43S News

General discussion about calculators, Swiss Micros or otherwise
burkhard
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Re: 43S News

Post by burkhard » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:40 pm

Walter said:
About putting the arithmetic keys right or left, however, there was agreement to put them below [ENTER] -- please see also HP's Prime.
AND
Reasons for keeping the arithmetic operators directly below [ENTER] were ergonomic (for right-handed people).

Let's take a look at ALL these portrait RPN calculators after the 41. They are all in the following arrangement a) ENTER left b) Math operators right c) Math operator order top to bottom = [/ , * , - , + ]. The ENTER is not above the math operators on any of them!
  • 42S
    17BII
    28C & 28S
    32S & 32SII
    48S, 48SX, 48G, 48GX, & HP 48G+
    35S
    20b
    30b
    WP34s
    WP31
    DM42
There have only been a few oddball calculators that deviated from the above recipe, by monkeying around with the ENTER key in ways that have generally been unpopular. Even despite this, they all still have the operators on the right side and top to bottom order of [/ , * , - , + ]. Those characteristics stayed constant.
  • 33S -- moved ENTER to bottom right, just left of "+"... few people like this calculator. The small ENTER is generally disliked.
    49/50 -- moved ENTER to bottom, below "+". The small ENTER is generally disliked.
    Prime -- moved ENTER to RIGHT side. Prime has its fans, but it's a whole different beast from all the other calculators.
The currently proposed layout on the 43S would make it another oddball:
It has the math operators on LEFT, which hasn't been done since the HP41. But simple keyboard operation wouldn't be necessarily fluid for the fans of the classical layout, either, because the proposed operator order is rearranged from how it was on the old HPs. It's trying to put 1 foot in each camp, which will result it being an ally of neither's fans.

So, why not follow the big list of calculators which people generally like? Was really it ever an ergonomic problem that the math operators were not under the ENTER? This is the first time I've heard that was an issue... so very many HP models were done that way.

To me, the prime consideration should be to not to create an oddball that isn't easy for HP fans to use effortlessly. Either pick the classic (HP41 and earlier) layout in its entirety (including operator order!) OR, what I think is probably smarter, follow the big list above of everything from the HP42S through the DM42. The 43S is envisioned as been a modern successor to the 42, isn't it? Why fiddle with something so critical?

burkhard

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Walter
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Re: 43S News

Post by Walter » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:30 pm

burkhard wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:40 pm
Either pick the classic (HP41 and earlier) layout in its entirety (including operator order!) OR, what I think is probably smarter, follow the big list above of everything from the HP42S through the DM42. The 43S is envisioned as been a modern successor to the 42, isn't it? Why fiddle with something so critical?
Because it's fun to check traditions for their value. Look, when HP invented the scientific pocket calculator, it was a completely different HP than today and also the market was entirely different. I'm sure a lot of "Gehirnschmalz" was put in the layout of the HP-35. It was a really expensive professional tool at its time so the effort paid (and remember there were no previous calcs you could copy). So there must have been good reasons for this HP-35 layout with the four operators at left below [ENTER] which was kept for the HP-80, 45, 65, 70, 55, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29C, 19C, 31, 32, 33, 34C, 37, 38C, and 41C (compare this list to the one you compiled).

Designing the Voyagers, the arithmetic operators had to be moved to the right side, no other way.

Returning to portrait layouts thereafter, HP found itself being just one calculator manufacturer among many - and the only one producing RPN. Calculator market has shifted from professionals to students, and HP has lost market share. So I can understand why they chose a design which eased transition for "algebraic students" since HP had to compete on this changed market - and they started launching algebraic calcs for the same reason.

Hope this explains why these operators shall be put left below fixed [ENTER] for a professional RPN pocket calculator. We won't compete with student's calcs. And there's no reason for the 43S looking like an algebraic. Different market!

Regarding the order of operators, however: As mentioned earlier already, nobody could and can explain the odd sequence [÷], [×], [+], [‒] anymore so far, not even the old heroes on the other forum. I'm sure there has been a reason also for this but noone remembers and I can't imagine. So for the time being, I felt free to choose something I think being significantly more logical instead of blindly copying something I can neither explain nor justify.
(And, as mentioned two weeks ago already, there is a medicine for those who would rather die than accept the 4 operators there in this order: you're free to reassign each and every key and function of the 43S except USR.)

Hope this helps.

(EDIT: For the WP 34S and 31S: I frankly admit that we didn't even think about "operators left" at that time. But we are capable of learning -- and open to good arguments.)
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

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

burkhard
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Re: 43S News

Post by burkhard » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:31 pm

Walter said,
(And, as mentioned two weeks ago already, there is a medicine for those who would rather die than accept the 4 operators there in this order: you're free to reassign each and every key and function of the 43S except USR.)
I think that's a very clumsy non-solution for a couple of reasons:
1. Unless we can physically take the calculator apart and move the keys, they will be labelled wrong. Yes, we could paint over them or apply vinyl stickers, but that's a hack.
2. Anyone who has used USER mode on other calculators know there are times when you want to turn it on and times you want to turn it off. Putting something so fundamental as the operator order on USER mode isn't really practical because frequently it's disabled.

