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43s status
01-24-2015, 06:46 PM
Post: #241
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 06:07 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(01-24-2015 05:09 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Right. As already stated many times here, operators and ENTER need to be on the same side.

Even if it's the wrong side? (sorry, couldn't myself Massimo...) Wink

If we're willing to leave behind HP traditions, which fewer and fewer people remember or care about, another option would be to put the ENTER key on the right. It'd look unusual at first but we could reap the practical benefits of having the operators and ENTER next to each other and at the same time wouldn't alienate potential new users who expect operators on the right.

If the 43S aims to attract a broader audience, we have to pick our fights: I think RPN is a genuinely useful invention worth promoting, but which side the ENTER key and the operators occupy is relatively unimportant.
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01-24-2015, 08:06 PM
Post: #242
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 06:07 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(01-24-2015 05:09 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Right. As already stated many times here, operators and ENTER need to be on the same side.

Even if it's the wrong side? (sorry, couldn't help myself Massimo...) ;)

edit - thx Walter

I stand with what I wrote, and yes, I already said that what I really want is only a working unit on sale. Given that I wouldn't care that much which side operators are on.
After some thought I realized that I already have to adapt to different keyboard incarnations (plastifications?), be them physical or virtual.
So I would gladly take operators AND ENTER on the right side.

However I don't understand why those fabled new users should expect operators on the right side. I see lots of calculators with operators on the right, yes, but which right is right?

[Image: calculator_keyboard.jpg]

or

[Image: mhY0AQ0.jpg]

or

[Image: OlympiaRA20-976-Keyboard-IMG_3162-5.jpg]

or

[Image: stock-photo-scientific-calculator-keypad-92713006.jpg]

we all know this one

[Image: China_NoteBook_USB_keypad_LCD_Display_ca...100710.jpg]

and why not this?

[Image: KeyboardCalculatorSilverx2.gif]


Why fabled new users? Because this won't be a cheap calculator, for the casual shopper. I fear there won't be so many of them beyond our community.

Of course I hope to be proved wrong so the developers will be happy! ;)


P.S. My tagline is still valid, though :)

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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01-24-2015, 09:50 PM
Post: #243
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 08:06 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  P.S. My tagline is still valid, though Smile

We agree on what is right, even if it is left!

The 50g proved to me that a large Enter key isn't necessary and can become comfortable more quickly than I would have believed.

And the Prime (with all on the right) has become comfortable too, though less so, probably because I use it far less.

If I had to do math on a calculator with a blindfold and a gun to my head, I guess I would pick a Pioneer, despite having been raised on classic-thru-nut machines. It seems many years of muscle-memory wins over initial training.

Fortunately, very few gun-wielding mathematicians care as much as we do about this, so I feel I can adapt, as I have many times before.

Like most of you, I just want it to get here, so we can begin our precise, fact-based criticism phase.

--Bob Prosperi
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01-24-2015, 11:38 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2015 12:02 AM by Bit.)
Post: #244
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 08:06 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Why fabled new users? Because this won't be a cheap calculator, for the casual shopper. I fear there won't be so many of them beyond our community.

When I first mentioned the 34S to my father, he showed his ancient algebraic TI from the 1970s and exclaimed he didn't see much point in contorting the way he performs calculations if even the old device could do better. Then he got a 34S for Christmas along with a concise explanation of how RPN works and why it makes sense. A few weeks later he said something like he didn't understand why everybody wasn't using RPN.

I gave away nine 34S and 31S calculators (modified to be more user friendly) as Christmas presents and promised to deliver a tenth one. All to people who never used RPN before, and all (except my father) younger than what I estimate the average age could be here, four of them under 25. The calculators were well received and while I expect some will ultimately end up collecting dust, I can already see that many of them won't.

I don't know how successful the 43S can become if it realizes its full potential, but it will definitely depend on how much effort, both in terms of wise design decisions and also skillful communication, is being put into reaching out to a broader audience who aren't HP RPN fans already.
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01-24-2015, 11:56 PM
Post: #245
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 11:38 PM)Bit Wrote:  
(01-24-2015 08:06 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Why fabled new users? Because this won't be a cheap calculator, for the casual shopper. I fear there won't be so many of them beyond our community.

When I first mentioned the 34S to my father, he pulled out his ancient algrebraic TI from the 1970s and exclaimed he didn't see much point in contorting the way he performs calculations if even the old device could do better. Then he got a 34S for Christmas along with a concise explanation of how RPN works and why it makes sense. A few weeks later he said something like he didn't understand why everybody wasn't using RPN.

