Post Reply 
DM42 News
02-01-2017, 05:31 PM
Post: #41
RE: DM42 News
What about a second shifted mode, available via a long-press of the shift key?

Would this make sense, e.g. for uppercase vs. lowercase characters?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 09:39 AM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2017 09:42 AM by Thomas Okken.)
Post: #42
RE: DM42 News
(01-30-2017 10:45 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  Yes, I concur with this proposal, think I didn't understand Thomas' remark on that correctly

I'm getting a bit lost in all the details of these proposals myself, so just to clarify, the one point I feel really strongly about is: don't alter the behavior of ENTER and EXIT for command completion and cancellation. It should not be necessary to long-press either of them to get this really basic, super commonly used functionality.

In that same spirit, I also agree with the earlier point that it shouldn't be necessary to long-press R/S in ALPHA mode.

I understand the attraction of being able to enter text more easily. I'm actually somewhat fond of the ALPHA menu (don't judge me, I know there are car enthusiasts who put up with much worse from their beloved vehicles), but when I use Free42 on a computer, I use the QWERTY keyboard all the time, because it's so much easier and faster than menus.

But having to long-press some of the most commonly used keys for their original functionality, I think that would annoy me to the point of not wanting to use the device.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 10:08 AM
Post: #43
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 09:39 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  I'm actually somewhat fond of the ALPHA menu
1 +
HP42s ALPHA menu helps keeping its keyboard layout so clean/readable/uncluttered. IMHO, this forms a key part of this model's beauty.

Saludos Saluti Cordialement Cumprimentos MfG BR + + + + +
Luigi Vampa +
Free42 BlackviewA7 '<3' I + + +
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 10:46 AM
Post: #44
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 10:08 AM)Luigi Vampa Wrote:  
(02-02-2017 09:39 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  I'm actually somewhat fond of the ALPHA menu
1 +
HP42s ALPHA menu helps keeping its keyboard layout so clean/readable/uncluttered. IMHO, this forms a key part of this model's beauty.

Indeed. The HP-41, by contrast, had such a keyboard clutter problem that they ended up with the non-obvious shifted ALPHA key assignments shown on the back of the machine. Adding lowercase f through z to the set of typeable characters makes things even more problematic on the HP-42S.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 12:12 PM
Post: #45
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 09:39 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  I'm getting a bit lost in all the details of these proposals myself, so just to clarify, the one point I feel really strongly about is: don't alter the behavior of ENTER and EXIT for command completion and cancellation. It should not be necessary to long-press either of them to get this really basic, super commonly used functionality...

But having to long-press some of the most commonly used keys for their original functionality, I think that would annoy me to the point of not wanting to use the device.

Thanks for the voice of sanity! I agree with this. Lots of clever solutions here but I'm wondering if they just make things too complicated when simplicity is the attraction of this device.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 12:18 PM
Post: #46
RE: DM42 News
I concur, but...

(02-02-2017 09:39 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  I'm actually somewhat fond of the ALPHA menu

1 -

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 12:46 PM
Post: #47
RE: DM42 News
It must be clear, intuitive and error proof as possible. Long, half, double, triple and multiquadruple taps and presses are slippery slope and should be used with caution.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 01:58 PM
Post: #48
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 12:46 PM)Vtile Wrote:  It must be clear, intuitive and error proof as possible. Long, half, double, triple and multiquadruple taps and presses are slippery slope and should be used with caution.

Where "with caution" = "never". Smile
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 02:31 PM
Post: #49
RE: DM42 News
This is a great project showing how a small company (a two men show?) can put together what will be a excellent calculator, by using the expertise and production capacity of 3rd parties.
I'm buying one when it becomes available.

Agree with the idea of simplicity and uncluttered keyboard and above all, please do not use long presses or anything similar. Keep it simple, please.

