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43S News
03-07-2018, 10:36 PM
Post: #1
43S News
2018 seems to be a great year on RPN revival.

There are some news on a future 43S calculator.

Now, I wonder if this "43S" project is exactly the same project as this "WP-43S" under a new model name, as at least one of the developers is participating on both projects, despite a new player under the nickname "Over_score" seems to be developing a "43S" simulator.

Jose Mesquita
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03-07-2018, 11:13 PM
Post: #2
RE: 43S News
It is the same project. I've been involved too albeit not coding thus far.

Pauli
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03-08-2018, 02:34 PM
Post: #3
RE: 43S News
(03-07-2018 11:13 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  It is the same project. I've been involved too albeit not coding thus far.

Pauli

Thanks for the information, Pauli.

I always found the designation "WP" too limited to include the main developers of the previous 34S project, but never asked about it.
Assuming that Marcus also did a lot of work to develop the "WP-34S", the prefix could have been something like "WPM".
No offense intended to anyone, just curious.

Jose Mesquita
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03-08-2018, 09:54 PM
Post: #4
RE: 43S News
I don't remember the history behind not including the M. I'm pretty sure it was mentioned at some point.

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03-16-2018, 09:07 PM
Post: #5
RE: 43S News
I'm *very* excited for this, as I've been a big fan of and cheerleader for the WP-34s. The only thing that has bothered me about it has been the inconsistent keyboard quality on the underlying HP-30b. The two WP-34s I built each have keys that sometimes click but don't register. That's of course not a fault of the project, but rather HP beancounter-oriented supplier selection.

Looking at the proposed key layout, my one request, no... a beg (and I guess I'll need to get on the SwissMicros forum to post it for Walter) would be to *either*

A. Put the math operators on the LEFT side in order from top to bottom (- , + , * , / ). This matches HP-41C and earlier calculators.

OR

B. Put on the math operators on the RIGHT side in order from top to bottom (/ , * , - , +). This matches the HP-28C and newer calculators (including the WP-34s).

This "Layout C" that is presently shown is an odd hybrid. It's the newer top-to-bottom order, but on the old side of the calculator. Obviously, the operator key layout is arbitrary, but 2 prior standards exist and calculator-usage facility (speed) is aided by not fighting muscle memory. It's bad enough HP created two different conventions already; please pick either one of those and don't make a third!

My brain is still hard-wired to the right side layout from my HP-15C that was well-exercised through engineering school 30 years ago. I've been retraining it (slowly) to be more HP-41 and "Classic" friendly. That's not easy; a third layout would be too much :-) I'm actually a bit surprised Walter would make it different from the WP-34s, since this machine will attract many of the same users.

Still, I am thrilled this is beginning to move again! I really think there remains a niche market for an advanced calculator aimed at professional scientists and engineers, not students. That might be the "big market" (and it ain't what it used to be), but it's not the only market. I anticipate this team collaboration will put out a fine product. I want one.

burkhard
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03-17-2018, 06:09 AM
Post: #6
RE: 43S News
(03-16-2018 09:07 PM)burkhard Wrote:  This "Layout C" that is presently shown is an odd hybrid. It's the newer top-to-bottom order, but on the old side of the calculator. Obviously, the operator key layout is arbitrary, but 2 prior standards exist and calculator-usage facility (speed) is aided by not fighting muscle memory. It's bad enough HP created two different conventions already; please pick either one of those and don't make a third!

I'm with you but I don't think there is any possibility to reopen this topic. You can see some related discussions here and there.
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03-19-2018, 04:29 PM
Post: #7
RE: 43S News
Wow, Didier, thanks! Your links were most informative but yet incredibly perplexing...

I tried registering on the Swiss Micros forum to post last week, but I'm not approved yet,

I hope the Swiss Micros team is able to exercise some "gentle persuasion" on correcting this one aspect of the proposed design. From both forums' responses, it seems like *nobody* favors the "Layout C" except its designer (whom I agree with on almost everything else). That's really unfortunate, as the people whom this product is aimed at are rabid HP devotees. They are well-familiar and expect either Layout A or Layout B. Making a new layout for something as critical as the math operators doesn't enable ease-of-use for your Core market, something key to industrial design.

