DM42 User Manual

Discussion around the Swiss Micros DM42 calculator.
keithdalby
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by keithdalby » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:15 am

I feeling is that the option to display the permanent menu or not belongs in a system menu and not as an easily switchable option from the user interface - not an F key.

I also feel there should be an option to make the CUSTOM menu permanent. So permanent that exiting too many times will not remove it. That option should also be via some system menu, not a runtime F key.

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Walter
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by Walter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:50 am

rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 am
It seems to me that folks that are smart enough to use the power and flexibility of the DM42 are also smart enough to remember a few possibly hidden keys. If pressed, then all you really need to remember is F2. If that's still a challenge, you probably shouldn't be using this machine.
Hehehe, Bob, you're walking on a slippery path. Elsewhere it might earn you vacation. Luckily we're in good ol'Europe here!

Seriously, you didn't get my point. Launching a product is more than shipping a piece of HW. The package must contain proper documentation as well. And said documentation should explain all features of said product comprehensively instead of just the features of an earlier version. Usually, documentation is maintained while the corresponding product is developing. I miss such maintenance in this project.
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-50, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L

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H2X
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by H2X » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:08 am

keithdalby wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:15 am
I feeling is that the option to display the permanent menu or not belongs in a system menu and not as an easily switchable option from the user interface - not an F key.
Exactly! Switching the menu on or off feels weird as an option within the same menu. That's kind of recursive...
rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 am
It seems to me that folks that are smart enough to use the power and flexibility of the DM42 are also smart enough to remember a few possibly hidden keys. If pressed, then all you really need to remember is F2. If that's still a challenge, you probably shouldn't be using this machine.
As to being smart or not - I get by, but how is that anywhere near the point? I enjoy using RPN because it is so logical, and I enjoy using the HP42S, Free42, and the DM42 as well, because they are so well thought out and executed. My issues with the DM42 are vanishingly few, but if I wanted a complicated calculator for complicated's sake, I'd choose something entirely different. Possibly one with Klingon symbols on the keys - or none at all. Perhaps not even a display... ;)
Last edited by H2X on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
DM42 SN:00040
Be enter not or (Hamlet Yoda not)

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Walter
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by Walter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:47 am

Just for making a clear case crystal clear:

Being sci-tech people, we focus on the space for improvement. All the proper features we praise once (max.) then we take them for granted; same holds for the extraordinary, unexpected, positively surprising. Though the evitable shortcomings drive us mad. Hence we post what we do.

Just FYI.
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-50, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L

toml_12953
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by toml_12953 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:27 am

Walter wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:50 am
rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 am
It seems to me that folks that are smart enough to use the power and flexibility of the DM42 are also smart enough to remember a few possibly hidden keys. If pressed, then all you really need to remember is F2. If that's still a challenge, you probably shouldn't be using this machine.
Hehehe, Bob, you're walking on a slippery path. Elsewhere it might earn you vacation. Luckily we're in good ol'Europe here!

Seriously, you didn't get my point. Launching a product is more than shipping a piece of HW. The package must contain proper documentation as well. And said documentation should explain all features of said product comprehensively instead of just the features of an earlier version. Usually, documentation is maintained while the corresponding product is developing. I miss such maintenance in this project.
I'll second that. In the old Soviet Union (maybe still the case in Russia) maps were intentionally made slightly wrong. The reasoning is that if you didn't know where you were, you shouldn't be there. I really like complete, thorough documentation. Every key, every function clearly explained with a BNF syntax diagram and at least one example. To me the old IBM BASIC manuals were just about perfect. A new user could pick up the manual and learn everything there was to know about IBM's version of BASIC. Every keyword, every parameter was explained. If a command had several optional parameters, there were examples showing how to use them. As a programmer, I hated to document my work with that level of detail. I'd rather go on to the next programming challenge. As a user, though, I rely on thourough documentation.
Tom L

¡spuǝıɹɟ uɐılɐɹʇsnɐ ʎɯ llɐ oʇ ıH
DM42 SN: 00025 (Beta)
SN: 00221 (Shipping)

rprosperi
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by rprosperi » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm

I don't disagree with you guys that want good documentation, I value good manuals, and spend as much time (and sometimes money) searching for and collecting manuals that go with machines, as I see them as truly a part of the product.

