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An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #1 Posted by Jeff O. on 21 Oct 2007, 10:09 p.m.

Like many others, I found Gene and Jake's vision for a 45s to be exceptional. However, as I understand, it was based on fitting everything inside a pioneer-sized case. As such, it would require HP to basically start from scratch at this point, since the pioneer series is long gone from the perspective of current manufacturing capability. I believe they began their effort prior to the 35s being released, so basing their design on a pioneer made perfect sense, as there was no current model worth using as a basis prior to the 35s. The 35s does a lot of things right, so Gene and Jake's effort inspired me to see what might be possible using the 35s as a starting point. Borrowing heavily from their design, and also from the 35s and of course the 42s, my vision for a 45s would look a lot like this:

The above fits in the 35s case. Originally, like G&J, I proposed using the current 48gii display. However, due to concerns expressed in subsequent messages regarding LCD size and lack of a label and logo, I changed the display to a 48 x 131 array. This is basically an expanded version of the 45s display that would allow the soft menus plus X, Y, Z, T and Last X to always be displayed. (I think the screen could look better than the above depiction in an actual implementation, but that's the best I could create.)

Most functions and labels are self-explanatory. I would propose that I/O be only by SD, or even better, micro-SD card. I would not propose the use of IR, so I dispensed with the PRINT menu. I replaced it with an OUTPUT menu, which would basically provide all of the functions of the PRINT menu, but would output to files on the SD card. The FILER menu would take care of uploading and downloading programs onto the card. The ->P function would have two functions: 1) with real numbers in the X and Y registers representing real and imaginary parts of a complex number, it would transform them into magnitude and angle, still in the X and Y registers; 2) with a complex number in the X register, it would break it into the magnitude and angle of the polar representation, placing those values in the X and Y registers. The ->R function would perform similarly. R->C would take real and imaginary components in the X and Y registers and form a complex number in X register. P->C would take magnitude and angle in the X and Y and convert them to a complex number.

With the original large display, the only thing I couldn't fit on the keyboard was an "HP 45s" label or the HP logo. The new smaller display allows for these.

To me, the above looks like something HP could produce, if they wanted to. I have no idea if they do, but they are free to use any and all concepts I have presented :-)

Pal G., I'd love to see this one rendered in 3D.

Jeff

edited to present a new design with a smaller LCD screen size to address concerns raised by Gene and Eric below.

Edited: 26 Oct 2007, 12:17 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

      
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #2 Posted by Walter B on 22 Oct 2007, 1:57 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your fine design with us. Just to complete the row (and to add on those drafts presented in my contribution to HHC2007 and recently in another thread) I'd like to show you this:

The fundamental thoughts are as presented to HHC2007.

Best regards,

Walter

Edited: 22 Oct 2007, 1:59 a.m.

            
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #3 Posted by Arne Halvorsen (Norway) on 22 Oct 2007, 3:37 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Walter B

Just silly ofcourse, but as this shows there is no reason why cursor keys should not be black... Looks much better then on the 35s.

            
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #4 Posted by Jeff O. on 22 Oct 2007, 1:13 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Walter B

Using the existing cursor key design of the 35s (but moved down one row to give a full row on top for soft-menus as you have done) could look like this:

design changed to address Gene's concerns regarding label and logo.

Edited: 25 Oct 2007, 11:00 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                  
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #5 Posted by Gene Wright on 22 Oct 2007, 3:09 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jeff O.

Of course, this has the problem that it doesn't say HP anywhere on it. :-)

I doubt HP would sell it unless it conforms to HP corporate guidelines...which I imagine are presently reflected in the 35s in terms of logo, size of company name on the product, etc.

                        
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #6 Posted by Jeff O. on 22 Oct 2007, 9:11 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Gene Wright

Gene,
Seems like we ought to be able to fit the name and logo on there somewhere. I'm thinking the flat surface on the bottom edge of the calculator, ala the original classics.

