Am I the only one who thinks the HP50g looks ugly?



#35

Hi,

Am I the only person here who thinks the HP50g looks ugly, compared to the HP49g plus?


I know the build quality is horrible but I liked the gold colour scheme. The black makes it look like an ugly 50's lab instrument in my opinion.

.


#36

The gold is fine with me as long as it stays on the calc. One of my g+ seem to be corroded... Hard to believe on a plastic calculator.

At least it seems they are using black plastic so this will no happen.

Arnaud


#37

See the photos: [url:http://www.hp-network.com/hp50g/ ]


#38

I think it looks about the same as the 49G+ which is not good but not too bad.

#39

Well from my experience things never look the same in pictures as they do in person. I would wait till you see/hold one before passing judgement.

TW

#40

The gold color scheme with it's red and green shift colors was not a good choice. Many men are color blind toward red and green, and that tends to make it a very bad choice.

The contrast of the new colors looks very good.


#41

I don't look at the colours, just check right or left. I could not tell you which colour is left and which is right but I know right is bottom. Even if there was no colour it would not chaneg anything for me. I believe people worry too much about colours.

Arnaud


#42

Well, there is a minimum amount of contrast needed or else you can't tell the shift function from the background color. :-)

There's a quote from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams that's helpful.

The heroes of the story are aboard a spaceship and they find that the computer is difficult to operate:

“ ‘It’s the wild color scheme that freaks me,’ said Zaphod... ‘Every time you try to operate one of these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you've done it. What is this? Some kind of galactic hyperhearse?’

‘Perhaps whoever designed it had eyes that responded to different wavelengths?’ offered Trillian.

‘Or didn't have much imagination,’ muttered Arthur.

‘Perhaps,’ said Marvin, ‘he was feeling very depressed.’


#43

Hi Gene,

I'd forgotten about the "Black on Black" story from the Hitchhikers Guide. Great description of today's designers.

You've hit upon my major problem with most consumer goods today - No thought is put into the color sheme other than what looks good from an artistic view - not from a usability view.

I have equipment that has raised white lettering on white plastic - impossible to read unless it's tilted in the light so that the raised lettering stands out.

A lot of my equipment has light green or gray lettering on dark gray or black background. My Pioneer receiver is that way. Almost impossible to operate from the front of the unit - thank goodness it has a decent remote.

For the younger crowd with great eyesight, these poor color schemes are not a great problem and I'm sure they wonder why we keep complaining about them. In time I'm sure they will learn to appreciate what we are complaining about :)

Bill


#44

 Bill - Smithville, NJ wrote:
> Great description of today's designers.

Well not only
today's designers.

Sir Clive Sinclair [1] when asked why
most of his products were black, said that they were aware of
it and have tried to come up with a non-black product, but
when they look at the pre-production units, the black ones
always look better.

**vp

[1] Sinclair is the guy who went for the bottom of the
LED-watch/calculator/home computer markets. In the 70s he
produced cheap LED watches, cheap calculators, and in the
early 80s cheap computers (ZX-80, ZX-81, Spectrum, etc.)
All were based on the assumption that the device has to be
dirt cheap and last till the owner is bored with it and
throws it away or stores it in the attic/basement/bottom
drawer. The exact antithesis (hey, I am Greek :-) of the HP way (at the time).

#45

Did you see the B.C. Comic in the papers today.

BC Comic

You'll want to look at the July 22 one.

Bill

#46

I have to disagree, but I withold judgement until seeing one in person. I think the color scheme is a step in the right direction because it more closely resembles the older HP's. I don't prefer that just because of nostalgia, but because I think the old color scheme worked well wit good contrast and legibility. To contrast, the green/lavender of late model HP32sii was horrible, and the silver/green/purple of the HP 33s is also bad. I do have reservations regarding the form factor of the 50g. I don't know why they need to have those curved lines on it.


