WP 34S Top Left Key Poll



#2

Hi all,

I start a new thread for this else it's deeply buried in an older one.

You all know how the WP 34S is looking now. There has been some discussion about the set of hotkeys we offer. A few people stumbled across the B C D layout and did ask where 'A' did go to ;-) or why we don't show it.

Though I bet all forumers are perfectly aware of the alphabet and able to start at an arbitrary position within, I offer the following alternative layout for the peace of mind of whom it may concern:

This would bring up another hotkey top left at the cost of deleting the two functions %- and %+. Default primary function of said hotkey will be Sigma+ and that's not negotiable. Please compare with the present layout.

I ask for your votes, please.

Walter


#3

I agree with Walter's suggestion.

#4

Walter wrote:

Quote:
This would bring up another hotkey top left at the cost of deleting the two functions %- and %+.

That's not cost, that's profit. ;-)

Quote:
Default primary function of said hotkey will be Sigma+ and that's not negotiable.

If the Sigma+ really is not negotiable (why?) I'll agree with the new layout. It's much better than before.

And now let's talk about the "//" function. ;-)

Dieter


#5

I do agree with Walter's suggestion.

Quote:
And now let's talk about the "//" function. ;-)

I have liked this one. Now, why can't GRAD reside only inside a menu?

Gerson.


#6

Quote:
I have liked this one. Now, why can't GRAD reside only inside a menu?

Or a DRG command that cycles through the three trig modes?

We'd still need DEG, RAD and GRAD but they can be buried in catalogues.


- Pauli


#7

With DEG, RAD, GRAD in a catalogue, conversions would become significantly more difficult. With DEG, RAD, GRAD readily accessible on the keyboard, you simply press e.g. -> and RAD and voilá d:-)


#8

I've noticed -> g RAD does the conversion but changes the angular mode also. Furthermore, if the calculator is is Degrees mode and I want to convert 1 rad to degrees, I just can't. If GRAD is deleted from the keyboard, then -> g RAD and -> g DEG could consistently mean DEG->RAD and RAD->DEG, respectively. I would also suggest the prefix keys should be omitted whenever possible.


#9

There's a command R->D in X.FCN doing exactly what you want, i.e. conversion keeping the present angular mode set. And yes, we omit the prefixes whenever it's unambiguously possible.


#10

Quote:
And yes, we omit the prefixes whenever it's unambiguously possible.

Oh, I see. In order to minimize the use of prefixes, perhaps H.MS/DEG and H.d/RAD should not have shared the same key. I am sure, however, the keyboard layout has been carefully thought out, so changes at this stage are not advisable. In the hp-33s, for instance, it appears they swapped the Rv and RCL keys in the last moment so that STO and RCL were located in the same row. As a result HYP has been moved a bit away from the trig keys. Likewise Rv and R^ have been separated from the x<>y key.

Gerson.


#11

As a special case "-> g RAD" can omit the 'g' Likewise for DEG and GRAD. The thinking was that the trig conversions are more commonly used than the H.MS ones.

- Pauli

#12

An earlier version didn't change the trig mode on these operations and doing so was suggested. Can't win either way ;-)


- Pauli

#13

I had thought about that myself, but I wasn't aware DEG, RAD and GRAD can be used with -> for angle conversions. Non-programmable calculator used to have also a cyclic angle conversion key ->DRG.

Gerson.

#14

Your suggestion looks good.

#15

I vote for the suggestion by Walter.

#16

Okay, it may have been discussed elsewhere and I apologize for bring it up as a question but, why isn't the primary key function printed on the key and the hotkey printed on the surface of the faceplate above the key instead of the way it's shown now?

Otherwise I'm in agreement with you Walter.

Edited: 10 Apr 2011, 1:33 p.m.


#17

The "primary" function is only active if you are in run mode and label "A" is not assigned. So it's more of a backup function, not a real primary.


