User design calculator contest [just an idea]



#25

Looking at the HP42S topic, I think it could be a good idea to HP (or maybe, just for fun, without HP sponsorship) to design the ideal HP calculator based on what experienced and loyal HP users thinks about what will be the ideal HP calculator (I think there are better calculator designers here, that on HP [I apologize to any current HP designer that could be reading this...but It is true!]
It could be a good startintg point to HP to re-enter [with some success] to the calculator market again. The HP50G is ok (but not a huge innovation neither}, HP35S is ok (but with a lot of bugs, not an impressive display], the most expected re-design HP17BII+ (wide enter), that will be introduced sometime (hope that soon, in the USA)...There are some right steps, but mainly same products, with some improvements. I think that HP needs a hit, a real excellent calculator, so user centry, that it could set the trend (one more time, as in the past). For sure, that HP doens't have anymore the talent to deliver that product, may be some of the real power user could help...just thinking (or maybe, dreaming...)


#26

Forget the Students!!!


What about a Smart (internet) GSM phone, MP3 Player / Fully Functional RPN calculator/ Mp3 Player with plugin modules available for either Engineering Applications or video games like ZELDA and Super Mario Brothers.

Math is entertaining, but saving the Princess of Hyrule can be too!! :-) Especially if you can do it all within 22 minutes when the batteries die.


#27

I suppose there might be a few people that want to use RPG to program a calculator, but I'd much prefer COBOL, as it is easier to read and understand.

SIMULATION-STEP.
MULTIPLY VELOCITY BY TIME-DELTA GIVING DISPLACEMENT.
ADD DISPLACEMENT TO POSITION.
ADD TIME-DELTA TO TIME.

Edited: 13 Oct 2007, 10:47 p.m.


#28

[did you perhaps skip some divisions in your example? i haven't written a cobol program since 1987, perhaps they've streamlined it since then] [g]

IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
PROGRAM-ID. SequenceProgram.
AUTHOR. IBM 370.

ENVIRONMENTAL DIVISION.
HP-35S.

DATA DIVISION.
WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.
01 Num1 PIC 9 VALUE ZEROS.
01 Num2 PIC 9 VALUE ZEROS.
01 Result PIC 99 VALUE ZEROS.

PROCEDURE DIVISION.
CalculateResult.
ACCEPT Num1.
ACCEPT Num2.
MULTIPLY Num1 BY Num2 GIVING Result.
DISPLAY "Result is = ", Result.
STOP RUN.


#29

Quote:
did you perhaps skip some divisions in your example?

Yes, it was only an excerpt.

None of my programs were written by an IBM 370, so they looked more like this:

Identification Division.
Program-Id. RPN.
Author. Eric Smith.
Date-Written. 15 Oct 2007.
Environment Division.
Configuration Section.
Source-Computer. IBM-370.
Object-Computer. IBM-370.
Data Division.
Working-Storage section.
01 State
03 Stack-Lift-Flag Pic 1 Value B"0".
88 Stack-Lift-Disabled Value B"0".
88 Stack-Lift-Enabled Value B"1".
01 Stack
03 X Pic -9V9(9)E-99 Usage COMP-3.
03 Y Pic -9V9(9)E-99 Usage COMP-3.
03 Z Pic -9V9(9)E-99 Usage COMP-3.
03 T Pic -9V9(9)E-99 Usage COMP-3.
03 L Pic -9V9(9)E-99 Usage COMP-3.
Procedure Division.
RPN-Add.
Perform Save-Last-X.
Move X to L.
Add Y to X.
Move Z to Y.
Move T to Z.
Set Stack-Lift-Disabled To True.
* Oh, for a Set <condition> To False statement! Sigh.

Save-Last-X.
Move X to L.

Note that the Author, Installation, Date-Written, Date-Compiled and Security paragraphs in the Identification Division are considered obsolete; it is now preferred to use comments for such information.

#30

I had got the idea...does Latin need a new grammar? or do we need Latin?

#31

For my needs and wants, it would look and feel just like my HP35s, except with:

1. Low glare screen

2. STO and x^2 as first functions

3. Multiple letter variable names

4. A fixed (not scientific or engineering) number display format that shows x significant digits instead of x decimal places.

5. Direct rect->polar and polar->rect conversion

6. Slightly bigger case. If it were just a hair bigger, it could hold a pencil and a small pad of paper.

Nothing that makes the calculator more cluttered, heavier, or bulkier.


#32

Quote:
If it were just a hair bigger, it could hold a pencil and a small pad of paper.

FWIW, 3 by 5" Notecards work nicely in the 35S case. I also use regular US sized letter paper folded in half then in thirds.

For the writing instrument, I use a small Mechanical Pencil, available in Japan for a few 100 yen, and measures 0.558 cm by 12.15 cm. I have not seen this model elsewhere. If I recall it was made by Zebra, and is similar to this small one. I might order a few of these just to compare.

#33

50G functionality with the form factor and keyboard layout of the 48G series.

Oh yea...........:)

#34

Quote:
Looking at the HP42S topic, I think it could be a good idea ... to design the ideal HP calculator
What kind of idiot would want to do that?


A: See the video of the HHC2007 presentations from me, Eric & Gene. ;-)

#35

Which was awesome. HP, just build it! Or I should,say both of them. ;)

Edited: 15 Oct 2007, 9:21 p.m.

#36

Quote:

What kind of idiot would want to do that?


A: See the video of the HHC2007 presentations from me, Eric & Gene. ;-)


Are these videos available online?

In particular, are there any photos of any home built calculators that were on show at the HHC2007?

