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Landscape vs Portrait
08-29-2016, 01:57 PM
Post: #1
Landscape vs Portrait
My grandfather used an HP 15c and I've gotten to know it by using the manual and such. It was surely a fine calculator and a really great size, but I can't get over the landscape design.

So perhaps I'm using it wrong?

I find that often my right thumb is busy pressing numbers and decimal points while my left thumb sits idle.

Then I use the shift keys and various functions on the left side while my right thumb sits idle. I can reach all the way across with either but it is awkward and unnatural (e.g., pi^2 requires four button presses, the first pair is okay with left thumb right thumb, but then the second requires just left thumb or right thumb crossing left thumb).

I find that with portrait mode, everything is centered and I use both thumbs quicker and more efficiently. I can do a shift with left thumb and hit anything on the keyboard with the right. I can enter digits with both thumbs quite quickly.

So what is the appeal of landscape? Is there some trick I'm not doing? Is it just something you get used to?
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08-29-2016, 02:22 PM
Post: #2
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 01:57 PM)Logan Wrote:  So what is the appeal of landscape? Is there some trick I'm not doing? Is it just something you get used to?

I'm not getting used to it, as much as I'm trying. I like the functionality of the DM41L but definitely prefer the portrait format.

Tom L

Tom L

French phrases you rarely hear: "trop de beurre" (too much butter)
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08-29-2016, 02:45 PM
Post: #3
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 01:57 PM)Logan Wrote:  So what is the appeal of landscape? Is there some trick I'm not doing? Is it just something you get used to?

I'd say it's something you get used to. I'm a lot faster with the 15c than I ever was with the 35s/34s, that is also probably because I trust the 15c more, never needed to check the display to make sure the stroke was registered.
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08-29-2016, 02:52 PM
Post: #4
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 02:45 PM)Marcio Wrote:  I'd say it's something you get used to. I'm a lot faster with the 15c than I ever was with the 35s/34s,

How do you typically operate it when say, punching in a string of numbers? Does the left thumb sit idle or do you reach across with it?

I find that when I add a string of numbers together, my right thumb is doing all the work. Clearly this isn't efficient and perhaps there is a pivot or reach-over trick you get used to?
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08-29-2016, 03:06 PM
Post: #5
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
Before the coming of the blackberry and of the smartphones, most people used their calculators on their desk and used their fingers for typing.
In that usage pattern, portrait or landscape did not have any effect on the typing speed if you knew were the keys were located.

The advent of the blackberry and of the smartphones changed the device usage pattern, peoples used them in their hands and used both thumbs for typing.
In that usage pattern, portrait is a major productivity boost.

Sylvain
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08-29-2016, 03:42 PM
Post: #6
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
Hello!

(08-29-2016 03:06 PM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  The advent of the blackberry and of the smartphones changed the device usage pattern, peoples used them in their hands and used both thumbs for typing.

I'm not so sure about that one. The vast majority of all pocket calculators have always had portait format and were used hand held, just as ordinary phones, TV remotes and such likes. The smartphone was rather modeled after the pocket calculator ;-) There have been some shortlived attempts at landscape format smartphones (or "personal organizers" or whatever they were called) but the market rejected them.

Didn't we have a poll on this forum regarding portrait vs landscape not so long ago? The search function searches for it but unfortunately doesn't find.

Regards
Max
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08-29-2016, 04:00 PM
Post: #7
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
Well, i usually have a landscape calculator (HP-16C) in front of my keyboard (== between me and the keyboard), which i use mostly with my right hand. if i have more elaborate calculations or am not sitting (=holding a calculator in my hands) i usually take the 41, which is nicer to use with both hands while standing because it is portrait. it does not fit between me and the keyboard though, so the landscape calculators have their point.
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08-29-2016, 04:29 PM (This post was last modified: 08-29-2016 07:29 PM by Marcio.)
Post: #8
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 02:52 PM)Logan Wrote:  How do you typically operate it when say, punching in a string of numbers? Does the left thumb sit idle or do you reach across with it?

I find that when I add a string of numbers together, my right thumb is doing all the work. Clearly this isn't efficient and perhaps there is a pivot or reach-over trick you get used to?

In this case, I usually set the calculator on the desk and use the index and middle fingers to type.

When programming, that I would need to use the whole keyboard, I type in just like most kids use their smartphones theses days, with both thumbs.
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08-29-2016, 04:41 PM
Post: #9
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
This is interesting. I assumed everyone picked up their calculators and used thumbs.

Just as a quick test, I tried entering:

sqrt(-ln(.5)/pi^2) * 30/1.25

And did it on the 42s in about 7 seconds after two attempts. After five attempts on the 15c (setting it down as Marcio and damaltor do), the best I had was about 9 seconds. Not a huge difference and definitely better than two-thumb but preferred the 42s in this particular case.
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08-29-2016, 06:30 PM (This post was last modified: 08-29-2016 06:35 PM by Ángel Martin.)
Post: #10
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 04:00 PM)damaltor Wrote:  Well, i usually have a landscape calculator (HP-16C) in front of my keyboard (== between me and the keyboard), which i use mostly with my right hand. if i have more elaborate calculations or am not sitting (=holding a calculator in my hands) i usually take the 41, which is nicer to use with both hands while standing because it is portrait. it does not fit between me and the keyboard though, so the landscape calculators have their point.