#18

What if the user forgets there are programs assigned to those top row keys? The lack of annunciators for the presence of programs 'A'..'D' might lead to wrong results.
What about 2-key access to 1-letter label programs? For instance, XEQ H instead of XEQ f alpha H ENTER? This wouldn't apply to M, N, O, Q, R, S, U and V of course, but we would have 18 of these left. If one-key access to programs are really necessary, then a USER mode à la 15C would be a better option, IMHO.
I have noticed the program counter skips one step for two or three-letter labels, for instance,

001 LBL'AB'
003 RTN

Am I missing something here? I haven't found anything in the manual about this (I may not have searched enough - if such is the case, sorry!).



#19

Olá Gerson,

Quote:
What if the user forgets there are programs assigned to those top row keys?

Hmmmh, on this side of the Atlantic it's his/her fault. For the other side we could print a warning: Do not forget you put something in your calculator's memory! or Items stored in your calculator may look less existent than they are! Please choose your favourite.
Quote:
The lack of annunciators for the presence of programs 'A'..'D' might lead to wrong results.

May be. But we're not as nasty as it seems. STATUS will tell you the hotkey labels defined in user program memory. But I admit, now you've to remember this keystroke. Want another recommendation message in the manual?

No offense intended, just couldn't resist. Will think about your access suggestions later.

Walter


#20

Quote:
Want another recommendation message in the manual?

Local proverb: "When everything else fails, read the manual!" :-). I think I will print a hardcopy of the manual (and read it) now most changes have been made.

Another reason why I should have read it: somehow I thought the wp-34s firmware would run only on the hp-30b, so I didn't buy the only 20b I found after searching in many stores in São Paulo yesterday morning. It was selling for only R$ 80.00 (about 50 dollars), a bargain compared to Walmart, I mean our Walmart:


http://www.walmart.com.br/Produto/Eletronicos/Calculadoras/HP/107001-Calculadora-Financeira-HP-20B?Filtro=&strBusca=&utm_source=ShoppingUOL&utm_medium=Calculadoras&utm_campaign=107001-Calculadora-Financeira-HP-20B&idsku=

Gerson.


#21

Yeah, reading may really help sometimes ;-) I don't recommend printing, however, since the file frequently updated for various reasons. Just download the pdf on a daily basis and you're set IMHO.

Cumprimentos,

Walter

#22

Quote:
What about 2-key access to 1-letter label programs? For instance, XEQ H instead of XEQ f alpha H ENTER? This wouldn't apply to M, N, O, Q, R, S, U and V of course, but we would have 18 of these left. If one-key access to programs are really necessary, then a USER mode à la 15C would be a better option, IMHO.

Looking at page 16 (of 70) you see you have the fastest and easiest access to the labels A, B, C, D. Second easiest are two-digit numeric labels. Further alpha labels need more keystrokes. This addressing scheme was an arbitrary decision pretty early in this project - we could have made the access to alpha labels easier, then numeric labels had become difficult. We can't please everybody with every feature.
Quote:
I have noticed the program counter skips one step for two or three-letter labels, for instance,

001 LBL'AB'
003 RTN

Am I missing something here? I haven't found anything in the manual about this.


No, you're right - I was missing something. Thanks for your report. I'll update the documentation. The reason for taking two steps for the longer alpha label is simply the need for a bit more memory.

Walter


#23

Quote:
The reason for taking two steps for the longer alpha label is simply the need for a bit more memory.

Quite correct, but shouldn't sequential step numbering be preferrable than just skipping line numbers?

HP-42S examples

00 { 6-Byte Prgm } 00 { 7-Byte Prgm }
01 LBL "AB" 01 LBL "ABC"
02 END 02 END

Gerson.


#24

Under the current 001 to 003 change for LBL AB, what would happen if you did this:

010 SKIP 02
011 LBL AB
013 R/S

The SKIP 02 would jump into the middle of the LBL, correct?


#25

That is the reason why these functions are hidden. They were originally intended for internal firmware use only. To be used with care.

#26

BACK would be a problem also. I don't see why the program counter shouldn't be fixed. In this side of the Atlantic, n is usally followed by n+1 :-)


#27

As Pauli did mention before, SKIP and BACK are both made for internal use only. Please see Appendix A of the manual. If you want to use them, do so at your own risk, but don't complain ([:-)

Walter


#28

Guten Abend, Walter!

The point is not SKIP and BACK, but ordered logical sequences, like "A B C D" instead of "B C D". But I won't insist on this anymore lest you reply "Don't like it? Write your own firmware!" :-)

Gerson.


