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  1. jp99's Avatar
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    #281  
    Quote Originally Posted by Milominderbinder View Post
    I love everything you are doing. This thread is fun because it is such a collaboration.

    You are getting a year's testing every week. I can't image how other developers could try to do this without a Homebrew test forum.
    Additionally, we all have to give Marco a lot of credit for his hard work to date. Every button on this calculator has to be tested, verified, and tried under all types of conditions, and each function has to be right. That's a lot of effort coding, recoding and having us retry to see how it works. A lot of apps don't have as many individual functions as this app does.

    Then we end up checking it against a high standard - the HP calculators themselves. Not to mention HP calculator users are probably one of the pickier target groups to work with on an app!

    I've gotten to the point where I've started deleting some of the less useful apps from my Pre. Some of those are from the Palm App catalog itself, such as the Open Table food app. It's not useful in my metro area, and it's more limiting than Where.com or GoodFood.

    However, this HP calculator app from Marco stays - it passes my requirements with the highest scores.
  2.    #282  
    First of all, thanks for the kind words jp99! I really appreciate it!

    I have just finished B32. I have completely rewritten the mess that was the display modes. I think it's a lot more solid now. I tested all I could but... you guys tend to find stuff I overlook so I'm looking forward to comments about it.

    Here's the lowdown:

    You can now enter SCI, FIX and ENG like on the HP. This means you type:

    f, 4, 4 to set FIX with 4 decimal places
    f, 5, 2 to set SCI with 2 decimal places
    f, 6, 2 to set ENG with 2 digits used in total.

    to get rid of FIX, SCI or ENG (reset to normal) press f, (4,5 or 6 depending on which mode you're in) and then . (period)

    pressing FIX, SCI or ENG with anything else than 0..9 or a period throws an error and changes nothing. pressing FIX, . (period) when you're in SCI or ENG does nothing (no change).

    I think the display behavior is now spot on for FIX and SCI at least. for ENG I'm not sure because I don't fully understand what the HP actually does here. I found a HP15c emu and even with that I didn't seem to see the pattern. The manual is vague as well. If it's not right then please let me know what to change. This should be easy now.

    This behavior is pretty damn complicated to program in Javascript. I hope I am on the right track now!

    Another change in this release is the ENTER key. It now immediately shows the entered number in the formatting that has been chosen, just like the HP.

    I hope I can wrap this bit of functionality up soon so I can finish polar/rectangular conversions and the storage arithmetic.

    Please keep the reports coming!

    footnote: I skipped from B30 to B32 because just after posting B31 I found a bug (pressing mode, period when in another mode messed things up) and promptly fixed it. To prevent getting bug reports on this by people who had just downloaded B31 I decided to bump the version one more for clarity's sake.
    My shiny new TouchPad apps: Scientific RPN Calculator HD - Screamager HD
  3. #283  
    I'm liking the formatting setup in B32.

    I'm only finding one rough edge so far. I don't think the "reset to normal" sequence is working. In FIX 4, if I hit "g", "4", "." the mode stays the same. If I try "f", "4", ".", the calculator seems to interpret the 4 as a new number being entered.

    (Keyboard on the calculator shows the proper shift for display mode being "g", but note above says "f" so I tried both. I presume "f" is just a typo above...although I will confess that as a 30 year HP user "f-FIX-n" and "f-SCI-n" to set display mode are kind of hardwired for me and I'd sort of prefer it that way...)

    It would be nice to have a digit-grouping thousands separator (",") in FIX mode, where the numbers can be rather long and difficult to properly assign magnitude to when reading.
  4. #284  
    Thank you for all that you are doing!

    It is simply amazing.

    I have several different ideas that I will put into different posts because they probably need to be addressed separately.

    One issue is that for me and I bet many others, our notifications area at the bottom of the screen is almost always on. I almost always have a notification of yet another email, text, calendar item, or whatever. I just can't look at it all, all of the time is invariably at least one is always up in the notifications area. Regardless, I spend a lot of time with the Pre attached to the USB and the Just Charge notification is constantly up at the office or home.

