Exponent display: explanation & other methods Message #9 Posted by Karl Schneider on 11 July 2007, 10:06 p.m., in response to message #8 by DaveJ
Quote:
It's Ok when you have a negative exponent like "1.234E3" as the minus sign makes it stand out. But positive exponents just get buried like "1.234E5" (it's worse on the LCD screen), it's just awful, a really bad design decision IMHO. An underscore would have been much better, like "1.234_5", or a small "L", or anything except "E"!
I agree with you that "1.234E5" is not very legible on 7segment displays; I preferred the original method (used on all 10digit models) of one or more blank characters separating the mantissa and the exponent, with an exponent minussign occupying one of those separators.
Perhaps the intent for the Pioneer series was to utilize that generallyunderstood display method of Fortran, C, and other languages to represent exponentiated numbers using an "E". This was certainly reasonable for the midgrade and highend Pioneers featuring dotmatrix displays, so it was simpler to do the same for the lowend Pioneers (HP10B, HP20S, and HP21S) with their 7segment displays.
However, "1.234E5" is more legible in standard alphanumeric fonts than in 7segment displays, due to curvature of the numerals. Also, a display utilizing spaces between a mantissa and exponent would be impractical for compiled code, because of difficulty in parsing.
Casio models typically display an exponent using two smaller, elevated digits at the far right of the display. This renders some of the display space unavailable, however.
 KS
