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What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
03-27-2014, 05:56 PM
Post: #41
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 04:34 PM)Han Wrote:  Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Take a good look at Charlemagne and tell me if you see much of a difference between that and a Pioneer (other than screen size). Alcuin was just a recolorization of Charlemagne. So in terms of looks (as per the thread topic, in a literal sense), all Pioneers, Charlemagnes, Alcuins look like they all belong to the same familiy.

Thanks - I learn something new here every once and a while. So perfectly pocketable calcs and impossibly pocketable calcs belong to one product family? O tempora ... #-(

d#-(
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03-27-2014, 06:14 PM
Post: #42
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 05:56 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(03-27-2014 04:34 PM)Han Wrote:  Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Take a good look at Charlemagne and tell me if you see much of a difference between that and a Pioneer (other than screen size). Alcuin was just a recolorization of Charlemagne. So in terms of looks (as per the thread topic, in a literal sense), all Pioneers, Charlemagnes, Alcuins look like they all belong to the same familiy.

Thanks - I learn something new here every once and a while. So perfectly pocketable calcs and impossibly pocketable calcs belong to one product family? O tempora ... #-(

d#-(

They stretched the concept a little bit as far as dimensions are concerned. ;)

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03-27-2014, 06:19 PM (This post was last modified: 03-27-2014 06:23 PM by Han.)
Post: #43
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 05:56 PM)walter b Wrote:  
(03-27-2014 04:34 PM)Han Wrote:  Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Take a good look at Charlemagne and tell me if you see much of a difference between that and a Pioneer (other than screen size). Alcuin was just a recolorization of Charlemagne. So in terms of looks (as per the thread topic, in a literal sense), all Pioneers, Charlemagnes, Alcuins look like they all belong to the same familiy.

Thanks - I learn something new here every once and a while. So perfectly pocketable calcs and impossibly pocketable calcs belong to one product family? O tempora ... #-(

d#-(

Emaphasis mine

Let's take a second look at what I originally wrote:

Quote:I don't know what it is (perhaps because my first calculator was an HP48G) but I just really love the look of the Pioneer series. So I'd like my calculator to have that type of outer look and the inside and screen to be as powerful and nice as the best smartphones of today.

I can see how this can be interpreted two ways:

1) That I mistakenly thought the HP48G is a Pioneer (it is not; I am also not suggesting that they are). My writing should have been more clear than it was.

or

2) Though my first calculator was NOT a Pioneer series, it very well looks like one. To see for yourself, compare:

Two Pioneers: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5012/55286...9460_z.jpg

with Charlemagne: http://www.hpmuseum.org/img/48s/48sxs.jpg

and with Alcuin: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co.../HP48G.jpg

They look very similar to me; it wouldn't surprise me if the manufacturing process for the cases used the same technology.

But if you really want to be pedantic, all three families fit inside my shirt pocket just fine (without their cases). I just don't carry them that way. Even with the soft case in the HP48 series, I remember carrying that calculator in my pants pockets in high school without issue -- of course I liked cargo pants so I'm sure that helps :-) But surely you don't mean to distinguish these families merely on whether they are "pocketable" ?

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03-27-2014, 06:29 PM
Post: #44
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
When those first Pioneers (27S and 17B) came out in early 1988 and were followed relatively quickly by an "onslaught" of 8 more machines over the next two years, I was disappointed that they had smoothed out the keys to no-longer allow function names on the key fronts. This forced an increase of "clutter" above the keys for those two-shift machines, the 20S, 21S and 32SII; and that arrangement was maintained in the 48/49/50. I asked Bill Wickes about it at the time and he indicated that some users had actually complained that the keys with the sharp edges hurt their fingers after a lot of use, which influenced them to smooth them out. (To each his own, I suppose...) It was a relief to me when the key-front functionality returned with the 10BII, 17BII+, the 35S, the 20b/30b, 39gII and more recently with the Prime.

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03-27-2014, 06:30 PM
Post: #45
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 06:14 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(03-27-2014 05:56 PM)walter b Wrote:  Thanks - I learn something new here every once and a while. So perfectly pocketable calcs and impossibly pocketable calcs belong to one product family? O tempora ... #-(

d#-(

They stretched the concept a little bit as far as dimensions are concerned. Wink

Pero si! And they also loaded it ...
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03-27-2014, 06:44 PM
Post: #46
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 03:45 PM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  Yes, you can have double-shot Cherry keys, but it won't be cheap. What if the keyboard alone ends up costing 50-100$? All the technology for your dream calculator and beyond is here, the problem is big companies believe they won't sell enough 250$ not-for-school calculators, and they're right.