Jose Mesquita
RadioMuseum.org member

Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 02:40 PM
Post: #50
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 10:46 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  
(02-02-2017 10:08 AM)Luigi Vampa Wrote:  1 +
HP42s ALPHA menu helps keeping its keyboard layout so clean/readable/uncluttered. IMHO, this forms a key part of this model's beauty.
Indeed. The HP-41, by contrast, had such a keyboard clutter problem that they ended up with the non-obvious shifted ALPHA key assignments shown on the back of the machine. Adding lowercase f through z to the set of typeable characters makes things even more problematic on the HP-42S.
... good point!! I don't know if the "letter-challenged" HP41 was the cause of such clean layout design in the HP42s. Although the DM41L was a brave departure from the original portrait design, I see DM42-P as a new HW platform for future product developments, rather than a close replica of the HP42s. I wish someday there could be a close replica of the original HP42s design, since I am a SOLVER user + roadwarrior. I do appreciate compactness over libraries or big screens. When I need graphics, not so often, I use SW tools in my PC.
A scientific (not graphing) calculator is meant to do fast STEM calculations. HP42s added limited graphics, crippled you might say, when compared to its descendents, but its compact and clean design was the key of its success. Now I feel I was wrong when I jumped from my HP28s, over the HP42s, to the HP48sx, plenty of bells&whistles... almost never used.
We certainly can add some makeup on La Gioconda to give her a more modern taste, nevertheless, the result would undoubtedly depart from the original masterpiece.
"There are as many likings, as colours in the rainbow"... a bad translation of an old Spanish saying.

Saludos Saluti Cordialement Cumprimentos MfG BR + + + + +
Luigi Vampa +
Free42 BlackviewA7 '<3' I + + +
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2017 06:40 PM by Vtile.)
Post: #51
RE: DM42 News
Well I'm not sure if this is something that would work or not or if it is already proposed, but..

I'm not too familiar with the Free42 or the original calculator (I have not used any advanced features = programming etc., only just as basic scientific), so this might have some real issues.

What if the changing from the uppercase and lowercase is just from up and down arrows.

Edit: small correction.. memory did fool me, the yellow(or gold if you prefer Wink ) shift is below arrows not above...
Shift + Down + Shift : toggle(&lock) between upper- and lower case while in alpha mode.
Shift + Down + keyXYZ : lowercase / uppercase and return to "locked"
Shift + up + Shift : toggle(&lock) between special character map (not shown on the faceplate)
Shift + up + keyXYZ : go to special character map / alphabet map and return after keyXYZ is presset

Almost like it is on 48..50

I'm not entirely sure how the alpha mode itself is activated though. (assuming it is like in free42 / HP42S with Shift+Enter or menu selection after that??)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 07:20 PM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2017 07:58 AM by Massimo Gnerucci.)
Post: #52
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 02:40 PM)Luigi Vampa Wrote:  the "letter-challenged" HP41

What?

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 08:44 PM
Post: #53
RE: DM42 alpha input
Although I'm not all affiliated with SwissMicros I had the privilege to present the DM42P prototype at the last HHC at Ft. Collins. As I had very good support from Michael in preparing my talk I think I've got a fair idea what their objective is. They will NOT start all-over from scratch. Specifically the potential alpha input capabilities where very well received by the attendants of that meeting. There were no objections at all in principle. Just the "M" at the ENTER was challenged. This was the overall reaction of those who could put their hands on it:


[Image: acb.jpg]


SwissMicros has gone a long way since and I believe they will not refrain from their principle approach of alpha access. Therefore the question, we may discuss even if it may not change anything, is how to get most out of it without making it overly complicated. Please don't exaggerate one addition of long press to " Long, half, double, triple and multiquadruple taps and presses" that doesn't help seriously.

If you ever had that device in your hand you'd recognized that the keyboard is not at all cluttered by the addition of the alpha characters.

And the normal operation of the calculator is not affected at all by the additional characters.

And your alpha menu structure is still available if you prefer to use endless keystrokes to enter alpha characters.

It is SM's decision not to build a one to one clone of the HP42P, rather than exploit what modern microcontrollers, memory and screens offer while maintaining a reasonable compatibility with the HP42S by using Free42 as a basis. The large screen is not primarily intended to be used for fancy graphics, but to provide better overview of the stack, your programs and "printed" output.

Of course operating this calc should be as intuitive as possible. But that doesn't necessary imply that it has to exactly behave the same as the HP42S. For the time beeing, there are no "hidden" characters planned. All alpha characters are readily visible on the keyboard. My earlier proposal to add ({[]}) invisible to the first row is just that, my biased proposal.

Although I believe that long presses of ENTER and R/S wouldn't be a real annoyance compared to the underlying benefits, I will support the idea not to attach alpha characters to them. EXIT wasn't affected at all.

