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Subject: comp.sys.hp48 FAQ : 2 of 4 - Hardware, Programs, and Programming

This article was archived around: 14 April 2000 22:00:02 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: hp/hp48-faq
All FAQs posted in: comp.sys.hp48, comp.sources.hp48
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Archive-name: hp/hp48-faq/part2 Last-modified: 4/14/2000 Version: 4.62 Posting-Frequency: Every 14 days or so
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 post739 6.1. My HP48 seems to making a high pitched noise. From: Dave Arnett The guts of the HP48 keyboard are assembled from several layers of mylar and similar material. Some of the layers have conductive ink to create switch contacts. Some are insulators, with appropriately located holes through which the switch contacts meet. Some are embossed with spherically domed areas, to provide the snap-spring feel when you press the plastic keys. The entire multi-layer sandwich is assembled onto plastic pegs on the backside of the HP48 top case, along with the metal chassis, and then the pegs are "heat stacked", positively capturing and holding the matrix together. These parallel planes can act like a capacitive speaker. Most loudspeakers in home electronics are inductive: a sheet or cone moves because current passes through an attached coil positioned in a magnetic field. A capacitive speaker creates sound by moving a sheet or diaphragm due to electric charge forces, whether attracting or repelling. The HP48 keyboard has the necessary characteristics to be a very inefficient (therefore quiet) capacitive speaker. When the HP48 "scans" the keyboard, charges are placed on the parallel sheets of mylar. They tend to move as a result of the charge, and create a faint squeal or whine. The loudness will depend on a number of factors, and can vary significantly from HP48 to HP48. Some folks report that, on their HP48, the sound is stronger on the back than on the front; others report the opposite. 6.2. Can I upgrade my S or G to more than 32K ram? It is possible to do this by opening up the case and adding some memory chips. There are several containing instructions and schematics available at: <http://www.hpcalc.org/docs/opening/> There is a web page on how to open your HP48 from the back at <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~drury/how2open.htm> This is an illustrated guide on how to open your HP48 from the back. It has full instructions, as well as 15 pictures of the calculator in various stages of disassembly. An alternate way to open your HP48 and upgrade it to 256K is described at the following site, along with lots of pictures: <http://studwww.eurecom.fr/~grundsch/> Another good site is: <http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/7584/index.html> WARNING: It is possible to ruin your HP in the process of performing any one of these upgrades. Do not even attempt it unless you are adept at working with small electronics. The FAQ maintainer and the authors of the instructions take no responsibility for anything you do to your HP! 6.3. Can I add a lithium battery backup? From: Lee Studley <RStud39515@aol.com> I recently did a modification to my 48G by replacing the 32K ram with a surface mount 128x8 RAM. Afterwards, I sandwiched 2nd and 3rd RAM chips by stacking them up and soldering. The 2nd CS was jumpered over to the expansion pin 21a. The decode for the 3rd part was easy to figure out. I've also added a lithium battery to insure memory retention. This thing now has 128K user memory, 128K in port 1, and 128K in port 2. Additional port 2 chips can easily be added. The 3 volt lithium battery used was the generic coin type. I just made room for the holder and battery by removing the aluminum shield up to the plastic post near the piezo element. The positive terminal of the battery goes through a 470 ohm resistor into the anode of a schotky diode (only 0.2 volt forward drop). The cathode end of the diode feeds the positive side of the big 1000 uF capacitor near the added 74HC00. This is the memory retention cap when the batteries are removed. This way, the lithium battery only gets used if the main batteries are removed or very low. Seems to work well so far. The ground connection broken by cutting the aluminum shield kills the reset and piezo contact points. To fix this, I stretched the original piezo contact spring and cut it in half. Then I soldered the cut piece to the ground "twisted" tab near the original spring. (readers should verify this ground with a meter.) This restored the lost functions. 6.4. How can I get/build a cable for my HP48? Some places that sell the HP48 also sell the cable required for interfacing with a PC. Unfortunately, most don't. For information on how to build your own cable, see Appendix D-1. If you want to buy one, there are a few options. Places like ElekTek sell them for around $20-$25. There are a few netters that make cables for sale also. Contact: o Chris Edmunds <chris@muffet.com> Web page: <http://muffet.com/hp/cables/ad.html> o Joel Kolstad <kolstadj@peak.org> o Greg Lousteau <greg@gregjeff.com> <http://www.gregjeff.com/greg/cable.html> If you live in a larger city, you can look in the Yellow Pages for a listing of HP authorized dealers who either have the cables in stock or can order them in about the same time a mail order place can, but for a lower price.. 6.5. HP seems to offer two link kits with different prices. HP offers two link kits, one which sells for about US$20, and the other which sells for about US$50. The only difference between the two is the higher priced kit comes with software and a manual. The cable, however, is the same in both kits. As mentionned in the next question, free alternatives to this software are readily available. HP's software also includes some assorted miscellaneous programs and games, all of which are also available from HP via FTP or WWW. 6.6. Is there any communications software available? In Windows 3.x you can use Terminal (in Accessories). In Windows 95 and OS/2 Warp, HyperTerminal can be used, or you can use any other "terminal emulator" package with some level of embedded Kermit file transfer capability. However, the most complete functionality is available with full Kermit, which can be downloaded from <ftp://kermit.columbia.edu/> or HP. Columbia University is the original site for Kermit and has versions for nearly all operating systems, including all forms of Unix, Amiga, and Macintosh. Of course if you have a G/GX machine you can use X-Modem instead of Kermit (X-Modem is generally faster). [Hyper]Terminal works fine for X-Modem as well. Alternative file transfer software is available from the FTP sites mentionned in the Appendix, or can be purchased (e.g. Donnelly's HP48 File Manager). Also of interest are several freeware/shareware programs, including the HP48 Explorer for use with Windows 95. This can be obtained at <http://members.tripod.com/~nberry/hp48g/index.html>. 6.7. Why doesn't the I/R port work farther than a few inches? It turns out that it is the receiver that is "crippled". The transmit range is somewhere around several feet, and some people have actually written programs to make the HP48 emulate some remote controls (see Appendix E-1 for suggested programs). There are currently two stories going around as to why. I will present both of them in the interest showing all sides of the story. You are free to decide which you believe: 1. The head of the HP48 design team, Dr. William Wickes himself, alluded during the Chicago Handheld Conference that the IR was intentionally crippled due to the concerns of certain individuals in academia that students could literally 'beam' information from one 48 to another during examinations. (from Rick Grevelle) 2. The reason the IR reception distance is so short is battery capacity. The Infrared Transmitter is semaphore: It is only turned on when it needs to be on, and the transmission protocol is defined to minimize the ON time. The receiver, by contrast, must be on continually when a transmission is in process, or when a transmission is expected. If you set your HP48 to Server mode, that receiver is drawing power. If you tweak the control bits to activate the receiver for any other reason, it is drawing power. The instantaneous peak power drawn by the transmitter is much higher than that of the receiver. But in the long run, the receiver will draw more energy from the batteries. Increasing the receiver sensitivity costs even more power. 6.8. Can my HP48 talk to my HP100LX via Infrared? Yes, it can, although slowly. Set the HP100LX at 2400 bps, and put it in server mode (under the Kermit Commands menu). Then you can send stuff from your HP48 to your HP100LX. 6.9. Can I use my HP48 to communicate with IrDA devices? From: David Johnson I have had great success communicating via IR with my HP48 GX rev. R and a NEC Versa 6050MH notebook PC. However, I have found that speed is limited to 2400 bps. I have successfully used IR communication under Win95 with DOS Kermit 3.14, HyperTerminal, HP48 Explorer, Yellow Computing Transfile Win 48, and Kermit v0.85 (Win32). I have had no success with Grab48 screen capture by HP or with HP PDL (only because I can't use a port higher than COM2). In my case DOS Kermit requires a command like: set com3 \x03E8 \9 ; Syntax for nonstandard address or irq Which is the port and IRQ specified in my BIOS setup. It doesn't seem to matter what IR speed I choose in the BIOS setup. However, in all cases (even native Win95 applications) I must disable the IR drivers in Win95 and talk straight to the port/IRQ specified in the BIOS. I can easily turn IR support on and off within a Win95 session with no ill effects via the control panel. Note that the HP48 is not actually IrDA compatible, but communicates with IR devices in non-IrDA mode. 6.10. Can I print to a LaserJet printer with an HP48? From: Derrik Pates Yes you can, but you need the HP PCL library from <http://www.hpcalc.org/utils/misc/pcl.zip>. It allows you to communicate with any printer that supports PCL (all HP DeskJets and LaserJets, as well as some other laser printers and inkjet printers). You can hot-switch your resolution and turn PCL on/off with software commands. Although newer HP printers such as the 5P and 5MP have an IR port, you cannot use it to print directly from your HP48. 6.11. I downloaded a program but all I get is "HPHP48-..."