#47

Wait a minute... isn't this the forum where just about everyone complains about any color scheme or layout varying from the brown/black hp calculators in the past???? Now that HP responds to the complaints and releases a brown / black calculator with no flashy colors there is more whining...... I do not understand.... Please do not complain when HP is simply listening to your market feedback and responding.


#48

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you meant to respond to the person who started this thread, and not my response to the same.

Clearly, I am not whining about the color scheme of the 50g and am disagreeing with the original poster. I said that the color scheme of the 50g was a step in the right direction.

#49

Quote:
Wait a minute... isn't this the forum where just about everyone complains about any color scheme or layout varying from the brown/black hp calculators in the past???? Now that HP responds to the complaints and releases a brown / black calculator with no flashy colors there is more whining...... I do not understand.... Please do not complain when HP is simply listening to your market feedback and responding.

There's no pleasing everyone. You will find that when a product works, and works well, very few people will comment about it. And in fact, working products are simply nothing out of the ordinary to the typical user. Only the few who do have problems with a product will voice their opinions.

No one remembers the good things we do. But everyone remembers the one mistake we made.

#50

Quote:
Now that HP responds to the complaints and releases a brown / black calculator with no flashy colors there is more whining...... I do not understand.... Please do not complain when HP is simply listening to your market feedback and responding
My complaint is about the shape, and they continue the ridiculous swirls and swoops that make it look like it's aimed at a junior-high cheerleader instead of the scientific/engineering community. Styling hit its peak around 1980, and it's been going downhill in the last 20 years, whether it's calculators, cars, stereo equipment, or whatever. Obviously I have to say that's just my opinion and not provable scientific fact, but I feel so strongly about it that it's very hard for me to get past that and give the calc a fair chance in what it can do.

#51

Quote:
My complaint is about the shape, and they continue the ridiculous swirls and swoops that make it look like it's aimed at a junior-high cheerleader instead of the scientific/engineering community. Styling hit its peak around 1980, and it's been going downhill in the last 20 years, whether it's calculators, cars, stereo equipment, or whatever.

Amen, brother Garth! I keep two 1980's German cars, a 1981 Seiko wristwatch, and of course my collection of 1980's-designed HP calc's. I'll replace none of them with modern ones unless I really have to. That atrocious modern "stylization" of consumer produts is a key factor.

In the US (and probably around much of the developed world), consumer products were very sensibly styled in the 1980's. I believe that may have been, in part, a reaction against the psychedelic 1960's and the funky 1970's.

So, what happened since then? The rapid advance of microelectronics and utlization of cheap labor (e.g., Chinese) has led to profound lowering of prices and profit margins. Companies make products for the short term (due to rapid obsolescence), and emphasize flashiness over substance in order to get market share. Car stereo equipment is probably the most horrid example of this.

For automobiles, advanced Computer-assisted Design and Drafting (CADD) has made it very easy to create new designs without constraints of sensibility.

-- KS

#52

Same here, if they could get rid of those curved corners and semi-beveled edges that make the whole thing so anti-ergonomic and displeasing to look at...

but maybe we're just showing our age, after all taste is a matter of what you're used to seeing and have seen since you had the ability to notice things.

Best, ÁM

#53

I like the new look :-)

I'd like the enter key to be bigger and the keys to "feel" like the ones on the 15C.

A USB port would be good to exchange programs/update the ROM.

Add the clearest LCD they can manage - most pixels - and maybe add DayGlo or LED lighting to aid in dark surroundings.

Add enough memory (the damned stuff is cheap as dirt).

fyi

#54

I think anything without a large enter key is ugly. IMHO older HPs had equal emphasis on form, function, and quality. Lately it appears that function is given more weight.

However I do like the newer colors. I will get the 50G, it will become the first new HP I have purchased since the 48GX.


#55

I like the new looks....i just ask about the "new" keyboard...will be OK???, something like the older ones?....

#56

Proabably not - but I think it looks alright.

Mike T.

#57

Who knows?
Anyhow comparing a 40gs (which holds almost the same color scheme of the 50g) side by side with a 49g+ you can easily appreciate the greater contrast.