I gave away nine 34S and 31S calculators (modified to be more user friendly) as Christmas presents and promised to deliver a tenth one. All to people who never used RPN before, and all (except my father) younger than what I estimate the average age could be here, four of them under 25. The calculators were well received and while I expect some will ultimately end up collecting dust, many of them won't.

I don't know how successful the 43S can become if it realizes its full potential, but it will definitely depend on how much effort, both in terms of wise design decisions and also skillful communication, is being put into reaching out to a broader audience who aren't HP RPN fans already.

Again: 34S and 31S are based on cheap hardware, not available anymore. Something perfect for your presents and the intended scope: find new adepts to the RPN church. ;)
Here we are dealing with hardware costing hundreds of dollars. Not something everybody can get an handful of and giving away freely waiting to see if they will be ever used...

Still waitin' to be proved wrong, really.

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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01-25-2015, 12:33 AM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2015 12:45 AM by Bit.)
Post: #246
RE: 43s status
(01-24-2015 11:56 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Here we are dealing with hardware costing hundreds of dollars. Not something everybody can get an handful of and giving away freely waiting to see if they will be ever used...

Still waitin' to be proved wrong, really.

Yes, a device costing hundreds of dollars is unlikely to be given away in great numbers. However, some of those who got a 34S or 31S and liked it, or some who use one of the many RPN calculator programs on their phone, could become interested in the 43S if a convincing case is presented for why it's awesome. Edit: If a nice suite of financial functions is included, it could even be marketed for the folks using the 12C.

It's not my goal to prove you wrong. Smile I'm just trying to provide a new perspective and point out that it is possible to win new converts by the merits of RPN alone without relying on nostalgia. But it won't happen if an attempt isn't even made and everyone resigns to the fact that RPN calculator users are inevitably going extinct.
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01-25-2015, 04:08 PM
Post: #247
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 12:33 AM)Bit Wrote:  ... some of those who got a 34S or 31S and liked it, or some who use one of the many RPN calculator programs on their phone, could become interested in the 43S if a convincing case is presented for why it's awesome.

Awesomeness is difficult to achieve and may decay with short half-life. Usefulness and quality are easier and live longer.

Quote:If a nice suite of financial functions is included, it could even be marketed for the folks using the 12C.

That's beyond our scope and competence so far. I won't exclude it completely (you may have noticed the menus TVM and FIN on the current layout) but it's certainly not priority one.

CETERVM CENSEO: Priority one is getting 43S prototypes for firmware development.

d:-)
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01-25-2015, 04:41 PM
Post: #248
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 04:08 PM)walter b Wrote:  Awesomeness is difficult to achieve and may decay with short half-life. Usefulness and quality are easier and live longer.
In my book, useful and high quality products are awesome, that's the kind of awesome I primarily meant. I'm certain there are very many people who agree, even if they aren't the majority.

(01-25-2015 04:08 PM)walter b Wrote:  
Quote:If a nice suite of financial functions is included, it could even be marketed for the folks using the 12C.

That's beyond our scope and competence so far. I won't exclude it completely (you may have noticed the menus TVM and FIN on the current layout) but it's certainly not priority one.
I did notice and I think it's a really good idea to include them. There are probably quite a few people able and willing to pay for those menus if they're done really well.
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01-25-2015, 04:54 PM
Post: #249
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 12:33 AM)Bit Wrote:  If a nice suite of financial functions is included, it could even be marketed for the folks using the 12C.

I agree that adding TVM (and other financial Fns) to the 43S will broaden it's appeal to MANY more potential customers. If even a miniscule fraction of those millions of 12C customers are looking for a better platform, we could instantly double, triple, etc, demand for this machine.

This has been suggested in the past (early 31S spec discussions) but indeed was too far from those core goals, but I think fits nicely into the 43S scope, so I for one was quietly happy to see it appear in Walter's recent layouts.

I agree it's of lower priority than the core scientific functions, but would suggest basic financial functions are far more useful, and desirable, to a much larger group of potential customers than some of the exotic mathematical features in the 34s even now. Those features surely appeal significantly to a small but passionate group of us here, but the long-term success of the 43S (and successors?) will almost certainly depend on sales volume.

Walter points out correctly that TVM, etc. is beyond current competence (at least proven competence) but I do not think it is truly beyond the skills available on the current (and growing) team, plus other contributors on this forum (cough, Gene...).

Unlike scientific, engineering and mathematical domains, where calculators have continually expanded features, capabilities and even precision over the years, the financial applications have changed little since the 12C- or maybe even 17B-era. I think these applications are well defined and understood, and there is no need for large investments of time on the UI/Specs. That said, testing is surely a challenge as most of us (MoHPC forum-ers) are more interested in other areas. The good news is that there is a wealth of sample problem data to test with in the endless manuals, books and prior threads here. I would volunteer to do testing in this area.

