Open45s: Form Factor



#2

So we have support for both Voyager and Pioneer chassis...

If we are to really get this to fruition, can we review the reasons that would lead one to choose on or the other.

To me the Pioneer offers near pocketability with the option of a 4-line display. That would get my vote.

Should we, therefore, name this the Phoenix form factor after the Mars Lander that should arrive on Mars in May 2008?

NASA's Phoenix Mission

Cheers.

Edited: 5 Nov 2007, 6:34 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#3

Voyager, because it is special. Pioneer looks like all the others.

#4

If you go with the Voyager format then I'm fairly confident (but stand to be corrected) that you *won't* get an off-the-shelf LCD module to fit. Dot matrix OLED display (not module) would probably be the only option for a voyager format. But then you start getting tradeoff's by not having much room for a battery. You might be forced into a slim Lithium Ion rechargeable solution.
The devil is in the detail.

Pioneer gives you more options for off-the-shelf component selection.

Dave.

Edited: 4 Nov 2007, 4:03 p.m.


#5

Quote:
If you go with the Voyager format then I'm fairly confident (but stand to be corrected) that you *won't* get an off-the-shelf LCD module to fit.

The Voyager shown below (thanks to Pal G.!) will work with the very same HP 40 LCD as the Pioneer Gene and Jake proposed:


So the LCD is not the crucial poit.


#6

Hi Walter.

My "problem" with the voyager design as you have shown it is the inconsistent interface used for the key layouts/functions.

For example, you use 3 shift keys, f, g, and m (why m? Why not h like other models with three shift keys used?).

However, the issue isn't the "m" as such. It is that some keys have blue and red shift functions. Some have blue only. Some have blue and yellow.

That's an interface mess, IMO. Personally, I would suggest an interface with only 2 shift functions, placing the third shift functions in menus.

Much less cluttered keyboard and a more consistent interface.


#7

The 'm' shift button is a menu prefix (and yes it could be labelled 'menu'). All the red labels are menus (well they were on the other designs by Walter, I'm suspicious of CLsigma as a menu on this one).

None of the blue or yellow functions are menus.

- Pauli


#8

Hi Paul,

thanks for your explanation. When the US-guys get up, the day is over in Europe already.

Best regards, Walter

#9

I agree that we shouldn't have a dedicated shift key just for menus. In my article on typography of key labelling, I suggested a simple double-colon quotation to identify menus. No other visual notification required:




Typography of Key Labels


This way we don't have unused shift slots awaiting menus, but ones that may be used for other functionality.

Quote:
That's an interface mess, IMO. Personally, I would suggest an interface with only 2 shift functions, placing the third shift functions in menus.


#10

Hi Pavneet,

sorry I didn't find the time to read your article so far. I'll try to do this asap.

Quote:
This way we don't have unused shift slots awaiting menus

Well, exactly this is the purpose of my "unused shift slots". The design drafts of 15cg, 15cx, and my 45s are are all set up to result in a calc being customize-able (?) by the end-user. My article covering this is part of the documentation of HHC2007 to be published on the Conference DVD.
#11

Quote:
Typography of Key Labels

Devil is in details, and keybord layout/redability/consistancy is important detail.

#12

Bingo, completely off track already!
I bet myself how long it would take, guess I owe myself 10 bucks :->

The key layout and user interface has absolutely nothing to do with getting a practical calculator design off the ground. It's not worth worrying about.

Dave.


#13

No surprises with that one. Feature creep is starting to get rather impressive as well.


#14

In what way is this discussion an indication of feature creep? We are simply discussing the design brief. Dave said for him a starting point is the plastic. Well before we get to the plastic, wouldn't it be worthwhile envisioning what the plastic should turn out like to maximize its usability?

For a community run project to have legs is to utilize the interest as well as the talents of everyone involved.


Quote:
No surprises with that one. Feature creep is starting to get rather impressive as well.



#15

Quote:
In what way is this discussion an indication of feature creep? We are simply discussing the design brief. Dave said for him a starting point is the plastic. Well before we get to the plastic, wouldn't it be worthwhile envisioning what the plastic should turn out like to maximize its usability?

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the colour of the key legends or what keys are used for what. In fact it even has little to do with how many keys you have, you simply put as many keys as you can fit nicely in your chosen form factor after the screen is considered. Only at the end do you worry about what key is used for what.

When I said the plastic is the starting point, I meant getting the plastic in your hands is the starting point to a physical design realisation. The #1 thing to do first is to pick the what screen you want and lock that in. The screen drives the shape and design of your plastics, the room you have left for keys, the power consumption and battery choice, which leads to case thickness etc etc.

If the preferred choice is a Voyager form factor (and I think it is), then a screen needs to be found that fits the design envelope. That might be harder than it seems.
Backup plan would be a Pioneer shape, and I already know plenty of LCD modules are available that will fit that form factor.

