New to HP, RPN and Rotate and Click.



#11

I am new to HP Calculators. I got a 35s and 30b recently. Somehow the keys feel rigid and uncomfortable. I believe this is not the feel many people have come to love about HP.

Will it loosen up and feel more easy as I use it more often?
What was your first feeling about this type of keys? (Just curious)

Edited: 11 Sept 2010, 11:05 p.m.


#12

Can you tell clearly when a key has been pressed? do you heara click and get tactile feedback? That's what mostof us expect from a HP keyboard. What is it you wish?

#13

Let your finger rest on a key. Nothing happens. Decide to press it. As soon as it "clicks" you *know* it's registered. Direct feedback to your finger - you don't have to watch the display for reactions. That's the way it should be. BTW, it's comparable with computer mice: do you want a mouse not clicking? Why not? Now you know :)

Try this with any other calculators (Casio, Sharp, etc.) and you'll feel the difference immediately.

This feature will last until your HP calc dies.

Edited: 12 Sept 2010, 2:44 a.m.

#14

Are you saying that you actually prefer having the keys feel mushy?


#15

I have heard similar things from other people before.

The issue generally boils down to that they are used to a mushy key, and so they mash it down as hard as they can. The HP key clicks and then stops, while on a TI you push hard, it bottoms out and there is some squishy "give" at the end to absorb the press.

TW


#16

Tim,

The BA-II Professional is from TI, too ;-))

Regards,
Joerg


#17

Yes, and I've heard people complain about that "rotate and click" keyboard not registering as well. . .

TW


#18

Hmmm, Tim... I wonder where you heard that from? Just kidding. I know that I personally mentioned this to you on the phone last week. :D

To be fair to the BA II Plus Pro, though, even though its clicky keys don't always register (especially with rapid entry), they do get much better after a very long break-in period. When I was going through my bachelor's and the beginning of my MBA programs, I always had to double-check to makes sure presses register properly. Some owners have had far worse experiences with the BA II Plus Pro's keyboard than me.

Quite honestly, compared to other TI keyboards, the BA II Plus Pro is a joy to use. However, since I got my 30b a month ago, I no longer use my BA II Plus Pro (except to make side-by-side comparisons of features). Of course, there really is little comparison. The HP smokes the TI in a ridiculous number of ways.

Hands down, the 30b has the BA II Plus Pro beaten by a great deal. It would take a monumental effort from TI to improve the BA series to the point where it is comparable to the 30b. I don't think this will happen anytime soon.

Mark


#19

I guess I trade a few of my TI-30's for a HP 30B ;-))

See you guys end of September in Ft. Collins.

Have a great week.

Joerg


#20

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it. Perhaps next year. I hope everyone else has a great time.

Mark

#21

Quote:
Are you saying that you actually prefer having the keys feel mushy?

This would indeed be hard to understand. I started calculator life with a TI-59. It had positive click keys, although I'm sure, not as good as the HP's of that day. It's only when the keys began to register erratically that I got rid of it. After trying a TI with mushy keys, I got my first HP (20s - which I still have and use regularly).
#22

Quote:
Are you saying that you actually prefer having the keys feel mushy?

I don't have any problem with soft keys of Casio fx991ms, if that kind of keys are what you are referring as "mushy."

Maybe this feeling is because I am used to it and wasn't exposed to alternatives.

Now that I am exposed to an alternative, the resistance to embrace it might be because of my familiarity with the prior input method!


Edited: 13 Sept 2010, 1:45 a.m.

#23

Quote:
Let your finger rest on a key. Nothing happens.

(..)

BTW, it's comparable with computer mice: do you want a mouse not clicking? Why not? Now you know :)
[quote]

I can rest my fingers on the keyboard and it will not alter anything if I don't consciously chose to (on my HP).


Yes the computer mice analogy makes sense :)

Quote:
Try this with any other calculators (Casio, Sharp, etc.) and you'll feel the difference immediately.

For the sake of correctness, I got my Casio and placed my fingers on it. It is registering keystrokes. Sure, an HP won't behave like this .

This exact feature is my "problem." I feel it requires a more conscious effort to input a number. OTOH on a Casio, I am used to a feather touch.

Quote:
The HP key clicks and then stops, while on a TI you push hard, it bottoms out and there is some squishy "give" at the end to absorb the press.

I have to say I have only used a TI while I was in 10+2. I don't even know the model number (It wasn't written on it. Mine was the only TI in the entire school!). It was an awful calculator for a scientific calculator, but not because of the keys. I think it was a solar only model and its solar panel was really nice (You can work in even indoors if lighting is OK outside,but there were times when I couldn't use it in cloudy atmosphere)

Tim: But we don't have to press as hard on a soft key. That's exactly what I am missing. I have to press harder than what I am used to!

As of now, I have used it only for doing examples in the manual. I think I will get used to it after using it for some time in real use environment.

But there are some things rotate-and-click keys are not suitable; the directional keys/arrows are a perfect example. It is taking the usability out of it.

In ALG mode, slow arrow keys makes it nearly useless and frustrating. If I can't move rapidly using arrow keys, I am getting disheartened; it is slower than what I am used in a calculator with a mushy keypad. :(

What do you guys think about excusing the directional keys from the rotate-and-click implementation?

Sorry if I sounded too whiny.
Thank you for taking time to respond :-)


Edited: 13 Sept 2010, 8:33 a.m.


#24

Find an old 49g (the blue one) and use it for a while. You practically need a running start to depress the keys on that one. Any other HP's keys will feel light as a feather after using a 49g for any length of time!