Pseudo-metallic surfaces aren't the best choice to paint on key functions in my opinion (especially when using pale, non contrasting, tones).

Greetings,
Massimo


#58

The phrase FORM follows FUNCTION, or other forms (hahaa) such as

FORM > FUNCTION is certainly appreciated by engineers. An interesting insight I offer is this:

Engineers' OBSERVE something to function well, and subsequently appreciate its FORM. That is to say, we associate a supreme aesthetic with functionality.

I have often found myself coveting the appearance of one of my creations primarily because of its ability to surpass (in functionality) another competing design.

Perhaps this explains why I find it compelling to ridicule the looks of something that fails to do its job??

ECL

#59

Some time ago the calculator industry decided that curves were nice. One example is the hp 33s with chevron keys. Another is the TI-89 where the TI graphic calculators from the TI-80 through the TI-85 had nice, god-fearing rectangular cases with rectangular keys but the TI-89 has curves with keys positioned in a sort-of chevron fashion. Place pictures of an HP-50 and a TI-89 side by side and note the similarity in the form factor of the cases. I don't have an Hp-50 but measurements from your picture and from ny TI-89 say that the aspect ratios are very close -- 2.26 for the TI-89 and 2.16 for the HP-50 !

#60

The good: Black, good color contrast.

The bad: RPL and a small Enter key in wrong place!

The ugly: "Fancy" shape.

Edited: 20 July 2006, 3:46 a.m.

#61

I seem to remember an article in one of the HP magazines that gave the rationale for colour selection of the calculators. Specifically, the discussion was for the (beloved) 41 and the reason that black was chosen was because "it did not show the dirt as bad".

HP appreciated the fact that people used their units in all conditions. The gold colour scheme to me appears to be "bling", while the black appears stately and understated. The gold function key gives excellent contrast. With the exception of black, I don't think that there is really good contrast on a gold background. Mind you, my eyes are definitely getting older...

#62

I have no idea how the HP50G is supposed to compete with TI's new calculator.

I thought the TI89 and HP49G+ were fairly evenly matched, with one having strengths or weaknesses the other didn't (to name just a few examples, the 49G+, inexplicably, can't do complex numerical integration, or complex Taylor series. On the other hand, RPL makes it easy to program any process you could manually do on the calculator. On the TI, that's not necessarily easy, and in some cases I'm not even sure if it's possible. The 49G+ usually gives real complex Taylor series faster; the TI89 usually is faster at numerical integration. I like the 49g+'s soft menus. But the 49G+ can't evaluate sin(pi/5) with surds... or it often doesn't even reduce squareroot(9) to 3, for some reason. And so on).

But the next TI is supposed to be such a huge step up: 6 times faster, 16 times the computing memory, about ten times the storage memory (could make up for not having SD card support), 5 times the visual resolution (and gray scale)...

The 50G, on the other hand, seems like just a minor improvement over the 49G+, and so looks to be left way behind. At the very least, the photos of its screen look to be the same resolution as the 49G+. And I haven't heard any news about substantial increases in memory or speed. Or an updated CAS.


#63

From an engineering viewpoint, HP is in an interesting situation.

How many people really understand how the HP50g works? It is fairly complicated. We have an ARM processor running an emulator for a CPU that very few people have experience with. The emulated code is written in a mixture of assembly and a language that almost no-one knows. How can HP improve it? And is the HP48 codebase a dead end?

I wonder how expensive it would be for HP to hire programmers and train them in system-RPL and Saturn asm.

Als, as long as the software is emulated there will be a very big speed hit. All it takes is for TI's new machine to run native code on a fast CPU and the HP50g will be left in the dust. TI were smart enough to use a standard language which can be recompiled to a speedy chip. HP on the other hand were short-sighted and rewrote code in assembly for the HP49g.

Personally I'd rather HP throw away the bulk of the HP48 code and make a fresh start. I just don't see how major improvements to the existing code are feasible. Does anyone have any ideas?