We (mostly) all use computer keyboards that are either QWERTY, QWERTZ, or AZERTY. There are historical reasons for this, and while it isn't either the most efficient nor the order we learned the alphabet, we stick with it because it is a standard in multiple types of devices and we've all learned that way and had years (or decades!) of muscle-memory burned in. If somebody came out with a product that forced using the Dvorak layout, its market would be very limited. There is already a relatively small market for a 43s sort of calculator. I would think it wouldn't be wise to similarly constrain what is already a niche market with a non-standard layout.

I love the WP-34s layout... why monkey with the heart of it so much? That was well-considered. I would hope this might be a gentle evolution upon it.
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03-19-2018, 05:13 PM
Post: #8
RE: 43S News
That was very similar to my thoughts when glancing through those threads: regardless of the most "logical" order, if familiarity is at all there, it's likely best to stick with expectations.

In fact, as an example, the order of operations has never once crossed my mind when looking at a calculator keyboard for the product or division key. I'm not sure I would prefer a particular order, but if I'm used to one...

I understand different users have different familiarity. I can hardly conceive of operations being on the left but I could see some people being familiar with it and wanting things to be that way...but isn't 40 years passing long enough? Big Grin
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03-19-2018, 08:52 PM
Post: #9
RE: 43S News
(03-19-2018 05:13 PM)Logan Wrote:  but isn't 40 years passing long enough? :D

Obviously not, or we wouldn't be here. ;)

Greetings,
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03-20-2018, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 03-20-2018 09:18 AM by sa-penguin.)
Post: #10
RE: 43S News
This reminds me of an idea I had years ago:

1. Let the users open the calculator, and rearrange the keys as they see fit,
2. Have the "keypad to function matrix" as a user-modifiable file or table. Similar to how /etc/hosts resolves names to IP addresses.

You want to switch the basic operators to left or right? Change the order? Go for it.
Are you primarily using finance functions? You can customize for that too - replace trig keys with PMT, PV, etc.
You want to replace the alphabet with Greek / Japanese / Korean / Thai / Klingon? Anything that's Unicode could be in the key lookup file.

It's not likely to happen. But hey, I can dream.

EDIT:
Reading the 43S forum notes, found this from Walter:
Quote: There is, however, a medicine for those who would rather die than accept the 4 operators there: you're free to reassign each and every key and function of the 43S except USR. Hope this helps.

Yes, that helps. All we need now is the ability to physically move labelled keys around.
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03-20-2018, 09:08 AM (This post was last modified: 03-20-2018 05:39 PM by emece67.)
Post: #11
RE: 43S News
(03-20-2018 08:53 AM)sa-penguin Wrote:  This reminds me of an idea I had years ago:

1. Let the users open the calculator, and rearrange the keys as they see fit,
2. Have the "keypad to function matrix" as a user-modifiable file or table. Similar to how /etc/hosts resolves names to IP addresses.

You want to switch the basic operators to left or right? Change the order? Go for it.
Are you primarily using finance functions? You can customize for that too - replace trig keys with PMT, PV, etc.
You want to replace the alphabet with Greek / Japanese / Korean / Thai / Klingon? Anything that's Unicode could be in the key lookup file.

It's not likely to happen. But hey, I can dream.

After seeing the "exotic" proposal for the keyboard layout on the wp43s, I also thought on this. But, if my memory serves me well, the keys on the Swissmicros DM series are not individual pieces, but all keys share the same frame. I suppose the DM42 (and thus the wp43) follows the same design, so this approach may not be feasible. Perhaps some DM42 owner can confirm this.

Regards.

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03-20-2018, 10:40 AM
Post: #12
RE: 43S News
That's correct: the keys are all part of the faceplate, just connected by two tabs.
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