HP 12c+ and HP 50g - initial impressions



#2

After a long relation with HP products (from a HP 33c in 1979 to 12c, 15c, 17bII, 19 bII, 41cv&x, 42S, 48G&GX, 71b, 85A + diverse printers, plotters, peripherals, oscilloscopes and multimeters), I was quite scared by the posts here about current HP quality and design.

I received last week a brand new HP12+ and an HP 50g from Eric (the only way to make sure it is the ARM-based model)

Some comments:

The HP12c+ quality:

-looks as good as the originals (I have an early USA 12c and a more recent Malaysian one),

-keyboard feels much better (time may be a factor - all my 4 voyagers have worse "click" than the new one). I would go as far as to say it betters my 41's and 48's in keying pleasure. Let's see how the painted keys age.

-Speed in a different world - IRRs and AMORTs are immediate!

-The yellowish tone of the screen is just different - not necessarily worse.

The HP 50G:

-Fast!

-Much better screen than 48GX - in all ways.

-Keyboard...lagging behind. Not bad, but if you're used to old models... In the next redesign, please use the slanted keys and mechanism of the 12c+: you still know to do it! (and put the double sized ENTER where it belongs)

-The exact mode for normal calculations is fun to use - and object manipulation much better than on the 48's. In general, I feel the 50G is a much better tool for most things. I have done in a week things that took me ages (or ever!) with the 48GX.

I have left my 48GX on my house desk. After using the 50g for 5 working days, when I took the 48g I felt it clunky as a brick (I apologize for the blasphemy) and slow as a snail. I guess that I will either use the 50g or the 41cx with nothing in between (for desk use: I always take either the 15c or 42s in my jacket pocket.

So, as a conclusion: kudos to the calculator team. HP still rules!


#3

Quote:
Some comments:

-keyboard feels much better (time may be a factor - all my 4 voyagers have worse "click" than the new one). I would go as far as to say it betters my 41's and 48's in keying pleasure. Let's see how the painted keys age.


I suppose that's subjective. The legacy voyagers used a full
round snap dome which has a softer action (broader threshold).
The arm7 12c uses a 4 leg snap dome which gives the more
pronounced inflection. Personally I prefer the older full
circle snap dome. The 4 legged domes are popular as they
allow a single side PCB layout for the keyboard matrix and
tend to be more prevalent particularly in cost constrained
designs.

If you measure the actuation force of both units however you'll
find they are about the same at ~150gm.

Quote:
-Speed in a different world - IRRs and AMORTs are immediate!

Can't argue there. The 3.72Khz basic cycle time of the voyager
NUTs wasn't exactly blazing. And even a pokey 1Mhz uP can best
it performing emulation.

Quote:
-The yellowish tone of the screen is just different - not necessarily worse.

I'm not decided on this yet. I think the contrast is less
compared to that driven via a 1LQ9 NUT which AFAICT is rendering
the lcd at the same multiplex ratio. I suspect the hue of the
polarizer is causing this but it may be due to other factors.


Edited: 13 Nov 2010, 2:22 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#4

Quote:
If you measure the actuation force of both units however you'll find they are about the same at ~150gm.

So ~1.5N in real force units ;) (150g is a mass, 150gm is something nonsensical, as people express it here)

#5

Quote:
So ~1.5N in real force units ;) (150g is a mass, 150gm is something nonsensical, as people express it here)

Indeed. However that argument may be more productive to pursue
with switch/dome vendors most always specifying actuation forces
in units of grams. I'd hazard it is more universally understood
by their target market which apparently is also subject to the
same gravitational force.


#6

So 150g may be reasonable. But don't you invent new units - the world has got enough.


#7

Walter,

Most good engineering predated SI.

There is such a thing as "gram-force"

There are metric units and systems that are not SI. There is the old MKS, and the cgs systems.

If you do engineering, you should be familiar with tonne-force, kgf, etc.

Somehow, scores of European engineers have managed to use the kgf and tonne force units for decades without getting confused. Everyone knows what the meaning of "150 gram weight" is.


#8

Bill, you preach to the choir.


Edit: Just seen above the "gm" has vanished :) Thanks



Edited: 12 Nov 2010, 11:23 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#9

I know Walter, I know.

Just some friendly bear-baiting, that's all :-P

#10

Walter,

From M-W 11th Edition College Dictionary:

gm abbr gram

sec abbr 1 secant 2 second

We know g and s are the correct SI abbreviations, however gm and sec are quite acceptable in non-technical writings.

Regards,

Gerson.


#11

Olá Gerson,

please forgive me thinking sometimes this is a technical forum ;)


#12

He Walter,
It's technical, but it ain't SI-tech ;-D

(all my tech German friends area always using centimeters for instance...)


#13

FYI, cm is perfect SI. Its basic SI unit is m. So anything like km, dm, cm, mm, µm, nm etc. are SI. You won't find gm in these, however ;)

#14

Quote:
please forgive me thinking sometimes this is a technical forum ;)

Understandable. I myself occasionally mistake it for a
calculator forum. I think Jose's thread is becoming lost in
the dust..