    So effectivley the notifications area is always in use for me and many others.

    The nerdier we are, the more likely we are to have notifications pending and the more likely we are to think RPN is cool.

    But the notifications area blocks out the bottom of the Scientific calculator!

    This means that the ABS and LastX functions are missing. Your website address is missing. Less important but something to consider it that it makes the SciCalc look like it just cuts off.

    - Craig
    Last edited by Milominderbinder; 08/23/2009 at 08:20 PM.
  5.    #285  
    Quick before I take my little girl to the circus:

    I posted B33, fixes the reset issue dwhitman mentioned which was due to a dumb typo.
    Should work now!
    My shiny new TouchPad apps: Scientific RPN Calculator HD - Screamager HD
  6. #286  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarco View Post
    Also about financial: yes, there will be a finance calculator based on the core and gui of this one. As soon as this one is released i'm gonna get started!
    Thank you!

    Back burner for now...

    There is an entire generation of financial professionals who grew up with HP RPN Financial Calculators who I think will pay $15 each as well to get their 12C RPN functions on their Pre's.

    As I look at my 12C buttons, a lot of the RPN financial calculator functions are already in the Scientific calculator!

    I think your layout will more naturally look like the 10bii. Just put the time value of money buttons across the top:
    N, I/YR, PV, PMT, and FV like the HP 10bii.

    The 12C also has days between dates which is trivial and no one uses and bonds-duh. Again that is mind-numbingly simple. And the Markup functions are from 5th grade: If I paid $100 and want to make 20% what do I need to sell it for? Hmmm. Think, think, think.

    And presto, you address an even more staunch RPN market: RPN Financial!

    - Craig
  7. #287  
    Another thought for the back burner...

    Once you have the RPN version of the Scientific Calculator done, how big would it be to offer an algebraic interface? As I look at most of the functions, it really does not change how they work. The only remaining RPN calculators, the HP35s and HP33s, are actually Algebraic.

    Would you effectively have another calculator with by tweaking instead of starting over?

    The RPN lovers are staunch followers but the Algebraic market is much bigger. All 200 of the top 200 Scientific Calculators at Amazon are Algebraic. Only the HP 35s and HP 33s give you the option to use RPN if you prefer.

    The RPN believers tend to be so strong in their beliefs that it is like trying to have a religious discussion, if you know what I mean.

    TI, Casio, Sharp, and most of the other calculators in our schools do not do RPN. Even HP has sold more Algebraic than RPN for...ever. Please fellow RPN lovers, do not shoot me. I am one of you! I am just saying that there is that weird other tribe.

    So RPN has maybe a 5% market share?

    You might have customers who would buy the RPN and the Algebraic. I have each type in my arsenal of calculators and like different ones for different jobs.

    But I don't think that the Algebraic market will pay $15. RPN customers are almost proud to pay $60 for an HP RPN calculator. The rest are used to paying under $20 unless it is graphing.

    Maybe the Algebraic Scientific Calculator price-point is $10 or $5? But the market is 20 times bigger.

    Why not offer both an Algebraic and an RPN calculator if it is not that much of a re-write?

    You have some customers like me who believe in both - a strange thought to the staunch believers in either camp.

    - Craig
    Last edited by Milominderbinder; 08/23/2009 at 06:24 PM.
  8.    #288  
    I'm still contemplating algebraic mode. I'm not sure what to do first, that or the financial calc. Tough one.
  9. #289  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarco View Post
    I'm still contemplating algebraic mode. I'm not sure what to do first, that or the financial calc. Tough one.
    Will the financial one offer auto and mortgage amortization capabilities? That would be useful.

    My vote though is for the algebraic version first as you know. I cannot figure out RPN and won't need it enough to learn it ii
    Last edited by Paladin; 08/24/2009 at 10:52 AM.
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  10. #290  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarco View Post
    B26 posted. If I didn't screw anything up, backspace now works 'the HP way'.
    Also fixed a weird mistake that creeped in with the + button.
    What I forgot to mention in B25's notes is that SCI, ENG and FIX settings are (of course) persistent.