! Some versions of Kermit distinguish between ASCII and binary files, and so you have to worry about the transfer modes at both ends of the connection (the HP48 SX end and the computer end). For example, when receiving ASCII files, Unix Kermit must translate CR/LF pairs into LF. If the HP48 SX is transmitting a binary file, but the Unix Kermit is expecting ASCII, any CR/LF pairs in the binary file will get translated to LF, corrupting the binary file. Unfortunately, you cannot "uncorrupt" the corrupted binary file by simply reversing the transfer and expecting Kermit to translate LF to CR/LF. This is because the binary file may contain occurrences of LF that were not originally part of a CR/LF sequence. When a binary file gets corrupted, it will display on the stack as a string, starting with the characters "HPHP48-", and continuing on with a bunch of garbage. Thanks to two programs, these strings can be reconverted to binary files right on the HP48. These programs are: FIXIT, by Joe Horn and Mika Heiskanen, or OBJFIX, written by our friends at HP. These are included in Appendix A-2. The major difference between FIXIT and OBJFIX is the way they operate. I have never personally had any problems with either. FIXIT takes the bad "HPHP48-" string from level 1 of the stack, and replaces it with the correct binary object. OBJFIX takes the name of the variable in which the "HPHP48-" string is stored from level 1 of the stack, and puts the correct binary object directly in the variable where the bad string was stored. It's up to you which you prefer. I would suggest reading the documentation of both before using either of them. There is also a quick fix available from Dan Kirkland: Here is a simple SYSEVAL program that will return a pointer to the object in those data transfer strings that start with "HPHP48-" Checksum: # 8FEh << "12" SWAP + # 402Bh SYSEVAL # 62B9Ch SYSEVAL >> That's all! (Simple huh!) Name? Whatever you want!! Works on all 48s (S/SX, G/GX) 6.12. What is the structure of HP48 ASCII headers? From: Jorge Costa ASCII file headers such as %HPHP: T(3)A(D)F(.); are created by the HP48 when an ASCII file is sent to the PC and read when a HP48 ASCII file is received from the PC. They serve to preserve various settings on your HP that affect ASCII transfers. They do not affect binary mode transfers. Three parameters are saved: (T)ranslation Mechanism, (A)ngle Mode, and (F)raction Mark. Translation Mechanism: The possible ASCII translation schemes are as follows: T HP48 -> PC PC -> HP48 --------------------------------------------------------- 0 No translation No translation 1 char 10 -> chars 10,13 chars 10,13 -> char 10 2 Action 1 & translate Action 1 & translate chars 128 - 159 \000 - \159 to HP48 chars 3 Action 1 & translate Action 1 and translate chars 128 - 255 \000 - \255 to HP48 chars To choose your favorite set, just type the number followed by the command TRANSIO on the HP48 command line. Depending on which translation scheme you are using, the HP48 converts a different set of characters to PC ASCII format. I would advise using option 3, since this forces the calculator to translate all symbols to pure ASCII (look for the table in page 27 - 16 of the HP48G series user's guide). If you choose to use option 0 or 1, all characters from code 128 to 255 would be interpreted following the current code page of the PC setup - it will be unreadable! Also, if you are receiving ASCII files in your machine and you get a bunch of black squares, you can be fairly certain you are using translation mode 0, which makes the HP receive and store all newline characters (instead of eliminating them). Angle Mode: o A(D) stands for degrees. o A(R) stands for radians. o A(G) stands for gradians. Fraction Mark: The HP48 can handle two types of fractions marks - the decimal dot or comma. This option is available from the MODES input form (48G/GX) or menu 64.01. With regards to the ASCII header we have: o F(.) means the format is dot. o F(,) means the format is comma. If you try manually editing an ASCII file on the PC without a header, then try to send it to the HP48 using Kermit, you can obtain the following results: Number format Text sent Result (object stored) . 3.4 3.4 . 3,4 3 4 , 3.4 3 4 , 3,4 3,4 As you would expect, sending files with ASCII headers to the HP48 with mismatching fraction mark settings, leads to an "Invalid Syntax" error during transfer. Now take a look at rows 2 and 3 of the table above - the object received by the HP48 is stored as a program object without the << and >> composed by two real numbers - well, that normally can't be done in User RPL! In fact the resulting object is a very simple System RPL program object (the internal language of the HP48). The conclusion is that when a file is sent without an ASCII header, the HP48 translates numbers with mismatching formats into System RPL secondaries (programs) of the form: :: %IntegerPart %FractionalPart ; 6.13. Why do Kermit transfers seem to get slower? From: Dan Kirkland The reason the HP48 Kermit routines are so slow is because they are written in System RPL. Everytime the HP48 receives a packet (received as a string), it copies the previously received packets (string #1) and the new packet (string #2) to a new string (which becomes string #1 when the next packet is received). This is why the HP48 Kermit gets slower and slower on big transfers (string #1 just keeps getting bigger). As to sliding windows... Sliding windows really don't help much with a clean, lag-free connection. And as most people connect their HP48 directly to the computer they are transfering to/from with a very short line, it is almost always very clean and lag-free. So, sliding windows have very little to offer HP48 transfers. Yes, properly written Kermit routines should be at least as good as ZModem, even without sliding windows. And with a dirty, lagged connection, Kermit with sliding windows will blow ZModem away. But then, this just doesn't happen very often with HP48 connections. Some claim that the HP48 can't do ZModem without tons of trickery because it doesn't have a large enough input buffer. While this is true, it shouldn't be too hard to do. And the same is true for Kermit if it is going to get ZModem type speed! Small packets are more reliable, but much bigger packets are needed for speed. 6.14. Why does XRECV not work sometimes? (GX) Pre-Rev R. G Series 48's had a bug that would sometimes cause XRECV to fail if there was not twice the amount of room free for the incoming file. FXRECV, a fix for this bug, is available on the Horn 9 disk in the directory \HP as FXRECV. There is more info about this bug there as well. Note that FXRECV is not required for Rom R, and in fact will not run properly on Rom R. 6.15. Additional Tips on Transfers To use the least memory when doing transfers, it is a good idea to use the built-in "Transfer..." application only to set parameters (Wire, Baud, etc...) but not to actually start a transfer with it; instead, press ENTER, then do either left-shift RECV (Kermit) or 0 FXRECV (Modified X-Modem). Avoiding the fancy "dialog box" application leaves more memory free at the time of actual transfer. For best quick-start of a transfer, start the Kermit receive side before the transmit side. For X-Modem the opposite is true: start the transmit side before the receive side (with only a short interval between each side's start). Experiment a bit to find out what works best for you. Here is a small program for Kermit that lets you receive directly to a port: \<< -36 SF 1 \-> a \<< 'a' RECN a \>> SWAP STO \>> For the argument use either just a number (if receiving a library) or a port-tagged name such as :0: name (for other objects, and in fact for libraries as well, but only the port number is used). This program may be simpler to follow than the User's Guide directions for installing a library, since it encapsulates the several steps of storing in memory, recalling to stack, purging the variable, and finally storing to a port. Even if you forget to supply the portname argument, the received object will still appear on the stack (provided flag -55 is clear), and you can finish storing it afterwards. 6.16. What do the funny symbols in this document mean? The symbols in this document such as \-> and \GS+ are the ASCII representation of the special HP48 graphical characters. See the section "Character Translations" in the manual for a complete table of symbols <--> ASCII representations. SX: Chapter 33 (Volume II if 2 volumes) GX: Page 27-16 HP48 G Series User's Guide 6.17. What are the pinouts for the HP48 serial connector? Looking at the pins of the HP48 (the following diagram is showing the pins on the HP48, as you look at the calculator): _________ | o o o o | \_______/ ^ ^ ^ ^ | | | \------ 4 Signal GND | | \-------- 3 RX (input to the HP48) | \---------- 2 TX (output from the HP48) \------------ 1 SHIELD Stated another way: HP48 IBM 9 PIN IBM 25 PIN (From the outside edge -> inward) SHIELD------------------- SHIELD---------------- SHIELD TX (Output)<-------------2 RX (Input)------------3 RX (Input) RX (Input)-------------->3 TX (Output)---------->2 TX (Output) SGND---------------------5 GND-------------------7 GND This information is also on page 27-7 of the G/GX manual. 6.18. Is there any information on interfacing to the HP48? HP has made available an UNSUPPORTED document called the "HP48 I/O Technical Interfacing Guide", which contains information on the wired and serial I/O hardware. Another HP document available is the "HP48 I/O Software Interfacing Guide". Also, there are a number of guides contributed by users on making your own serial/IR hardware. Look at <http://www.hpcalc.org/docs/programming/> as well as the ftp sites listed in the Appendix. If you find a good document, let me know so I can put it here! 6.19. How can I transfer programs/data from my HP-28S to my HP48? You use a program called "INPRT", which is available on GD #9. Any previous version will crash the GX. The new version's checksum is #EDF3h, and the old, SX-only version's checksum is #2280h. For each program that you want to transfer, you use the HP 28S to print it to the I/R output; INPRT, running on the HP48, reads the I/R output of the HP 28S and converts it into a program string. 