If that wouldn't fit the guidelines, if we abandon the concept of using the 48gii display, I'm sure that a new display could be designed that could display enough information, plus leave room above for a name and logo, along the lines of Walter's design three messages up. Given my 'druthers, I'd like to see a display that would enable the soft-key labels to be "up" all of the time, plus lines for the X, Y, Z, T and Last X registers. I could do without the top line I depicted showing time and date. If necessary, perhaps one line of the display could be eliminated, possibly by going to the 42S display style in which the soft menus are not always active, and when active, one line of the display is lost.

Another less desirable option would be to lose the top row of keys. That would provide the same number of keys as the original 42S. I actually started down that path, but, when I added a second shift key and left-right cursor control keys, I started running out of keys pretty fast. So I checked to see if the 48gii display would fit in the available real estate above the 35s keyboard, and found that there is barely enough room - if the model name and logo can be eliminated from that area.

Let's not give up for want of a logo!

To address Gene's concerns, I edited my original post to present a new design with a smaller display that provides sufficient room for a label and logo.

Jeff

Edited: 25 Oct 2007, 12:55 p.m.

      
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #7 Posted by charognard on 22 Oct 2007, 9:55 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

I'am waiting for her !!!!
but the Sharp Pc 1700 is more efficient with his hard disk and his multi color 800x480 screen!!! 8-)
so i hesitate

Edited: 22 Oct 2007, 10:10 a.m.

            
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #8 Posted by Chris Foley on 22 Oct 2007, 3:17 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by charognard

Quote:
I'am waiting for her !!!!
but the Sharp Pc 1700 is more efficient with his hard disk and his multi color 800x480 screen!!! 8-)

It's funny, I saw this picture this morning via MP ;-) !
            
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #9 Posted by Paul Dale on 22 Oct 2007, 8:59 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by charognard

Is this the most elaborate four banger of all time? :-)

- Pauli

                  
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #10 Posted by charognard on 23 Oct 2007, 4:40 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by Paul Dale

Yes, you know it ?

      
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #11 Posted by sjthomas on 22 Oct 2007, 8:53 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

But the 35s is too large.

            
Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
Message #12 Posted by Jeff O. on 22 Oct 2007, 9:16 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by sjthomas

Yes, smaller would be better. But if using the 35s as a base would allow a 45s to be produced, I could live with the size.

      
LCD display limitations
Message #13 Posted by Eric Smith on 22 Oct 2007, 9:00 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but none of these new designs that have active LCD area (pixels and/or annunciators) extending to very near the edge of the case are likely to be practical for manufacture (or even prototyping), for two reasons:

  1. The physical LCD display has margins that extend beyond the pixels and annunciators by a non-trivial amount. I don't know specifically about the 48/49/50 series LCDs that everyone seems to want, but a typical LCD has 8mm or more of border on each side.
  2. If the LCD extends nearly to the edge of the case, it is more likely to be damaged by rough handling of the calculator.
            
Re: LCD display limitations
Message #14 Posted by Jeff O. on 22 Oct 2007, 9:35 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Eric Smith

Eric,
Feel free to inject practicality (or rain on our parade, if you prefer.) It's not like I figured Sam and Cyrille would see my design and decide to have it produced exactly as presented. Mostly just having fun and maybe hoping to provide a nudge to HP in a certain direction. Judging by the positive aspects of the 35s compared to the opinions voiced in this forum and directly to HP at the HH Conferences after the 33s was released, I have to think such nudges can help.

In any case, I have now edited my original post to present a new design with a smaller display size to hopefully address your concerns.

Jeff

Edited: 25 Oct 2007, 12:53 p.m.

            
Re: LCD display limitations
Message #15 Posted by Walter B on 23 Oct 2007, 1:45 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by Eric Smith

Lying before me is a Nokia E50 featuring a brilliant dot matrix LCD. While there is major space above this display, there are a mere 5mm at the other sides till the top edge of keys or the outside of the housing.

In my draft presented above you get 8mm left, right, and below of the LCD, 14mm above of it. Without knowing your 8mm claim, Eric, it was met quite well :)

And, most important ;) , you find sufficient space above of the display to show the model name and the HP logo.

Best regards,

Walter

P.S.: My 2 Voyager-based drafts shown in this other thread feature 6mm space above and below, 8mm left and right of the LCD.

Edited to add the post scriptum.

Edited: 23 Oct 2007, 1:59 a.m.