Walter, is it possible to post the current state of the 43S top-level specs and layouts in a new thread? As it appears we are getting ever closer to test hardware, it is useful for the interested members to refresh. I noted that the recent layout (left vs right, etc.) discussions involved many comments that reflected folks didn't understand (or forgot) some basics such as the dynamic menu structure.

Lastly, if functions such as TVM are to be considered, would they be "native" (C code, part of the core) or similar to the user-code libraries as in some of the 34S features?

--Bob Prosperi
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01-25-2015, 05:17 PM
Post: #250
RE: 43s status
TVM$ lives in the SandMath side by side with Bessel, Whittaker and many other special functions - and apparently getting along quite well.

Cheers,
'AM
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01-25-2015, 05:31 PM
Post: #251
RE: 43s status
If anything can be learned from the long continuous history of HP's financial calculators, then this: the customers of those calcs appreciate a clean surface of their problem solvers. Technical people can stand significantly more clutter. Thus I think the 43S in its present draft state will appeal to science and tech folks, maybe also to technical managers (still), but hardly to financial people.

And financial functions are well covered by HP. So I don't see much sense in competing with HP on a field I've got little expertise. I've no idea what I'd change on their financial calcs - in fact, I don't really care. Anybody who wants to take the challenge, however, feel free to take it.

And concerning your proposal of a new thread for the 43S: good idea! I will fulfill your wish immediately as soon as I find a prototype in my mailbox.

CETERVM CENSEO: Priority one is getting 43S prototypes for firmware development.

d:-)
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01-25-2015, 05:34 PM
Post: #252
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 05:17 PM)Ángel Martin Wrote:  TVM$ lives in the SandMath side by side with Bessel, Whittaker and many other special functions - and apparently getting along quite well.

Ángel, per favor look at this nice, long, structured thread and tell me to which post you are responding to.

d:-?
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01-25-2015, 05:37 PM
Post: #253
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 05:31 PM)walter b Wrote:  If anything can be learned from the long continuous history of HP's financial calculators, then this: the customers of those calcs appreciate a clean surface of their problem solvers.

That's a good point. However, if the financial functions and menus are already in place, it'd be easy and cheap to produce an alternate, financial calculator build of the 43S with different symbols on the keys and a modified firmware with appropriate defaults and UI.
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01-25-2015, 05:58 PM
Post: #254
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 05:37 PM)Bit Wrote:  ... if the financial functions and menus are already in place, it'd be easy and cheap to produce an alternate, financial calculator build of the 43S with different symbols on the keys and a modified firmware with appropriate defaults and UI.

Certainly. It's all vapourware, however, unless ...

CETERVM CENSEO: Priority one is getting 43S prototypes for firmware development.

d:-)
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01-25-2015, 09:47 PM
Post: #255
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 05:34 PM)walter b Wrote:  Ángel, per favor look at this nice, long, structured thread and tell me to which post you are responding to.

d:-?

Too bad you don't see the connection but last time I checked I didn't see any forum rules stating the posts needed to conform to your criteria for content or structure.
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01-26-2015, 05:55 AM
Post: #256
RE: 43s status
(01-25-2015 09:47 PM)Ángel Martin Wrote:  
(01-25-2015 05:34 PM)walter b Wrote:  Ángel, per favor look at this nice, long, structured thread and tell me to which post you are responding to.

Too bad you don't see the connection but last time I checked I didn't see any forum rules stating the posts needed to conform to your criteria for content or structure.

Gracias for your kind understanding. Please see here as well.

d:-)
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01-26-2015, 12:16 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2015 01:52 PM by walter b.)
Post: #257
From the preface of the draft 43S Owner's Manual
Dear user, now you hold your very own WP 43S in your hands. Congratulations! It is a true pioneer: the very first entirely community-designed and -built RPN pocket calculator.

