[hypothetical] adding mass storage functions to a 42S


Suppose you could add some mass storage functions to a 42S, such as a subset of the 82160A HP-IL module's mass storage functions. For the sake of argument, let's start with DIR, WRITP, READP, and PURGE, but perhaps more of them could be considered.

Where on the keyboard or in the menu structure would you put the mass storage functions for convenient access? What if anything would you be willing to make less easily accessible to make room for the mass storage functions?


Well, IMHO the two menus for SOLVER and INTG could be merged into a single one - making one available for this or other purposes. The menu item MVAR is common to both, and there are three empty keys on each that can easily acommodate the other two items required.

Conceptually it also makes sense to unite these two areas of functionallity, sort of a "INTSOL" menu a la 41 Advantage.


That makes a lot of sense, and it saves a keystroke compared to bifurcating the PRINT menu into IO/PRINT and IO/STORAGE. However, I think changing PRINT to IO may be slightly more obvious to experienced 42S users, so for now I'm probably going to do that.


I'd suggest replacing the PRINT menu by one called I/O. That I/O may contain a menu tree with one branch going to the old PRINT, the other to whatever new.


I like that as well, conceptually very clean.


I like that as it is quite logical. For now I'll give that a try.

My modifications to Free42 will be published after HHC 2012.



If we are not going to change the HP42S keyboard layout, I'd choose between three existing menus to add the IO functions, ordered in preference:

- PRINT, because it already suggests I/O (it is the only menu with I/O capabilities in the HP42S, if we think about it)

- PRGM.FCN, because it leads to program structures and I/O would also be programmable (I would probably have to remember that, though...)

- MODES, as a last option, although it does not lead to I/O capabilities but I cannot think of any of the reminding ones.

You might also consider CATALOG as for knowing what you have prior to use it, but I'd not go that way. The CATALOG menu main purpose is to show existing data you can recall, I cannot think of it as I/O.

My 2¢.

Luiz (Brazil)


Why not ask Thomas Okken if he can prototype something for Free42?


That's an idea...


Of course he's obviously welcome to do that, but the reason I asked for opinions here is because I'm prototyping something for Free42 myself. :-)


How about a second modifier key so that not only that, but also lots of other things that are way more convenient with 2 presses than through menus can be put on it.



Honestly, I'd not change the HP42S layout. It is the closest look to the wonderful HP27S: clean keyboard and lots of functionality. I for one prefer it clean.

Today we have so too many gadgets offering plenty of things with four, five keys, sometimes with no menus (e.g. some MPx players and cell phones) and people use them. Not calculators, I know, I'm just giving an example of how layout definition is preserved against explicit resource access.


Luiz (Brazil)


Having a second shift is fine, but now the result is very unlike a 42S. Quite possibly better, but much different. I was looking for a relatively minor change.

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