is better:
When you do it, do not try to fix it with a hard thing - see the mark over the CLx key.
I learned from it and the rest of the keyboard was excellent!!
It really looks professional, and the key feel is much better than the HP20b.
Now, let's try to work with it and make some programs !!!
Today I have received a USB to com adaptor. Since most of our computers are laptops and quite new, we did not have serial adapters. I have then proceeded to update a 12c+ with the latest available software. In this particular case, it did not increase speed (it was already 150 times faster, so I am not deceived), but it corrected a number of issues compared with the original firmware.
We have decided to offer firmware flashing as a service for our purchases of a calculator. It will have a 10 € charge. The rules:
One of the most exciting projects is the repurposing of the hp20b and hp30b financial calculators with ultra-slick scientific firmware. The project is called wp34s and is run by Marcus von Cube, Walter Bonin and Paul Dale (in no specific order!).
You can find it on http://wp34s.sourceforge.net/
There have been a number of releases (build number was 800 at the time of writing), and you can check whether you like the software by running the included .exe file and testing the features. The .exe file has the advantage of having the right labels on the keys!
I have not yet tested the flasher cable and software on a HP30b but I plan to do it shortly. I will then report on the results!