HP 35s - my first thoughts



#2

I finally got my first HP35s through Samson Cables s.n. CNA 72105985. As I live in Luxembourg/Europe it was still a very good deal. It only costed 63 Euro, including shipping.

Here are my first thoughts concerning the physical appearance and some functions of the calculator :

  • I think that the form factor is too big. In comparision to the Pioneer or the Voyager series, the calculator is too thick and too large for a comfortable fit in my shirt pocket. It should be 1 or 2 cm (an inch) shorter and thinner, just like an HP32 for example.
  • The built quality of the case feels cheaper than that of the Pioneer series.
  • My unit shows some cosmetic defects out of the horrible blister case. The color of the LCD screen is not uniform. The lower left part has a more greenish tint than the rest of the screen. Some dirt was on the outer side of the right top part of the screen; I managed to remove it. A minor scratch (less than half a mm) in the paint is located below the screen bezel. The visibility of the top annunciators is not very good.
  • The key click is good, but not as "sharp" as on a HP 41. In comparision to a HP 48 the keys feel a bit softer. Nevertheless I think that the keyboard is quite acceptable.
  • In complex mode it is very hard to distinguish "Theta" from the numbers.
  • Concerning vectors, there should be a cross-product function, the dot-product is there.
  • The implementation of complex numbers should be better.

Considering the price, the HP35s remains a wonderful deal although HP certainly can do better! It is a good step in the right direction, but they must evolve!

But now I have to start playing around.


#3

Quote:
In complex mode it is very hard to distinguish "Theta" from the numbers.

Agreed! I did some work with complex numbers, and the first time I did, I thought it wasn't working, since I was getting numbers like 5.12383.456. Then I realized the "8" was actually the theta. There's only a 2-pixel difference between the "8" and the theta. They should have made the theta less tall.

Stefan


#4

The Theta is a real problem. In the Display selection menu (hp-35S) the selection for polar coordinates uses a "lower case Theta". That Theta would have been great to use.

In the HP-48G,49G and 50G there is a similar situation with exponential notation and the E used for numbers like 3.14159E0, since the E is the same size as the digits my eye does NOT spot it as quick as I would like. The smaller E used on my HP-35S is very easy to spot.


#5

Hi,

there's also a small bug connected with the E key: older models (like the 32S) would show 1E__ when pressing E, but the 35S puts just E__, which will result in a syntax error.

Cheers, Peter.


#6

That's not a bug, as the manual describes it working in that manner.

It is different than it used to be, true, but it is not a bug.

The command line on the 35s is much more like a command line found on the 50g than the earlier line of machines.

Gene

#7

Quote:
They should have made the theta less tall.

Perhaps like this:




or this:




or maybe even this?


#8

oo I hope it is up for a vote, but wait, I like them all.

#9

Forgive me for asking, as I do not yet own an hp 35s. What does the symbol look like now? Can you recreate the current offering as an illustration of "current design"?


Thanks,
Pal


#10

Exactly like the "8", but with the left and right middle-line pixels filled in.

#11

Sure:

#12

The OPTION 1 looks too much like an "e". I know that the calculator doesn't display scientific notation using a lowercase "e", but it could still cause confusion.


#13

Agreed

#14

Thanks, Jeff, for making the difference visible. If I had to vote for one, I'd vote for your #3, because its next to the notation in HP42S - and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.


#15

Quote:
Thanks, Jeff, for making the difference visible.

You are very welcome! I seem to enjoy creating such things, so I'm glad someone found it helpful.
Quote:
If I had to vote for one, I'd vote for your #3

I agree, I like that one best myself. I'm probably kidding myself, but it seems like of all of the changes to the 35s that have been wished for, this one should be the easiest to implement. (No new functions, no ferreting out and correction of bugs, just "light up" a different set of pixels when a certain character is displayed.)
#16

My fiends, I have to agree with Walter. Number 3 I think is most distinguished, and Stefan also bring up good point too.