6.20. Can I use rechargeable batteries with the HP48? The Rayovac "Renewal" batteries have proven themselves to be reliable in the HP48, but there are some problems with Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries. You'll have to decide if using rechargeable batteries is worth putting up with the problems associated with them: o You'll have to change batteries more often with rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries can deliver power for a longer period of time, compared to rechargeable batteries. o Once the low-battery indicator comes on, you'll have to change the rechargeable batteries pretty quickly. With rechargeable batteries, you have only a few minutes before the calculator dies (it's been said that you have up to 15 minutes or so). With alkaline batteries, you have an amount of time that is supposedly measured in hours. o Ni-Cad batteries lose their charge with time, even if you are not using them. Even if a Ni-Cad battery is just sitting unused on a shelf, it slowly loses its charge. Alkaline batteries keep their charge for a very long time. 6.21. How can I tell, from within a program, if the battery is low? The following 48 program reports the status of the ALERT annunciator. The ALERT annunciator is activated by alarms or low battery. This program is provided free of charge "as is" and has no warranty. No one is liable for any consequential damages. Preston %%HP:T(3)A(D)F(.); \<< RCLF 8 STWS #FFh #0h + #10Bh #6595Ah SYSEVAL #8h AND #0h > SWAP STOF \>> 6.22. I lost the information on my RAM Card when I changed the bat- tery! You forgot to turn ON the calculator before changing the battery. The HP only supplies power to the RAM card while the HP is turned on. While the calculator is turned off, no power is supplied by the calculator, and all power comes from the RAM card battery. If you then take out the battery from the RAM card while the calculator is turned OFF, the RAM card has no source of power, and you will lose all of the contents in the RAM card. 6.23. Why do I get an "Invalid card data" error when I merge a RAM card? This message is usually seen when you plug a brand-new RAM card into an HP48. In this case, this message is normal and is harmless. It just means that there was no (valid) data on the card. GX: This message can appear when a RAM card contains ports you have never used. Press purple/left shift-LIBRARY. Hit NXT, then the PINIT softkey. This will initialize all available RAM ports. It does not affect data already stored on the card. If you see this message under any other conditions, it could be one of the following: 1. You took the battery out of the RAM card while the card was out of the calculator, therefore erasing the memory. 2. You took the battery out of the RAM card while the card was in the calculator BUT the calculator was turned off. Note that the calculator supplies power to the RAM card ONLY when the calculator is turned ON. Again the memory on the card is gone. 3. The RAM card battery is dead. 4. There is a problem with either the calculator, the RAM card, or both. If the battery is operational, then try to store something on the card. If you still get the error message, then backup all your info to a computer or another 48, and do a hardware reset. 6.24. I've heard about other manufacturer's RAM cards. Will they work? While some cards may work, there is a chance that you may severely damage your HP48. You should only use cards specifically designed for the HP48. Naturally, HP sells such cards, and some third parties also make cards that will work in an HP48. Some cards work with both the S/SX and the G/GX. Some, however only work on the S/SX, or only on the G/GX. Make sure that the card is designed to work for your version before using it. SX: The S/SX can only naturally support up to 128K per port. HP sells 32K and 128K RAM cards. However, TDS, using software "bank switches" produces 256K and 512K RAM cards. These bank switching cards do not work in the G/GX series. CMT also makes 128K cards, which work in all HP48 calculators. GX: While you cannot use the TDS 256K and 512K cards, Sparcom has come out with 256K and 512K cards for the G/GX only. HP also sells 1MB RAM cards that work for G/GX only. The G/GX is able to accept a 4MB RAM card, but none are on the market at this time. 6.25. How does RAM card locking work? From: Dave Arnett The HP48SX had three layers of write protection: o The Seiko-Epson memory cards contain write protection. Seiko-Epson is the OEM manufacturer for HP brand cards. They developed the format, connector and pin definitions for the memory card interface. We have a slightly modified version of their standard card where the low battery alarm limits are changed slightly. On an HP-branded RAM card, if you move the write-protect switch to the Protect position, two things happen. First, the card itself ignores write cycles. This is the first layer of defense for data integrity. The card also changes the voltage level of one of its output pins to tell the HP that it is write-protected. o The HP CPU chip detects the write protect indicator line of the card. If it is reporting as unwriteable, the hardware locks out write functionality from the CPU chip. This is the second layer of defense. If this Card Detect line reports as writeable, then write transactions are permitted in hardware. If the Card Detect line floats, the hardware reports that no card is installed. o The HP system firmware checks the status of the write protection bits before writing to a memory card. If the status bits indicate that the card is unwriteable (ROM or protected RAM), then the system code refuses to write to the card. In developing the HP48GX, we changed card handling in some significant respects. I have recently posted information to the newsgroup on how the upper half of ROM and the card slot 2 are controlled through one pin of the Yorke CPU IC in a multiplexed fashion. There are some details about the Yorke chip related to how various Saturn Bus deviced configure and unconfigure which required me to make the following hardware assignment changes: Hardware Resource HP48SX HP48GX CE1- Card Controller 1 Card 1 Bank Select Controller CE2- Card Controller 2 Card 2 Card 1 CE3- Card Controller 3 Unused Card 2 CDT1- Card Detect 1 Card 1 Card 2 CDT2- Card Detect 2 Card 2 Card 1 Clearly, we had to assign Card Controllers and Card Detects in pairs, as much as possible. Otherwise the hardware lockout would make a mess of things. A write protected RAM card in GX slot 1 has hardware lockout protection, since CDT2 can lock write actions to CE2. A write protected RAM card in GX slot 2 does not have the same HP hardware protection. CDT1 is hardware coupled to CE1, which drives the Bank Select Controller. Some may have wondered in my recent posts why the protocol for setting up bank settings uses READ operations rather than WRITE operations. Now you know: A WRITE operation to the Bank Select Controller would be ineffective if a ROM or Write- Protected RAM card is in Slot 2! The closest approximation to hardware write protection lies in the BEN (Bank Enable) line, which is bit 6 of the Bank setting. Unless BE is set high, all attempts to access slot 2 are forbidden. BEN is pin 10 of the 74HC174 chip. This line goes to pin 5 of the NAND chip to prevent Card Pin 21 from going active. The protocol in the HP48GX RPL Opertaing System implementation is to always leave BEN low, unless slot 2 activity is needed. BEN should be set low again after card access is complete. So an HP48GX has three levels of card write protection as well: o The card should prohibit Write activity if the protection switch is set. o Slot 1 has the same hardware lockout as in the SX. Slot 2 has a multi-step process necessary to enable access. o The RPL system code checks the write-protect status before writing to a card. It understands that CDT1 and CE3 map to card 2. 6.26. What are the advantages and disadvantages of covered ports? (GX) Covered ports are created when a card is placed in slot 2 of the GX, that is all ports >= 2. The advantage of this is very large RAM cards are possible: 256K, 512K, etc... up to 4 MB. Cards larger than 128K are split into multiple ports of 128K each controlled by a bank switching mechanism. The disadvantages are that the memory cannot be merged with user memory (even if only a 128K card is used). Furthermore, some programs may be sensitive to the bank switching in covered ports, and may run slightly slower, improperly, or simply refuse to run at all. In particular, many of the freeware programs written in machine language are affected. Some contain special code to allow them to execute from both covered and standard ports. 6.27. Why does the HP48 display flicker slightly? Display flicker is usually caused by fluorescent lights. The rapid pulsing of the fluorescent lights (60 Hz in the the U.S. and Canada), which is normally unnoticeable, interacts with the rapid pulsing/scanning of the HP48 LCD display (64 Hz refresh rate), which is also normally unnoticeable. The 60 Hz fluorescent lights alias with the display refresh (64 Hz) to produce a 4 Hz "flicker". It's normal and harmless. Outside the U.S. and Canada, power is supplied at a 50 Hz rate, not 60 Hz. This means that the display "flickers" at a 14 Hz rate, which is still noticeable. 6.28. I broke the LCD screen - is there an easy way to get another? Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, you cannot get a replacement, the cheapest alternative is to send the calc in for "standard service" at HP, which is slightly cheaper than a new calculator. Opening an HP48 is quite difficult anyway. 