41Z Red Shift taking shape.

After a few iterations on the same theme here's the alternative solution to the Complex Keyboard implementation for the 41Z module.


The "Z" key is the only function assigned from the 41Z module, leaving all other available for your favorite ones. So no more need to get in and out of USER mode to toggle between complex or real functions... This uses less memory and expedites the function access as well.

After it's pressed the display shows "CMP: Z_", and the keyboard is redefined to allow for the appropriate key to be pressed. Obvious mapping applies, like SIN will complete the prompt to "ZSIN", etc. Prompting functions will ask for the suffixes as appropriate, i.e. "ZRCL _ _".

Use the yellow shift to access shifted functions, like ASIN as follows: "Z", SHIFT, SIN.

Pressing "Z" twice will display "HYP Z_", to give you access to the complex hyperbolics - using SIN, COS, TAN and SHIFT appropriately. Watch the function name being built as you choose the keys...

The function name will be displayed upon key entry - and NULLed if the key is kept depressed over the time-out period.

The bitmap image will be included in the posted documentation at TOS in a few days.

Enjoy, ÁM

Edited: 20 Nov 2009, 8:35 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


This is what happens when a good idea gets in the hands of a great graphic designer :-)

HP-41Z Keyboard

Edited: 20 Nov 2009, 8:35 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


This sounds great!

By any remote chance, would it also increase the number of user key assignment possibilities?


I think my colorblind friends would have a hard time distinguishing the mustard color from light green. I wonder if blue would be better.


Colorblindness is a serious handicap for calculator usage, no doubt about it - but this green is quite different from the original yellow-gold used on the 41.

I considered using light blue, but that's already taken by the alpha letters. One choice is to swap the green and the blue, will do it to sse the effect.

BTW, I can't get the imaged displayed on the message - I tried GIF and JPG formats, using the [image:] syntax guidelines but to no avail... any ideas?

Edited: 19 Nov 2009, 7:15 a.m.


It does indeed: the "Z" key enables a second USER keyboard to all effects, so you can have all your normal key assignments undisturbed. That's exactly the beauty of this design :)


The link in the image tag doesn't point to a proper graphic image. Put your file on a different platform and it will work.


Thanx, already fixed.-

Edited: 20 Nov 2009, 8:35 a.m.


After all the color is not really important, since you can derive the shift plane from the position

above the specific key, or, the other way round, pressing the one or other shift key always means

the upper left _or_ upper right position above the key, respectively.

It's a similar thing with the key legend colors of the HP-48G series.

Many people complained they couldn't distinguish the colors

under certain conditions, which may be even true;-)

But, there's a relation behind the position of the key legends and the shift plane.

The left shift key relates to the key legends printed on the upper left of the key, or the menu mode where applicable.

The right shift key relates to the key legends printed on the upper right of the key, or choose/input form mode where applicable.

Not too difficult IMHO;-)




Well said Raymond. It's hard to believe that with such a logical and simple scheme people found issues to complain about on the 48 series design, but I guess that's what people do best - finding issues LOL >)

Here on the 41Z there are a couple of compromises made, as the "Z" key isn't a real SHIFT function, but it doubles up as one. The guiding idea is that the 41Z uses the same keys as the " real" 41C, thus there's no real need to use the USER mode with multiple key assignments.

So on the 41Z keyboard, those keys without green shifted legend indicate the complex function is exactly the same as the real one. X=0? will invoke Z=0?, x=y? will call Z=W?, and so forth. Same with the "white legends" (on the key face) - which will call the complex counterpart function: SIN, COS, TAN, LN, LOG, SQRT, 1/x, x<>y, STO, RCL, ENTER^, etc.)

But it goes beyond that. For instance, pressing "Z" and any numeric key produces a complex number with the digit as real part and zero as imaginary. This is just a shortcut, and arguably not very useful (although it comes handy to do quick complex arithmetic) but it doesn't require any assignment on the digit keys, which remain used as real numbers if "Z" doesn't precede them.

The real missed opportunity is with the emulators, though. All these arrangements refer to the basic design, static on the physical machine - but on a modern emulator the key assignments (and the legends after pressing the "Z" key) should dynamically change, making absolutely obvious what functions are available when. Or maybe not, it's after all a matter of opinion :-)


PS, Here's the rub of a design exceeding its purpose: make the yellow SHIFT key turn green when presssed TWICE - as well as the shifted legends on all the other keys would change color and text
... so SHIFT-SHIFT means "Z". How's that for a complex keyboard? But IT WORKS!

Edited: 21 Nov 2009, 2:23 a.m.



I suggest you to keep "red shift" red, as it allows for a wordplay for the doppler shift of light from stars, which helps to calculate their speed.

I'm far from being an astronomer, so please disregard missing details, the words "red shift" just rang a bell on me, and "green shift" don't. Blue shift (or violet shift) may be OK.

Just my 0.0002 $


Hola Andrés, yes I´m aware of the Red Shift term as it´s used in astronomy (and other fields), and in fact it was a subliminal nod to that what made me use it initially ;-)

Unfortunately the red-over-black combination has a very poor contrast and becomes very hard to read, so I jettisoned the idea after a couple of initial attempts (I could read the ¨complaints¨ from a mile long...). I used green instead of blue to ¨respect¨ the blue alphabet on the Alpha keyboard, but I also think blue is a better fit for the ¨second shift¨ - maybe it´s all these years seeing the other models, although there must be a reason why they chose it to begin with.

So I´ll try the blue when I can get more ¨graphic designer¨time (she´s a very busy person). The alpha letters should be changed to another color for consistency sake, maybe green so effectivelt swapping the scheme.

Eventually we´ll call it the ¨Blue Shift¨, which also has connotations in jazz music (anyone out there also plays sax?)


Edited: 22 Nov 2009, 2:47 a.m.


The BLUE Shift is coming... stay tuned!

PS. Does that mean we're in a compressing universe?


Damn, i wish i could use the KB to make those astroflects over characters, how do you remember all those codes Angel?

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