#17

Uuugggh

I am glad Buy.com cancelled my hp-35 order( even though they took 3 weeks to credit my charge card). The big 8 is just wrong. It should have been designated as unacceptable from a human factors standpoint. It just does not look right. Ptewey. I want "natural" numbers to stand out on the calculator. The big 8 causes them to smash together. It is terrible. I want to see "a+ib" or "A<B" not "A8B" I really have to really re-think my future purchase of this devcice. This is in many ways, for me, is a vanity/collecting purchase. I like to sit down with a collection of pens, paper, calculator, books and aimlessly study math, physics etc. Everytime I take a log or exponent of the "natural" numbers and have to look at the big 8 will just detract from the experience.


All three options are much better, but my vote is for #3.

Thanks for taking time to create and capture the graphics

Edited: 22 Aug 2007, 8:15 p.m.


#18

Quote:
Uuugggh

I am glad Buy.com cancelled my hp-35 order( even though they took 3 weeks to credit my charge card). The big 8 is just wrong. It should have been designated as unacceptable from a human factors standpoint. It just does not look right. Ptewey. I want "natural" numbers to stand out on the calculator. The big 8 causes them to smash together. It is terrible. I want to see "a+ib" or "A<B" not "A8B" I really have to really re-think my future purchase of this devcice.


Same here. I don't have a 35S myself, but that big 8 should have been smacked on the head at the prototype stage, it is awful, truly awful.

The "big E" on my 20S to represent the exponent is not quite as bad, but it still just scrapes into the awful category too.
Does no one at HP see these things and even think "that just doesn't look right"?

Dave.

#19

I'd also vote for the #3 "angle symbol" not only because it looks best, but there's also a more fundamental reason:

Theta is the greek letter most commonly used to identify an angular value. It is not the generic symbol for an angle, which is an indicator and not a numeric value such as i.

In rectangular mode, it is the accepted standard to display

3.1415-i2.7182 instead of 3.1415i-2.7182

However,

3.1415/-2.7182 is preferable to 3.1415-/2.7182, 

where / is the angle symbol.

-- KS


Edited: 22 Aug 2007, 11:22 p.m.


#20

Hi, Karl,

just for sake of clarity:

Quote:
Theta is the greek letter most commonly used to identify an angular value.
Almost. AFAIK, usually alpha is taken for an arbitrary angle. Just for cylinder coordinates, theta is most common. And for polar, it's theta and phi.
Quote:
It (theta) is not the generic symbol for an angle, which is an indicator and not a numeric value such as i. ...
3.1415/-2.7182 is preferable to 3.1415-/2.7182 

?? It is quite obvious it doesn't make sense to add an angle on a distance. In any consistent system, you must not add apples on pears. Thus, the 2nd notation is not "less preferable", but simply wrong. On the other hand, i is no unit like Meters or Degrees or Chinese Li, but a pure number, though in a direction we usually do not have in the real world ;)

HTH, Walter


Edited: 24 Aug 2007, 1:18 a.m.

#21

Quote:
Concerning vectors, there should be a cross-product function, the dot-product is there.

The discussion about Rect/Polar conversion showed us how we can do that (for 3-dim vectors):

X001 LBL X
X002 ABS
X003 CLx
X004 LASTx
X005 RDN
X006 RDN
X007 [
[0,[0,0,-1]*REGT,[0,1,0]*REGT]*REGZ,
[[0,0,1]*REGT,0,[-1,0,0]*REGT]*REGZ,
[[0,-1,0]*REGT,[1,0,0]*REGT,0]*REGZ
]
X008 REGZ
X009 RDN
X010 RTN

Lines 2-4 and 8-9 could be omitted. They copy T to Z and X to LASTx.

Line 7 is a nightmare to edit I now. But don't blame me for that. I hope it's easier to read spread over five lines.

RDN means Roll down.


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