|The folly of dual data-entry modes|
Message #1 Posted by DanO on 28 Sept 2003, 10:44 p.m.
Most people prefer a single data-entry mode (RPN or ALG). Why would any individual customer want a calculator that has both modes available?
This dual entry mode approach is nothing but a bad compromise on HP's part to try and appeal to all users and keep manufacturing and distribution costs low. Unfortunately, this approach is going to annoy HP's customers and create additional costs.
Imagine this: You are working on a complicated problem and you reach for your new HP dual data-entry calculator. You turn it on. Can you get to work immediately on your problem? No, because there is something you must do first. You must mentally set aside your work, however briefly, and check to make sure the calculator is in your preferred data-entry mode. This may not sound like much but it has to be done each and every time you turn on your calculator; day after day, month after month, year after year.
I predict failure for HP's dual data-entry mode approach. I would compare using one of these calculators regularly to going on a long walk with a permanent pebble in your shoe.
The additional costs will come when an ALG mode user inadvertently sets RPN mode and then contacts HP customer service because his calculator has gone haywire and doesn't work anymore. Does HP really want to deal with this?
The CORRECT approach for HP is to offer each calculator in its line-up in two versions: Permanent RPN mode and permanent ALG mode. For example, offer an HP-12CP RPN and a separate HP-12CP ALG and let the customer choose.