Author Topic: Let's hack the HP Prime!  (Read 120058 times)

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Offline critor

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #105 on: September 21, 2013, 12:12:11 pm »
Where do we usually download released firmwares for HP calculators ?
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Offline iconmaster

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #106 on: September 21, 2013, 12:19:48 pm »
heya and welcome to the forums. :) Nice to see that HHC2013 is happening by the way. IIRC there were worries about a cancellation due to the recent Colorado floods.

Also is the calc really sold with OS 0.025.5106? A version number under 1.0.0 often means it's a beta... ???

You know, it does kinda feel like a beta. The documentation isn't very good, some features feel incomplete, you know, the lot. It really feels that they rushed to ship this out. And yet they're still late...

Anyways, these hard-coded app numbers (it seems that the .hpapp files only store data, not code) makes it seem to me like they never coded for third-party apps to exist... I'm probably wrong here; maybe there's an app ID for custom apps. calc.settings seems to hold the pointers themselves, so there's hope.

EDIT: Here's the list of app IDs. Any ID over 11 causes it to revert to 0 when the calculator is turned on. This should go on the wiki?

00 00 00 00 - Function
01 00 00 00 - Solve
02 00 00 00 - Statistics 1-Var
03 00 00 00 - Statistics 2-Var
04 00 00 00 - Inference
05 00 00 00 - Parametric
06 00 00 00 - Polar
07 00 00 00 - Sequence
08 00 00 00 - Finance
09 00 00 00 - Linear Solver
0a 00 00 00 - Triangle Solver
0b 00 00 00 - Linear Explorer
0c 00 00 00 - Quadratic Explorer
0d 00 00 00 - Trig Explorer
0e 00 00 00 - DataStreamer
0f 00 00 00 - Geometry
10 00 00 00 - Spreadsheet
11 00 00 00 - Advanced Graphing

Where do we usually download released firmwares for HP calculators ?
Usually, I'd say somewhere like http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/ProductList.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=215348&prodSeriesId=5367459&taskId=135, but it seems both the emulator and the data-link program have firmware-downloading capabilities; however, it seems HP's data server are not working.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 12:41:36 pm by iconmaster »

Offline Lionel Debroux

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #107 on: September 21, 2013, 01:57:41 pm »
Yup, it would be great to have this kind of information on the wiki :)
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Offline Adriweb

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #108 on: September 21, 2013, 02:56:12 pm »
Yes, right here : http://tiplanet.org/hpwiki/HP_Prime/File_Format :)
I've restructured the page a little for clarification, btw.

(Also, I've enabled the "ConfirmAccount" extension on the wiki, which requires admins to validate new accounts before they can login; You can thank spammers for that.... :x)
Registration url : http://tiplanet.org/hpwiki/Special:RequestAccount
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 02:58:10 pm by adriweb »
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Offline timwessman

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #109 on: September 21, 2013, 05:45:31 pm »
Quote
Also is the calc really sold with OS 0.025.5106? A version number under 1.0.0 often means it's a beta... ???

Nope. That is a common convention, but really has nothing to do with the state of things. That whole menu is for factory use and they control numbers and versions there. I honestly have no idea what they really are using there or what it is supposed to mean. I suspect it has something to do with bootloader stuff.

some features feel incomplete

Examples please?
TW

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Offline iconmaster

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #110 on: September 21, 2013, 06:34:24 pm »
Nope. That is a common convention, but really has nothing to do with the state of things...

Oh, that's good to know! Look at me here, always assuming the worst.

Examples please?

Eh, it's just a sort of an impression. Really, I'd be writing more about suggestions I have than things that are really missing. But, you did ask, so here goes:
* The app structure doesn't really have an HP calculator feel. Maybe if there was app 'folders' and/or an ability to hide apps?
* The "online" Help has a lot of typos, not to mention the accidental HP38gII syntax.
* Like the first point, there's no good way to organise your variables.
* There's no calculator-to-calculator linking. Even if the physical manual tries to claim there is ("Documentation which mentions sending data directly from one HP Prime to another should be disregarded" the sheet of paper that came with my Quick Start Guide says).
* All the undocumented CAS shortcut functions, described here. Some of them can cause crashes!
* Some basic apps we'd like are not here, like 3D graphing or periodic tables. No extra utility apps either.