Having done my own, I'm keen to see what others have come up with.

Dave.


#37

Dave,

I read somewhere (around here I think) the DVDs will be ready in a few months. I believe Jake Schwartz also went to the HP conference in England, to document it. So, once he returns I imagine he start editing (in his free time?).

Did you see the 31 page report prepared and uploaded to the official website?

http://holyjoe.net/hhc2007/

Maybe the DVDs be finished just in time for Christmas. I will then send the wife a link to Jake's website..

;) Pal


#38

Quote:
Dave,

I read somewhere (around here I think) the DVDs will be ready in a few months. I believe Jake Schwartz also went to the HP conference in England, to document it. So, once he returns I imagine he start editing (in his free time?).

Did you see the 31 page report prepared and uploaded to the official website?

http://holyjoe.net/hhc2007/

Maybe the DVDs be finished just in time for Christmas. I will then send the wife a link to Jake's website..

;) Pal


Yep, seen all that, but no pics of any home made calcs :(

Perhaps the authors would care to show a few pics?

Dave.


#39

Eric Smith had shown a couple of his DIY-RPN calculators, once of which went to auction and the other as a raffle prize. Perhaps, Eric can offer pictures. The folding Mylar sheet case was brilliant. I believe that is the one that Gene Wright picked up.


#40

Here's an image of the earlier DIY model.

#41

Pavneet:

Here is a picture of three of the DIY-RPN calculators:

There are some excellent pictures of the DIY-RPN in a black ABS case here:


I have not taken a picture of the folded Mylar case yet. When I do, I will post it here.


#42

Here are the pictures again, done right (I hope)...

Three DIY-RPN calculators:

Thanks to DB for these excellent photos:

Here is source of DB's photo with a couple of photos of the inside of the calculator as well:

http://www.msdsite.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=837&cat=534

-- Richard


#43

Thanks for that.
Turns out I have seen the older version of that before somewhere.

The tact switch tops look a bit small under the key membrane, any problems with missing keystrokes if you don't hit the exact center?

Dave.


#44

Dave:

Quote:
The tact switch tops look a bit small under the key membrane, any problems with missing keystrokes if you don't hit the exact center?


The size of the switch shaft is not a problem. The overlay is somewhat stiff so that your finger can miss a bit without any problems. If you are too close to an adjacent switch shaft, both switches can activate. This gives an ugly "scritch" sound/feel.

To help minimize this interaction between switches, the switches are in a hole. This reduces the coupling of the flex of the overlay from one switch position to any nearby switches. In an ideal world this would work perfectly. However, the switch shafts have to stick up a small amount above the barrier to allow them to be pushed. This height does not have to be the full stroke of the switch since the overlay can distort slightly into the hole.

A related factor is that the overlay is flat. The 3-D graphics do no good helping you feel where a key is. One way to solve this lack of tactile feedback is to make a slight recess in the overlay above the shaft of the switch. This can be a small hole -- about 1.5 mm diameter seems to work -- that is as little as 0.05 mm deep.

A potential problem with the small switch shaft is that over time it might wear a hole in the overlay. Since the overlay is replacable without using tools this should not be a big deal.


-- Richard


#45

Dear Richard,

I really do hope that you continue to work on these designs. Although, I am delighted that HP has made a firm commitment to the calculator group, the designs that you and Eric have produced are incredibly innovative. I was just thinking that the Mylar version may be able to form the basis of a weather proof calculator.

Cheers.

#46

I figured that might be the case.
I considered a similar overlay for my RPN watch project, but in the end found that the keys sticking out of the front panel gave a better look (for a watch) and operation. Same thing could be done on a full size calc like yours, with an overlay with key cutouts that fits around the keys. Lots of various switch and cap options are available. But I guess you sacrifice that "look" for better key functionality.

I still think that designing a new board for one of the new HP calcs (35S or 17BII+) is an easy way to go to get the professional look'n'feel.

Dave.


#47

Dave:

Quote:
I considered a similar overlay for my RPN watch project, but in the end found that the keys sticking out of the front panel gave a better look (for a watch) and operation.

Yes, your watch looks pretty good with the small key caps and cut out front panel. With such closely spaced buttons, you need a protrusion to press. Obviously, there is no room on such small key tops for legends.


Quote:
Same thing could be done on a full size calc like yours, with an overlay with key cutouts that fits around the keys.

I have looked at this. I would use a Laser to do the cutouts on a printed graphic. However, putting all of the legends on the front panel is not practical for really complicated keyboards such as the HP34C.


Quote:
Lots of various switch and cap options are available. But I guess you sacrifice that "look" for better key functionality.

I think that the "look" is important. If the calculator is ugly then I don't want to use it. The HP33S is a perfect example. I would rate the overlay feel as "not as good as an HP41 keyboard" but "better than a HP6S keyboard".

Quote:
I still think that designing a new board for one of the new HP calcs (35S or 17BII+) is an easy way to go to get the professional look'n'feel.

There are no key caps available with HP legends except by cannibalizing an HP calculator that has the exact keys needed. So, about all you can do is a calculator with the same functions as the one you cannibalized.


-- Richard


#48

Quote:
There are no key caps available with HP legends except by cannibalizing an HP calculator that has the exact keys needed. So, about all you can do is a calculator with the same functions as the one you cannibalized.

Yes, it would take someone to create a new set of moulded keytops, that's the biggest hurdle I think.
In this respect the 17BII+ is better with it's soft menu keys. The key tops would be a base set of generic functions, and then all the smarts goes into the menu system.

Dave.


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