If it were possible for a owner to physically move the keys around AND semi-permanently redefine their location in firmware (i.e. not in USER mode), we would have a solution. I don't think that's very likely though.

And then Walter said,
So there must have been good reasons for this HP-35 layout with the four operators at left below [ENTER] which was kept for the HP-80, 45, 65, 70, 55, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29C, 19C, 31, 32, 33, 34C, 37, 38C, and 41C (compare this list to the one you compiled).
I'd be perfectly happy with having the operators below ENTER on left like all these models, IF the operator order that all these models used were preserved as well. You aren't doing that though, which some (A few? Many? I don't know ...) of us see as a serious design flaw. See, between those two lists we basically cover almost everyone's favorite calculators. As such, I strongly suggest following one of those two decades-long de-facto standards, not creating a new one-off.

I guess you get to design the UI, so it's up to you, but deviating the operators from both of the two HP precedents sounds like a really bad idea to me. You asked for opinions, though, so now you know mine. I'm not trying to be confrontational, Walter. I'm very fond of the WP34S and have purchased both the PDF and printed manuals for it. So, I'd surely like the new project to succeed as well.

burkhard out :-)

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Walter
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Re: 43S News

Post by Walter » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:16 pm

burkhard wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:31 pm
If it were possible for a owner to physically move the keys around AND semi-permanently redefine their location in firmware (i.e. not in USER mode), we would have a solution. I don't think that's very likely though.
Good grief! We offer you (pl.) a fully re-assignable keyboard (compare the HP-41C Blanknut) and you ask for swapping keys ...
burkhard wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:31 pm
I guess you get to design the UI, so it's up to you, but deviating the operators from both of the two HP precedents sounds like a really bad idea to me. You asked for opinions, though, so now you know mine.
Thanks. Read and understood. Looking forward to more. :)
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

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

hth313
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Re: 43S News

Post by hth313 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:53 am

Walter wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:30 pm
Regarding the order of operators, however: As mentioned earlier already, nobody could and can explain the odd sequence [÷], [×], [+], [‒] anymore so far, not even the old heroes on the other forum. I'm sure there has been a reason also for this but noone remembers and I can't imagine. So for the time being, I felt free to choose something I think being significantly more logical instead of blindly copying something I can neither explain nor justify.
(And, as mentioned two weeks ago already, there is a medicine for those who would rather die than accept the 4 operators there in this order: you're free to reassign each and every key and function of the 43S except USR.)
With the two keys together in the middle (+ and ×) you combine together, with the keys apart (- and ÷) you take apart.

I used the HP-41 for years and never ever found the order of operators being an issue. Logical? Maybe, maybe not, but the key point is that it works and does not need to be "fixed".

Pick either right or left side for operators, it is not all that important (though I prefer left). But do not change the order from what people are used to, that would be a mistake.

I doubt this has much to do with being left or right handed. I am right handed and we were all told in school to get used to operating the calculator with the left hand. The left hand operated the calculator, the right hand the pencil, worked perfectly and was a very efficient.

Håkan

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H2X
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Re: 43S News

Post by H2X » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:49 am

Walter wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:16 pm
Good grief! We offer you (pl.) a fully re-assignable keyboard (compare the HP-41C Blanknut) and you ask for swapping keys ...
I think the point was to avoid relabeling keys? Anyway, reassigning keys might inspire interesting discussions about keyboard overlays, e.g. like the HP-41C has, exchangable faceplates like the DM42, or stickers.

Or not: https://www.daskeyboard.com/daskeyboard-4-ultimate/ :lol:
DM42 SN:00040
Be enter not or (Hamlet Yoda not)

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Walter
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Re: 43S News

Post by Walter » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:45 am

As requested:
.
User_mode.PNG
User_mode.PNG (207.87 KiB) Viewed 1555 times
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

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

dlachieze
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Re: 43S News

Post by dlachieze » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:32 am

I'm wondering why you cannot reassign ON and OFF to where there are today for the DM42 as the HW will support it:
Walter wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:10 pm
dlachieze wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:03 pm
... I'm wondering if the ON key location at the bottom right is compatible with the current DM42 board design or if it will require a new PCB?
This was clarified really early. Michael confirmed it's compatible with the current PCB.
DM42 SN: 00425

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Walter
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Re: 43S News

Post by Walter » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:57 pm

dlachieze wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:32 am
I'm wondering why you cannot reassign ON and OFF to where there are today for the DM42 as the HW will support it:
Walter wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:10 pm
dlachieze wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:03 pm
... I'm wondering if the ON key location at the bottom right is compatible with the current DM42 board design or if it will require a new PCB?
This was clarified really early. Michael confirmed it's compatible with the current PCB.
Just asked. Result: You could reassign the ON/OFF function to another key. Will correct the manual accordingly.
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HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-50, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L

alcuin
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Re: 43S News

Post by alcuin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:45 am

hardware related proposal.

43S could have USB OTG?

thanks

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