#15

this is the 2nd or 3rd "dust-up" recently.

#16

Quote:
If you measure the actuation force of both units however you'll find they are about the same at ~150g.

Your information is correct. This looked a bit exaggerated to me, so I decided to check. I had to stack up eight R$ 0.25 and eight R$ 0.50 coins on the EEX key in my 12C+ before it actuated. That's 119.7 grams (8*7.55 g + 6*6.80 g + 2*9.25 g - two 50 cents coins are dated 1998 and therefore heavier according to my reference). I should have repeated the experiment for some other keys and taken the average weight, but I am not that rigorous. Too many coins, I should have tried stronger currencies, like Euro or Dollar, but I have none :-)

Edited: 12 Nov 2010, 12:33 p.m.


#17

Finally! A truly objective measure of "strength of currency"! Thank you Gerson! I wonder what the price of a beer is in "12C+ key presses" in different currencies?!


#18

I just hope I am not awarded an IgNobel prize for this :-)

-----

P.S.: For those of you wanting to repeat the experiment, don't forget to insert a small piece of styrofoam (despicable mass) between the key and the first coin.


Edited: 12 Nov 2010, 12:45 p.m.


#19

Quote:
I just hope I am not awarded an IgNobel prize for this :-)

LOL. Shall we make a proposal?

#20

I fear I just don't qualify... Perhaps the IgNobel Economy prize should go the Big Mac Index creators... But then this looks serious work, it's just that I don't understand Economics :-)

http://www.investmentu.com/2006/June/20060601.html

#21

Can't quite visualize how the Styrofoam is used. It seems to me you require a mechanism to apply the weight directly to the one key, and not surrounding keys.

BTW, Styrofoam is probably despicable to some environmentalists, but mostly negligible to engineers. [:-)


#22

I meant a square piece of a lightweight material, the size of key under test, thick enough so the stack of coins don't touch the surrounding keys after key actuation.

       ----------
'----------'
'----------'
'----------' <- coins
'----------'
'----------'
| | <-- styrofoam or other lightweight material
---- ---- ----
| | | | | | <-- keys



Edited: 12 Nov 2010, 2:32 p.m.


#23

Thanks.

#24

Quote:
I meant a square piece of a lightweight material, the size of key under test, thick enough so the stack of coins don't touch the surrounding keys after key actuation.

       ----------
'----------'
'----------'
'----------' <- coins
'----------'
'----------'
| | <-- styrofoam or other lightweight material
---- ---- ----
| | | | | | <-- keys


Just toss the calc on a $5 digital jewelry scale and let it
zero out the body weight. Slowly depress the key of interest
and observe the force measured by the "newton strain gauge
sensor" at the dome inversion point. Empirically I've
found up to a +33% variation (eg: 200gm) within the same
key matrix. IME the absolute inversion force is
less tangible to a user than the snap inversion width which
is why the legged domes of the same inversion force have
a noticeably different tactile feel.

Note this information is really only useful in the context of
searching for equivalent replacement snap domes despite the
unexpected entertainment value discovered here.


#25

Quote:
Empirically I've found up to a +33% variation (eg: 200gm) ...

>:-(
Please see
above.

#26

Quote:

>:-(
Please see
above.


Would you mind taking your debate to a more suitable forum
or at least its own thread? It really isn't germane to the
discussion here and has already consumed more than its fair
share of bandwidth. Thanks.

#27

Quote:
BTW, Styrofoam is probably despicable to some environmentalists, but mostly negligible to engineers. [:-)

Thanks! When translating the usual Portuguese expression "massa desprezível" ("masa despreciable" in Spanish, I think) to English I first thought of "despisable mass", which would be equally wrong. I might have chosen "negectable mass", but I see now "negligible mass" is the correct English expression.

Quoting Paulo Rónai, perhaps the best Brazilian translator ever, who incidentally was born in Hungary:


"There was a time I was a technical translator ... That new job convinced me that there were at least fifty French languages, forty-nine of which had nothing to do neither with Racine, nor with Victor Hugo, nor with Anatole France. The same happened with my mother language itself (Hungarian)."

Regards,

Gerson.


#28

Gerson,

Even just using Google Translate (knowing nothing of Portuguese) I could see how you would make that error. Curious, I consulted English etymological dictionaries. These indicate that "despicable" comes from the Latin meaning "to look down on", as I expected. I can only surmise that the Latin phrase "to look down on" went into English meaning something contemptible, whereas in Portuguese the equivalent word more literally means something so small that you must "look down" to see it.

No?


#29

Both the Portuguese verb desprezar and the English verb to despise come from the latin verb despicere (de + specere) meaning "to look from above", that is, "to look down on" (to consider others to be at a lower level). It is possible the word had already lost its literal meaning in Classical Latin because specere (to look at) was already an archaic verb then. As of the adjectives, despicabable comes directly from despicabilis while despisable is the adjective form of to despise, thus the latter has a milder meaning than the former. These correspond to Iberian Portuguese desprezível and desprezável, respectively, while here in Brazil the former has prevailed for both meanings.


#30

The German word "despektierlich" has exactly the meaning you describe: looking down, lacking respect.


#31

Interesting! The german word appears to have the same latin root. So does "Spiegel", compare with Latin "Speculum", Portuguese "Espelho" and Spanish "Espejo" (mirror).

I know no German, but my 14-year old daughter has been attending optional German classes twice a week since August. She's always studied in a Lutheran School (because the education level is excellent and because it's only two blocks away from home). She's complained why I didn't send her to those German classes since the beginning so she would be speaking German by now. I replied "I didn't know you wanted to learn such a complicated and nonsensical language" :-) Obviously, I am kidding about "nonsensical" (but not about complicated).

Regards,

Gerson.


#32

Don't get Walter started again! [:-)

But really, with all due respect to Twain, isn't English at least as "nonsensical" as High German? Some examples:

"Slow up" and "slow down" mean exactly the same thing.

If something "frosts you" or "burns you up", it's the same.

Ditto for flammable and inflammable.

There are many, many more expressions like this.

More formally, many conjugations are inconsistent:

show-showed-shown - OK

blow-blowed-blown - No!

sing-sang-sung - Good.

bring-brang-brung - Nein!

Literally hundreds like these.

Then there's the pronunciation rules that have as many exceptions as there are rules. The letters that are silent in one word, but pronounced in another.

And so on - but I haven't the time.


#33

Hi Martin,

Quote:
"Slow up" and "slow down" mean exactly the same thing.

If something "frosts you" or "burns you up", it's the same.


In Portuguese, "sim" means "yes" and "não" means "no, not". However,

"pois sim!" -> an emphatic no

"pois não!" -> a helpful yes


Quote:
show-showed-shown - OK

blow-blowed-blown - No!


flow-flowed-flown ok, however.

No problem with these triplets. I will not mention the Portuguese counterparts so no one is discouraged to give it a try :-)

Back to the English language, consider the following phase, in which every occurence of "ough" sounds differently:

Molten snow fallen from the bough flowed through the trough, though. "That's enough", I thought.


Gerson.


Edited: 20 Nov 2010, 7:21 a.m.


#34

Quote:
Back to the English language, consider the following phase, in which every occurence of "ough" sounds differently:

Molten snow fallen from the bough flowed through the trough, though. "That's enough", I thought.


A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough: after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.

#35

That's what I love at Finnish: everything is spoken (pronounced) as spelled. Far easier for the kids at school, too.

#36

Quote:
Molten snow fallen from the bough flowed through the trough, though. "That's enough", I thought.

I'm sure, many of you will know what this means:

GHOTI

Well, it's pronounced 'fish'!

gh = f from enouGH

o = i from wOmen

ti = sh from naTIon

;)

Read here why this is not at all so. Or is it?


Edited: 23 Nov 2010, 1:54 p.m.


#37

Quote:
Read here why this is not at all so.

Very interesting link. Thanks!

#38

Quite interesting and quite a mess - those who called other languages nonsensical may stand up and explain d;-)

#39

At a linguistics conference a speaker was presenting a paper. He mentioned that in some languages a double negative means negative while in some languages a double negative means positive.

"But in no natural language does a double positive mean a negative," he continued.

A voice from the back of the room said, "Yeah, yeah."


#40

That's fun in real life German: Ask somebody something using a negative expression, like:

"Das hast du nicht gemacht?!" (literally: "You didn't do that?!")

and you'll receive most times "Nein!" (though it's not done) where "Ja!" would have been true ;) since double negations are positive.

Fun - strange - but not nonsensical :)


#41

Walter wrote:

Quote:
That's fun in real life German: Ask somebody something using a negative expression, like:

"Das hast du nicht gemacht?!" (literally: "You didn't do that?!")

and you'll receive most times "Nein!" (...)

It depends...

In some parts of the country you'll probably get an answer like "Aber nie nicht!". :-)



Dieter

#42

I once came across the following hypothetical dialog box :

"Alle Dateien nicht löschen? (Ja/Nein)"

In English: "Dont't delete no files?" (or "all files" which isn't any better.)

#43

Quote:
At a linguistics conference a speaker was presenting a paper. He mentioned that in some languages a double negative means negative while in some languages a double negative means positive.

"But in no natural language does a double positive mean a negative," he continued.

A voice from the back of the room said, "Yeah, yeah."


Thanks, I got a good laugh out of that one!

Edited: 19 Nov 2010, 5:27 p.m.

#44

Quote:
sing-sang-sung - Good.

bring-brang-brung - (Wrong.)


Martin --

There are, of course, many examples of strong verbs with inconsistent conjugations, in English and other languages. This one, though, reminded me of a hit tune ("Play Me") in which the singer/songwriter took liberties with grammar in only one instance in order to make a rhyme:


Song she sang to me

Song she brang to me

Words that rang in me

Rhyme that sprang from me

-- KS

Edited: 21 Nov 2010, 2:24 a.m.

#45

Quote:
"I didn't know you wanted to learn such a complicated and nonsensical language"

That's a good example of being despektierlich. ;)

#46

C'mon, that was said tongue-in-cheek ;-)


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