Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

The Beta programme is where a device becomes fully formed. If you have any suggestions for features to integrate into the DM41X then feel free to make them here. We can't guarantee that they'll all end up in the final product but we'll certainly consider all sensible proposals.
jonmoore
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:18 pm

Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by jonmoore »

Most of the time my set up is centred around the SandMath, SandMatrix and 41Z Deluxe modules, but I also love the XEQ+ functionality in the Warp Core module. However, because the Sand... modules are so rich in functionality, I find that any programming I do is usually no more than 20-30 lines so 95% of Warp Core functionality goes to waste for my specific use cases. Unfortunately Warp Core takes up a whopping big chunk of Rom space considering I only make use of a single core function.

The issue is compounded by the fact that the 41x hardware already enables fluid catalogue navigation via the extra < > up/down keys the device features that wasn't on the original 41c/v/x. But with the hundreds of extra functions available to the user on a fully stacked 41x (with Ángel's deeply layered paging system), traversing the possible function options is a multitude of times easier with XEQ+'s alphabetical hinting (and if truth be known, my ageing grey matter isn't what it once was when it comes to remembering function spellings, unless they're in frequent use).

As I understand things, every last byte of the system Rom's are already taken with the Ángel's current customisation's, so maybe the solution would be to create a new lightweight Rom of XEQ+ alone, as this would still be preferable to losing so many valuable Rom pages to Warp Core.

Hope this request makes sense.
rprosperi
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Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by rprosperi »

While tempted to quote Bill Wickes' "Well, life is short and ROM is full", as this is the actual case with the 41X, it really is more of a matter of how large XEQ+ is; I'd guess it's not tiny. Perhaps it could find a home in other oft-used modules that may have space? For example, maybe it could be shoe-horned into the AMC/OSX suite, which my 41's are never without. For me, AECROM is never, ever used, so removing that would make room, but we all have our favorite functions and play 'mental mad scientist' cooking up various collections in our minds of our own 'perfect modules'.

But Angel is the one who really is the MCODE mad scientist, so I leave it to him to comment on how feasible such Function transplanting really is.
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282, DM41X: β00071 & 00656, DM10L: 071/100
Olivier de Nantes
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Location: France

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by Olivier de Nantes »

Maybe an idea would to enable in the setup menu a function which a little but like 42s programming functions menu (using the six top keys) ?

Same function like PGM.FCN


Do you see what I mean ?
Olivier de Nantes (Bretagne)


HP41 (x3 : 2CV / 1CX), HP 42S, HP 48G+, HP 71B, HP 15C LE, HP 35S, HP PRIME

DM41L, DM 41X (Beta - SN: 00078), DM 42 (SN: 1028)
jonmoore
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:18 pm

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by jonmoore »

Thanks for your thoughts Bob.

AMC/OSX is a great alternative recommendation to Warp Core particularly as it only uses a single page of IO. It's a toss up as to whether it's nifty CAT routines offer quite the same immediacy as XEQ+ as there're quite a few key presses involved but it does take you far closer to the ROM page in question which can save a lot of time. But if XEQ+ could be squeezed onto AMC/OSX, 'quids in' as we like to say here in Blighty (on the money!). All we need is a certain mad scientist to ply his voodoo spells.

Now that I've been working relatively intensively with the DM41x for a week, I can wholeheartedly say that my biggest bugbear is the stiffness of its keys. My irritation is most probably compounded by the fact that i41cx on iOS allows you to use the system keyboard to enter alpha text (in my case using the Google GBoard swipe keyboard). By comparison (as you well know with your reportedly 8+ 41s), a real 41 is a delight to enter alpha text, the HP engineers certainly 'knew their onions' when they changed from the Classic series keyboards for the 41. You can almost touch type with that keyboard.

I'm hoping that I adapt to the DM41x keyboard over time but for the moment alpha text entry is at least 5-10 times slower than I'm able to achieve with i41cx. Sure, an iOS emulator doesn't compete with a dedicated physical computing device in many other ways, but the ability to enter alpha commands fluidly is IMO pretty much the most important UX consideration for a re-imagining of the 41 in hardware form, particularly for a device that doesn't feature a keyboard specifically designed for alpha entry (as was the case with original 41).

I've taken your recommendation and am now using AMC/OSX in my core setup, and because it only takes up a single IO page, I still have room for either of the Advantage Math or Complex Matrix ROMs, both of which Ángel designed as complementary ROMs that work best when SandMath, SandMatrix and 41Z Deluxe are also present. Happy days... :)
jonmoore
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:18 pm

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by jonmoore »

Olivier de Nantes wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 12:29 pm
Maybe an idea would to enable in the setup menu a function which a little but like 42s programming functions menu (using the six top keys) ?

