Philadelphia Area HP Handheld Club Meeting
Wednesday, May 7, 1997 - Drexel University
HP's Eric Vogel is Coming 6/5/97
Back in April of 1991, Eric Vogel from HP's Corvallis Division visited our group for an evening and introduced the (then) new HP95LX palmtop computer plus the new HP32S-II calculator. It was an fascinating time for all. (And if anyone is interested, I can make a copy of the three-plus-hour videotape.)
A couple of weeks ago, I received email from Eric (now working in a Colorado division of HP for the past two years), asking if our group would be interested in having him visit us again. To make a long story short, he will be arriving by plane in Philadelphia on Thursday evening, June 5th, landing at 6:55 PM. I will be bringing him to Drexel and we shall gather in Disque Hall's first-floor glass breezeway, ultimately to move into a classroom from there. Signs will be posted for latecomers as to our final destination. Due to his relatively late arrival, I expect that we won't get started until 7:45 PM or so. However for this rare special occasion, I'm sure that people won't mind staying up late on a weeknight. Eric has unique insights into many aspects of handheld development and the computing industry, and is an excellent speaker to boot. This will be an evening that die-hard HP fans won't want to miss. He might even be bringing a surprise along for our viewing pleasure.
HP300LX Apparently Ships; HP320LX Coming to U.S. Later
As of late April, a handful of folks posting on comp.sys.handhelds have indicated that the HP300LX has begun appearing on dealers' shelves in the West Coast. (This is the Windows CE-based model with 2 meg of RAM, PC card slot and no backlight; versus the HP320LX which has 4 meg of RAM, PC card plus Compact Flash slot, backlight and standard docking cradle.) According to Educalc, the HP320LX should follow in about four weeks. They have already appeared in Singapore stores. According to recent literature, the HP Windows CE units do have a handful of features which differentiate them from the other six vendors, some of which are:
The price for the '300LX has been around $499, with the 320 expected to be around $659.
Long Float Extension to ALG48 Is a Reality
Finally, version 4.0 of the ALG48 package has been made public by its authors, Claude-Nicolas Fiechter and Mika Heiskanen. This library can manipulate, simplify and factorize multivariate polynomials and functions, perform symbolic vector and matrix operations as well as perform exact calculation using unlimited precision integers and advanced computer algebra algorithms. Some examples are:
75*x^ - 435*x^8 + 852*x^7 - 576*x^6 - 663*x^5 + 3027*x^4 - 4911*x^3 + 3402*x^2 - 735*x
factored via the library's FCTR command returns
3*x*(x^2 - 3*x + 1)*(x^4 + x - 5)*(5*x - 7)^2 in less than 5 seconds;
inverted via the AINV command to
in 5.5 seconds; and
2^65 evaluated via << #2 100 APOW Z<->S >> returns
"1267650600228229401496703205376" in less than one second.
The new features of the general portion of ALG48 include:
Now, a new extension to this wonderous library has been introduced, called "LONGFLOAT", which allows virtually unlimited precision floating-point arithmetic to be utilized. This package permits math with the number of desired decimal places to be set anywhere between 20 and 10 thousand and does arithmetic, reciprocals, square roots and powers, pi, exponentials and logs and forward and inverse trig functions. Values returned are represented by strings with an exponent of ten which can be arbitrarily large. For instance, one can evaluate 15^1000 to twenty decimal places by storing the value 20 into a variable called 'DIGITS'; then performing "15" "1000" FPOW. The result, "1.2338405969061734788E1176", is returned in abour two seconds.
These freeware libraries may be found at http://www.hut.fi/~mheiskan on the World Wide Web.
Summer CES May Be Dead
This year's Summer CES was dubbed "Spring CES" and was to be held in conjunction with the Spring COMDEX show in Atlanta in the first week of June. From the trade publications, it looks like the CES portion of the show is a bust, with only around twenty exhibitors signed up so far. (Last year's show in Orlando in May attracted only around 200 booths, which was a big disappointment.) I have a feeling that perhaps the Spring/Summer CES will fade away, leaving only the January Winter CES show in Las Vegas remaining. That show has grown steadily to around 1800 exhibitors and nearly one hundred thousand attendees. Next year, the Spring COMDEX (which always has been a hit) is contracted to return to Chicago starting in June, 1998 for a long-term run lasting well into the next decade.
Check Us Out on the Web
As always, our HP Handheld SIG web site is www.waterw.com/~jake-s/pahhc.htm, where information on upcoming meetings and other details are available. If anyone needs to contact me, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
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