Closed Alpha for RPNCalc Announced

Today we are announcing a closed alpha test for our newest app, RPNCalc. We are looking for 10-20 individuals to give this app a try, kick the tires, provide feedback, report bugs, etc. over the next few months. RPNCalc is a fully featured RPN style calculator with a small embedded Forth/RPL-like programming language. Currently, the programming constructs available are limited to IF…ELSE…ENDIF, but WHILE, FOR, etc. are going to be provided in the final application.

The current feature set in v1 includes:

  1. Handling of integers, fractions, reals, complex numbers, booleans, code, and strings values (words).
  2. An “unlimited” stack and program memory (for word and code storage).
  3. Logical, bitwise, trig, complex, number base, etc. operators, fully expandable by the user.
  4. Simple programming with IF, ELSE, ENDIF, IFT, and IFTE.
  5. A “stdout” output interface to capture results.
  6. A main calculator view that has a traditional “button driven” interface.
  7. Memory and stack views that have a “command line” driven interface.

Planned future features (subject to change!):

  1. Full set of programming constructs (WHILE, DO, FOR, etc)
  2. Unit conversions
  3. Integration of Android system components (sensors, UIs, etc).
  4. Alternate keyboard layouts/modes (4 func calc mode, adding machine mode, etc)
  5. Algebraic infix to postfix evaluator
  6. Matrices and vectors
  7. Load and save program code
  8. User configurable keyboards
  9. Graphing of functions
  10. (Your ideas here)

Known issues/deficiencies in RPNCalc v1:

  1. Not all words have keys on the main calculator interface.
  2. Error reporting is lacking.
  3. When a command fails to run successfully, the items popped from the stack are lost (and there is no UNDO yet).
  4. EEX and scientific/engineering display modes don’t work.
  5. Changing the sign (CHS) of a non-base 10 integer yields incorrect results.
  6. The main icon is the generic Android one.
  7. You cannot use POW/** with complex numbers.
  8. Many words are still not implemented (marked with UNIMPL in the memory view).
  9. Dividing two integers yields a fraction, not a real, which might be what the user wants.
  10. The app is pretty much untested on screens less than 800×480.
  11. The current keyboard layout leaves a lot to be desired.
  12. Some operations might be slow.
  13. (I’m sure there are many, many more…)

How the RPNCalc Closed Alpha will work:

  1. Interested individuals will send an email to portlandportable@gmail.com and state that they meet the criteria and agree to the two terms (see #4, below).
  2. Individuals that meet the participation criteria (see list, below) will be sent an .apk file to their email for installation on their device. Please do not forward the file to other people or store the file in a public location.
  3. Bugs, suggestions, complaints, feedback, etc. will be sent to portlandportable@gmail.com.
  4. Once a participant sends 3 or more relevant pieces of feedback, they will automatically be sent an updated version when it becomes available (including the final version).
  5. A usage guide will be posted on this blog in the coming days.
  6. The RPNCalc alpha version (v1) will expire (cease to function) on Jan 1, 2011.

Participation criteria:

  1. Own a “high end” Android phone with a 800×480 screen (Droid 1/2/X, Incredible, EVO, etc)
  2. Have some experience with RPN calculators and/or Forth.
  3. Use the app for non-critical calculator tasks.
  4. By participating in the closed alpha, you are agreeing to 1) not distribute the alpha software to others, and 2) not use the software for any critical use (see NOTE below).

NOTE: DO NOT USE RPNCALC FOR ANY CALCULATIONS THAT INVOLVE HEALTH, SAFETY, OR A GRADE IN ANY ACADEMIC COURSE. PORTLAND PORTABLE IS PROVIDING THIS SOFTWARE AS-IS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY OR CLAIM OF FITNESS FOR ANY TASK WHATSOEVER.

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