#64

Quote:
Personally I'd rather HP throw away the bulk of the HP48 code and make a fresh start. I just don't see how major improvements to the existing code are feasible. Does anyone have any ideas?

Throw away RPL, implement in a new device JOY or FORTH.


#65

There would be no point to throwing away RPL and using FORTH. RPL is already a more powerful threaded interpretive language than FORTH. FORTH has no real concept of objects; it's stack is viewed as an arbitrary pile of bytes, which may be interpreted as characters, integers, floating point numbers, etc. based solely on which "word" is trying to use them. That is even more error-prone than "system RPL".

What they need to throw away isn't RPL, but the big pile of Saturn assembly language code that has replaced much of the original RPL code in the interest of performance. Early RPL implementations had relatively little assembly code, and could have been relatively easily ported to a non-Saturn architecture (such as ARM).

#66

I'm not sure many calculator buyers (especially at the high end) choose between HP and TI (and Casio and Sharp and ???) on the basis of speed. The emulation layer's overhead is, I think, far less significant than what you suggest is HP's difficulty in enhancing the core functionality of its HP48 code. (Interesting observation, that!)

on FORTH: I read and agreed/agree with John Dvorak's sound dismissal of FORTH as a systems development language, written WAY back in the days of the Coleco "Adam" debacle (remember?) (I admit, however, I have no current experience or knowledge.) In today's environment, if H-P is to enhance its position there is no sense in replacing one proprietary environment with an arcane alternative utterly lacking an industry-wide presence.

With regard to the 50G's "ugliness": it just looks like an old TI-89.


Edited: 21 July 2006, 10:50 a.m.


#67

Quote:
on FORTH: I read and agreed/agree with John Dvorak's sound dismissal of FORTH as a systems development language, written WAY back in the days of the Coleco "Adam" debacle (remember?) (I admit, however, I have no current experience or knowledge.) In today's environment, if H-P is to enhance its position there is no sense in replacing one proprietary environment with an arcane alternative utterly lacking an industry-wide presence.
Forth's only problem for this kind of application is that it doesn't protect the user from himself, which is rather necessary for casual calculator users who should not be given so much control that they can run themselves off a cliff. Forth really is a rather timeless philosophy of programming though, and is not limited to the methods of 20 years ago. Note that NASA continues to be a big Forth user for complex new systems.

Edited: 21 July 2006, 4:44 p.m.

#68

This is off topic, but all of the talk about the new HP 50g makes me hope that HP has a successor to the HP 33s in the near future.


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  hp50g screen weird line Sok-khieng Chum Hun 2 937 09-10-2013, 08:11 AM
Last Post: Sok-khieng Chum Hun
  Documentation about Hp50g / 49g+ / 48gII and wikis Pier Aiello 9 1,905 09-10-2013, 04:22 AM
Last Post: Software49g
  "A Penny for your thoughts" on the HP50g Tom Grydeland 3 1,086 08-01-2013, 03:57 AM
Last Post: Les Koller
  Is there a HP50g emulator for Linux? Matti Övermark 2 922 07-03-2013, 07:40 AM
Last Post: Matti Övermark
  HP50G advanced applications for mathematics CompSystems 0 703 06-17-2013, 08:38 AM
Last Post: CompSystems
  HP50g rebind stat key Chris Smith 1 742 05-26-2013, 06:21 PM
Last Post: Software49g
  How I use my HP50G at work. David Bengtson 7 1,512 05-06-2013, 02:57 PM
Last Post: Ingo
  HP50g emulator Richard Berler 1 749 03-24-2013, 02:43 PM
Last Post: aurelio
  Focus on the HP50g Mic 13 2,152 01-22-2013, 09:18 PM
Last Post: Ronald Williams
  HP50g and rechargeables Chris Smith 11 1,769 01-07-2013, 02:43 AM
Last Post: Derek Walker (UK)

Forum Jump: