Poll: What's your favorite 43S layout?
This poll is closed.
a) 11.94% 8 11.94%
b) 80.60% 54 80.60%
c) 7.46% 5 7.46%
Total 67 votes 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

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A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
01-04-2015, 06:26 AM
Post: #41
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 06:14 AM)walter b Wrote:  I apologize for such a long post but hope to have explained the facts that apparently need to be explained.

d:-)
This is clear, but in my view these exact same reasons that drive the arithmetic operators order can be applied to the operators location and should drive you to put them on the right. Wink
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01-04-2015, 07:27 AM
Post: #42
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 06:14 AM)walter b Wrote:  * I was told the "emergency off" solution for an early IBM mainframe was an axe for cutting the mains cable.

You were told wrong.
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01-04-2015, 08:37 AM
Post: #43
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 06:26 AM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  This is clear, bug in my view these exact same reasons that drive the arithmetic operators order can be applied to the operators location and should drive you to put them on the right. Wink

I know your opinion and appreciate it. As written above, however, I strongly dislike repeating closed polls. Please see the threads of 2013 & 2014.

d:-)
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01-04-2015, 10:16 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2015 01:41 PM by Massimo Gnerucci.)
Post: #44
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 06:14 AM)walter b Wrote:  and remember: everybody will be free to reassign also these keys in USER mode.

Will we be also free to physically move our buttons around?

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-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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01-04-2015, 02:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2015 02:42 PM by walter b.)
Post: #45
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 10:16 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Will we be also free to physically move our buttons around?

You may have noticed all buttons were created equal in size. So swapping buttons would be no problem. All HP calculators after the Voyagers, however, didn't feature swappable buttons anymore. I'd guess that was made to reduce manufacturing costs. Anyway, that's a mechanical hardware topic, so this must be answered by Eric.

d:-)
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01-04-2015, 02:49 PM
Post: #46
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 12:47 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  You know that 99.9% of your potential customers are survivors of the remaining 25%, do you?

I sincerely hope that percentage will be significantly less than 99.9%.

d:-)
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01-04-2015, 03:46 PM
Post: #47
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 02:41 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(01-04-2015 10:16 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Will we be also free to physically move our buttons around?

You may have noticed all buttons were created equal in size. So swapping buttons would be no problem. All HP calculators after the Voyagers, however, didn't feature swappable buttons anymore. I'd guess that was made to reduce manufacturing costs. Anyway, that's a mechanical hardware topic, so this must be answered by Eric.

d:-)

Yes I did notice. However if you could move them around your keyboard all these polls and debates would be much less important, at least for primary functions.

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01-04-2015, 03:47 PM
Post: #48
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 02:49 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(01-04-2015 12:47 AM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  You know that 99.9% of your potential customers are survivors of the remaining 25%, do you?

I sincerely hope that percentage will be significantly less than 99.9%.

d:-)

Oh well, dreams are for free... ;)

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01-04-2015, 04:21 PM
Post: #49
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 08:37 AM)walter b Wrote:  
(01-04-2015 06:26 AM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  This is clear, bug in my view these exact same reasons that drive the arithmetic operators order can be applied to the operators location and should drive you to put them on the right. Wink

I know your opinion and appreciate it. As written above, however, I strongly dislike repeating closed polls. Please see the threads of 2013 & 2014.

d:-)

Putting arithmetic operators on the left will act as a barrier to adoption just like shuffling the order of operators would. I don't personally dislike that layout but it should be carefully considered whether the few practical advantages outweigh that cost. Those closed polls are relevant in answering this question only if they provide some specific answers and reasoning.
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01-04-2015, 10:01 PM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2015 10:02 PM by Paul Dale.)
Post: #50
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
It would make things a lot quieter if we limited the polls to those willing to spend $500 on the device -- I don't know what the exact price will be, but cheap it will not be.

- Pauli
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01-04-2015, 10:31 PM
Post: #51
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 10:01 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  It would make things a lot quieter if we limited the polls to those willing to spend $500 on the device -- I don't know what the exact price will be, but cheap it will not be.

- Pauli

My exact feelings, Paul.