            
Re: LCD display limitations
Message #16 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 2:51 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by Eric Smith

Quote:
I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but none of these new designs that have active LCD area (pixels and/or annunciators) extending to very near the edge of the case are likely to be practical for manufacture (or even prototyping), for two reasons:

[ol]

  • The physical LCD display has margins that extend beyond the pixels and annunciators by a non-trivial amount. I don't know specifically about the 48/49/50 series LCDs that everyone seems to want, but a typical LCD has 8mm or more of border on each side.
  • That's for a very typical off-the-shelf LCD, but it's easy to get one speced at a lot less than that.

    My Nokia 6300 phone for example has only 6mm on either side from the visible area to the outside case. No idea how thick the case is. I've seen other displays with only several mm clearance o nthe sides.

    The LCD on my calculator watch has only 4mm on the sides, but granted it's not a full X-Y dot matrix.

    So it's certainly possible to do what has been proposed.

    BTW, has anyone actually opened a 48/50 to see what screen is used?

    Quote:
  • If the LCD extends nearly to the edge of the case, it is more likely to be damaged by rough handling of the calculator.
  • That's what the case is for. Design it right and it's not a problem.

    Dave.

    Edited: 23 Oct 2007, 2:54 a.m.

                      
    Re: LCD display limitations
    Message #17 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 2:57 a.m.,
    in response to message #16 by DaveJ

    Here is the screen in the 49G:

    Dave.

                      
    Re: LCD display limitations
    Message #18 Posted by Eric Smith on 23 Oct 2007, 3:32 a.m.,
    in response to message #16 by DaveJ

    Quote:
    That's what the case is for. Design it right and it's not a problem.

    No, that's exactly why the cell phone companies offer NO WARRANTY for the display, even if it fails due to their poor design. When the display extends to within a few mm of the edge of the case, it's not possible to design in any reasonable shock protection.

    Given how many people on c.s.hp48 bitch about having broken their 48 display, I expect having very narrow margins would be a disaster.

    But I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

                            
    Re: LCD display limitations
    Message #19 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 6:19 a.m.,
    in response to message #18 by Eric Smith

    Quote:

    No, that's exactly why the cell phone companies offer NO WARRANTY for the display, even if it fails due to their poor design. When the display extends to within a few mm of the edge of the case, it's not possible to design in any reasonable shock protection.

    Given how many people on c.s.hp48 bitch about having broken their 48 display, I expect having very narrow margins would be a disaster.

    But I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.


    Be careful using words like "not possible" and "disaster".

    You only ever hear from the people who bitch about something, so the argument always gets one-sided. You don't hear from the millions of people who don't have any problems.

    I just opened one of the new 6th generation iPods the other day, and it's amazing what shock protection you can build in for the hard drive and screen into such a slim package.

    I've designed (and environmentally tested) delicate and tight margin stuff like this before for very harsh environments, and it certainly is possible.

    All of my mobile phones with margins much less than 8mm have survived pretty horrendous abuse - dropped onto concrete, thrown down cliffs and waterfalls in the pursuit of adventure, you name it.

    None of my calculators get anywhere near the level of abuse consumer items like phones and iPods get. I'm happy with slightly less protection if it means the difference between having a cool product or not having it.

    Dave.

                
    Re: LCD limitations
    Message #20 Posted by Garth Wilson on 23 Oct 2007, 4:30 a.m.,
    in response to message #13 by Eric Smith

    Quote:
    I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but none of these new designs that have...
    I have not been following this thread closely, but I will add another "parade rain." If you want color, you can kiss your two-year (or even two-month) battery life good-bye. You'll have to be replacing or recharging batteries quite frequently. Color displays always have to put out their own light, so they are always power hogs. IMO, they are not compatible with calculators, and it is only the "cool" factor that puts this unnecessary item on so many calculator wish lists.
                      
    Re: LCD limitations
    Message #21 Posted by Walter B on 23 Oct 2007, 4:54 a.m.,
    in response to message #20 by Garth Wilson

    FYI, Garth, no one wanted nor wants a color display in this thread so far.