Same function like PGM.FCN

Do you see what I mean ?
I get what you mean Oliver. It would be interesting to know if such a design would be possible in a Rom alone as the core 41 OX doesn't allow for alpha soft keys (the 42s was the first HP to feature soft keys).

Unfortunately, I suspect that because soft keys were never a part of the 41 hardware/software design, they can't be included in the DM41x (unless they were in the same real estate that the SysInfo function uses. But that would what be a nasty UX design choice, it's bad enough at the moment that the A-J keys aren't aligned to the Alpha display, but placing soft key elements 50% up the LCD would be far, far worse.
rprosperi
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Location: New York

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by rprosperi »

I agree that although the DM41X keyboard is excellent and better than any other contemporary calculator (possibly excluding the Prime) it is still well behind a genuine 41CX keyboard, but its hard to compete with 40+ years of familiarity.

These posts all relate to easing/speeding the process of entering commands, something that can take a lot of keystrokes (requiring [alpha] spell-it-out [alpha] ) due to the 41's enormous, and expandable, vocabulary. Of course native 41 Key Assignments solves the problem to a limited extent, but that's not convenient when I change modules and need a new one. What we need is a modal keyboard layer that can be easily installed, analogous to how one could add an overlay that came with the Application Pacs. XEQ+ covers much of that eloquently, but is not always available. Good food for thought... need to think more about this...
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282, DM41X: β00071 & 00656, DM10L: 071/100
Olivier de Nantes
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:37 am
Location: France

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by Olivier de Nantes »

Maybe the feature I proposed for an external editor for programs could solve your problem ?

Olivier
Olivier de Nantes (Bretagne)


HP41 (x3 : 2CV / 1CX), HP 42S, HP 48G+, HP 71B, HP 15C LE, HP 35S, HP PRIME

DM41L, DM 41X (Beta - SN: 00078), DM 42 (SN: 1028)
EM41
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Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by EM41 »

Maybe a USB keyboard that can be plugged in and works in parallel with the calculator keyboard.
But I guess it takes a lot of effort to implement that, and who knows what kind of bugs it introduces.
For me the 41X is ok as it is, keyboard is ok, not the same as a true 41 but good enough.
Don't change the 41X in a DM42, (I already bought one just for the accuracy).
HP41C (2x), HP41CV, HP41CX, DM41X β, DM41X, DM42, HP11C, HP48G, HP97
jonmoore
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:18 pm

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by jonmoore »

rprosperi wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 8:30 pm
What we need is a modal keyboard layer that can be easily installed, analogous to how one could add an overlay that came with the Application Pacs. XEQ+ covers much of that eloquently, but is not always available. Good food for thought... need to think more about this...
Something I've been wondering about is a lightweight module that exists purely as a keyboard launcher, but it would be one that acts upon multiple user chosen modules.

The User mass key assignment launchers in SandMath and 41Z Deluxe are works of art, which deliver approx approx 3/4 operations per key, over and above the native operations. The main two problems with these launchers is that they clash with ones own key assignments, and you have to swap between launcher schemes on a regular basis. With that in mind, I currently live without personal key assignments - the benefits of the launchers by far outweigh their drawbacks.

However I had wondered if Ángel could create this style of mass key assignment launcher but allow user customisation. It's a major ask, as I suspect he's applying every Synthetic/MCODE programming trick in the book to create his module specific launchers. If it were possible, it would allow users to have the power of his module specific launchers but apply it to their own bespoke choice of operations based on their personal configuration of modules. Back in the good old days of Palm OS, multi application launchers became popular to answer a very similar set of UX challenges.

On the subject of overlays I've been prototyping designs and have promised to send something to Michael when I have a winner. The idea is to have a low cost design that works with the challenges of the DM41x hardware. Specifically the thin depth of the keys back plate (inc shallow height of the keys), and the alpha text placement to the right of the keys. If you PM me your email address Bob, I can pop something in the post to you too.
Olivier de Nantes
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:37 am
Location: France

Re: Make XEQ+ functionality native to the 41x

Post by Olivier de Nantes »

The idea was to use an editor on PC or Mac in order to write the différents program that are directly modified on the DM 41X in real time
Olivier de Nantes (Bretagne)


HP41 (x3 : 2CV / 1CX), HP 42S, HP 48G+, HP 71B, HP 15C LE, HP 35S, HP PRIME

DM41L, DM 41X (Beta - SN: 00078), DM 42 (SN: 1028)
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