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Another poll - Walter B - 06-05-2011

Hi all,

As there are more ways to skin a cat, what do you think about the following alternatives?

Your votes, please :-)

Walter


Re: Another poll - Paul Dale - 06-05-2011

Walter knows my vote: a :-)


- Pauli


b - Maximilian Hohmann - 06-05-2011

Hello!

But my vote dosen't count as I am not really interested in devices with LC displays. However, b is more classic-hp-like and that't all I care for.

Regrads,
max




Re: Another poll - fhub - 06-05-2011

Quote:
Walter knows my vote: a :-)

- Pauli


I agree, stay with the current one (a) ...


Re: Another poll - Ángel Martin - 06-05-2011

Everything I´ve learned about UI design and the so-called "human factors" call for "a" !


BTW there's no reason whu the f/g/h shift keyd do NOT have functional role for the *other* (i.e. not self) prefixes, I wonder if you've considered that - which may become very handy if real state is at a premium.


Edited: 5 June 2011, 7:43 a.m.


Re: b - Neil Hamilton (Ottawa) - 06-05-2011

I never really understood why HP split them up on the 65 and 67.

My vote is to retain the "a".


Re: Another poll - Paul Dale - 06-05-2011

Quote:
BTW there's no reason whu the f/g/h shift keyd do NOT have functional role for the *other* (i.e. not self) prefixes, I wonder if you've considered that - which may become very handy if real state is at a premium.

I don't remember if we ever seriously entertained this notion or not. Things are more than cluttered enough already I suspect. We didn't delve far into the press and hold a shift key while pressing another key like the 30b -- we'd need new colours and more space on the overlay for this to be workable.


The clutter level is already very high -- every key has four functions and some go well beyond this: STO e.g. has seven (STO, f H.MS, g DEG, h CAT, CPX STO, -> f H.MS, -> g DEG) and that isn't counting the six arithmetic suffixes available (+, -, *, /, MIN and MAX) for STO itself. Roll down and RCL also have seven. EEX and +/- have six.

I think the worst offenders are C and D, which have nine separate functions if you consider their undefined default action a separate use (XEQ C, y^x, CPX y^x, COS, ACOS, CPX COS, CPX ACOS, SCI & SCIOVR). Phew!

Needless to say, the keyboard state engine is a rather large portion of the whole firmware :-)


- Pauli


Re: b - Paul Dale - 06-05-2011

The only reason I can think of is that it is might be a little easier to press a key on the edge of the keyboard than one in the middle.

The 34C used the top corner well for the shift keys and for a very long time the 34s did exactly this but it made integer mode entry irksome having E and F on the second row. I think putting them on the top row was a positive step.


- Pauli


Re: Another poll - Walter B - 06-05-2011

Buenas dias Ángel,

I concur with Pauli in leaving f/g/h without further functionality. After all, they are self-inverting (e.g. f f = NOP) and overwrite each other (e.g. f g = g), that's sufficient IMHO. The keyboard is full enough.

Walter


Re: Another poll - Ángel Martin - 06-05-2011

It´s fine, you guys are in charge :-)

Still, what's so difficult about pressing "f", then "g" for a "yellow" function under "g"?

Or "g", then "f" for a blue function under "f"?

Und so weiter...

food (or just fodder?) for thought

Cheers,
'AM


Edited: 5 June 2011, 8:53 a.m.


Re: Another poll - Cristian Arezzini - 06-05-2011

For me either one is OK, but, as we're talking about layout... I would like it better if 'OFF' was a 'h-shifted' function... I am used to turning calcs on/off as needed, so quite often... and 'g' being in the middle of the keyboard is a little inconvenient to me. For me the 35s/48/50g way is best (shift right above "on" + "on") but I know it's impossible here, so 'h-shifting' it would be next best.

Cristian


Re: b - Neil Hamilton (Ottawa) - 06-05-2011

Oops! I missed that the 34C did this as well. I guess I should have looked at the WP34S' namesake.

Personally, I will use hex mode a great deal with this calculator and having A-F all on the top row is a great boon for this mode of operation. I find the necessity to enter an extra menu to get at the A-F on the 42S rather clumsy. I really like the way this one allows unshifted access to them.

I thankfully agree with your decision to not split the shift keys onto different rows or put (any of) them on the top row. The assignable label keys should occupy that space (as they do). On my 11C, I often put a strip of Scotch tape between the display and the keyboard and pencil in what programs I have attached to these labels (a la the cards of the 65/67 and TI-59). So I would morn the movement of the A-D keys as well (not that it is being discussed -- just a pre-emptive plea to not change that area).

