The landscape DM42 prototype has two hardware-related problems that are simply not solvable without a redesign:keithdalby wrote: ↑Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:56 pmBack in February 2016 Michael posted a video of a landscape DM42L prototype. He commented on the video stating that the screen on the prototype was the same resolution as the screen on the original HP-42s. The prototype ran Free42. From what I could gather, the biggest challenge was the positioning of the soft menu keys. I believe (based on what I've read) that the alignment of the soft keys was the main motivation for moving to a portrait model; however, I also recall Michael saying that reallocating/binding the keys was a straightforward matter.
First, the on-screen menu labels can't be made to physically align with the corresponding keys. The numeric keypad is in the way. Assuming you don't want to compromise the traditional layout of the number keys, and having the arithmetic keys in a vertical column next to the number keys, the only place for the six menu keys is to start from the top left corner, which means that the display would have to move as far left as it can go. This may not be a huge challenge, but it would change the esthetic, and it would mean that they can't use the same hardware as the SM Voyager clones.
The second problem is the display itself. 132x16 does sound tantalizingly close to the HP-42S' 131x16, except the latter also has seven status annunciators across the top of the display. Where are you going to put those? So you need a display with more vertical pixels, but not too many more. Does something like that exist? I'm guessing SwissMicros doesn't sell the kind of quantities they'd need to sell in order to make a custom-built display a viable option.
I assume solutions can be found, and I seem to remember Michael hinting that he was confident the DM42L could be made to work. I guess we'll have to wait and see.