6.29. How can I protect my LCD? There are many ways to protect the HP48's LCD. The solutions include: o Inserting a piece of cardboard into the case. o Cutting plexi-glass and putting it into the case (slightly better than cardboard). A piece of plastic cut out of a CD jewel case works too. o Even better than plexiglass (because it's really unbreakable and will resist any twisting) is an electronic circuit board as used for computer mainboards etc... which should be available in any electronics shop. Another advantage to this method is the possible electrical shielding you get if there is a thin film of copper on one or both sides. I would recommend a board with the copper on one side only - on the side pointing to the outer side of the HP's soft case. After sawing it to the dimensions 79.5 mm x 179 mm x 1.25 mm and rounding the four corners (radius 4 mm), it will fit perfectly in the inner sleeve of the HP48's soft case and can also be used to hold a self-adhesive label with the owner's name. The small messages booklet will still fit, but it is better to store it on the outer side of the board so that the circuit board and the calculator will still fit together as tightly as possible (otherwise the booklet may break the LCD). o Buying a hard case. A variety of types are available, including a hard leather case or a totally waterproof case. o Keeping it in a video cassette or pencil case during transport. o Using the cover from an old TI-8x calculator and fitting it into the grooves on the side of the HP48. Some people have had some success with this, but I find it barely fits. 6.30. Is there a rigid (protective) case for the HP48? An inexpensive solution to this is to go to Sears and get a Black Plastic Tool Box #9 65283 in the hardware deptartment. It sells for only US $4.95. The case is big enough for the calculator in its case, plus extra batteries. The case is a good fit for the calculator. If you want to go a step further, you can get some foam, glue it into the top and bottom halves of the case, and cut out a calculator shaped hole in the bottom. The result is lightweight, strong, secure and still leaves a little room for you to store extra batteries, a cable, and/or cards for your ports. Another solution is to use a cheque book as a case. Some cheque books just happen to fit the HP48, and provide a fair amount of protection. The final alternative is to purchase a case. Eric Finley <etfinley@ucdavis.edu> sells protective hard cases for the HP48. They are stainless steel, very strong, and look nice. The cost is US $30. For more information, either e-mail Eric or check his web page at <http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/~etfinley/>. 6.31. Can I use my Amateur Radio with my HP48? Yes, however you need to have a few things, the first being an amateur radio license. The next thing you need is a terminal node controller. If you are able to, get a terminal node controller that supports XON and XOFF software flow control. This is good to have because the HP48 only has a 256 character buffer. When the buffer is full, the HP48 sends the "buffer full" signal and a terminal node controller with software flow control can quit sending data until the HP48 can keep new data in the buffer. If you don't have a terminal node controller with software flow control, you can still use it, but you may lose some data. The next thing you will want is some software to use with the terminal node controller. You could make your own software using user-rpl commands such as BUFLEN, SRECV, and XMIT. However, there is a plethora of software available. All you need is software then can send and receive data from the serial port. There are several programs at <http://www.hpcalc.org/utils/comms/terminal/> that you might like to try. There is also a site that has a lot of hp48 programs relating to ham radio. Connect to <ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/hamradio/hp48/> Please inform the FAQ maintainer if you find additional software, so it can be added to this list. 7. Questions about programs 7.1. Where can I get programs and information for the HP48? See Appendix E-1 for more info. 7.2. What are the Goodies Disks and where do I get them? See Appendix E-5 for more info. 7.3. How do I get access to the HP Calculator BBS? You can also access the BBS online at <ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/> You can also access the HP Calculator BBS via a modem (note that this is a long distance call for most people): (208)-344-1691 2400 bps, 8N1 (541)-715-3277 9600 bps, 8N1 See Appendix E-4 for more BBS sites. 7.4. What are files that end with ".zip", ".Z", ".gz", or ".bz2"? zip Files that end with ".zip" are pkzip archives, which originated in the MSDOS world. One program that can extract the files in ".zip" archives is the InfoZip "unzip" program. Binaries and source can be found at <http://www.cdrom.com/pub/infozip/> gzip Files that end with ".gz" have been compressed using the "gzip" compression command. To uncompress these files, you must use either the "gunzip" or "gzip -d" command. The "gunzip" program can also uncompress ".Z" files. Binaries should be on all Unix systems, but if not you can try <ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/> More information should be there on binaries for other platforms. compress Files that end with ".Z" have been compressed using the Unix "compress" command. To uncompress these files, you can use the "uncompress" command on Unix. The "gunzip" program can also decompress these files. bzip2 Another compression program gaining popularity is bzip2. bzip2 is a freely available, patent free, high-quality data compressor. It typically compresses files to within 10% to 15% of the best available techniques, whilst being around twice as fast at compression and six times faster at decompression. Source and binaries for common platforms are available at <http://www.muraroa.demon.co.uk/> 7.5. What is a "ship" file? In the past, programs for the HP48 posted on comp.sources.hp48 were posted in the "ship" format. This format made it easier for the moderator to distribute programs, but made it more difficult for users to extract and use these programs. Some people still use ship. To extract programs distributed in the "ship" format, you need the following: 1. A copy of the "ship" program, compiled for your platform. o Sources for ship can be found at <ftp://ftp.cis.com/pub/hp48g/dos/unship.zip> which also includes the DOS executable. o Binaries for other platforms can be also be found at <ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/systems/hp/hp48/Posting/> 2. A copy of the latest InfoZip "unzip" program or an unarchiver that understands the pkunzip v2.04g format. Note that you cannot use older unzip programs, as old unzip programs do not understand the new compression formats. See the previous section for information on where to get source and binaries. Once you have a copy of the "ship" and "unzip" programs, you use "ship" to convert the ship-encoded file into a .zip file, and you use the "unzip" program to extract the HP48 files from the ".zip" file. 7.6. What is the ASC format and how can I use it? The functions ASC\-> and \->ASC were written by William Wickes to facilitate transferring HP48 binary objects in an ASCII format (useful when transferring objects via electronic mail or bulletin boards). Some HP48 objects, like libraries, cannot normally be converted into ASCII, unlike program objects, and these functions make it possible to do so. The \->ASC function converts the object in level 1 into an ASCII string, which can then be uploaded to a computer for mailing. The ASC\-> function converts the string object in level 1 back into an object. A checksum is used to ensure that the decoding is correct. A copy of these programs are given in Appendix A-1, near the end of this file. Note however, that these functions aren't used much anymore. The standard in the newsgroup seems to first zip the programs together and post them uuencoded. But, you may still need these utilities for extracting older files you download. 7.7. What is the HYDE library, and how do I get rid of it? The HYDE library is a library that changes the messages on your HP48. It works on all versions of the HP48 and is available on Goodies Disk 2. The program (HYDE.TXT) is in the DNICKEL directory needs to be converted with ASC\->. The instructions (HYDE.DOC) for the program are in the HORN2 directory. The library is 3679.5 bytes, small enough to keep on your HP48 so you can install it on a friend's when they're not looking. Follow the previous instructions for installing the library, then go to the library menu and run HYDE. However, getting rid of the HYDE library is a little trickier. First you must type JEKY on the command line. This will disable the HYDE library and restore the standard set of messages. Then you can follow the normal instructions for deleting a library. 7.8. What is the Minehunt game, and how do I use it? The Minehunt game is a game built in to the G/GX. It was also included on the HP Equation-Library Card (for the HP48 SX). GX: It is located in the UTILS menu of the left-shift(purple) EQ LIB menu. (Left-Shift {EQ LIB], {UTILS}, {MINEHUNT}). See page 25-14 of the manual for a game explanation and picture. SX: It is located in the UTILS library. You can save a game by pressing the STO button. This creates a variable with the name MHpar. If you are in the directory containing that variable, you will resume your old game when you run MINEHUNT. To select the number of mines for your next game just store a number in a variable, Nmines (it's case sensitive), and you'll get that many mines. If you store a negative number, you'll get the absolute value of that many mines, AND all mines will be visible. You can also move diagonally if you use the numbers as arrows: 1 is down+left, 2 is down, 3 is down+right, 4 is left, 6 is right, 7 is up+left, 8 is up, and 9 is up+right. 8. Questions about programming and advanced user functions 8.1. I've heard the names RPL, Saturn, STAR, GL etc... What are they? ASAP This is a simple Saturn assembler, written in the Perl language. Chip8, Chip48, Schip, Schip8 This is a machine-code program that was inspired by the chip8 video game interpreter for the RCA CDP1802 microprocessor several years back. Chip8 allows you to write a simple graphics-based video game for the HP48 SX. Among the games written are "clones" of Breakout, PacMan, and Pong, to name a few. Chip48, Schip and Schip8 are two different names for an enhanced version of chip8 specifically designed for the HP48 SX. People have written programs to assemble Schip assembly language into a form directly usable by Schip on an HP48. Schip interpreters are available for both G and S series. GL GL (Game Language) is a language for the programmer who wants almost the speed of assembly, but who doesn't want to spend a lot of time and effort to learn all the tricks of assembly programming on the HP48. GL has an assembly-like syntax, and there is an assembler for PC and one for the HP48 itself. Since GL is an interpreter, the GL library (3 KB in size) must be installed on the HP48 to run GL programs. The instruction set is powerful, with sprites and pixel based graphics, scrolling, sound, keyboard control, and more. There are 256 1-byte registers which can be used in pairs as 2-byte words. A GL program can be up to 64 KB in size. GL was inspired by SCHIP, but it is much better in all aspects. It is suitable for many applications, not only games, that require high speed. Of course it works on both the HP48 S/SX and the G/GX. GL is written by Erik Bryntse. Java