All the hardware, firmware, and user interface of your WP 43S were thoroughly thought through, discussed, designed and assembled, written and tested by us over and over again. We did that to create a new fast and compact problem solver like you did never own before – fully programmable, customizable, incorporating a state-of-the-art LCD, still comfortably fitting into your shirt pocket, and RPN – a serious scientific instrument supporting you in your professional activities! It readily provides several advanced capabilities never before combined so conveniently in a pocket calculator:
  • A solver (root finder) that can solve for any variable in an arbitrary equation.
  • Numeric integration for calculating definite integrals.
  • Numeric derivation, programmable sums and products.
  • Support of real and complex numbers, fractions, integers and text strings.
  • Matrix and vector operations, including a comfortable Matrix Editor, a solver for simultaneous linear equations, and many other useful matrix functions in real and complex domain.
  • Statistical operations, including probability distributions, curve fitting, and forecasting.
  • Base conversions and integer arithmetic in fifteen bases from binary to hexadecimal.
  • Bit manipulations in words of up to 64 bits.
  • A stopwatch based on a real-time clock.
  • An easy-to-use menu system that uses the bottom part of the display to label the top row of keys according to your needs.
  • A keyboard layout and menus that can be customized by you.
  • A catalog for reviewing all items stored in memory – be they provided by us or programmed by you.
  • Keystroke programming including branching, looping, tests, flags, subroutines, and local data.
  • The ability to run programs written for the HP-41Cx, HP-42S, and WP 34S calculators.
  • Battery-fail-safe on-board backup memory for all your data.
  • An SD card slot (allowing e.g. to transfer your programs to a computer, so you can edit and test them there, and return them).
  • An infrared port for immediate printing results, calculations, programs, and data using an HP 82240A/B Infrared Printer.
Your WP 43S provides the most ample function set ever seen in an RPN pocket calculator, presumably in any pocket calculator at all:
  • Full set of scientific functions, including Euler’s Beta and Riemann’s Zeta, Lambert’s W, the error function, Bessel functions of first kind, Bernoulli and Fibonacci numbers, as well as the Chebyshev, Hermite, Laguerre, and Legendre orthogonal polynomials (no more need to carry heavy printed tables).
  • Probability distributions like standard normal, Fisher’s F, Student’s t, chi-square, Poisson, binomial, geometric, hypergeometric, Cauchy-Lorentz, exponential, logistic, Weibull, log-normal, and Gaussian.
  • Over 50 fundamental physical constants stored as accurate as used today by national standards institutes such as NIST or PTB, plus a selection of important constants from mathematics, astronomy, and surveying.
  • More than 90 conversions, mainly from old British Imperial to universal SI units and vice versa.
Furthermore, your WP 43S features lots of space for your data, programs, and ideas:
  • 4 or 8 stack levels and up to 107 global general purpose registers, each taking one object of arbitrary data type.
  • As many named variables as memory can hold.
  • 112 global user flags.
  • Up to 10 000 program steps in RAM, up to 20 000 program steps in flash memory.
  • 16 local flags and up to 888 local registers per program allowing for recursive programming.
  • A multi-line, high-resolution, alphanumeric display with adjustable contrast, allowing for menus, softkeys, mathematical symbols, matrix display, Greek and extended Latin letters.
WP 43S is the result of a collaboration of two teams: Eric Smith and Richard Ottosen (both from the USA) created the hardware, the WP 34S team – Paul Dale (Australia), Marcus von Cube and me (both from Germany) – designed the user interface and wrote the software. As WP 34S before, also WP 43S is a hobbyist’s project though. It was presented and discussed in the Museum of Hewlett-Packard Calculators (see http://www.hpmuseum.org/ ) since 2013. We thank all the international forum members who contributed their ideas, put their votes, and lent their support throughout this project. We greatly appreciate your contributions!

We baptized our baby in honor of the HP-42S of 1988, the most powerful RPN pocket calculator available before. May it be a worthy and valiant successor of the HP-42S – though we would have appreciated and even preferred HP making it. In any way, WP 43S stands in the tradition of over 40 years of RPN pocket calculators.

...

Enjoy! But remember it's only a draft - especially the numbers 888, 10 000, and 20 000 are subject to change without notice.

d:-)
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01-26-2015, 09:25 PM
Post: #258
RE: 43s status
Very ambitious project sir. Looking forward to it!

May I suggest one more?

• Approximately months of average daily use from only one pair of commonly available CR2032 cells.

:-)
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01-26-2015, 09:48 PM
Post: #259
RE: 43s status
(01-26-2015 09:25 PM)John Galt Wrote:  Very ambitious project sir. Looking forward to it!

May I suggest one more?

• Approximately months of average daily use from only one pair of commonly available CR2032 cells.

:-)

Actually it's likely to be 2 x AA batteries. Lots of history on this (most is in these forum pages, some from the last 2 HHC meetings.) But I do think that with that power one may expect weeks to months - Eric, help me out on this if I'm messing this up.

--Bob Prosperi
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01-26-2015, 09:52 PM
Post: #260
RE: 43s status
(01-26-2015 09:48 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Actually it's likely to be 2 x AA batteries.

In fact I would be very pleased with such a requirement, if it achieved anything even close to six months on two AAs.

The display seemed as though it will be prohibitively power-hungry, and I would gladly be proven wrong about that.

Sorry for having to play catch-up.
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