|Re: revisted: the 4 banger+|
Message #12 Posted by Paul Guertin on 23 June 2007, 1:47 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Paul Dale
I've been fiddling around with the super 4 banger that got mentioned a few weeks back.
Here is my interpretation of a "super 4 banger", meaning (for me) a basic, non-programmable scientific calculator.
I tried to keep it as simple as possible while including most common functions (common for me). I limited myself to a 20-key pad, since physical size was an important constraint.
1. There is no on/off key. To turn it on, push any key. To turn it off, hold SHIFT down for a couple seconds (or wait 10 minutes).
2. Note the INV function (on the 4 key), applicable to SIN, COS, TAN, LN, LOG, R->P, ->DMS, D->R and SQRT to compute the inverse function. It can also be applied to y^x to compute y^(1/x) (saving one keystroke). There is of course no need to use the shift key again after INV. E.g., push SHIFT then 4 then 1 to compute the arcsine.
3. There is only one memory. STO and RCL do not take an argument.
4. Fractional numbers can be input in 32S-like syntax (e.g., 3.1.2 for 3 and a half, or 9..7 for nine sevenths), but they are immediately converted to floating point. There is no FDISP equivalent.
5. I like the idea of having a 2-line display, but I'd rather have a sharper, numbers-only display instead of the 42S bitmapped display pictured here.
6. The DISP key is used to set the display mode (normal/scientific, number of digits displayed) and also the angular mode (degrees/radians).
7. Designing keyboards for imaginary calculators is a great way to waste time!