Java is a library that displays an improved 5 level stack. It combines the best of SOL, HPSauce, EQStk, and others. Plus there are several new features and improvements! The intent of Java is to provide a more useful and faster stack environment for HP48 calculators. The HP48 Java library has no connection at all to the Sun Microsystems product of the same name. Since the Java library is not a commercial product, we do not expect this to a problem. Jazz This is best System RPL and Machine Language development library that runs right on your HP48! Written by Mika Heiskanen. The Jazz library provides commands for assembling, disassembling and debugging both System RPL and machine language. ML Machine Language. This is usually used in reference to HP48 assembly language programming. MLDL Machine Language Development Library. This is a library that allows you to debug machine language programs with only an HP 48. PDL "Program Development Link". This is an DOS program, sold by Hewlett-Packard, that allows you to write and develop HP48 applications from your IBM PC clone. Programs are written on your PC, transferred to the HP48, and tested from your PC (and not the HP48). RPL RPL is the name of the language used to program the HP48 and HP-28 series calculators. RPL stands for "Reverse Polish Lisp". It's interesting to note that an HP Journal article incorrectly described RPL as "ROM-based Procedural Language". From Bill Wickes: RPL stands for Reverse Polish Lisp. In the early days of RPL development, we got tired of calling the unnamed system "the new system," and one of the development team came up with "RPL," both as a play on "RPN" which has been the loved/hated hallmark of HP calcs forever, and as an accurate indication of the derivation of the language from Forth and Lisp. RPL was never particularly intended to be a public term; at the time of the HP Journal article (August 1987) on the HP 28C there was an attempt to create a less whimsical name--hence "ROM-based procedural language," which preserved the initials but had a more dignified sound. The development team never calls it anything but (the initials) RPL. You can choose either of the two full-word versions that you prefer. Or how about 'Rich People's Language?' SASS SASS is a simple Saturn assembler, written in C/yacc (BSD Unix & Bison). It uses Alonzo Gariepy's mnemonics. Saturn "Saturn" is the internal code name for the processor used in the HP48, HP-28 series, and many other calculators (just about all HP calculators since the HP 18/28 series). STAR This is the "Saturn Macro Assembler" (how "STAR" comes from this, I don't know), an assembler that uses mostly Alonzo Gariepy's mnemonics. It's written in C and runs on many different machines (PCs, Amigas, Unix, etc.). STAR is available via anonymous ftp from <ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/unix/star-1.04.4.tar.gz> System RPL This is the name for the custom "operating system/language" used to program the CPU used in the HP48 calculator. System RPL is a superset of the normal user RPL commands; in addition to the normal, user-accessible RPL commands, system RPL includes many lower-level functions. System RPL is a language one step higher than assembly language. HP has released a system development toolkit (for the IBM PC) containing a system RPL compiler, assembler, and loader, complete with a couple hundred pages of documentation. This toolkit, while copyrighted, is, for the most part, freely copyable. If you can find a BBS or archive site that has it, you can download all of the system RPL files and documentation. USRLIB USRLIB is a program that takes the contents of an HP48 directory and turns it into a library object. It currently runs under MSDOS. Voyager Voyager is an "interactive disassembler" for IBM PC clones that disassembles HP48 SX RPL and machine code. You download a copy of the RAM and ROM in your HP48 SX to your PC, and run Voyager. Using Voyager, you can then view the disassembled or unthreaded code. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Voyager uses the HP mnemonics, and not Alonzo Gariepy's mnemonics. Voyager is available from the HP BBS <ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/>, and from various bulletin boards (the HP handhelds forum in CompuServe also has a copy). The latest version is "1.07". 8.2. Is there a C compiler for the HP48? Yes. Alex Ramos has written a GNU C back end for the Saturn processor. Binaries are available for both Linux and Windows 95/NT, and source is available for compilation on other platforms. Check <http://www.cris.com/~ramos/hp48/hp48xgcc.htm> for the latest version. 8.3. Why do SysRPL programs run faster than UserRPL programs? SysRPL is the built in language, custom designed for the Saturn processor used the HP48 family. UserRPL is a "subset" of SysRPL. The main reason for the speed difference is the fact that UserRPL commands have built in argument and error checking. In SysRPL, the programmer is responsible for all error checking to avoid memory clears. Note that System RPL is a compiled language and that therefore you need a program like Jazz or GNU-Tools to create it. This means you can't edit or view SysRPL on the HP48 directly, unlike UserRPL. However both can be run the same way. 8.4. What is a good reference for learning SysRPL and ML? Jim Donnelly's book "An Introduction to HP48 System RPL and Assembly Language Programming" provides 230 pages of step by step instructions for new programmers with plenty of examples. It also comes with a 3.5 inch disk containing the examples in source form and HP's development tools for DOS. It was previously available from EduCalc, I'm not sure if it is available elsewhere. The ISBN number is: 1-879828-06-5 Also useful are RPLMAN.DOC and SASM.DOC available on Goodies Disk 4. See Appendix E-5 for more information. You might want to also have a look at the following URL: <http://titan.cs.uni- bonn.de/~wolfrum/hpbooks.html> Examples of ML programming can be found at: o <http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~amoy/> o <http://www.ite.mh.se/~danli97/> 8.5. Can I make my own libraries? Can I split others? Yes, you can either use USRLIB in HP's development tools to create libraries in DOS, or you can make them right on your HP with hacking utilities like Rick Grevelle's D->LIB and L->DIR which can both create and split libraries from/to directories. These can be found in Mika Heiskanen's HACK library at <http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~aschoorl/> 8.6. How do I know what library ID number to use for my program? Note: While this document says HP48 SX, it is also valid for GX. HP48 SX Library ID Numbers Paul Swadener, HP Developer Support. 03 Sep 1993 The HP48 will become confused if two or more libraries currently in the machine have the same ID numbers. To help third party developer efforts, HP maintains a list of HP48 Allocated Library ID Numbers. Below are the "rules." The penalty suffered from not following these rules is that your library may not work if another library is in the machine with the same number. 1. Don't use any number in the range 000h through 300h. These are reserved for HP's use. 2. Don't use any number in the range 301h through 5A0h unless you have been assigned that number by HP. These numbers are reserved for developers who are in the business of distributing their software, that is, Independent Software Developers. To apply for the allocation of an ID# contact Paul Swadener, Hewlett-Packard Company, 1000 NE Circle Blvd., Corvallis, OR 97330, fax number 541-715-2192, internet address paul_swadener@hp6400.desk.hp.com. You must be a registered developer and supply the name/nature of your product, and current shipping address and phone/fax/internet add./etc. 3. Use a number in the range 5A1h through 600h for experimental work and software. HP does not track the use of these numbers. 4. Use a number in the range 601h through 6F6h for your personal applications, those which you will share, if at all, only to a known set of other users for personal uses. HP does not track the use of these numbers. 5. Don't use any number in the range 6F7 through 6FF, as these numbers were allocated before the formal allocation process in was instituted. 6. Don't use any number above 700h. These are also reserved for use by HP. Hope this helps clear up how library numbers work. 8.7. What information is there on the internals of the HP48? The most important documents are part of the "System RPL" development tools, a completely unsupported set of IBM PC tools created by HP Corvallis (the creators of the HP48). The tools, which run on DOS machines only, contain documentation on: o System RPL (which includes information on HP48 SX display graphics, keyboard control, etc.). o Saturn assembly language ("Saturn" is the name of the CPU in the HP48), including information on a Saturn assembler. o A system RPL compiler. o A Saturn object file linker. However the documentation is also useful for some of the newer program development tools such as Jazz and GNU-Tools. (See the next question on where to obtain these). 