The R/S key in 35S



#12

The R/S key in 35S seems too far away from the numeric keypad. It seems that someone has talked about it before in this forum, but I'm not sure. I have written a number of programs for my work which contain a lot of input and stop instructions, and every time I have to press R/S key to continue after keying in the numbers. The key is simply too far away. I understand HP tries to group related functions together, and R/S is grouped together with other program functions, but then it would sacrifice user-friendliness. IMO, the R/S key and Summation+ key in 35S should be swapped. I don't know how many of you use the summation key extensively. I used to use it quite extensively, but seldom use it now with the advent of spreadsheet and statistical software.

That said, I think HP35S is a good calculator.


Best regards

KC


#13

In those cases that you describe I do it this way: key in the number with the right hand and press the R/S with the left thumb. I can do this with the calculator on the table or in my left hand.

#14

Yes, the position of R/S is totally wrong, one of the most critical problems in the 35S keyboard layout - the other being the shifted STO key (unbelievable mistake in layout design, indeed). Ironically, remembering all the earlier critics of HP33S keyboard layout, it should be noted that 33S did not suffer these design errors. It had unusual shape, but layout more suitable for everyday use, i.e. DOING CALCULATIONS.

After several months of everyday work with 35S in bridge design practice, the original enthusiasm is gone. With no or limited need for larger programs (with the very limited options of commenting input/output as it is in hp35s), the better usability of RAM is not that important for me. On the contrary, having to press 'XEQ A ENTER' instead of the natural 'XEQ A' to calculate a bar area is quite annoying and still disturbs me a lot.

Well, 35S LOOKS nice, that's absolutely true. But many concepts introduced are far from being positive. The large ENTER key simply is not the only important thing. What a pitty.


#15

I agree. A programming calculator should provide means for programmers to extends the power of the calculator in a given problem domain in a 'native' way as possible. The old 41C platform nailed this with assignable key board and the RPL machines also support this with variables associated with soft keys.

This remindes me of an attribute I personaly like with programming languages; the power to truly extend the language, prime example is C++.

The 'XEQ A ENTER' only option of 35s is okey but ain't right, I feel.

To bad the 41C did not influence the later models as much as I would have liked.

Edited: 24 Nov 2007, 5:33 p.m.

#16

So far I never used a 35s. It is simply not available in stores here in Sweden. I like its somehow classic HP-style and heard good things about the keys. Anyway, from the pictures I have seen the keyboard seems not to be suitable for my needs. At work I usally take my 33s for quick and dirty calculations. The tactile feedback is not so good (hard keys and the "0" sometimes does not register) But I think the arrangment of the (by me) mostly used math-functions is really good (colour scheme aside). SQRT, x^2, 1/x, x><y, STO+RCL unshifted is exactly what I need. Even the small ENTER-key is not any longer a problem to me. Now, when using my 48GX I find myself pressing the Space-key and wonder why the stack isn´t lifting :-)

I did also some simple programming. But in my (personal) opinion this isn´t the main task of calculators like the 33s or 35s. If it comes to more serious problems I use Excel or sometimes my 48GX with more build in functions.

So I like the 35s for its look, but absoutely not for its arrangment of functions. I therfore decided not to buy it.

#17

Quote:
After several months of everyday work with 35S in bridge design practice, the original enthusiasm is gone. With no or limited need for larger programs (with the very limited options of commenting input/output as it is in hp35s), the better usability of RAM is not that important for me. On the contrary, having to press 'XEQ A ENTER' instead of the natural 'XEQ A' to calculate a bar area is quite annoying and still disturbs me a lot.


I have used the 35S for the past several months for the structural design of buildings, and I am still enthusiastic about it. I do agree that the R/S key is in the wrong spot, and would work better in the spot currently occupied by SIGMA. I also agree that having STO as a shifted function is a bad design.

I just don't think that having to move my finger an additional 3.75 inches (95.25mm)to hit the R/S key is a big problem. I also agree that it would be better not having to hit ENTER after "XEQ A", but again, in my opinion this not a big problem and I do not find it highly disturbing. We're talking one additional keystroke.

What I did find highly disturbing was the design of the 33s. The small ENTER key as located is a big problem. Furthermore, the bad color scheme greatly aggravated problems with a cluttered faceplate. The 32sii was able to get by with the clutter because the proper color scheme was used.

While not perfect, I find the 35s pleasant to use. For me, the logical color scheme and the size and placement of the ENTER key far outweigh problems with the placement of R/S.

#18

Quote:
IMO, the R/S key and Summation+ key in 35S should be swapped.

You are quite right about that, and also regarding functional grouping as HP's basis for switching the positions. However, I believe that the primary motivating factor was to group the data-entry Sigma+ key with the numeric keys and the other "probability & statistics" functions -- not to group R/S with other programming functions.

What seems to have been overlooked is that R/S is a more-useful data entry key on the HP-35s/33s/32SII, since prompting by INPUT and SOLVE/INTEG under Equation Mode utilize R/S for entry of data. The HP-32S, HP-42S, and HP-41 also share some of this functionality.

Therefore, R/S should be near the numeric keys.
-- KS

#19

I agree and, in fact, posted here many months ago, that R/S and E+ positions should be swapped. At the time, my post only received a joke as comment.

#20

I agree that there are some key layout issues with the 35s. I too have found the R/S key to be in an awkward place, and having a shifted STO key while at the same time a primary key for imaginary numbers makes no sense at all.

Also some awkwardness in using the equation solver. Since I would like to get some input on this, I am going to start a new thread.


#21

Quote:
I too have found the R/S key to be in an awkward place, and having a shifted STO key while at the same time a primary key for imaginary numbers makes no sense at all.

I don't have strong feelings about the location of the R/S key. I fully agree that STO should be a primary key function. However, if you accept that it is reasonable for the calculator to accept and work with complex numbers, then it makes perfect sense to have a primary key to enable them to be easily entered. To many (myself obviously included), the inclusion of the "i" key was long overdue.
#22

It's impossible to move between a 32sii and 33s. I can't imagine throwing a 35s into the mix.

Regards,

John


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