    Bring on the bug reports so I can get this baby towards release quality
    I know i'm probably too late on this but I was out on business and didn't get a chance to check this, but I would vote for it the old way, dropping the stack. Or maybe add a preference to use that. That is how my hp48 functions. If that ability isn't there, is there another way to delete rows from the stack?

    Once again, great app.
  11. #291  
    Quote Originally Posted by Milominderbinder View Post
    The RPN believers tend to be so strong in their beliefs that it is like trying to have a religious discussion, if you know what I mean.

    TI, Casio, Sharp, and most of the other calculators in our schools do not do RPN. Even HP has sold more Algebraic than RPN for...ever. Please fellow RPN lovers, do not shoot me. I am one of you! I am just saying that there is that weird other tribe.
    These days I would never advocate burning someone at the stake for the heresy of advocating an algebraic-based calculator.

    But if a broad consensus developed that this was an appropriate response, I'd like to call dibs on any of Milominderbinder's unsinged RPN-based calculators after the event. Just saying.
  12. #292  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarco View Post
    I'm still contemplating algebraic mode. I'm not sure what to do first, that or the financial calc. Tough one.
    For quick turn-around, it would have to be the Scientific Algebraic Calculator.

    The calculations are all worked out already. The user interface is all there. Literally just replace [ENTER] with [=] and tweak some formulas.

    And even if the price point is more like $5, the potential algebraic market is 20 times as big.

    - Craig
  13. #293  
    TheMarco,

    I have thoughts on price point and a family of calculators...

    One of the most effective marketing strategies to a nerd market is the grayed out function. Zillions of technical products use this marketing. You don't remove the feature, you gray it out. Here's why.

    Every good scientific mind teeters on the brink of OCD. Let them get the "Lite" version for 99 cents. But gray out blue F button and gold G button. Pop up a note saying click to upgrade to the Pro version. We nerds live to be the "Pro's." No one calls us "Lite."

    Even if they don't need the other features, the grayed out keys will make scientific types compulsively pay the $15 for the full version.

    This way you capture all of the $15 market you can and get a nice hit in the 99 cent market as well.

    The 99 cent product will not cannibalize any of the $15 market. True RNP lovers will get the full version. Once they get a touch of your vibrating keys and the RPN, they will be hooked. The 99 cent version will greatly increase the $15 sales.

    For some, it is a sign of how nerdy you are that your RPN calculator cannot be used by most others. $15 is cheap to be the king of the nerds.

    - Craig
    Last edited by Milominderbinder; 08/24/2009 at 12:13 AM.
  14. jp99's Avatar
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    #294  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarco View Post
    You can now enter SCI, FIX and ENG like on the HP. This means you type:

    f, 4, 4 to set FIX with 4 decimal places
    f, 5, 2 to set SCI with 2 decimal places
    f, 6, 2 to set ENG with 2 digits used in total.
    This is good, except you need (n+1) digits for the ENG mode. So if you press f ENG 2, then three digits are displayed (or two digits after the first one).

    Like dwhitman, I'm hardwired for the f-key for the FIX, SCI and ENG setup. I think every HP calculator did it this way. If you can convert it to an f-function, so much the better.

    Also, remember to enlarge the operation keys (+, -, etc).

    Regarding the algebraic operation, I think it will be great to add this, as many others will find this calculator useful. I'm hardcore RPN, so I won't use it, but so much the better for others.

    I'd also suggest a quick survey of HP-12C users if you can get one. Find out how important certain functions are to them, and what keyboard layout works (I wonder if they will accept a portrait-mode calc over their landscape mode version). They may really want a landscape mode.

    One cool idea I thought of was if you could program this to work in either landscape or portrait modes, a user could choose one by flipping the phone to that orientation. You want landscape like HP 11/15? Turn the Pre on its side. You want one like the 33/35/41/etc? Keep it upright. Now THAT would be unique!!
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    #295  
    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver View Post
    I know i'm probably too late on this but I was out on business and didn't get a chance to check this, but I would vote for it the old way, dropping the stack. Or maybe add a preference to use that. That is how my hp48 functions. If that ability isn't there, is there another way to delete rows from the stack?