8.8. Where can I get some programming development tools? HP's unsupported System RPL development tools and documentation are available to customers free of charge to help them in HP48 application development, subject to certain legal terms, which are given with the tools (they're too long and detailed to give here). You can get a copy in one of the following ways: o Anonymous ftp to <ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/> o Get Goodies Disk 4. For info, see Appendix E-5. Alternatively, you can use one of the packages put together by members of the HP community. In particular, Jazz is a library by Mika Heiskanen which allows you to program in System RPL and Machine Language directly on your HP48! It requires either an SX with a RAM card, or a GX. Jazz is available at <http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~aschoorl/> There also is GNU-Tools by Mario Mikocevic (Mozgy) which is set of replacements for HP's development tools that not only runs on DOS, but also typical Unix systems such as Linux and Solaris. It is distributed in both source and binary form. GNU-Tools is available at: o <ftp://gnjilux.cc.fer.hr/pub/hp48/gtools/> o <http://www.zems.fer.hr/~mozgy/jwz/hp48.html> 8.9. I know UserRPL. How do I get started in SysRPL? Here is a quick guide to learning System RPL. See the other questions for more information on where to obtain the items below. o Learn UserRPL first, and become familiar with most commands. o Get Goodies Disk 4 (HPTOOLS) or GNU-Tools if you have Linux etc... o Get the new release of supported entries, available with GNU-Tools (not the entries in Goodies Disk 4). o Read RPLMAN.DOC and/or get Jim's Donnelly book; it makes things easier. o Get ENTRIES.SRT from the HP48 IRC channel. o Get the tables from the SAD package by ftp to <ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/> o Get Jazz for your HP when you are ready. o You can learn a lot by studying the ROM and other people's programs with Jazz! 8.10. Are there any viruses for the HP48? There are several, and most are French. In the United States, a virus called the "Michigan virus" erupted a couple of years ago. There is a program on Goodies Disk 8 that checks for the Michigan Virus. Currently, viruses do not pose an appreciable threat on HP48's. 8.11. How do I store fields of variable length effectively? See Appendix A-5 near the end of this file. 8.12. What is "Vectored Enter", and how do I use it? From: Bill Wickes The HP48 manuals do not document a very powerful feature that we call "Vectored ENTER," that allows you in effect to redefine or bypass the command line parser and to have a shot at the stack etc. after the command line has been executed. Keys that execute an automatic ENTER perform a two-step process: 1. The command line is parsed and evaluated. 2. The key definition is executed. When flags -62 and -63 are both set, the system extends this process as follows: 1. The current path is searched for a global variable named *aENTER (where "*a" is the Greek alpha character--character 140). If present, the command line is entered as a string object and *aENTER is executed. If absent, the command line is parsed and evaluated normally. 2. The key definition is executed. 3. The current path is searched for a global variable named *bENTER ("*b" is Greek beta--character 223). If present, then a string representing the key definition is put on the stack, and *bENTER is executed. The string is the key definition object's name if it is a command, XLIB name, global or local name, or an empty string for other object types; its primary purpose is to implement things like the TRACE mode on other calcs, where you can print a running record of what you do. A simple example of the use of *aENTER is to create a more convenient binary calculator, where *aENTER slaps a "#" on the front of the command line so you don't have to bother when entering numbers. 8.13. What is "WSLOG"? It is an until recently undocumented feature which stands for "Warm Start Log" (it is listed in the command appendix of newer G manuals, as well as being fully explained in the AUR). Type in WSLOG in caps, and calc will list the time and cause of the last four warm starts. This feature helps HP technical support to fix your HP48 in case it crashes. 0 - log cleared by <ON> <SPC> then <ON> 1 - low battery condition, auto deep sleep mode invoked to save battery 2 - hardware failed during IR (time out) 3 - run through address 0 4 - system time corrupt 5 - deep sleep mode wake up (alarm?) 6 - unused 7 - CMOS test word in RAM was corrupted 8 - abnormality was detected about device config 9 - corrupt alarm list A - problem with RAM move B - card module pulled C - hardware reset D - system RPL error handler not found in run stream E - corrupt config table F - system RAM card pulled 8.14. What are SYSEVALs? SYSEVALs are addresses that point directly to a location in the HP48's ROM. Many SYSEVAL hex strings are System-RPL commands. Because there is no argument checking, it very easy to clear your HP48's memory. In the file SYMBOLS.GX, HP designates three types of entries. The first type is "supported." This means that a particular entry will work on ALL versions of the HP48 and HP supports the use of this entry. The second type of entry is "unsupported." This means that HP does not support the use of this entry and it will not be the same on all versions of the HP48. The third type is "unsupported-static." This is an entry to HP does not support the use of, but it is the same for all versions. 8.15. What are some useful SYSEVALs? For a complete list of supported entry points, see <http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~aschoorl/> In System-RPL, different HP object types are referred to by symbols. These symbols are used to construct stack diagrams, which tell the user how to use System-RPL commands. Here are some of the symbols: Symbol Type Example ------ -------------------- ----------------- $ string "ABCDEFG" id Global Name 'A' arry Array [[ 1 2 ] [ 3 4 ]] grob HP48 Graphics Object Graphic 131x64 # Binary Number <1h> symb Symbolic Object 'A^2+B^2' To interpret the stack diagram: Everything on the left of the -> arrow is the input. That needs to be on the stack before executing the SYSEVAL. The symbols show you which kinds of data to put on the stack. Once you execute the syseval (see next paragraph), the HP will return the data back that is indicated on the right side of the arrow. To use the following entries, do the following: 1. Make sure (triple check) that the appropriate arguments are on the stack. 2. Push Right-shift /, you should get a # on the command line. 3. Enter the hex string exactly as shown in the hex string column. 4. Put an small case h at the end of the hex string. 5. Press enter. 6. Type SYSEVAL. Here are just a few examples: Hex Sys-RPL Name Category Stack Diagram --- ------------ -------- ------------- 15777 NULLID Supported ( -> '' ) 30794 VERSTRING Supported ( -> "HPHP48-?" ) 3A328 MakeStdLabel Supported ( $ -> grob ) 3A3EC MakeDirLabel Supported ( $ -> grob ) 3A38A MakeBoxLabel Supported ( $ -> grob ) 3A44E MakeInvLabel Supported ( $ -> grob ) 3A1FC DispMenu.1 Supported ( -> ) 05F42 GARBAGE Supported ( -> ) 41F65 WaitForKey Supported ( -> #KeyCode #Plane ) 353AB SYMB>IDS Unsupported-Static ( symb -> list ) 40D25 LockAlpha Supported ( -> ) 40D39 UnlockAlpha Supported ( -> ) 3AA0A 1A/LockA Supported ( -> ) 44C31 DoNewMatrix Supported ( -> arry ) 44FE7 DoOldMatrix Supported ( arry -> arry' T/F ) 1314D TOADISP Supported ( -> ) 13135 TOGDISP Supported ( -> ) 39531 ClrDA1IsStat Supported ( -> ) 130AC RECLAIMDISP Supported ( -> ) 4E347 TURNMENUON Supported ( -> ) 05B15 $>ID Supported ( $ -> id ) 05BE9 ID>$ Supported ( id -> $ ) 3A1E8 DispMenu Supported ( -> ) 39BAD DispStack Unsupported-Static ( -> ) 8.16. What are LIBEVALs? From: Joe Horn (Copied from "libeval.doc" on GD 9) The G/GX has a new command: LIBEVAL. It's sort of like SYSEVAL, but instead of taking a memory address (which could be ambiguous due to the G/GX's massive need for bank switching), it takes XLIB numbers. It's a "back door" for us hackers. Unlike the ELSYSEVAL command in the HP Solve Equations Library Card, which only worked for the libraries in that card, LIBEVAL works for any library, including the hidden ones in the operating system. CAUTION: LIBEVAL, like SYSEVAL, is both powerful and danger- ous. If used with incorrect input(s) and/or in the wrong environment, it can nuke your memory. LIBEVAL takes a single user binary integer of the form #LLLFFFh, where LLL is the library ID (hex), and FFF is the three-digit function num- ber (hex, with leading zeros if necessary). For example, the R->B command is XLIB 2 9. So you can perform a R->B by executing #2009h LIBEVAL. Try it: 10 #2009h LIBEVAL -> #Ah. Using it for named commands is unnecessary, but the G/GX is highly XLIB oriented (again, due to the need for bank switching), and there are many useful and interesting features accessible only through LIBEVAL. A prime example is the G/GX's inability to programmatically launch the new "dialog boxes". Suppose a program needs to print things; it would be awfully nice to be able to throw the I/O PRINT dialog box onto the screen. The User's Guide is no help here, and in fact it would seem impossible to do. But #B4197 LIBEVAL is all it takes! Try it. Cool, huh? 8.17. What are some useful LIBEVALs? (GX) See Appendix B-3 for a few GX LIBEVALs. 8.18. What is the format of a GROB object? Note: I received two very good answers to this question, and each cater to a different kind of user, so I will include them both. The easy way: First, add pixels to the right-hand edge to make the horizontal dimension a multiple of 8, then separate the object horizontally into groups of four pixels. Suppose, for example, you want to make this into a 22x8 GROB: ---------****--------- --------**--**-------- -------**----**------- ********------******** ********------******** -------**----**------- --------**--**-------- ---------****--------- You would break it up like this: ---- ---- -*** *--- ---- ---- ---- ---- **-- **-- ---- ---- ---- ---* *--- -**- ---- ---- **** **** ---- --** **** **-- **** **** ---- --** **** **-- ---- ---* *--- -**- ---- ---- ---- ---- **-- **-- ---- ---- ---- ---- -*** *--- ---- ---- Notice, I've added two columns of pixels to make it 24x8. Now, each group of four can be represented by a hexadecimal digit. ---- 0 --*- 4 ---* 8 --** C *--- 1 *-*- 5 *--* 9 *-** D -*-- 2 -**- 6 -*-* A -*** E **-- 3 ***- 7 **-* B **** F Now, replace each group of four pixels with its corresponding hexadecimal digit: 00E100 003300 081600 FF0CF3 FF0CF3 081600 003300 00E100. So, your final grob is: GROB 22 8 00E100003300081600FF0CF3FF0CF308160000330000E100 The technical way: 1. Every HP object format is described in RPLMAN.DOC, see this file for more info. 2. All HP objects are (of course) nibble based. When viewing them on the PC, which is byte based, the low order nib is always read and written first. 3. HP objects begin with a 5 nib prologue which identifies the object type (and other things). This is the prologue for a grob object.. 02B1E pr HP:DOGROB 02B1E @ Graphic prologue (/U GROB) 4. Every 5 nib sub field of an object, such as prologue, length, etc., is read in reverse order (low nib first). The grob prologue would appear E1B20, or 1E 2B x0 in a hex dump on a PC. The least significant nibble of the next field begins right at the x in x0. 5. It is customary to always work with HP objects on the PC with the HPHP48-E header (substitute your favourite rom version letter) preceeding the prologue. This gives no hassles when downloading via Kermit or X-Modem. PC hex dump of a grob object.. ( remember each 5 nib field is reverse order ) 1. "HPHP48-E" 8 byte ascii string with msb off 2. 5 nib prologue, 02B1E (hex) 3. 