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01-04-2015, 10:43 PM
Post: #52
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 10:01 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  It would make things a lot quieter if we limited the polls to those willing to spend $500 on the device

I'm not so sure. Some of us have already spent a lot of money on calculators...
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01-05-2015, 12:30 AM
Post: #53
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 10:01 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  It would make things a lot quieter if we limited the polls to those willing to spend $500 on the device -- I don't know what the exact price will be, but cheap it will not be.

- Pauli

This comment disappoints me. The frequent, vocal exchange of ideas can only benefit the outcome of this project.

I am most definitely a member of the target market demographic willing to spend whatever is necessary for the final product. But I shouldn't need to make that declaration in order to comment.

I'm making "noise" because, in my opinion, the proposed layouts are not optimal. As Walter pointed out in his Sic faciunt omnes rationalization, "billions of people" have become accustomed to a certain order of operators. I might add that the same group of people are also accustomed to the operators being on the right side of the keypad.

I'm certain that HP, TI, Sharp, Casio, etc. all spent substantial time and money on focus groups, ergonomic studies, etc. before settling on what, in my opinion, is the current standard layout.

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01-05-2015, 01:00 AM
Post: #54
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 12:30 AM)Mark Hardman Wrote:  The frequent, vocal exchange of ideas can only benefit the outcome of this project.

If a consensus is reached, I agree completely. We have had polls about the operator placement and the left was the result -- yet people continue to complain that right is better/preferred/mandatory/correct. That is noise and unproductive to my mind. For the record, I am one who would quite prefer them on the right, but the vote has been taken.

My point was more to suggest that these contentious issues be finally resolved by people who will fork out the big dollars so that they get what they want.


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01-05-2015, 02:05 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2015 02:26 AM by brouhaha.)
Post: #55
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-04-2015 10:01 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  It would make things a lot quieter if we limited the polls to those willing to spend

It sure would! It's tempting to take deposits for the hardware, and have a forum where only those who have placed deposits can vote on UI proposals. However, if I weren't on the team, I don't think I would be willing to put down a deposit for a calculator, so I don't expect anyone else to either.

Quote:$500 on the device -- I don't know what the exact price will be, but cheap it will not be.

We're going to try really hard to keep the selling price of the hardware down to $300, but obviously we can't make any guarantees at this point. As it is, almost everyone says $300 is too expensive. They've forgotten that the HP-41C originally sold for $960 in 2014 dollars, and that was with the full resources of HP available for engineering and production, and it sold very well at that price. I have no idea what HP's budget for the development of the HP-41C and the setup of the production was, but I expect that it was over $20M in 2014 dollars. For a very small team with only personal out-of-pocket funding, making an advanced calculator that can be sold at less than 1/3 the inflation-adjusted original price of the HP-41C will be a significant accomplishment.

The main complaint I've heard is "I can put a calculator app on my smartphone for $n" (0 <= n <= 25). The target market for this caclulator is NOT people who are satisfied with a smartphone calculator app.
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01-05-2015, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2015 02:24 AM by brouhaha.)
Post: #56
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 12:30 AM)Mark Hardman Wrote:  I'm certain that HP, TI, Sharp, Casio, etc. all spent substantial time and money on focus groups, ergonomic studies, etc. before settling on what, in my opinion, is the current standard layout.

I doubt that any of them have done ergonomic studies of calculators since the early 1980s. They probably all do focus groups of teenagers; such things are known to have influenced the design of 1990s HP calculators in ways that are considered undesirable by most people in this community.

In the old days, HP did studies of how the scientific calculators would be used by engineers and other technical professionals, as that was their target market. I don't think any calculator vendor has done that in many years; now their target market is high school students.

Having the operators on the right in + - * / order bottom to top will undoubtedly make it appeal more to high school students. Frankly I could not care less whether the vast majority of high school students are interested in the calculators I design or not, because they aren't going to buy a $300 calculator no matter what the position and order of the operator keys is.

From personal experience, I found having the operators on the left in the traditional HP order made me more efficient. The left side was better for one-handed operation in my left hand, which was my predominant mode of operation. (I'm right handed, so I often had a pen in my right hand or was otherwise using my right hand for some other aspect of what I was doing.) The operator order made it very efficient to evaluate polynomials with one- or two-handed operation, due to + and * being adjacent. It may well be the case that HP chose that based on a survey, as Walter has stated, but I don't believe that it was a survey of random schmucks, or that the survey was done without giving the participants some background. In other words, it wasn't a blind suvey of high school students.