    Once again, great app.
    Quiksilver, have you tried the g - ρStack function? You can inspect and move the stack around nicely.
  16.    #296  
    Posted B34. Fixes:

    - arithmetic symbols are bold again
    - app now SCROLLS as a (somewhat crappy but hey) way to better deal with notifications
    - NEW: storage arithmetic (add 2 to what's in register 4 by typing 2, STO, +, 4 or recall AND add 2 to what's in register 4 by typing 2, RCL 4 +) Best understood by HP users probably
    - bumped number for SCI up with +1 as per dwhitman's remark
    - credit where credit's due (see the about screen!)

    As always, thanks for all your remarks and testing!

    Milominderbender: I like your idea! I'll talk to Palm and see if this setup is possible.
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    Last edited by TheMarco; 08/23/2009 at 11:32 PM.
    My shiny new TouchPad apps: Scientific RPN Calculator HD - Screamager HD
  17.    #297  
    About landscape: I MAY try it. But once again it's lower on my list because of higher priority items. My list is kind of like this right now:

    1: finish polar/rectangular conversions (still dazzling my mind a bit despite the helpful PM's I got)
    2: write the help section (HUGE undertaking)
    3: bugfixes (hopefully not too many)

    Then hopefully it should be good enough for the store.

    Then I want to:

    1: do a finance version
    2: look into landscape

    I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff...

    HELP! This thing is never gonna be finished
    My shiny new TouchPad apps: Scientific RPN Calculator HD - Screamager HD
  18. APEowner's Avatar
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    #298  
    Wow, I went away for the weekend and all kinds of stuff got done on this. Nice job. I think you've got the display modes under control. They seem to be working as I expect and, so far anyway, they seem to be stable.

    I'm liking the scroll as a solution for the notification area issue. It seems like a good workable solution. Incidentally I ran across something I didn't know about the notification area that makes this less of a problem for me. You can clear notifications by swiping them off the screen. You don't have to clear the actual event to make them go away. I like to think I wasn't the only person who hadn't figured that out.

    I have a question/comment about the haptic feedback. I can't repeat it often enough to say for sure that this is happening but I think that I'm sometimes getting the feedback without the key press being processed. If I enter stuff quickly I'll get the feedback but the results seem to indicate that one of the buttons was missed. Are you feeding back on any touch or on a valid key press? Is there a way to not feedback on a scroll? As it is I worry about entering random key press when all I want to do is scroll. If the feedback only happened after a valid key press was processed the user could tell that nothing was accidentally entered during a scroll and be confident during rapid entry that everything was being handled.

    This app has now reached the point where it's a useful tool. I can happily fish my Pre out of my pocket for most calculations rather than hunting down a standalone calculator. If you add the ability to work in multiple bases and the supporting functions I'll start being disappointed in my HP calculators inability to make phone calls.
  19. #299  
    Quote Originally Posted by jp99 View Post
    Quiksilver, have you tried the g - ρStack function? You can inspect and move the stack around nicely.
    I have used this function and it works great for reordering the stack. Once Marco added the stack values to the main display, I don't find myself in there anymore. I liked not having to go to the other screen to drop the stack. Is there a downside i'm not seeing to this functionality?

    I rely on the stack functionality quite a bit on my 48 for doing multiple calcs simultaneously and verifying values on the fly.

    I've never used the hp15, but I guess its safe to assume its a single line display. I guess its all about what you are used to.
  20. APEowner's Avatar
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    #300  
    If that ability isn't there, is there another way to delete rows from the stack?
    I'm not sure what you mean by "delete rows from the stack". The R down button shifts the stack down and the g-R down button shifts the stack up. If you want to clear a row in the stack just enter a 0.

    The downside is that if you expect it to work like most of the HP calculators you can accidentally backspace your way up into the stack.

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