As for my opinion, I think the 35s is among the nicest-feeling keyboards HP has produced, even if the plastics feel somewhat cheaply made. Shame that the software on that model is so awful, though.


#25

I have a 30b and a 35s, but I feel 35s is missing some strokes.

Getting used to the hp-keys feel now. Only problem now is the trouble RPN is throwing up now and then.

I guess its been my familiarity with soft-keys that caused this. Even now, I don't feel that soft-keys need to be bashed that much by rotate-click fans

:-)


#26

Wait a while... Until you get REALLY comfortable with the feel of HP keys AND RPN, and THEN try to go back to what you are used to today. I don't know about others, but trying to use any non-RPN calc with mushy keys ends up with me doing the math by hand. At least if it involves more than 2 numbers. I can generally remember to do X + Y but then I will invariably key in the third number and THEN hit the operator and well, that just don't work <g>.


#27

Feel of the keys is not a big issue now. I am bit uncomfortable with RPN though, mainly the parts were reusing already inputed data etc.. I am also a bit fearful that I might push the numbers into the oblivion by failing to properly keep track of the stack status :(

Does it come to you naturally as you get more acquainted with RPN? Any tips for me?


#28

I never experienced anything but RPN with the original 35 as my first calculator. I liked to see the results of each operation so I could mentally check the result. If I made a mistake I could reverse it on the spot. If I were in the wrong units I could change them during the calculation. I have a horror of algebraic where everything is entered and obscured, and then you get one answer only, I could get many answers during the proiblem solution with RPN. Using the repeating t register I could execute a series of fast calculations, i'm not sure how to do this in algebraic. I learned to use the 4 stack and have never needed a larger stack. Having started with RPN I do not understand anyone using algebraic. The book formulas did not fit the capability of the calculator so I changed them to leystroke routines. I had linited storage in the 35 and I learned to solve common problems within it's limitations.


#29

Quote:
I have a horror of algebraic where everything is entered and obscured, and then you get one answer only...

Sam, depends on which type of "algebraic" we are talking about. The more recent renditions of algebraic do only give the final answer, but certainly do not obscure anything; just the opposite: its all right there on the screen. I guess you might call this "true" algebraic. Examples would be the 38g, and 48 series when evaluating algebraic objects. These types do allow you to go back and review what you entered, either by using SHOW (38g), or just examining the object on the stack (48 series). You can then make corrections.

Some of the older algebraics, often criticized by RPN aficionados for not being true algebraic, do give intermediate results, every time you either close a parenthesis or proceed to an operator that would allow a partially completed result, based on math hierarchy. In other words, these do provide some of the benefits you cite for RPN. Example: 27s.

Quote:

...I do not understand anyone using algebraic. The book formulas did not fit the capability of the calculator so I changed them ...


I think you just answered your own question.
#30

Hi Sujith,

I switched over many, many years ago when I purchased my first HP 41C back in college. I had already played around with a friend's HP 67 and before that with another friend's HP 35 and already knew how RPN worked. I can't remember how long it took to become second nature but now it is completely natural. I never have a problem with pushing things off the stack, I mentally keep track of what is where and find that it is extremely rare to run out of stack space and need to use storage registers. Of course with the newer graphing calcs and their unlimited stack this never happens (but you also lose the ability to do quick repeating calculations with a single number (T duplicates itself when it drops)--I guess that is what short programs are for).

I guess the one thing I learned to do early was "work my way out". By that I mean that my eyes naturally finds the most inside set of parens or the highest precedence operator(s) and I start working the calculation from there.

Give it time, it will become second nature with practice. As I mentioned in my earlier post I really can't use an algebraic any longer (neither can my wife) I invariably screw up along the way unless I am really concentrating and then the tool becomes a hindrance rather than a help. I am quite fanatical about RPN and am now trying to get my middle-school-age daughter to use it because I really do believe that it is an easier way to work.

Good luck!

M. Joury


#31

Quote:
I am quite fanatical about RPN and am now trying to get my middle-school-age daughter to use it because I really do believe that it is an easier way to work.

A friendly word of advice from a middle school math teacher: don't let your fanaticism with RPN affect your daughter. At that age, she needs to learn math the way the teacher teaches it. Middle school math is hard enough on the kids, don't make it harder than it needs to be for her. When she's in college, tell her about RPN.


#32

Thanks Don,

I'll keep that in mind. She happens to be pretty good at math and seems to be finding it easy so far but I would not want to get in the way, so maybe I'll have to have an algebraic lying around after all... She is also an electronic toys nut so maybe she will pick it up on her own--anything that has buttons, a screen and makes noises...

Cheers,

M. Joury


#33

Middle school math has changed from when I was in "junior high school" in the 60's. Most of the concepts are the same, but some have different names.

  • Borrowing is now regrouping
  • Simultaneous equations are now a system of equations
  • Box and whiskers plots are taught (against my better judgment)
  • Stem and leaf plots are taught (also against my better judgment)

Oh, and 1 is not prime.

:)

Don


#34

I have run into some of this already, the rest is in the future. Should be fun. Her math skills really picked up the last 2 years and she has gone from bottom third to near the top of her class. Hope she keeps it up on her own since I have forgotten most of my middle-school math and concepts. I'm just waiting for the day she has a question I can no longer answer. I guess I will know who to ask <g>!


I guess this has really gotten off-topic...

Edited: 16 Sept 2010, 6:23 p.m.


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