One of the guiding principles of the calculator development Richard and I have been doing for more than a decade now has been "he who does the work gets to decide". When Richard and I disagreed on things, generally if it was a hardware issue Richard decided it, and if it was a software issue I did. That's not to say that we had a lot of disagreements. For the 43S project, now we will have more people involved, with Richard and I focused on hardware and low-level firmware, and (hopefully) the WP-34s team focused on the high-level functionality and user interface. Asuming that we maintain the principle we've used before, the WP-34s team will get to make the decisions on key layout, and while it's nice that Walter offers polls to get the sense of the community, everyone needs to remember that this is NOT a democracy. Ultimately the actual decisions may be contrary to the result of the polls. Certainly in the case of operator key positioning, I tend to suspect that I won't like the final result, but since I don't want to do all the firmware development on my own, I'm resigned to making the best of what the team members provide.
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01-05-2015, 06:20 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2015 07:03 AM by walter b.)
Post: #57
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 02:21 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  From personal experience, I found having the operators on the left in the traditional HP order made me more efficient. The left side was better for one-handed operation in my left hand, which was my predominant mode of operation.

I share your view.

Quote:
The operator order made it very efficient to evaluate polynomials with one- or two-handed operation, due to + and * being adjacent.

Hmmh. The polynomials I know feature + and - .

Quote:One of the guiding principles of the calculator development Richard and I have been doing for more than a decade now has been "he who does the work gets to decide". When Richard and I disagreed on things, generally if it was a hardware issue Richard decided it, and if it was a software issue I did. That's not to say that we had a lot of disagreements. For the 43S project, now we will have more people involved, with Richard and I focused on hardware and low-level firmware, and (hopefully) the WP-34s team focused on the high-level functionality and user interface. Asuming that we maintain the principle we've used before, the WP-34s team will get to make the decisions on key layout, and while it's nice that Walter offers polls to get the sense of the community, everyone needs to remember that this is NOT a democracy.

I concur with your statements. We did it in the same way with the WP 34S. Just let me add there are mainly two reasons why I start a poll:
  1. We need feedback from the community since we may have diverging opinions but no strong preferences.
  2. We're looking for ideas we may have overlooked (we're just five people in total, and each of us focusses on different aspects of that project).
So this poll shows a clear preference for b and little new ideas so far.

d:-)

P.S.: Mechanical hardware seems to be an orphan. Who's taking care of it?
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01-05-2015, 08:31 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2015 08:32 AM by Ángel Martin.)
Post: #58
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 06:20 AM)walter b Wrote:  
(01-05-2015 02:21 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  The operator order made it very efficient to evaluate polynomials with one- or two-handed operation, due to + and * being adjacent.

Hmmh. The polynomials I know feature + and - .

He's referring to Evaluating them - presumably using Honer's method - which uses * and + functions chained.
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01-05-2015, 08:40 AM
Post: #59
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 08:31 AM)Ángel Martin Wrote:  
(01-05-2015 06:20 AM)walter b Wrote:  Hmmh. The polynomials I know feature + and - .

He's referring to Evaluating them - presumably using Honer's method - which uses * and + functions chained.

Guessed that. But some coefficients may be negative, aren't they?

d:-)
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01-05-2015, 10:10 AM
Post: #60
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 02:21 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  Frankly I could not care less whether the vast majority of high school students are interested in the calculators I design or not, because they aren't going to buy a $300 calculator no matter what the position and order of the operator keys is.

Yap.
Competing against the big names like CASIO and TEXAS is not easy at all.
Even HP struggles to maintain its position in the calculator market against them.

This is a really nice project, and I'm whiling to acquire one of these new and unique machines as long as I can find funds to pay that large amount of money on the hardware alone...

Somehow I was expecting hardware to cost way to much less these days.
But as it has been already explained a few times in other posts, there are other more important factors contributing to the final price (FCC issues, case and keys manufacturing, ...).

If I acquire one 43S it will be just for the fun of having a kind of prototype machine in my collection, inspired on the big HP calculator era.
I do not need calculators on my work, as for that I use computers.

So, as a collector, it doesn't really matter what keyboard layout will be used. In fact, the weirder the better from a collector point of view Smile
But option B is nice, if option D is not an option.

Let's wait and see the outcome.

Jose Mesquita
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