Even in this forum of, presumably, HP aficionados you read statements (regarding the WP 43S) like, "what? $300? I'm not paying that! I wouldn't pay more than $100."

The quality of the keys, the display, the case, the software -- just doesn't enter into it. That's partly understandable, since you can get an entire computer or a reasonable smart phone for that amount. On the other hand, that attitude is directly responsible for the state of the world we live in. People get the governments and calculators they deserve.
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03-27-2014, 09:12 PM
Post: #47
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 06:44 PM)colinh Wrote:  Even in this forum of, presumably, HP aficionados you read statements (regarding the WP 43S) like, "what? $300? I'm not paying that! I wouldn't pay more than $100."

The quality of the keys, the display, the case, the software -- just doesn't enter into it. That's partly understandable, since you can get an entire computer or a reasonable smart phone for that amount. On the other hand, that attitude is directly responsible for the state of the world we live in. People get the governments and calculators they deserve.

Exactly.

That was my point when I was joking about an hypothetical Fluke calculator. Go to their website and learn how much such tools actually cost today.

I think it's OK to complain about poor design choices or to suggest possible improvements or strategies. But asking for things you're not willing to estimate how much they'll cost... I don't think that's for grown-ups.

I swear, I didn't know anything about this new Casio fx-FD10 when I posted that... it even looks like a Fluke! I should go out and buy some lottery tickets NOW (but now I'm just going to find out about the specs).
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03-28-2014, 05:01 AM
Post: #48
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
Let me state for the record that I would have no hesitation to pay extra -- perhaps much extra -- for a calculator which had high quality keys in a well designed layout such as did the HP-67 and others like it.

And I don't think I'm alone.

In the field of amateur astronomy, there are a small number of telescope manufacturers who produce top quality lens, mirrors, and whole instruments in very small volumes. The production runs are booked months to years in advance. Prices may run from two to ten times that of medium quality, mass produced products.

The big problem is that large companies which consider little else than the raw, sort term return on investment lack the agility and focus to produce truly excellent products.
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03-28-2014, 06:25 AM
Post: #49
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-27-2014 06:44 PM)colinh Wrote:  People get the [...] calculators they deserve.
I'd say, they get the calculators they need. I can hardly imagine many engineers today using their calculators as extensive as to rub off the paint (please disregard the 49G, that would better have never existed). Obvioulsy HP shares this opinion and still offers a RPL model at a reasonable price. At, say, $300 and with 'quality' keycaps, HP would produce for an even smaller niche market or maybe fail the market completely.
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03-29-2014, 10:37 PM
Post: #50
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
Mechanical components like a keyboard are more easily justified in spending for quality if they are part of a system that is designed to be upgradeable, not disposable. That's why I have $100+ cherry keyswitch keyboards on my three primary computers instead of the typical $10 (or less) keyboard switches. It's also why none of those keyboards were originally purchased for use with their current computers.

I envision a calculator as three related modules. Each of which would ideally be individually replaceable/upgradeable (within constraints imposed by the other two).

As the mechanical module I'd consider paying $100 for a pocketable case and keyboard with room for 2-3 AAA's and to mount reasonable electronics and a display inside.

The battery might be AAA's or a LiPo.

The electronics might be a anything from a small microcontroller to a small application processor as used in a smart phone.

The display(s) might be anything from a special calculator LCD, or LEDs, or a standard character LCD up to a 5in or larger 1080p touchscreen in a facing fold-over expansion case. It depends on the electronics...

The display(s) needs to work with the electronics.

The electronics needs to work with the keyboard and the display(s).

The keyboard needs to be of high quality.

Maybe this could be prototyped with tactile switches, FDM printed keycaps/cover, and in an extra thick case...
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03-29-2014, 11:22 PM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2014 11:41 PM by jebem.)
Post: #51
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-28-2014 06:25 AM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  At, say, $300 and with 'quality' keycaps, HP would produce for an even smaller niche market or maybe fail the market completely.

Today I was revisiting the famous Eric's "HHC 2013: Still Larger Scaled Reptiles of the Nordic Countries" video recording session at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WolGdu9Pb7A .
Eric comments about this RPN based calculator project technical details, batch production costs, and legal issues (FCC rules) on this business project.
It is good to note that this project is being presented at HHC since 3 years ago, just to show how difficult such a project is to be developed by a small group of people in part time hobby.

One big issue is high production costs of such a big project to be implemented at such a small scale (considering that the customer base will be very limited).
This will result in very high asking price for the hardware alone, and we don't know what the firmware business model will be used (Project WP-43S?).

That 300usd hypothetical asking price for such a device, assuming it will show high build and materials quality, is short to cover all the assets and work involved in the production at this small scale.
Eric even asked the audience about what they feel if one special model made from extruded aluminum were produced as well, considering that the asking price will be well above the 1000usd mark!

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03-29-2014, 11:59 PM
Post: #52
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
My ideal calculator would be a Spice series, but with more durable construction and a long lasting battery. Same features as the originals, same LED, but with more memory. I'd settle for any Spice, but my preferred would be an HP-38C without the flaws that come with the original Spice series.

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03-30-2014, 03:08 AM
Post: #53
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
Aside from my current favourite calc (HP 48GX;-) my ideal HP calc would be an HP-42S with the high contrast LCD of the 17BII+silver, and optionally one more display line, and at least some kind of basic serial I/O.

Actually serial I/O is possible with the existing HP-42S by repurposing the existing IR serial line, as Christoph Giesselink demonstrated impressively at the last Allschwil meeting.

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03-30-2014, 09:18 AM
Post: #54
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-29-2014 10:37 PM)sylvandb Wrote:  That's why I have $100+ cherry keyswitch keyboards on my three primary computers instead of the typical $10 (or less) keyboard switches.
Got a daskeyboard at work (Cherry blue version - thanks, Boss). Being a technical writer dealing with InDesign and XML, that was easily justified and actually the number of missed characters went down to zero. At home, I can impossibly justify such an investment as the weak points about my Logi K520 just don't matter.

While my personal preferences might not be of interest, the usual observation in science and engineering (I had *lots* of jobs) is that professionals around me use inexpensive 4-bangers or Casio/Sharp/TI calculators. The wish for a quality calculator, as much as I understand it, doesn't reflect the preference of the majority of professionals.

Last not least, these inexpensive calculators I wrote about aren't disposables. People used them since decades. And not being upgradeable is actually a plus. Less parts, less failures, less involvement in the technical side of things and a predictive behaviour after becoming familiar with your tool.
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04-05-2014, 05:52 PM
Post: #55
RE: What would your ideal HP calc look like now?
(03-30-2014 09:18 AM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  Got a daskeyboard at work (Cherry blue version - thanks, Boss). Being a technical writer dealing with InDesign and XML, that was easily justified and actually the number of missed characters went down to zero. At home, I can impossibly justify such an investment as the weak points about my Logi K520 just don't matter.

The Das Keyboard is definitely a nice item. At home I use the Rosewill RK9000 with Cherry Blue's right now. At under $100 it was easy to get rid of the the rubber sponge keyboard. I think the replacement model w/blues has LED backlighting so costs a bit more. They still have browns under $100 last I checked.

Quote:Last not least, these inexpensive calculators I wrote about aren't disposables. People used them since decades. And not being upgradeable is actually a plus. Less parts, less failures, less involvement in the technical side of things and a predictive behaviour after becoming familiar with your tool.

If they get decades of use from inexpensive calculators I can see why they would not care about higher quality -- what they have is good enough for them.

As for not upgradeable, I disagree. If they are not upgradeable (with its close corollary, repairable) then they are disposable. A non-upgradeable phone has a much shorter useful life than one where you can add storage, imagine if you could also replace the display with brighter and higher-resolution, add memory and boost the processor speed. Life of the item does not make an item non-disposable be it days or decades, increasing and prolonging utility before end of life does.

To that end I want and I buy upgradeable component computers (even my laptop and mac mini have both had upgrades to memory and storage beyond what the manufacturer offered), upgradeable component audio/video equipment, upgradeable automobiles, I've upgraded my house, etc. I'm eager for a modular phone where I can upgrade more than the O.S. and maybe an sd card before disposing of it.
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