5 nib length field, includes length of body AND length and height fields! does not include 5 nib prologue. So, the total #nibs the grob object takes in HP memory is this number + 5. Important! 4. 5 nib height field ( yes, it is height then width ) 5. 5 nib width field 6. body (described below) The grob object looking at it using command line EDIT on the HP.. GROB <width (dec)> <height (dec)> < body > The body is exactly the same looking at it on a PC hex dump or on the command line EDIT. Just remember to read low nibble first for hex dump. Because of hardware restrictions, the number of nibs required to represent one horizontal line must be even (byte aligned). So, use this method to calculate the number of nibs in one line.. (pascal example) nibs := width div 4; if nibs mod 4 <> 0 then nibs := nibs + 1; if odd(nibs) then nibs := nibs + 1; Then to get the #nibs in the entire body, multiply it by the height. Remember, the length field must be this total body length + 15 ! For example, a 131 wide grob requires 34 nibs for one horizontal line, where 5 of the bits are unused. The first nib in the second line begins at nib 35 for this grob, etc... If the grob is 64 lines, then the body is 2176 nibs. Add 5 for the prologue, 5 for the length field, 5 for height, and 5 for width. Total object size (on the HP) is 2196 nibs, or 1098 bytes. The length field should contain 2196 minus 5 for prologue = 2191 (0088F hex) Note that for each nib, the right-most bit is the left-most pixel on the screen. This is nearly always the case for graphic memory. 8.19. What is the AUR and what information does it contain? From: Jarno Peschier <jpeschie@cs.ruu.nl> In this text I will try to answer a number of frequently asked questions about the HP48 G Series Advanced User's Reference Manual. In the remainder of this text I will use the common abbreviation AUR when referring to this book. A good link for AUR information is at: <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~drury/hp48gaur/> The questions I will try to answer are: o What is the AUR? o What information does the AUR contain? o Do I need the AUR? o Why didn't HP supply the AUR with every HP48? o Where can I get the AUR? o Does the AUR contain any SYSEVALs and/or LIBEVALs? o Does the AUR say anything about SysRPL and/or ML? What is the AUR? The AUR is just what it's name tells you it is: it's a reference manual for the HP48 G Series. It has the same outside appearance as the HP48 G Series User Guide (the manual you get with your HP48 G or HP48 GX when you buy it), except that it's much thicker (just under 4 cm). The AUR contains about 650 pages of useful information about your calculator. What information does the AUR contain? The AUR contains information about UserRPL programming, quite a lot of programming examples, a complete command reference for all the (UserRPL) commands the G Series knows and reference lists about all equations, error and status messages, units, etc... Of course it has an extensive index at the back of the book. Chapter 1: Programming Contains: Understanding Programming, Entering and Executing Programs, Viewing and Editing Programs, Creating Programs on a Computer, Using Local Variables, Using Tests and Conditional Structures, Using Loop Structures, Using Flags, Using Subroutines, Single-Stepping through a Program, Trapping Errors, Input, Stopping a Program for Keystroke Input, Output, Using Menus with Programs, Turning Off the HP48 from a Program. Chapter 2: Programming Examples Contains: Fibonacci Numbers, Displaying a Binary Integer, Median of Statistics Data, Expanding and Collecting Completely, Minimum and Maximum Array Elements, Applying a Program to an Array, Converting Between Number Bases, Verifying Program Arguments, Converting Procedures from Algebraic to RPN, Bessel Functions, Animation of Successive Taylor's Polynomials, Programmatic Use of Statistics and Plotting, Trace Mode, Inverse-Function Solver, Animating a Graphical Image. Chapter 3: Command Reference This chapter contains one entry for every command (except for RULES) from ABS to ZVOL and + to ->. Each entry contains: o A description of what the command does (with stack diagrams). o Ways in which you can access it from the keyboard (with submenu you need, or if you can only type it in in Alpha- mode). o Which flags the command is affected by. o Remarks, and a list of related commands. Often a command has one or more example programs too. This chapter is the bulk of the whole book; it's 424 pages thick. Chapter 4: Equation Reference This chapter contains one entry for every section in the built in Equation Library (EQLIB). Each entry contains: a table of used variables and then for every set of equations an entry with some more info about the equation set, the picture that goes with it (if any), all the equations and one or more sets of example numbers and solutions. The end of the chapter has a list of references from which all the equations were taken. Appendix A: Error and Status Messages This chapter contains two tables with all possible messages. The first has them sorted alphabetically and shows the message, the meaning and the ERRN number in hex. The second has them sorted on ERRN number (and thus on category) and only contains the number in hex and the message itself. Appendix B: Table of Units This chapter contains a table with all units the HP48 G Series knows. It contains the unit (both the name you use on the calculator as well as the full name) and the value it represents in SI units. Appendix C: System Flags This chapter contains a table with all the system flags of the HP48 G Series. The table contains the number followed by a description of it's use and the results you get when the flag is set or clear. Appendix D: Reserved Variables This chapter contains a table with all the reserved variables of the HP48 G Series (ALRMDAT, CST, "der"-names, EQ, EXPR, IOPAR, MHpar, Mpar, n1/n2/..., Nmines, PPAR, PRTPAR, s1/s2/..., VPAR, ZPAR, SigmaDAT and SigmaPAR) with complete information about what they are used for and about all possible parameters that can be put into them. Appendix E: New Commands This chapter lists all the commands that are new to the HP48 G Series, with a brief description of what the commands do. A list like this can be found elsewhere in the HP48 FAQ list as well. Appendix F: Technical Reference Contains: Object sizes, Mathematical simplification rules used by the HP48, Symbolic differentiation patterns used by the HP48, the EquationWriter's expansion rules, References used as sources for constants and equations in the HP48 (other than those in the Equation Library). Appendix G: Parallel Processing with Lists This chapter contains info on parallel processing that makes UserRPL look even more like a real functional programming language by letting (almost) all the commands function on lists of parameters as well (i.e. adding map capabilities to all internal commands). Do I need the AUR? Yes, you do. In my humble opinion the AUR is just "The Manual, Part II" and every owner of a HP48 G or HP48 GX should have it, especially if you are (going to be) programming in UserRPL for any reason. A lot of the frequently asked questions that pop up on comp.sys.hp48 are simply questions that are meant to be answered by the AUR. Why didn't HP supply the AUR with every HP48? Since you're reading this FAQ, you're probably gifted: you are not an average HP48 user. The set of "average users" probably consists mostly of people that simply never program their HP48 in any way ("Wow, can it do that too?!"). In this case, they will never take one look at the AUR ever again, and since this is quite a thick book it would be a waste of money, trees, the environment, transportation costs, etc... to supply the AUR in every box. This is probably why HP made it an extra accessory for those people that "really need" it. I think... Where can I get the AUR? You should be able to buy (or order) it from the same shop where you purchased your calculator. The HP part number is 00048-90136. The book does not seem to have an ISBN; it's a HP part, not a book. Does the AUR contain any SYSEVALs or LIBEVALs? Yes, it contains exactly one. The example for the SYSEVAL command tells you that #30794h SYSEVAL gives you the version of your HP48. My HP48 GX rev. P gives "HPHP48-P". Does the AUR say anything about SysRPL or ML? No, it doesn't. 8.20. What is the syntax for INFORM, CHOOSE, and MSGBOX? (GX) Based on a posting on HPCVBBS by Cary McCallister. Revised by Joe Horn. Re-formatted by Andre Schoorl. INFORM - Create a Custom Input Form INPUT: 5: "title" 4: { fields } 3: <format> 2: { reset_values } 1: { initial_values } OUTPUT: Either: 2: { new_values } 1: 1 or: 1: 0 PURPOSE: INFORM creates full-screen custom input forms, similar to those of the built-in applications. ARGUMENTS: title Is displayed in font 1 (small) at the top centre of the screen. It may contain any number of characters, including 0, but, at most, 31 characters will be displayed. Strings longer than 31 character will be truncated to 30 characters and displayed with a trailing ellipsis. Line feed characters are displayed as boxes. { fields } Is a list of the form { field1 field2 ... fieldn } where each field is any one of these forms: 1. "label" 2. { "label" "help" } 3. { "label" "help" type1 type2 ... typen } 4. { } The "label" is a string of arbitrary text from 0 to 26 char- acters long (longer strings will be truncated to 25 charac- ters with a trailing ellipsis). The "help" is displayed immediately above the menu area as a helpful prompt for the user. The object type specifications list the one or more object types allowed in the field, in the form the TYPE com- mand returns. If unspecified, the default help text is blank and the field will accept all object types. If a field spec- ification is an empty list, no field is produced; instead, the field to the immediate left (if any) is expanded to fill the omitted field's space. This allows further customization of form layout; for example, to have two fields in one row and three fields in the next. <format> May be any one of the following objects: 1. { } 2. columns 3. { columns } 4. { columns widths } Where <columns> is the number of columns that the display will be divided into e.g., if <columns> is 2 and there are two fields, they will be displayed side by side rather than one above the other. <widths> is the tab width between the left edge of each title and its field; this makes vertical alignment of fields possible. Titles longer than one tab width will cause the tab to