                            
    Re: LCD limitations
    Message #22 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 6:23 a.m.,
    in response to message #21 by Walter B

    I'd be happy with just a nice high contrast multi line monochrome 7 segment display, thanks! I use my calculator for numbers, not pretty pictures.

    Some of the low end Casio's/Sharps et.al have the right idea in the dual 7 segment dot matrix display. Real numbers in high contrast on the bottom line, and more versatile but not as clear dot matrix on the top line.

    Dave.

                            
    Re: LCD limitations
    Message #23 Posted by Garth Wilson on 23 Oct 2007, 1:35 p.m.,
    in response to message #21 by Walter B

    Quote:
    FYI, Garth, no one wanted nor wants a color display in this thread so far.
    I was referring to the big picture of a Sharp PC-1700 above. I figured I might as well mention it before it gets out of hand like other threads I've been in on.
          
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #24 Posted by Patrick Rendulic on 23 Oct 2007, 1:21 a.m.,
    in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

    Hello. All the shown concepts are wonderful! I would add these additional features:

    A scratchproof anti-reflective display like those from the 48 series. I have cleaned them many times and they show no single scratch. My 35s screen is horrible although I just have wiped it twice.

    Flash-ROM! The only way to get a bug free machine.

          
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #25 Posted by John Noble on 23 Oct 2007, 2:23 a.m.,
    in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

    I'd settle for an 11C reissue running gen-u-wine 11C firmware in emulation on 12CP hardware. No retooling required except for the logo.

    I really hate dot matrix displays, which is why my 33S is gathering dust. I also think anything beyond what a 11C can do cries out for a full-fledged computer.

    But that's just me.

    Neanderthal preferences aside, it's interesting that HP's fanbase consistently comes out with nicer looking designs than HP themselves.

                
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #26 Posted by Jeff O. on 23 Oct 2007, 7:51 a.m.,
    in response to message #25 by John Noble

    If we're going to ask for or propose a re-issue, let's at least go for the 15C. It does everything the 11C does, plus a whole lot more, without presenting a complex keyboard or user interface. Something like this, maybe:

    (The 25th anniversary of the 15C has already passed, so the above is not likely to be produced.)

    Edited: 29 Oct 2007, 8:40 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                      
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #27 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 8:08 a.m.,
    in response to message #26 by Jeff O.

    Too bad it would be crippled with that lousy 10 digit display :-(

    Dave.

                            
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #28 Posted by Chris McCormack on 23 Oct 2007, 8:36 a.m.,
    in response to message #27 by DaveJ

    Quote:
    Too bad it would be crippled with that lousy 10 digit display :-(

    Dave.


    I'm not so sure a simple display is such a bad thing. I still have the 15C I bought as an undergrad, complete with various scrapes and dings, including a nice dig into the frame just above the display. My daughter, on the other hand, came back after only a few weeks of college with the display of her HP49G+ totally trashed (half blank, half purple, totally disfunctional). She has no idea when or how it happened.
    Along with (possibly) being more robust, the seven segment display on my 15C is larger and clearer than the 49G+, so there's a tradeoff. Granted, it's a little clumsy when trying to manipulate matrices, and it won't allow any graphics, but when do you simply punt and move the job over to a computer?

                                  
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #29 Posted by DaveJ on 23 Oct 2007, 9:25 a.m.,
    in response to message #28 by Chris McCormack

    Quote:

    I'm not so sure a simple display is such a bad thing. I still have the 15C I bought as an undergrad, complete with various scrapes and dings, including a nice dig into the frame just above the display. My daughter, on the other hand, came back after only a few weeks of college with the display of her HP49G+ totally trashed (half blank, half purple, totally disfunctional). She has no idea when or how it happened.
    Along with (possibly) being more robust, the seven segment display on my 15C is larger and clearer than the 49G+, so there's a tradeoff. Granted, it's a little clumsy when trying to manipulate matrices, and it won't allow any graphics, but when do you simply punt and move the job over to a computer?


    I agree, simple is better. But in the case of the Voyager series, the 10 digit display is very limiting, especially when displaying exponents. 10 digits plus an exponent is the minimum needed (and expected) in a modern calculator, even $2 scientifics have that.