In my opinion the layout Massimo showed us is a good base except that the "?" should be taken off from the R/S key at least to honour the input of the author of Free42 Smile

Günter
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 09:08 PM
Post: #54
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  Although I'm not all affiliated with SwissMicros I had the privilege to present the DM42P prototype at the last HHC at Ft. Collins. As I had very good support from Michael in preparing my talk I think I've got a fair idea what their objective is. They will NOT start all-over from scratch. Specifically the potential alpha input capabilities where very well received by the attendants of that meeting. There were no objections at all in principle. Just the "M" at the ENTER was challenged. This was the overall reaction of those who could put their hands on it:


[Image: acb.jpg]


SwissMicros has gone a long way since and I believe they will not refrain from their principle approach of alpha access. Therefore the question, we may discuss even if it may not change anything, is how to get most out of it without making it overly complicated. Please don't exaggerate one addition of long press to " Long, half, double, triple and multiquadruple taps and presses" that doesn't help seriously.

If you ever had that device in your hand you'd recognized that the keyboard is not at all cluttered by the addition of the alpha characters.

And the normal operation of the calculator is not affected at all by the additional characters.

And your alpha menu structure is still available if you prefer to use endless keystrokes to enter alpha characters.

It is SM's decision not to build a one to one clone of the HP42P, rather than exploit what modern microcontrollers, memory and screens offer while maintaining a reasonable compatibility with the HP42S by using Free42 as a basis. The large screen is not primarily intended to be used for fancy graphics, but to provide better overview of the stack, your programs and "printed" output.

Of course operating this calc should be as intuitive as possible. But that doesn't necessary imply that it has to exactly behave the same as the HP42S. For the time beeing, there are no "hidden" characters planned. All alpha characters are readily visible on the keyboard. My earlier proposal to add ({[]}) invisible to the first row is just that, my biased proposal.

Although I believe that long presses of ENTER and R/S wouldn't be a real annoyance compared to the underlying benefits, I will support the idea not to attach alpha characters to them. EXIT wasn't affected at all.

In my opinion the layout Massimo showed us is a good base except that the "?" should be taken off from the R/S key at least to honour the input of the author of Free42 Smile

Günter

I could not have said it better !

On one side, there is the keys layout that you cannot easily modifiy, unless you create your own overlay...
On the other side, once the main keys layout is defined, the switching from one mode to the other (I.E. original 42 Alpha Menu / Upper / Lower case / Greek) is just a software matter and yes, it must be kept simple and intuitive.
And changing this could be as far as a firmware upload's throw Smile

My favorite solution : a mode selection through the top row menu keys in Alpha mode and a temporary switch between upper and lower case with the shift key.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-02-2017, 11:55 PM
Post: #55
RE: DM42 News
...We won't have to worry about long-pressing ENTER as long as we keep "M" off the ENTER key, am I right?

I think we have to reach a consensus on the key layout, not necessarily on the operation method (long-presses, toggle keys in menu, whether to keep the original 2-keystroke method, etc..)
If one wants a different operation method, he should modify the firmware himself.

The key layout I propose reduces a bit of clutter, leaving only the alphabets and the SPACE key:
   
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-03-2017, 12:57 AM
Post: #56
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  Although I'm not all affiliated with SwissMicros I had the privilege to present the DM42P prototype at the last HHC at Ft. Collins. As I had very good support from Michael in preparing my talk I think I've got a fair idea what their objective is. They will NOT start all-over from scratch. Specifically the potential alpha input capabilities where very well received by the attendants of that meeting. There were no objections at all in principle. Just the "M" at the ENTER was challenged. This was the overall reaction of those who could put their hands on it:

[Image: acb.jpg]

Fair enough, but people responding to a presentation don't have a lot of time to really think things through. Compare the enthusiasm at political rallies vs. the dry, boring, and annoying reality of policy analysis and unintended consequences. They're both relevant.

(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  SwissMicros has gone a long way since and I believe they will not refrain from their principle approach of alpha access. Therefore the question, we may discuss even if it may not change anything, is how to get most out of it without making it overly complicated. Please don't exaggerate one addition of long press to " Long, half, double, triple and multiquadruple taps and presses" that doesn't help seriously.

I think that was hyperbole. Smile

(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  If you ever had that device in your hand you'd recognized that the keyboard is not at all cluttered by the addition of the alpha characters.

