Shift Keys and Calculators Message #1 Posted by Ernie Malaga on 13 Mar 2001, 12:57 a.m.
ON SHIFT KEYS AND CALCULATORS
Ever since HP came up with the HP80, HP calculators have usually sported shift keys of different colors. Going through my collection of pictures for true calculators only (i.e., eliminating things like the HP75, 01, 9805, etc.), I have concluded that HP must have a predilection for the gold shift keys  and the blue shift keys in second place.
Here’s my compilation.
Black: 3 counted (27, 34C, 67).
Blue: 22 counted (11C, 12C, 15C, 16C, 19C, 20S, 21, 21S, 22S, 25, 27S, 29C, 32E, 33C, 34C, 38C, 48SX, 55, 65, 67, 92, 95C.
Dark blue: 1 counted (49G).
Dark red: 1 counted (28C).
Gold: 36 counted (10, 10C, 11C, 12C, 14B, 15C, 16C, 17B, 18C, 19C, 20S, 21S, 22, 25, 27, 29C, 31E, 32E, 32S, 33C, 34C, 37E, 38C, 41C, 42S, 45, 48SX, 55, 65 (two of them!), 67, 80, 91, 92, 95C, 97.
Green: 1 counted (81).
Purple: 1 counted (48GX).
Red: 2 counted (46, 49G).
Teal: 1 counted (48GX).
In preparing the above list, I have not included “variations” of each machine. For instance, I have counted the HP25 but not the 25C. Similarly, there’s mention to the 41C but not to the 41CV or 41CX.
Also, sometimes the hue varies. For example, although the 32S is included among those having a gold shift key, the key is practically orange.
Trivia:
* The HP27 is the only calculator in which the [g] shift key is black.
* The HP65 is the only calculator having two gold shift keys.
* Only two calculators have had 3 shift keys: HP34C and HP67.
* Only two calculators had no shift keys: HP35 and HP70. Coincidence that 35 * 2 = 70?
* The HP70 is the only calculator ever to have (ugh) orange keys.
Question: What made HP decide on gold and blue? My feeling (purely conjecture) is that most colorblind people can tell them apart; if they were red and green, they’d look the same to them.