#29

Muito bom dia, Gerson,

Quote:
The point is not SKIP and BACK, but ordered logical sequences, like "A B C D" instead of "B C D".

AFAICS, both these sequences are logically ordered, aren't they? And another sequence "A, C, D" is logically ordered as well. I guess that's not your point, but that's what you have written, so how can I *know* better? ;-)

Cumprimentos e boa noite

Walter


#30

That was written in a hurry as I had to leave. When I got back and checked for your response minutes ago and reread my post, I guessed WHAT your reply would be (and I haven't been disappointed :-). I meant the B C D special keys looked strange to some because A was missing. I hadn't complained about that myself, but I have to admit it is better this way.

Regards,

Gerson.

#31

Quote:
BACK would be a problem also. I don't see why the program counter shouldn't be fixed. In this side of the Atlantic, n is usally followed by n+1 :-)

There is a reason for letting the PC skip like it does. Partly laziness and partly practicality.


Alpha labels take two steps. So do all the other commands that can accept alpha labels as arguments: GTO, XEQ, solve, integrate, product, sum, f' and f''.

Now to figure out what the "real" step number is and display it would require scanning program memory from the beginning and counting steps. I figured it wasn't worth the effort and CPU to do this. I figured these are likely to be fairly uncommon instructions & Walter agreed, at least at the time, that the step skip was a minor inconvenience

Now if somebody wants to code around this (efficiently in both time and space use), I don't see why we wouldn't include it.


Hot key and numeric labels take a single step for all of the aforementioned instructions so this isn't an issue unless you use alpha labels.


- Pauli

#32

Quote:
Under the current 001 to 003 change for LBL AB, what would happen if you did this:

010 SKIP 02
011 LBL AB
013 R/S

The SKIP 02 would jump into the middle of the LBL, correct?


Nope, the SKIP goes past the R/S. No branching to the middle of steps. Ditto for BACK. They are fairly safe operations in reality.


- Pauli


#33

Rats!

I thought I had discovered a way to do synthetic programming on the 34s.

:-)


#34

Quote:
I thought I had discovered a way to do synthetic programming on the 34s.

If synthetic programming is possible on the 34s, I've failed :-)


- Pauli

#35

Not quite. The step number is just the position of the step in memory. The program area is a simple array.

#36

While not a primary function it's a bit misleading printed on the face of the key rather than on the faceplate as a secondary function.


#37

Jim, please turn to your HP-65 or 67. What do you see on top row of keys? Sic!


#38

But those are dedicated programmable keys without other primary functions associated with them. Oh well ...


#39

Slowly: What do you see printed above key A of the HP-67 (top left key)? For comparison: I see 1/x. When will this 1/x rule? As long as there's no program loaded using the key A. How can we apply this observation to the wp 34s? Lessons learned? [:-?


#40

I only looked at the photo of the HP-65 (you mentioned that one, remember?) and saw no functions listed above the top row key. Don't worry about it Walter. I'm bowing out.


#41

I mentioned both. And we can play the same game with the 65 as well d:-)


#42

Walter,

Quote:
Hmmmh, on this side of the Atlantic it's his/her fault. For the other side we could print a warning: Do not forget you put something in your calculator's memory! or Items stored in your calculator may look less existent than they are! Please choose your favourite.

This is funny.
Quote:
Slowly: What do you see printed above key A of the HP-67 (top left key)? For comparison: I see 1/x. When will this 1/x rule? As long as there's no program loaded using the key A. How can we apply this observation to the wp 34s? Lessons learned?

This is condescending.

See the difference?

#43

Martin,

If you feel this way for these dialogues, I like your feelings about the first better, of course. For the second, please see its development:

It started with Jim's question and a quick and concise response of mine pointing to two obvious examples. Images of the 65 and 67 are readily available at this very museum. Then his response with that trailing "Oh well..." after more than an hour. I admit I was feeling provoked and thinking he was blind - sorry, "visually challenged" - or even worse: it was so obvious >:-( Maybe I should have left this response unanswered ... without that "Oh well..." I might have done.

You see I'm not made for diplomacy. I beg your pardon.


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