All in all, it's a fine release, sure. But it just feels that much more limited than the HP calculators I'm used to (I mean heck, my 50g came with a built-in ARM assembler!). My hypothesis is that HP is just playing nice in the software until they get College Board approval, at which point I hope they'll add in more freedom to the OS. Of course, the College Board won't be easily convinced, so this could take a while to happen.

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #111 on: September 21, 2013, 06:41:23 pm »
Also, Sailerboy on IRC last night has complained about cryptic error messages when using some math equations and stuff on the main screen. Sadly the logs appears to be offline though so it would be hard to retrieve the screenshots he did. Nonetheless, they were definitively cryptic or even non-existent.


Also Iconmaster I think they decided to cut down ASM features because of concerns about cheating tools like PTTKiller on TI calcs. However the door is supposedly not fully closed. I just hope that people who hack the calc use common sense and restrict their use of ASM/C for games and legit tools if it ever becomes possible on this calc. Staff will most likely delete any cheating program from the forums anyway, like with PTTKiller. Also, I think the higher focus on algebraic view or whatever it is called, rather than RPN, was to make the calcs easier to use for more people, so that people won't get a TI instead.

Quote
Also is the calc really sold with OS 0.025.5106? A version number under 1.0.0 often means it's a beta... ???

Nope. That is a common convention, but really has nothing to do with the state of things. That whole menu is for factory use and they control numbers and versions there. I honestly have no idea what they really are using there or what it is supposed to mean. I suspect it has something to do with bootloader stuff.
Ah I see Tim, I worried that the OS was still in beta lol, but if that was the case, I would have been surprised at how stable it is per beta standards (at least, from what I saw in the emu). I hope it's quite stable for myself in its final form too :P.   
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 06:44:00 pm by DJ Omnimaga »
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Offline critor

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #112 on: September 21, 2013, 06:46:43 pm »
some features feel incomplete

Examples please?

For exemple, I've found a limitation with the sequence application.
By default it starts sequences with rank 1, but it doesn't let you set the sarting rank to 0.


This is a big problem for France, as the sequences are a very important topic in high school, and we define them as starting at rank 0 - and so start many sequences in problems.

Other calculator manufacturers (TI & Casio) set the default starting rank to 1, but let the user enter 0.



And now what seems to be a bug of the sequence application - I don't know if it's called like that in english, but it seems you can't define cross-sequences:


U1 sequence is disabled and unusable.
I suppose the app checks and sets the sequences sequentially - so U1 is checked first but rejected as it depends upon U2 which is not defined at that time.


The same problems seem to be present with the HP-39gII sequence app. (I don't have the calculator - I could only test with the emulator)


I've reported both problems to HP-France, but I don't know if they did translate and forward them.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 06:59:33 pm by critor »
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Offline sailerboy

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #113 on: September 21, 2013, 07:00:31 pm »
Quote
Also is the calc really sold with OS 0.025.5106? A version number under 1.0.0 often means it's a beta... ???

Nope. That is a common convention, but really has nothing to do with the state of things. That whole menu is for factory use and they control numbers and versions there. I honestly have no idea what they really are using there or what it is supposed to mean. I suspect it has something to do with bootloader stuff.

some features feel incomplete

Examples please?

I'd like to add onto the incompleteness.

This certainly feels like a beta. There are certain things from a UX standpoint that don't seem to work as expected. I've screen-capped a couple of them using the connectivity software:

After trying to type the following integral in, I got the weirdest, most undescriptive error that I've ever seen on a calculator. Trying to copy/paste yielded the same result, yet retyping the function gave the correct result.


Trying to find the integral of any trig function (as far as I can tell, only tested it with sin/cos) yields the following message on the screen. I understand that the calculator uses taylor series to approximate an integral, but that message doesn't give me any useful information as a user, and since it requires user interaction to dismiss (it doesn't go away automatically), it is very annoying.


