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Uploading, downloading and editing aplets, programs & notes


bulletHardware requirements
bulletFor an hp 39gs, hp 40gs or hp 39g+
bulletFor an HP39G or HP40G.
bulletExtra: USB to serial converters.
Read this ONLY if your computer has no serial port to plug the cable into.
(Thank you to Frederick De Groote for the idea and outline of this page)
bulletFor an HP38G.
bulletSoftware requirements
bulletFor an hp 39gs, hp 40gs or hp 39g+
bulletFor an HP39G or HP40G.
bulletFor an HP38G.
bulletPutting it into practice
bulletOn the hp 39gs, hp 40gs or hp 39g+
bulletStoring, retrieving & finding notes, aplets and programs.
bulletEditing and creating notes on a PC. (Read the topic above first!).
bulletOn the HP38G, HP39G & HP40G
bulletStoring, retrieving & finding notes, aplets and programs.
bulletEditing and creating notes on a PC. (Read the topic above first!).

Manuals and miscellaneous information


bullet "Using the hp 39gs & 40gs effectively"
This is a booklet that I created for a two day professional development session I recently conducted. It consists of selected excerpts from the book "Mastering the hp 39gs & hp 40gs" (below) and outlines many of the things that I consider necessary knowledge if you'd like to consider yourself a 'master' (if such a thing exists). It does not cover the Connectivity software or the ADK39.
bullet "Mastering the hp 39gs & 40gs Graphical Calculators"
An update of the manual for the 39g+, this is a free 366 page book I wrote under contract to HP when the new hp 39gs and hp 40gs models were released in 2006. It is a fully hyper-linked pdf file. HP owns the copyright but you can download it free (4Mb). Click on the link to go to a page with more details.
bulletMastering the hp 39g+ Graphical Calculator
This is a free 350 page book that I wrote for HP as an update of the 38G book and is a fully hyper-linked pdf file. This version was written under contract to HP in early 2004 and they own the copyright but you can download it as a free PDF file (2.4Mb). Click on the link to go to a download page.
bulletMastering the HP38G Graphical Calculator
This is a book that I wrote back in 1998 on how to use the HP38G. I still have a couple of copies in a box in my shed if you are interested. Click on the link.
bulletOfficial HP sites
Note: Due to the fact that HP changes its website regularly with the release of new models, the links below may not be valid any more. Please advise me if you find a link that's out of date. Also, HP redirects you according to which country you're in. These links are for Australia and may not be valid elsewhere. If in doubt, try and follow the links to your machine.
bulletThe Graphical Calculator main page
bullet The hp 39gs main page
bullet Manuals
This page allows you to download both the HP manual and the manual I wrote for HP in PDF format (referred to above). Languages other than English are available for the official manual.
bullet The HP Aplets
This is a collection of aplets that were originally produced for the HP38G back in 1995 and have been updated and re-issued. Some are very good. Others are... well... not. You can also find them on my Aplets page, with the documentation in A4 size instead of US Letter.
bullet Connectivity Software
See this page for the most up to date version. Hopefully this is the one I have on my site too!
bullet Learning Modules for the hp 39gs/40gs
I wrote the ones for the 39g+ but these were written by someone else. If you check out the FAQ entry (the last one) you'll see that the writer stole copyright material from my site! Am I annoyed?...
bulletThe hp 39g+ main page
bulletLearning Modules for the hp 39g+
This is a series of PDFs that I produced for HP under contract in 2003. It contains a huge amount of information on how to use the hp 39g+. Highly recommended IMHO. The same basic information is covered in far more detail in the book above.
bulletThe HP Aplets
This is a collection of aplets that were originally produced for the HP38G back in 1995 and have been updated and re-issued. Some are very good. Others are... well... not. You can also find them on my Aplets page, with the documentation in A4 size instead of US Letter.
bulletSpecifications & Overview.
bulletCAS manuals for HP40G and hp 40gs users.
The hp 40gs is sold in Europe and is basically the same as the 39 series except that it has a Computer Algebra System (CAS) and doesn't have infra-red communication. A couple of people from Europe have contacted me saying that the CAS manual is difficult to find.  Thanks to Els Moens this is  a version in pdf format and is quite small (988Kb). A french language version (848Kb) of the CAS manual can also be downloaded here.
On the other hand, my book above ("Mastering the hp 39gs & hp 40gs") contains an appendix with very detailed information on the CAS, including examples of its use. For the beginner it is probably the better option.
bulletA small article on extra CAS commands by MichaŽl De Coninck. Download in Word, or in PDF.
bulletTeaching Functions and Calculus with a Graphical Calculator
This paper covers many of the topics covered in teaching Functions and Calculus, looking at how they can be enhanced with the aid of a graphical calculator. In all modesty I would rate it as essential reading for any teacher using an HP graphical calculator to teach calculus.
bulletSmall Tips & Tricks for using Word & your PC more effectively
This is a 9 page article (120Kb) I wrote for a small professional development session I gave at my school. A lot of people who use Word are not aware of the many, many ways that you can accelerate your work through combinations of keystrokes rather than using the mouse all the time. It's probably old hat for experienced users but may be of interest to some.
bulletThe HP39G Newsletter
Produced by MichaŽl De Coninck <> but not for some time. It has some interesting information. The issues so far were:
bulletUS vs W.Aust.
This is an article I wrote for a mathematics teacher magazine comparing acceptance of calculators into the USA and Australian educational systems.
Issues examined included teacher expertise levels and equity issues and, although it was written in 1998 some of the material is still relevant.