be repeated automatically. If unspecified, the default column count is one and the default tab stop width is three. { reset_values } Is a list of values one per input field which replace the values of all fields when the {RESET} key is pressed and "Reset all" is selected. This list must either be empty or have exactly one item per field corresponding to the { fields } list above. If empty, then all fields are deemed unspecified (i.e., blank). Each reset value must match the type require by the form field. Selected fields may be marked as unspecified by using NOVAL as the reset value. { initial_values } is a list of values one per input field which specify the start-up values of all fields when the INFORM command is invoked. This list must either be empty or have exactly one item per field corresponding to the { fields } list above. If empty, then all fields are deemed unspecified (i.e., blank). Each initial value must match the type require by the form field. Selected fields may be marked as unspecified by using NOVAL as the initial value. RESULTS: INFORM returns the new field values { new_values } as a list to level 2 and the real value 1 to level 1 if the user completes the input form by pressing {OK} or [ENTER]. The list will contain one item per field. Each item will either be the last input value for the corresponding field, or NOVAL if the field was unspecified. INFORM returns the real value 0 to level 1 if the user terminates the input form by pressing {CANCL} or [CANCEL]. REMARKS: NOVAL is basically a command (an XLIB name) that does nothing when evaluated. It can, however, be compared via ==, SAME and POS. CHOOSE - Create a User-Defined Choose-Box INPUT: 3: "title" 2: { items } 1: <initial_item_number> OUTPUT: Either: 2: { chosen_item } 1: 1 or: 1: 0 PURPOSE: CHOOSE creates a user-defined "choose-box": a displayed box containing items from which the user can choose one. CHOOSE displays a standard choose box (normal, not maximized; single-pick, not multi-pick) with an optional title line. ARGUMENTS: title If any, is displayed in font 1 (small) in the top centre of the box. It may contain any number of characters, including 0, but, at most, 22 characters will be displayed. Strings longer than 22 character will be truncated to 21 characters and displayed with a trailing ellipsis. Line feed characters are displayed as boxes. If there are more than four items such that the scroll arrows are displayed, the maximum number of title characters is reduced to 21. The title text is displayed in the title area in character font 1 (the menu font). If the title string is empty, no title area will be created in the choose box, and the whole box will be devoted to the items. { items } Is a list of arbitrary objects. Each item occupies one line in the choose box and is displayed in its command line form. Only the first 14 characters of the displayed object will be shown (13 if the scroll arrows are present). If an item contains more than 14 (13) characters, it will be truncated to 13 (12) and the final character will be replaced by an ellipsis. If every item is a list of exactly two objects, the first object will be displayed and the second returned if the item is selected. If the number of items exceeds 4 with a title and 5 without, scroll arrows will be displayed, and moving the highlight past the top or bottom of the box will scroll through the undisplayed items. <initial_item_number> Specifies the initial field to be highlighted when the display first comes up (ordinarily 1). A value of 0 indicates that no field is to be highlighted and that the {CANCL} key is to be omitted from the menu, making the choose box act as an informational display without user selection. RESULTS: CHOOSE returns the chosen item (or the second object in a two-element item list) and the real number 1 if the user completes the choose box by pressing {OK} or [ENTER]. CHOOSE returns the real number 0 if the user terminates the choose box by pressing {CANCL} or [CANCEL]. MSGBOX - Create a Simple Message Box INPUT: 1: "Message_string" OUTPUT: None PURPOSE: MSGBOX creates a simple pop-up message box over the current display, with a 3D shadow to make it easy to recognize, and containing any arbitrary text. ARGUMENTS: Message_string Is any string of characters. The text is displayed in font 2 (medium size), left justified, with a maximum line length of 15 characters. Longer lines are broken into multiple lines automatically, at word breaks when possible, up to a maximum of 5 lines. Line feeds may be included to force line breaks. The minimum number of lines is 2, so single-line messages will have a blank line at the bottom of the box. RESULTS: None. MSGBOX is exited when the user presses CANCEL, ENTER, or OK, but nothing is returned to the stack. For examples of INFORM, CHOOSE, and MSGBOX see Appendix B-2. 8.21. How do I put checkfields in my INFORM menus? From: Matt Willis You can't normally do this directly in User RPL. You can do it in System RPL (see Jim Donnelly's book for details), or you can use the library at <http://www.hpcalc.org/programming/misc/infm2v1.zip> I figured that the System RPL version of DoInputForm was unpleasant enough to use on a casual basis so I wrote a simple library that lets you use check boxes and choose lists from User RPL. All it does is stop execution of INFORM just before DoInputForm, then search the stack and change object types to check and choose objects. Then it restarts the INFORM command. At the end, it tidies up TRUE/FALSE to 1/0 etc... Example syntax: "Test" { "A" "B" "C" } 1 {} { :CHECK: 1 :CHOOSE: { 1 2 3 } NOVAL } IF INFORM2 THEN ...insert code here... END 8.22. What is the syntax for the INPUT command? From: John Meyers INPUT allows you to display a message and then edit a given string using the command line editor; the edited string is its result. Arguments: Level 2: "message" The message is displayed in "medium font" in the upper part of the "stack display area" (the stack itself is not visible during the INPUT command). The message may be an empty string, or may contain newlines for a multiple-line message. Level 1: The most general format is a non-empty list containing up to three optional specifications, which may appear in any order: { "string" { row column } mode(s) } "String" is the initial text which will appear in the command line; it may be an empty string, or may contain newlines for a multiple- line text. If you do not need to specify any other of the optional arguments, you may omit the list itself and supply only the string on level 1. If the string is omitted from an argument list, the default is an empty string. Mode(s) are zero or more of the following special reserved names: o Type a Greek Alpha symbol (Alpha right-shift A) to start the editor with Alpha keyboard mode on. You might select this mode if you are inviting the user to type general text; you would not type quotation marks around the entered text, because INPUT automatically returns as a string all the characters that are typed into the edit line. o The word ALG starts the editor in Algebraic entry mode (ALG annunciator on); PRG mode is always on by default. o The letter V will check the syntax of the entire command line when ENTER is finally pressed, in exactly the same way that the command line editor normally does, disallowing an exit if there is an RPL syntax error. However, unlike ordinary editing in the command line, the command line text is still returned as a string, and is not compiled for you (you can do OBJ-> yourself afterwards if you want to compile the string). For example, if you are expecting two numeric values to be entered, and if you enter 123 456, INPUT returns "123 456"; if you then do OBJ-> on that result, you will finally get 123 and 456 as separate values on the stack. Row and Column optionally specify where the cursor will initially appear (default is at the end of the entire string), and whether the cursor will start in "insert" or "replace" mode (default is insert). Row numbers start at 1 for the topmost row; column numbers start at 1 for the first character in a row. Row zero means the bottom row; column zero means the end of a row. Instead of { row column } you may also simply count character positions within the original "string" argument, supplying just one number instead of a list of two numbers. To cause the cursor to be in "replace" mode rather than "insert" mode, the first number specifying cursor position should be made negative. If the user presses CANCEL during INPUT when there is some text in the command line, all the text will be erased without canceling INPUT; if CANCEL is pressed again (or with no text), then INPUT is canceled. Examples of use in a program: "Enter A, B, C" { ":A: :B: :C:" { 1 0 } V } INPUT Note: Put newlines between the three lines of the initial string. When executed, the screen shows: Enter A, B, C :A:(cursor appears here) :B: :C: If you now press 1 DownArrow 2 DownArrow 3 ENTER, the string returned on the stack is: ":A:1 :B:2 :C:3" If you then do OBJ-> on this string, you get (on separate stack levels): :A: 1 :B: 2 :C: 3 The optional "tags" do not interfere with using the numeric values in functions, or storing them (tags are automatically removed in each case). Another example: "Type a new notecard" { Alpha-symbol } INPUT This allows the user to type any free-form text, which is returned as a string upon pressing ENTER. Simplest possible example: "" "" INPUT (no message, empty initial command line) Potential problems with INPUT (if OBJ-> is to be used afterwards to get the values entered): o You can't force the user to enter the exact number of values expected, so you may want to program defensively (check stack depth, etc...) o Entries such as command names (e.g. CLVAR), program names, etc... will get executed by a subsequent OBJ->, producing undesirable effects (methods for dealing with this problem are available). For applications expecting non-text values to be entered, the HP48G/GX INFORM command is more immune to these problems, and affords much tighter control over what is entered, in addition to providing a more beautified display form, a separate prompt for each input field, etc. The syntax for INFORM is detailed elsewhere in the FAQ. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: PGPfreeware 5.0i for non-commercial use Charset: noconv iQA/AwUBOPgDMuhzXOws+qC7EQIJrACfY6zCI0h+lIAilncWchHYsfMQGPwAoMdB r1vJvcbMYgutyGdSE5eFQCe2 =OAqz -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----