The ENTER key, kbd density 49g+



#8

I was reasoning about HP's insistance of the small enter key, and was staring at the 49g+ pics...its just my opinion, but look at the up/dwn/lft/rght toggle buttons, and the vast acreage surrounding them, could not a little compromise in size here have accomodated a big enter key?

I'm assuming that those u/d/l/r keys have some significant stuff going on under the key plate to warrant such isolation, what do you think?

Any thoughts?

cl


#9

There is no reason to not have a large ENTER key except for marketing insistance that it would confuse customers that it is not in the same place as other calculator manufacturers or an indication that the calculator is too difficult to use.

#10

I believe HP actually does know what people want, and when I say "people," I don't mean a few old guys who stubbornly hold on to HP tradition. Compare the layout of the 49 series to most of the TI graphers, and you will see a resemblance. A rediculously large enter key would very much discourage everyone who has been brought up on TI calculators since middle school. Secondly, the arrow keys of the 49Gs are separated for a reason (also owing to TI): you can find them a whole lot easier than those on the 48. Now please don't tell me that the new enter key is hard to find... I would be amazed if all the 8th grade algebra students can find it and you can't.

No hard feelings, it's all in good fun :)


#11

Brandon,

I see the TI connection clearly, and am disheartened that HP has to cater to these demands, but my issue with the enter key is simply based on ergonomics of input. Without stepping on toes, my mind is wired around the left side/ mid-kbd enter button. What strikes me even more is the position of the 33s enter position, not only did it move from center, it doesn't correlate to the new bottom right trend either, well...its RPN, thank you for that HP! :)

cl

#12

Ok, you all have good points.

I'm withdrawing my complaints. The principle that I am defending is purely that of efficient entry, and, looking at the 49g and 49g+, I should factor in that they are dressed to be 'ti-slayers'. Ok, ok you all win! :)

Like the 'modal shift' mentioned in P.Brogger's response (he credited it to someone) and other counter arguments too, its clear that we can all offer personal ideals, or justifications to the product. Perhaps the screen itself could be the enter key, a whole display dedicated to that function like atm machines use, then no one could ever fuss over size again :)

I'll never lose the nostalgia for the great HPs' though. ;)

#13

To buy the argument that a wide Enter key was prevented by keyboard density is to accept that every single keyboard function as implemented is absolutely essential -- that there was no way to combine a couple of menus under a single name, or move a couple of functions to the appropriate menus (where they're probably already available anyway).

Many of the choices for keyboard accessibility no doubt were made due to measured or perceived frequency of use, and higher priority on a large Enter key would have merely forced a few more moderately difficult choices.

So, keyboard density alone wasn't the reason for a small Enter. As mentioned by others, a desire to better fit market expectations was more likely the determining factor.

Hey, if it keeps H-P manufacturing decent calculators, it's a small price to pay.

------------------------------------------------------

By the way, during the Powell's lunch recently, Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz suggested a "modal shift key" (I don't remember whether he used that exact terminology) might have been used, with one push offering, say left-shift, a second push offering right-shift, and a third push clearing the shift. Such an approach would have freed up one complete keyspace (its primary legend, alpha character and both shifted functions), for the expense of making every right-shifted function require an extra keypress.

Another approach would have been to squeeze the cursor control buttons to the left, and put a two-place vertical Enter above the backspace key.

But that's all moot, as far as the current models is concerned. Perhaps a future version (49G+IIxUltraClassic) could have a double-height Enter stuck somewhere . . .


#14

Back to silly ergonomics....

The issue is primarily one of where people have become accustomed to the location of the ENTER key. The convenience of any particular location depends on the last digits of the number entered. If the number has your hand moving towards the upper left then the upper left is closest for the ENTER, if the number has you hand moving towards the lower right then that is easiest. New users who do not have the bias built in from earlier designs should not be affected by the location....


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