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Link to my blog entry: http://edspi31415.blogspot.com/2016/02/s...board.html

Feeling creative? Ever dreamed of the perfect calculator? Here is a chance to design a calculator. It can cover any part of mathematics you want:

* Scientific
* Financial
* Programming/Graphing
* Algebraic and/or RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)

Or if you want to go a specialized route:

* Construction
* Unit Conversion
* Gaming
* Geometry Applications
* Civil Engineering
* Physics
* Astronomy
* Stock Market
* Common Every Day Applications

* The keyboard must be used, including the arrow keys. Assume that the calculator will have the necessary screen size. You have 16 blank keys, of course, you can/should consider using shift and alpha keys.
* The keyboard has a double-wide Enter key. RPN and Hewlett Packard fans rejoice!
* The marked keys must remain.
What's the reason for the joystick arragement of the cursor keys? I take it as a marketing element to attract gamers, and think there's nothing expedient to it; just the opposite.

ENTER is in the wrong position, as are the binary operator keys Tongue.

And the cursor should be moved one row down, allowing for a row of six softkeys.

(02-27-2016 04:54 AM)walter b Wrote: [ -> ]1+

And the cursor should be moved one row down, allowing for a row of six softkeys.


Or five softkeys.
(02-27-2016 05:12 AM)Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.) Wrote: [ -> ]Or five softkeys.
I think Walter implied making some rows with smaller keys as found on all(?) non-Voyager HP calculators. Turned out to be very useful imho.
Thanks, Thomas, for your support. I think Dennis was just happy having found something he could pick holes in.

(02-27-2016 09:23 AM)walter b Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks, Thomas, for your support. I think Dennis was just happy having found something he could pick holes in.
As much as you're happy to put fire to the fuel like this :-(.
Please allow me quoting an old pop song: "We didn't start that fire ...". Anyway, back to calculators!

For me some other vision of design for a calculator. It should be more compact, but with a large enough keyboard and display. Not more than three functions (inscriptions) associated with the key must be shown in the keyboard itself.

[Image: ce96b468ab0c.jpg]

Got only this far. I put the project to drawer for now (propably indefinedly).
[Image: jxV6sq5.png]
(03-18-2016 08:16 PM)compsystems Wrote: [ -> ].....
0: [Alpha] an alphabetical key, if not separately included [a], [b], [c]
1: [Left Shift] & [Right Shift] Two keys change, to have more functions on a single key
2: [ESC] KEY with the option of "ON"
3: [NEXT] or [TAB] key to toggle between menus
4: [F1], ... [F6] Function Keys, minimum 6 vertical model, 8 horizontal model
5: [<-] key backspace, with the option of "clear" and "del"
6: keys [(] [)] separately
7: basic keys like [^] [=] [,] [.] [+/-] [SPACE]
8: Cursor key [<][>][v][^] , with the option of "|<" , "||<", ">|" ,">||", etc
9: [ENTER] enter key a little wider than the others, but not covering two keys
10: Others [CATALOG] [VARS] [HOME (NUM)] [HELP] [CAS]

I agree with all the points in the list. This is a logical way, derived from the requirements for a scientific calculator. Also add:
0: all menus must have no more than two pages with 8 items in each page (maximum) - for reasons of user convenience
1: one-two labels above the keys
2: add other functions depending on screen size, memory and your imagination
3: screen: size 240x64 (non graphic) or 240x160 (advanced) with three gray-scale levels (white-gray-dark)

[Image: 4d542a6f77da.jpg]
One thing I wonder, why there is 10^x and EEx in many calculators since they have 1:1 function as far as I can see. If 10^x is for getting object from stack it can be also made with EEx ie. by double pressing it as now it doesn't do enything once pressed, valuable keyboard space.

Also when building a keyboard one should in my opinion keep attention of the "good kitchen design" aka minimum travel design. Since atleast on my opinion these should be used fluently also with one hand, like cellphones used to be. In other words the keys around the shifts are the most valuable ones there should be commands mostly needed and ie. programming keys should be the less important ones. Also I would argue that current date, when almost anyone have more computers than just the calc the programming and since alpha keyboards in less significant than few tens years before, because heavy programming task is made with the SDK in PC?
Good reply, IMHO!
Considering both implemented functions EEX and 10^x programmable operations, isn't the first Postfix (on RPN machines) and the latter Prefix (as used for number input)? I'm not sure, but on RPN machines this may cause confusion. Besides, AFAIK 10^x usually accepts real and integer numbers, not only integers as EEX does. In this regard, I'd rather see EEX being a part of the normalized number format than a mathematical operation like 10^x, 2^x or e^x where the exponent is not expected to be restricted to integer numbers.

On the other hand, for a calculator with a minimum travel design, as you call it, it might make sense combining the two functions in one key. So 10^x could be invoked whenever the key is used without a preceding (and pending) numeric input and the other function, EEX, otherwise.
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