bulletSaving copies of aplets - a topic for non programmers.
bulletThe Loan Table Aplet
For those students who solve problems involving borrowing money and making regular repayments, this is an absolutely essential aplet and easy to set up! All you have to do is store the amount borrowed into P, the interest rate in to R and the amount being repaid into A.  The aplet will then show you the remaining principal and interest charged each year/month/quarter. 
The nice thing is that you don't need a cable for this one - it is quite easy to set up, although you'll have to be careful to enter the equations correctly. The example shown is $10000 at 5% pa with $600 repaid. Click on the link to the left for instructions on how to set it up, or go to the Misc Aplets page to download the aplet ready made.
bulletThe GP Solver aplets.
This pair of aplets are simply copies of the Solve and Sequence aplets with formulae added that allow you to work easily with geometric sequences and series. Very easy, very quick and very useful in tests and exams.
bulletThe Transformer aplet.
This is an aplet which allows students to explore geometric transformations using 2x2 matrices. This is really useful when introducing the topic but not one that you would want to keep on your machine.
bullet"Programming" simple aplets
This is a short text that I wrote for a professional development session some years ago.
bulletProgramming aplets in HP Basic.
The HP38G/39G/40G/39g+/39gs/40gs all share a common built in programming language called HP Basic language. You can work directly on the calculator with this language but this is very tedious because of the limitations of the keyboard. A far better method is to use the ADK39 (Aplet Development Kit), which is available in two versions; one for the HP38G (ADK) and one for all the other models (ADK39).  It requires only moderate skills and this link takes to an extract from my book "Mastering the 39gs & 40gs". This extract takes you step-by-step through the process of creating an aplet using the ADK.
This extract is only a start on programming. For more detail scroll up to the section on manuals, locate the "Mastering the 39gs & 40gs" manual, download it and read the whole section on programming plus the list of all the programming commands (plus examples).
bulletProgramming using sRPL  
This is the programming that you need to use if you intend to create games and really fast, flexible aplets. It involves programming at the assembly code level and requires considerable skills. If you intend to try to learn this style then you will need to invest considerable time and effort. You will also need to understand how Reverse Polish Notation works (which is not hard). The link will download a collection of PDF files that form a set of tutorials in how to program in sRPL (system Reverse Polish Notation). Thank you to MichaŽl De Coninck for producing this wonderful set of tutorials.  Click here to download a set of files containing the tutorial.

bullet When using sPRL you will be bypassing a lot of the normal safety features of the calculator that prevent programs and aplets from running if their code will cause the calculator to 'crash'. It is VERY likely that you will cause a crash on your calculator when learning sRPL with consequent loss of data. You should ensure that the contents are backed up before beginning. It is not possible to cause permanent damage - you can't, for example, corrupt or delete the built in aplets. You can, however, cause corruption or loss of any user data.
bullet These tutorials were written for the 39G/40G/39g+. As far as I know they should still be valid for the 39gs/40gs but I have not tested this.
bullet Some of the aplets on my site which have been written in sRPL have the source code as part of their download. For those interested in learning sRPL this may be of assistance, although sRPL is notoriously difficult to read if you don't know it well. Try the following: On the Games page see Albhed Translator, Black Jack, Euro Millionaire, 39G Game Launcher, Guy walks into a Bar, Jezz-Pack, Matrix Screen Saver, Mine Hunter and Tic Tac Toe. On the Stats & Probability page see Inference 38G, Statpack39/40. On the Misc Aplets page see Ticking Clock. On the Functions & Calculus page see Library L1542.

