48GX: Singapore vs Indonesia
07-18-2018, 05:34 PM
Post: #1
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,479 Joined: Dec 2013
48GX: Singapore vs Indonesia
Not a Matter of Consequence... Just a random observation...

Remember the beautiful "x" and "y" on all the old HP calculators? A clear example of their design is found on the HP-97's SWAP key:

I've always wondered when and where HP abandoned that lovely font and replaced it with the standard, ugly font they use now. I think I found it. Compare these keys on an HP 48GX made in Singapore (SN 3448S02527) with the same keys on an HP 48GX made in Indonesia (SN ID83302623):

The "x" is the same old classic font on all three keys on the Singapore 48, but notice how they're different (except for the square root key!) on the Indonesia 48. So I suspect that's when and where the classic HP font was either unwittingly lost or intentionally abandoned. Even though the 35s was supposedly made to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the HP-35, no attempt was made to use the classic HP font on it.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
07-18-2018, 09:08 PM
Post: #2
 Benjer Junior Member Posts: 31 Joined: Apr 2017
RE: 48GX: Singapore vs Indonesia
I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the switch from dual-injected keys to printed keys. I believe I read somewhere that this transition took place while the 48G series was in production. I have to imagine there were at least some limitations to the characters or designs which could be injected into a key, as opposed to printed.

Perhaps at the time the powers that be felt they were making a desirable change to the character design on the keys.

This of course offers no explanation as to why the x on the sqrt key was more or less unchanged.
07-18-2018, 11:30 PM
Post: #3
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,479 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: 48GX: Singapore vs Indonesia
(07-18-2018 09:08 PM)Benjer Wrote:  I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the switch from dual-injected keys to printed keys.

Good observation! I just checked the two GX's above, and you're right: the classic "x" and "y" are dual injected, and the newer "x" and "y" are printed on.

(07-18-2018 09:08 PM)Benjer Wrote:  This of course offers no explanation as to why the x on the sqrt key was more or less unchanged.

My guess is because $${ y }^{ x }$$ and $$1/x$$ are easily typeset in most software, but $$\sqrt { x }$$ is not, so they just "photocopied" that key. My guess may not be correct, since software certainly did exist at that time to typeset math, and I think HP would have been able to afford it.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
07-19-2018, 06:28 AM
Post: #4
 cyrille de brébisson Senior Member Posts: 866 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: 48GX: Singapore vs Indonesia
Hello,

No clue exactly what happened at this time (it was befor eI joined HP), but the thicker, older font might be an artefact of having to use double shot injection molding as they could not do 'thin' lines...

The move to printed keys allowed to have thiner lines for the caligraphic ends of the Ys and Xs...

Prime still use relatively nice X and Ys (but it was a battle to do so as the "powers to be" wanted us to use the "HP standard font" used in all HP documents, and we had to fight and explain that these were mathematical symbols, not letters and that they therefore needed to stay like this!!!!)

Cyrille

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP.
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