The HP-41 keyboard doesn't look cluttered, but that's partly because some functionality is simply not shown, and instead appears on the back. The situation with the HP-42S is different, as in "worse," because you also want lowercase letters to be type-able, and that means an additional 21 characters that need to be accommodated somehow. Since the 42S actually has fewer keys than the 41, and you need to keep ENTER, <-, up, down, EXIT, and R/S free of character assignments, something has to give, which is what this whole discussion is about. The digits, arithmetic symbols, ASTO/ARCL, %, pi, etc., suddenly have no place... If this were easy, we wouldn't be arguing for so long!

(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  And the normal operation of the calculator is not affected at all by the additional characters.

And your alpha menu structure is still available if you prefer to use endless keystrokes to enter alpha characters.

More hyperbole. Tongue

(02-02-2017 08:44 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  It is SM's decision not to build a one to one clone of the HP42P, rather than exploit what modern microcontrollers, memory and screens offer while maintaining a reasonable compatibility with the HP42S by using Free42 as a basis. The large screen is not primarily intended to be used for fancy graphics, but to provide better overview of the stack, your programs and "printed" output.

Of course operating this calc should be as intuitive as possible. But that doesn't necessary imply that it has to exactly behave the same as the HP42S. For the time beeing, there are no "hidden" characters planned. All alpha characters are readily visible on the keyboard. My earlier proposal to add ({[]}) invisible to the first row is just that, my biased proposal.

Although I believe that long presses of ENTER and R/S wouldn't be a real annoyance compared to the underlying benefits, I will support the idea not to attach alpha characters to them. EXIT wasn't affected at all.

In my opinion the layout Massimo showed us is a good base except that the "?" should be taken off from the R/S key at least to honour the input of the author of Free42 Smile

Günter

I sincerely hope that no one compromises the integrity of their design because of my input, just because I happen to be the author of Free42. If my input makes sense, take it to heart, and if it doesn't, don't. Smile
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-03-2017, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2017 07:26 AM by Hsilop.)
Post: #57
RE: DM42 News
I'll try again, since upper and lower case characters are still mentioned.

I think the one and perhaps only place long-press or even multiple presses might make sense is the shift key.

Perhaps like this:

Normal / short press = Normal operation, i.e. activate the stuff written in yellow for each key.

Long press = EITHER enter / exit alpha mode - OR ALTERNATIVELY toggle alpha modes like upper / lower case (when alpha mode is activated by some other key combination), perhaps including special characters (greek, etc.)

Why? It is not unusual that computer or phone keyboards work something like this.

The shift key is special and unique. I could get used to one key behaving like this - but not that every other key has many different modes, some of which may not even be obvious or printed on the keyboard (without really cluttering the keyboard).

Also, let's not forget about the soft keys and ditto menus on the display.

Let's also save some work and ingenuity for future firmware releases. Keep it simple and solid in the first release, and go bananas later. ;.)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-03-2017, 07:31 AM
Post: #58
RE: DM42 News
Coming to think of it - some time in the future, I might sit down and ponder whether long pressing keys might work like this:

If long pressing a key has several or non-obvious functions, display them as soft menu options on the screen, and use the soft keys to choose.

That way, long-pressing would get one, predictable behavior - namely to pop up a menu.

The calculator would also adopt the predictable behavior of when in doubt, ask.

I think I could live with this, but I don't need it right away.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-03-2017, 07:41 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2017 07:44 AM by anetzer.)
Post: #59
RE: DM42 News
(02-02-2017 10:46 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  The HP-41, by contrast, had such a keyboard clutter problem

...

(02-02-2017 07:20 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(01-29-2017 09:18 PM)Mark Hardman Wrote:  the "letter-challenged" HP41

What?


I am indeed amused.

Apart from the nonexistent ports the main reason I always found the HP 42S a very cumbersome machine was that it would and could never catch up to the HP-41's clarity and intuitiveness of command entry and alpha modes.

Don't get me wrong: I am really not challenging other people's predilections here, but I'd venture to say that these two machines are indeed very very different siblings when it comes to interaction with users and peripherals.

That's why I'd be positively happy, if the DM42 stuck to its HP 42S ancestry, IF we could get a DM41 as well.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-03-2017, 08:01 AM
Post: #60
RE: DM42 News
Sorry, just to say that in my original post the quote was assigned to Mark rather than Luigi; now I corrected it.
I cut away the wrong amount of lines...

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)