WRT to the prefix keys having secondary roles, my experience is that HP calculators have canceled the previous prefix in favour of the latest prefix. This is shown very nicely in bullet 3 on page 21 of the WP34S manual. This cancellation behaviour has frequently saved my bacon -- having more thumbs (or toes) than fingers!


Re: Another poll - Namir - 06-05-2011

My vote is for "a".

:-)

Namir


a - Geir Isene - 06-05-2011

:)

Edited: 5 June 2011, 10:43 a.m.


Re: Another poll - sjthomas - 06-05-2011

A


Re: Another poll - Walter B - 06-05-2011

Ciao Cristian,

Quote:
I would like it better if 'OFF' was a 'h-shifted' function... I am used to turning calcs on/off as needed, so quite often... and 'g' being in the middle of the keyboard is a little inconvenient to me.

Some answers:
  1. Battery life is determined mainly by the time the wp 34s runs at full speed. The time sitting on your desk snoozing and waiting for you keying in the next challenge doesn't really matter. And there's still an auto-turn-off after some minutes. So there's no need hitting OFF every minute - we don't have LEDs built in ;-)
  2. SHOW is a pretty long command name, fitting nicely on the h-shifted position. Swapping this with g-shifted OFF will make a second row necessary for the f- and g-shifted functions plus ON. Nothing dramatic, just not good looking :-(
  3. And - hmmmh - the middle of the keyboard's still 1.5 keys away, isn't it? ;-)
So I'd like to stay with g-shifted OFF.

Walter


Re: Another poll - Walter B - 06-05-2011

Thanks for voting! Looks like a pretty unambiguous result. Honestly, I didn't expect it in this extent, since the better accessibility of a second prefix may carry some practical benefits, and the three HPs using three prefixes (65, 67, 34C) did place them one key away from the edge maximum. Anyway, we make the wp 34s with the people for the people, so we'll leave the prefixes in row adjacent to each other.

Walter


Re: Another poll - Marcus von Cube, Germany - 06-05-2011

Thanks for this! :-)


Re: Another poll - Cristian Arezzini - 06-06-2011

Hi Walter,

Quote:
Battery life is determined mainly by the time the wp 34s runs at full speed. The time sitting on your desk snoozing and waiting for you keying in the next challenge doesn't really matter. And there's still an auto-turn-off after some minutes. So there's no need hitting OFF every minute - we don't have LEDs built in ;-)

OK, I get it... it's just that I've always been uset to turning things off, and seeing a calc sitting there displaying something but doing nothing is sort of against my nature! :)

Quote:
SHOW is a pretty long command name, fitting nicely on the h-shifted position. Swapping this with g-shifted OFF will make a second row necessary for the f- and g-shifted functions plus ON. Nothing dramatic, just not good looking :-(

I see your point. And I see that just "swapping the colors" on the keyboard would be even worse. :) But then... I haven't really understood what SHOW does outside of program mode; when I press it in normal decimal mode, nothing obvious happens. So, would it be possible that - leaving g-OFF untouched - when SHOW does nothing obvious, then it turns off the calculator? Kind of like "EXIT" which has different functions depending on the calculator state?

Quote:
And - hmmmh - the middle of the keyboard's still 1.5 keys away, isn't it? ;-)

Well... I'd say that the "center" of the keyboard is 1.5 keys away... I tend to consider "middle" anything that's not on the edge! :) But then, English is not my language... :P


Anyway, this was just a minor thing... I see your points, and the layout is perfectly usable as it is, and surely much better than any other calc I have!

Cristian


Re: Another poll - Walter B - 06-06-2011

Quote:
But then... I haven't really understood what SHOW does outside of program mode; when I press it in normal decimal mode, nothing obvious happens.

Depends on your "normal mode" ;-) I bet you're using ALL. Try e.g. FIX 2 and use SHOW again.

Background: many users (me too) don't need 10 decimals all the time. The most significant ones are sufficient in many problems in science and engineering (that's why slide rules were useful instruments for long). So I may set e.g. SCI 3. But sometimes I want to see all the digits - then SHOW shows them d8-)

Walter


Re: Another poll - Cristian Arezzini - 06-06-2011

Quote:


Depends on your "normal mode" ;-) I bet you're using ALL. Try e.g. FIX 2 and use SHOW again.

Background: many users (me too) don't need 10 decimals all the time. The most significant ones are sufficient in many problems in science and engineering (that's why slide rules were useful instruments for long). So I may set e.g. SCI 3. But sometimes I want to see all the digits - then SHOW shows them d8-)

Walter


You're right, I use ALL. Not because I need 10 decimals, it's just what I'm used to.
And now I see why SHOW is needed, and why my suggestion makes little sense. Unless you want to implement it for when ALL is being used! :)

Cristian