You may also find it useful to look at the following links. Most of them are for the HP48 and HP49G and later models but these also use the same chip as the HP38/39/40/39g+/39gs/40gs and so most of the information is still valid. The main difference from the HP38/39/40/39g+/39gs/40gs is that the HP48 & HP49G don't have an aplet structure and the addresses within the chip are different. Still, they may be helpful...
bulletProgramming on the 39g+ with HPG-CC
Please note:
bulletI can't support this language at all, so please don't ask me for help. The original developers may be willing to help, but may not due to dropping the 39g+ support. If you're using it then I'd like to know so drop me a line. If I ever do find the time to get into it properly it may be me asking you for support! :-)
bulletUsers of the 39gs/40gs: This language was written for the 39g+ and has not, to my knowledge, been updated for the 39gs/40gs. It MAY still work but the entry points to the chip that it uses may no longer be valid. IF THIS IS THE CASE THEN IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE TO PERMANENTLY LOCK UP THE CALCULATOR, REQUIRING A RELOADING OF THE SYSTEM BIOS. ie. You may turn your calculator into an expensive doorstop. Don't experiment with this on a machine that you're about to need for exams!!!

The hp 39g+ was the first of this family of calculators which didn't use the Saturn 5 chip and this was continued with the 39gs and 40gs. Up to that point the previous models had all shared the same chip along with others in the HP48 family. However, supplies had run out world wide and so the hp 39g+ took a different route. It uses instead an extremely fast ARM processor (slowed down a bit to save batteries) and simply emulates the Saturn 5. That is, it runs a special program on it that 'pretends' to be a Saturn 5 chip and runs the calculator's operating system accordingly. This may seem a strange thing to do but the operating system was written in the expectation that it would be running on a Saturn chip and doing it this way avoided having to completely re-write system, a very expensive option. To the user there is no difference except for a considerable increase in speed (on the order of 10 times as fast as the 39G). To the programmer, however, there is a BIG difference.
Because the underlying chip is a fast ARM processor it is possible to write code which completely bypasses the emulation program and runs directly on the underlying ARM chip. This results in incredibly fast code, sometimes on the order of 100 times faster. It also means that you can use other high level languages to program in, rather than being confined to HP Basic. In particular, you can use a version of C created by a very talented group of programmers called HPG-CC.
The drawback is that by bypassing the emulator, you lose access to ALL the abilities of the calculator itself - it's graphing facilities, it's built in functions and so on. It is possible to access some of these via back door methods but they are not simple.

As I understand it, it is possible to write code in HPG-CC that will completely crash your calculator! By this I mean not just to the point where you have to do a hard reboot and lose the user memory. I mean to the point where you overwrite the calculator's operating system and can't even reboot, resulting in a very expensive door stop.  This language is NOT for the beginner programmer. Unless you have some experience with using C in another, safer, environment I would VERY strongly suggest that you not consider using it!
Note also the point above about the language being designed for the 39g+ not the 39gs/40gs.

At the time of writing this information (Dec 11th 2005), HPG-CC had reached Version 2.0 but at this point the developers were not intending to continue support for the 39g+ beyond what had already been done, basically due to lack of interest from programmers - the developers can't really be expected to continue to support a model that no-one's programming on. I had written a few small experimental programs in it but just didn't have the time then to do it justice and to give the developers the feedback they needed. No-one else seemed interested at the time.
However, you can still download version 1.1 from the link below. The file is 12.6Mb in size.

This installation file contains the last version which still supported the 39g+, along with a Windows interface that allows you to program more easily (the original versions were DOS based). This link is not to a file on my site and so may change without notice. Please let me know if it does.

bulletHPGCalc Font
This is a font that you can use in worksheets to match the characters on the HP screen. Downloading the collection from It was created by Joshua King, modelled on the HP screen font and is suitable for Windows, Unix, Macintosh etc. Once installed, you just use Insert/Symbol to place characters into a Word document. Don't forget to embed the font in the document if you're sending to someone who doesn't have it..
bulletUsing the Connectivity Software and the ADK
This is a help file that I wrote years ago for the 39G/40G. It covers how to use the connectivity software BUT it is the serial port version used by the old model, not the USB port software used by the 39gs/40gs. If you're really not understanding the whole concept then this would be worth reading because the basic idea is the same, it's just that the new software looks different and you plug the cable into a different place on the computer!

If you install the ADK39 Note and Program Editor (found on my Utilities page) then this gets installed as part of the process as the Help file and can be run from the Start->ADK39 menu.
(updated April 2002)
(445 Kb)
HPGComm help file
Last modified: 14 Oct 2008                                             Sitemap        Home        Contact Me