Here is a novel idea off the top of my head, how about a Pioneer form factor rotated into a Voyager horizontal layout? That might give room for that 80mm OLED display module maybe. Will have to check out the dimentions...

**UPDATE**
The OLED display module is 80x36mmx10mm. That would take up half the height of a horizontal Pioneer form factor. So only enough room for say 3 rows of keys under the display.

Dave.

Edited: 4 Nov 2007, 9:12 p.m.


#16

It just occurred to me. If you used one of those 80x36mm OLED modules, then with careful attention to detail the same plastic design could use either the OLED display or an LCD display of the same size.
And as a bonus, no need to change the electronics and firmware either, simply pop in either display - NICE!

It looks like Lumex even make a 40x4 display in the same size:
Lumex
Lumex website seems down at the moment though, so can't confirm.

Dave.

#17

Ultimately, a community will not decide anything... They can point you in a direction but will need a single person to take charge and get the job done. I've been through at least 6 months of this discussion before. Now my main concern is taking what I know and producing hardware. Then the software will come.


#18

Hi Hugh,

What progress did you make since the end of 2006?


#19

Prototyping and finalizing specifications for a PCB design. I've negotiated custom LCD glass prices and once the electronics are ready I'm going to hunt for investors.


#20

Quote:
Prototyping and finalizing specifications for a PCB design. I've negotiated custom LCD glass prices and once the electronics are ready I'm going to hunt for investors.

Care to share some photos of your prototype? I'm sure many people would be interested to see them after all this time.

Dave.

#21

Dave, I don't concur that this is off track at all. If we are going to do a design that appeals to even more than a few then why shouldn't the design aesthetic form part of the integral design discussion? We are not asking everyone to care about these issues, but for those that do they are important and are germane to executing the design properly the first time around.

Quote:
Bingo, completely off track already!
I bet myself how long it would take, guess I owe myself 10 bucks :->

The key layout and user interface has absolutely nothing to do with getting a practical calculator design off the ground. It's not worth worrying about.

Dave.


Edited: 4 Nov 2007, 7:42 p.m.


#22

Quote:
Dave, I don't concur that this is off track at all. If we are going to do a design that appeals to even more than a few then why shouldn't the design aesthetic form part of the integral design discussion?

Two reasons:
1) It will be an endless discussion which no one will ever agree on.
2) (and most importantly) It adds precisely zero value to getting that first all-important prototype made.

As someone who has designed and built a practical working calculator (along with many other similar projects), I can assure you that practicalities come first. Fussing about what keys are going to be used for what, and the colour of key legends etc does not affect the basic physical design at all. That can all be taken care of and tweaked to your hearts content as the very last step in the design process.

Dave.

#23

Hi Gene,

thanks for the critical remarks. Unlike others, who can't know better, yours is a special case:

My "problem" with your points is you claim you don't know the info available to you as being member of the enlightened circle of HHC2007 Conference Committee since beginning of September. The "interface mess" - as you call it - was thorougly explained in my contribution to HHC2007. It is no mess at all. As soon as Jake will publish the Conference DVD, this will become obvious to all readers of this forum. So, I'm confidently expecting this publication.

BTW, if I don't understand a particular point in anyone's post, I'd *ask* first before I call it negative. Maybe my old brain, but I don't remember any question of you concerning this topic so far. If you allow me a recommendation, please take some of your time for reading or remembering my said contribution, respectively.

HTH, Walter

#24

That isn't an off-the-shelf character LCD module though, it's (correct me if I'm mistaken) a custom dot matrix LCD removed from a HP 40 series. Not exactly a wise or sensible choice for a practical calc design.

Dave.


#25

Dave J., IF you are right, THEN this applies to Gene's and Jake's draft of their 45s as well.

Edited: 5 Nov 2007, 2:27 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#26

Quote:
Dave J., IF you are right, THEN this applies to Gene's and Jake's draft of the 45s as well.

It sure does.
That's why I'm saying practical LCD selection is the driving force behind getting a real calc off the ground. Anything else is a pipe dream, unless you have the $$$$ to invest in a custom job.

Dave.


#27

Thanks, Dave. This leads me to the following proposal:

Let the folks being most knowledgeable in displays look for the ones available on the market fitting into the dimensions of

  • a Pioneer
  • a Voyager
  • a 35s
  • a "landscape Pioneer" (as Dave proposed)
and featuring enough dots to support 2.5 lines or more. Then we will have a more realistic base for our further progress. Please, go out and search. Looking forward to the responses,

Walter

P.S.: Ooops, this post must be redirected to the thread below ;) Please put your responses there.

Edited: 5 Nov 2007, 2:51 a.m.

#28

cool....where do I sign up to buy one ? ;-)

#29

I'd prefer a Voyager form factor. I'd be willing to thicken it up a bit to take more hefty batteries.

- Pauli

#30

I nominate "Sojourner" for the family name.

Ren

dona nobis pacem


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