Location of + - X / keys



#13

The Classic (1st generation), Woodstock (2nd gen.) & Spice (3rd gen.) calculators had the basic + - x / keys aligned on the left side. But then starting with the Voyager calculators, these keys moved to the right side of the calculator.

Any logical reason for this standard change?


#14

Apparently the designer's intention was to keep the arithmetic operator keys always visible, as they would never be hidden by the user's finger when operated with the right hand in the early models. Interestingly, when those keys moved to the other side of the keyboard the ENTER key did not move along.


#15

Quote:
Interestingly, when those keys moved to the other side of the keyboard the ENTER key did not move along.

The separation of ENTER from the +-x/ key column has always seemed to me to be either gross error or inexcusable carelessness by HP. Logically, and for the best ergonomics, ENTER should always be in line with the +-x/ keys. I don't really care on which side the keys are positioned, as long as the ENTER is not across the keyboard from the +-x/ keys.

At least on some current HP machines like the 50g, that's again the layout used...although most of us would prefer ENTER to be above the +-x/ keys instead of below them.

#16

As a left-hander, I'm pretty fond of either placement. But, for sentimental reasons and aesthetics as well as trademark HP character, I rather prefer and enjoy the left-side placement of the arithmetic keys and their - + x / top-to-bottom order that began with the HP-35.


Edited: 3 Apr 2012, 1:17 a.m.

#17

Quote:
But then starting with the Voyager calculators, these keys moved to the right side of the calculator.

Doubtless, the unconventional layout forced by the unfortunate landscape layout (dictated only by 'style' issues) motivated the Voyager layout.


#18

Are we gonna have a discussion about the landscape layout again? :)

#19

The right-hand side operator key placement seems to have appeared much earlier in the HP RPN desktop calculators, as far back as 1971, e.g., HP-9815A/S

Nick

Edited: 2 Apr 2012, 7:39 a.m.


#20

The HP-9815A appeared much later, in 1976. The 1971 9810A and the 1972 9820A had the +-x/ keys to the left of the keypad. The 1972 9830A had a strip of such keys rightmost on the keyboard, but this unit also had a QWERTY keyboard as well.

I used a new 9820A 40 years ago at Ga. Tech in an EE digital lab. I own a 9820A now, but it is not operable at present. It cost about $6500 in 1972 with the minimal set of options required to make it useful. That's the equivalent to more than $35000 today!

#21

Not only were the keys moved, but their order was changed. The earlier machines had, from top to bottom, - + * / . The later machines have / * - + . Any semi-plausible logical reason for this?


#22

Not certain why the top-to bottom order was reversed though. But, whenever I've heard the four functions mentioned, they've usually been recited as "add subtract, multiply and divide"


Edited: 2 Apr 2012, 6:34 p.m.


#23

Well, from bottom to top that's the order children learn these operations in school. Semi plausible, isn't it?

#24

The changes from left to right and top to bottom made the arrangement the same as the TI machines had been for many years.


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