In the below picture, both the function on the top and the bottom are equivalent, but the Prime refuses to evaluate the top symbolically.


Implicit multiplication seems to work randomly. 13x seems to work, but 13sin(x) throws yet another, even less descriptive error.


Other implicite multiplications that seem to not work as expected are π(10) (This returns a bad argument value error, which seems to suggest that it's intended for the Prime Counting Function, but that doesn't work as expected either.). Various other implicit multiplications either error, or do not work as expected. In the same picture, prettyprint (textbook notation?) doesn't seem to work for e. instead of typing something like e^x (or even the nicer ex), it does exp(x)



I love the prime, and the graphing is very fast, but these are glaring errors that really take me out of the entire experience. Also, if I wanted to enclose a part of an expression in parenthesis, i have to follow these steps:

Navigate to beginning of part I want enclosed
Push () button
Push right dpad
Push backspace
Navigate to end of part I want enclosed
Push () button
Push backspace

With the Nspire, these were the steps:
Highlight part I want enclosed
Push ( or ) button

OR

Navigate to beginning of part I want enclosed
Push ( button
Navigate to end
Push ) button

Finally, if I make an error in my input (forget the dx for the integral, forget to square something properly, etc), the calculator doesn't allow me to fix it, it reformats the function in some random way, and then throws up an error.

I'm trying really hard not to compare this to my Nspire from a UX point of view, since I recognize the need to differentiate from one's competitors, and a direct copy would be boring, but when these UX decisions affect the usability of the calculator, it gets annoying.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 07:11:54 pm by sailerboy »

Offline iconmaster

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #114 on: September 21, 2013, 07:12:06 pm »
While the fire for random suggestions are hot, here's another one. I know how you've been dealing with text highlighting since the beginning of time: Using the Mark system. Myself, I'd think one could implement a text-highlighting system closer to the TI-89's, using the Alpha key or similar... It'd make text highlighting a lot more natural.
Also, there's no way to select the item on drop-down input boxes without touching the screen. I'd think you could hit ENTER to open up the dropdown, but no.

Offline sailerboy

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #115 on: September 21, 2013, 07:14:26 pm »
Also, there's no way to select the item on drop-down input boxes without touching the screen. I'd think you could hit ENTER to open up the dropdown, but no.


You can use plus and minus to go between options in drop down boxes, but this is definitely not a great solution.

Also, what is the user function supposed to be used for? I tried looking in the manual and couldn't find anything. It's under shift+help.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 07:23:18 pm by sailerboy »

Offline iconmaster

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #116 on: September 21, 2013, 07:37:41 pm »
Also, what is the user function supposed to be used for? I tried looking in the manual and couldn't find anything. It's under shift+help.

It redefines keys. You make programs with the KEY function instead of the EXPORT function, and the function's name is K_ and then the key's name (numbers are themselves, but more complex key names use This Case). You then press User and then the key you redefined to execute the program. I know; at first, I was used to the 50g notion of adding functions to a userkey list and thus thought the key was useless; as it turns out, there's a different method for userkeys on the Prime.

Offline sailerboy

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #117 on: September 21, 2013, 07:53:07 pm »
Also, what is the user function supposed to be used for? I tried looking in the manual and couldn't find anything. It's under shift+help.

It redefines keys. You make programs with the KEY function instead of the EXPORT function, and the function's name is K_ and then the key's name (numbers are themselves, but more complex key names use This Case). You then press User and then the key you redefined to execute the program. I know; at first, I was used to the 50g notion of adding functions to a userkey list and thus thought the key was useless; as it turns out, there's a different method for userkeys on the Prime.

Is this comparable to anything that TI has?

Offline willrandship

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #118 on: September 21, 2013, 07:54:34 pm »
Well, the TI-86 had a custom menu, which you could set to use any string you liked for its outputs.

I mostly used it to shortcut math things that took a while to get to.

Offline iconmaster

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Re: Let's hack the HP Prime!
« Reply #119 on: September 21, 2013, 08:09:33 pm »
Is this comparable to anything that TI has?

It's kinda like the TI-89's kbdprgm keys, but better. With my 50g, I usually had USR-LOCK on at all times.