However, criticizing SM for not providing a complete manual when they have not even formally launched the product yet seems premature, if ever appropriate. Encouraging them to do so with concrete examples I find useful and constructive (Walter's collected notes are a good example) but beating the same drum doesn't seem to help anyone.

It's possible that the efforts of the really small SM team (3 at most by my count) are being focused on completing the product and preparing to ship for year-end sales, rather than providing more materials into the beta process which, in my opinion based on very similar experience with such programs, contributes very little this late in the program.

I think it's best to wait to see what actually is available after formal launch, and then comment, and hopefully contribute as we can if the materials need improvement.

I'm actually amazed and impressed that Michael makes the time to visit these forums and answer questions at this late stage. Surely after spending long days assembling DM42s to meet their commitment for year-end sales, coming to the forum to find criticism of what may or may not be the actual case must be frustrating, but he still answers questions, addresses rumors, etc.

No intention to offend, just me 2 cents...
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282

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Walter
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by Walter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:24 pm

rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm
It's possible that the efforts of the really small SM team (3 at most by my count) are being focused on completing the product and preparing to ship for year-end sales, rather than providing more materials into the beta process which, in my opinion based on very similar experience with such programs, contributes very little this late in the program.
Another small team of same size worked with other priorities around 2011 as you know. But at the bottom line it's the decision of the team what to do when. We (the beta testers here) can just indicate what we observe and miss, be it in HW, SW, documentation, regulatorial issues, or elsewhere - in my understanding this is our very task. And if no (re-)action is observed, alas, we've to remind ...
I'm actually amazed and impressed that Michael makes the time to visit these forums and answer questions at this late stage. Surely after spending long days assembling DM42s to meet their commitment for year-end sales, coming to the forum to find criticism of what may or may not be the actual case must be frustrating, but he still answers questions, addresses rumors, etc.
It's his free will to do this, I hope. ;)
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-50, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L

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H2X
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by H2X » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:50 pm

rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm
... criticizing ...
I am sure there is no intent by anyone to criticize in any other shape, manner, or form than constructively.

There are opinions, which may be accepted or ignored at Swiss Micro's sole discretion. I believe the utility of opinions increase with precise formulation, discussion, and even repetition. If nothing else, it might form a basis for prioritization.
DM42 SN:00040
Be enter not or (Hamlet Yoda not)

rprosperi
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by rprosperi » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:07 pm

Walter wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:24 pm
Another small team of same size worked with other priorities around 2011 as you know. But at the bottom line it's the decision of the team what to do when. We (the beta testers here) can just indicate what we observe and miss, be it in HW, SW, documentation, regulatorial issues, or elsewhere - in my understanding this is our very task. And if no (re-)action is observed, alas, we've to remind ...
Yes, and ultimately produced a great product with a world-class manual, one of the best calculator manuals ever. The difference here is this is a commercial product, with market schedules, so the "it will be ready when it's ready, whenever that is" approach, reasonable for freeware done as a hobby, doesn't really apply.

I believe they will have a manual ready to ship with the product (or shortly after, since download is free and instant) and are working on that, rather than on passing it out though the beta process, due to time constraints. Let's wait and see what happens.

I also agree it's the job of the beta team to provide feedback on all topics and levels, and feel this has been a success on the DM42 beta program. Frankly the feedback has been larger and better quality than I expected, and I'm sure SM appreciates that. Some of the most interesting 'extensions' that the DM42 will provide are a direct result of beta feedback; it doesn't get better than that.
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282

rprosperi
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Re: DM42 User Manual

Post by rprosperi » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:15 pm

H2X wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:50 pm
rprosperi wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:29 pm
... criticizing ...
I am sure there is no intent by anyone to criticize in any other shape, manner, or form than constructively.

There are opinions, which may be accepted or ignored at Swiss Micro's sole discretion. I believe the utility of opinions increase with precise formulation, discussion, and even repetition. If nothing else, it might form a basis for prioritization.
You're right, "criticizing" was overly harsh, I take that back. I really meant to focus on the timing of the comments; I think the point was made some months ago that the features of the DM42 that differ from the HP-42S do need to be clearly documented; I don't think anyone disagrees, and even SM has said that the style used for the DM1x/DM1xL/DM41L machines (i.e. a few notes on the website) will not do.

So, again, I meant no disrespect or indeed criticism of other peoples comments; sorry if it came out that way.
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282

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