Alpha display of instructions instead of opcodes

Forum for discussion of the DM10, DM11, DM12, DM15, DM16 and DM41 units
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Boub65
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:34 pm
Location: Rabat, Morocco

Alpha display of instructions instead of opcodes

Post by Boub65 »

Hi all,
I've been a SwissMicros customer for many years buying all the interesting models DM15L, DM41L, DM42 and DM41X...

I find the hardware plateform extraordinary, but I always voiced my disappointment concerning the software and especially the User Interface (UI)...

I think, and said, that Swismicros should improve the user exprerience (UX)... and not stay stuck to 80's UI principles. If HP was still in business selling RPN calculators, I am sure that they would have improved the UI and UX...

I have been developing software for more than 35 years, and as a HP employee also (before HP sold our branch), and have seen (lived) the evolution on UIs to give better user experience!

Now to the point...

So few years ago I asked if we could have an improvement over the DM15L and have a better user experience with alpha instructions being shown rather than opcodes (and may be have a setting to toggle beetween the two modes to keep a 100% HP15c compatibility).

Some SwissMicros customer requested the same! And I am sure 100% that it would improve the sales of the DM1x/DM1xL...

But... I was told that "it is impossible". I couldn't beleive it neither some other people!

Few days ago, on a another forum, someone by the name of agarza posted a prototype of an plateform running the HP15c ROM (https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-17347.html). Great job he did! So I naively asked him if he could improve the user experience and show the programs instructions in alpha rather than opcodes... and he did it in one week! One week guys!
(https://youtu.be/Kaq1TZlQDy0)
It's not showing alpha instructions "instead" but showing "above"... but agarza understood that it could be a nice feature to improve UX (user experience) and tried to provide something... I am sure that he will converge to something good because he is TRYING! I will buy his calculators to support him and his innovations on the greatest calculator : the HP15c.

So... So nothing!
SwissMicros have wonderfull hardware designers and low level programmers... but they urgently need someone that understands that providing old HP calculators clones is not incompatible with improving old UI/UX principles... the two can live together and agarza is trying to prove it on the HP15c...

Just my 2 cents of rambling...
Sincèrement, Sincerely, 73,
Boubker

2xDM15L, DM41L, DM42 SN#00855 (+one lost during shipping), DM41X #00707
TI-89 titanium, CASIO fx-cg50 (to play with micropython)

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who know math and those who don't.
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AntoniusFX
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:22 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Alpha display of instructions instead of opcodes

Post by AntoniusFX »

My initial reaction to your post was .... wtf, why change a perfectly working design from the '80s. For some reason, your arguments stuck with me. Most older people buying a SM calculator are hoping to purchase an HP. But paying $300-400 for a 30 year old HP-15C on eBay makes me think twice. You can get a faster new DM15L with firmware upgrades for half. The only thing that holds us(me), old folks, back, is the look and feel of the keys and you wish you were young again because you have the money to buy what you want.

SM will have to think their path into the future because if their designs are based purely on nostalgic HP clones, it won't last forever. The nostalgia will only apply to the current generation's uncles and grandfathers, and with Covid and its iterations, they are not going to last that long. Marketing and brand awareness (entrenchment) of calculators starts at school and university, not so much after that. 

I used Wordstar 2000, which was key-driven and each key had no relation to what you want to do, for instance <ctrl>p was not the command to print, etc. So you worked in the dark and memorized all the shortcuts, no wonder it was so popular with scientists. We all detested the more logical WordPerfect and god forbid the super-easy MS Word. The same could be said with the HP-1X range, scientists just like to make life difficult for themselves. But that was 80's and we live in a new visual world where writing down your formulas on paper is unheard of. Like measuring three times before cutting a pipe. 

So Boub65 I think you are right, there is a huge market for the new generation of scientists. Today's world is all about how user-friendly programs and devices are. I doubt they will tinker with the current range. Maybe they will bring out a DM15L Mark II with an alpha display and maybe menus. There must be another reason for SM to make HP clones other than nostalgia. I shudder what will happen to SM sales if HP decides to bring out a new HP-42s or HP-15C. You walk on this ice if you live in the past.

But I am an old newbie, what do I know! Another $ of rambling :)
HP10II+ HP48GX HP35S (Cant decide between DM15L & DM42)
Peet
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:01 am
Location: Germany

Re: Alpha display of instructions instead of opcodes

Post by Peet »

Boub65 wrote:
Mon Aug 23, 2021 11:40 am
So few years ago I asked if we could have an improvement over the DM15L and have a better user experience with alpha instructions being shown rather than opcodes (and may be have a setting to toggle beetween the two modes to keep a 100% HP15c compatibility).
The go1Xc emulator for Android does it this way, it works with the original voyager ROM-dumps and you can change in the settings if you want to see codes or instuctions in program mode.
My programmable calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP28S, HP11C - current: HP48G(+), HP35S, DM41X, DM42
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