    I'm all for large 7 segment displays on calculators. And I like a clearly defined and differentiated exponent display. The Voyagers and calcs like the 20S have never made the grade in this respect IMHO. Time to get it right I think.

    The 12C gets away with it because it's a financial calc where you don't often deal in exponents.

    Dave.

                                        
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #30 Posted by John Noble on 23 Oct 2007, 2:57 p.m.,
    in response to message #29 by DaveJ

    Combining responses:

    Quote:
    I'm not so sure a simple display is such a bad thing. I still have the 15C I bought as an undergrad, complete with various scrapes and dings, including a nice dig into the frame just above the display. My daughter, on the other hand, came back after only a few weeks of college with the display of her HP49G+ totally trashed (half blank, half purple, totally disfunctional). She has no idea when or how it happened.

    I hope the new one has a longer life. :-)

    Quote:
    I agree, simple is better. But in the case of the Voyager series, the 10 digit display is very limiting, especially when displaying exponents. 10 digits plus an exponent is the minimum needed (and expected) in a modern calculator, even $2 scientifics have that.

    As long as the number is carried with full precision internally, I'd argue that for nearly all purposes 4-5 significant display figures is enough; that's an order of magnitude better than you'll get with a ten inch slide rule. You get seven unambiguous easy to read figures plus exponent on a Voyager, which gives you one part in ten million. If for some strange reason you need the whole 10 figure mantissa (to display, say, the distance to Pluto to the nearest few hundred meters), it's just a keystroke or two away.

    Edited: 23 Oct 2007, 2:58 p.m.

          
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #31 Posted by Chuck Sommer on 23 Oct 2007, 6:07 p.m.,
    in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

    Hi Gang,

    This is great stuff and a lot of fun.

    But let me say some things that may get me expelled. The current line of HP Scientific RPN calculators are driving me a little crazy.

    I started in 1975 as an engineering (EE/CS) student with the HP-45. What a great calculator. The Polar/Rectangular conversion function blasted me through my servo-controls class and AC analysis class. It lasted me until the AC adapter broke at the connector and I did not replace it, I donít even remember when that happened, but I was well out of college at the time. In 1983 I replaced it with an HP-41CV. I did a little programming with it until it broke about 4 years later. At that point I went to the algebraic calculator, Casio I think because they were cheep Ö and so was I. When I saw a HP6s calculator at WalMart, I grabbed it up only to be disappointed when I got it home as it was an algebraic calculator. About 2 years ago I saw on Ďthat other auction siteí the HP48G available so I picked one up for about for about $60.00, and then another. I thought this was great for what I needed. Great button feel, big ENTER key, RPN and it did BASE math, which I could use, and my old HP-45 did not. And I liked the big screen also. I saw the HP49G on Ďthat other auction siteí and picked up 2 of those as well. Picked up the HP33S around that time but did not like itís keyboard layout. About a year ago I picked up the 49G+ about 2 months before the 50G came out, and of course I had to have the 50G also. The screen on the 49G was an improvement over the 48G, and the 49G+/50G screen is the best yet. And now I have the HP35S also. For scientific calculations the layout of the HP35S is similar to the HP48G.

    So here is the point: I have become accustom to the layout of the 49G+/50G keyboard, but donít like the size and weight. I am trying to like the 35s, but it now requires too much thinking to do quick calculations on that keyboard, and believe it or not I am now using my 33s for doing calculations when I donít carry my 50G around. The 3 RPN calculators available for scientific work (for this discussion the 48GII is a less expensive version of the 50G) (the 33s, 35s and 50G) all have vastly different keyboard layouts. I donít need a programmable calculator; I have Microsoft Excel, and Python for programming. I need a calculator for doing scientific calculations like the HP45 with the addition of BASE conversion (donít even need logic functions like AND and XOR). The feel of the HP6s keyboard was fine, if only it was RPN I would be happy.

    Chuck

          
    Re: An Alternative 45s Concept
    Message #32 Posted by Hugh Evans on 25 Oct 2007, 12:57 a.m.,
    in response to message #1 by Jeff O.

    As much fun as these threads have been, much of the LCD glass I've seen would either be exceptionally expensive or virtually impossible to fabricate using modern technology.

    Yes, I understand this is essentially a thought experiment.


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