Interestingly enough I use the MCODE 16C Simulator Module on the 41CL - so it's a mix of both, but on the right side of my keyboard even if I'm a south paw...
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08-29-2016, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-29-2016 07:45 PM by Nick.)
Post: #11
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
I'll use the 15C in a variety of ways:

On a desk:
  • I prefer to set the calculator on a notebook. Or second to that, I'll use the case or something else for grip and stability. In a pinch, I'll pinch it with my left hand thumb and index while it's on the desk.
  • On a desk, I'll either 1-finger the keys with my right index or I'll use the 4 fingers of my right hand to 'type' across the entire width of the device, freeing my left hand to index the work.

Handheld:
  • My natural hold is the 2-thumb method, and yes the left thumb doesn't do as much work unless you're doing work on something like the 12C or debugging a 15C program.
  • I'll also hold it in my left hand.. imagine thumb on the left side of the unit with middle finger on the right hand side, with the other fingers securing it across the length of the palm. In this position I can 1-finger press or 4-finger type (sort of like a wrist-worn keyboard inside your palm). This is useful when you have documents in your lap or leaning against a desk.

The 15C is my favorite all-around calculator. <3

If you preferred a portrait format, the 34C would be its predecessor at a cost of battery life -- hours vs years/decades, but I find the landscape format to be more ergonomic. Being shorter vertically lets you set it on top of the work. The golden aspect ratio is a plus.

By comparison, the 15C has 40 keys, 2 shift keys, with the only non-facing functions 10 of the 12 tests and 10 of the matrix operations. The 34C has 30 keys, 3 shift keys, and lacks the side-by-side complex stack and matrix functions.

Ergonomically, the landscape format avoids the up/down motion strain -- there's little to "reach up" for. The natural world is landscape... we look side to side, work side to side... that influenced the trend in wider displays rather than stacking them. As a test, look forward -- move your eyes left to right then allow your head to join, scanning left to right. Now look forward again. Look up with your eyes then down, then allow your head to join.

I consider the format much more than a gimmick -- there's been a few articles on the choice of layout in the design. The 12C (also in the Voyager line) is the most fluent TVM calculator I know in terms of both the number key presses to run the formula and the speed of 2-thumbing between function and data entry. I carry them together as a set. The landscape format lets both calculators fit vertically on a desk, nearly square.

Yip,
Nick
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08-30-2016, 12:30 AM (This post was last modified: 08-30-2016 12:30 AM by emece67.)
Post: #12
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 04:41 PM)Logan Wrote:  This is interesting. I assumed everyone picked up their calculators and used thumbs.

Just as a quick test, I tried entering:

sqrt(-ln(.5)/pi^2) * 30/1.25

And did it on the 42s in about 7 seconds after two attempts. After five attempts on the 15c (setting it down as Marcio and damaltor do), the best I had was about 9 seconds. Not a huge difference and definitely better than two-thumb but preferred the 42s in this particular case.

I repeated this test and, after training, I've found no differences in speed between a portrait machine (34S) and a landscape one (15C, well in fact a DM15L), no matter if I only use my right finger or both thumbs (always 6 seconds). Both machines require the same number of keystrokes. I'm not a big user of the 2-thumbs mode, though (surely a matter of age).

With a 41C I was faster (5 seconds), but this machine does not require a shift to compute the ln.

Until recently, I always used portrait machines, but after buying, and using, some landscape ones, I definitely prefer this layout for desk use. In my case, they use to fit better in a cluttered desk than a portrait one. For handheld use I do not have a clear winner.

Regards.

César - Information must flow.
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08-30-2016, 02:30 PM
Post: #13
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-29-2016 01:57 PM)Logan Wrote:  So what is the appeal of landscape?
It is beautyful.
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08-31-2016, 06:04 PM
Post: #14
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-30-2016 12:30 AM)emece67 Wrote:  I repeated this test and, after training, I've found no differences in speed between a portrait machine (34S) and a landscape one (15C, well in fact a DM15L), no matter if I only use my right finger or both thumbs (always 6 seconds).

That's some impressive one-finger speed! Answer is 6.36, the standard deviation on a particular Sea State V clutter model Smile
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08-31-2016, 08:32 PM
Post: #15
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-30-2016 12:30 AM)emece67 Wrote:  With a 41C I was faster (5 seconds), but this machine does not require a shift to compute the ln.

I got it down to about 1.8s on the 15C after I got that R/S key to work -- strange key, that one. I press it but there seems to be this slight delay before the answer appears. Maybe this decade the batteries are due for a change.

Yip,
Nick
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09-01-2016, 08:36 AM
Post: #16
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-31-2016 08:32 PM)Nick Wrote:  
(08-30-2016 12:30 AM)emece67 Wrote:  With a 41C I was faster (5 seconds), but this machine does not require a shift to compute the ln.

I got it down to about 1.8s on the 15C after I got that R/S key to work -- strange key, that one. I press it but there seems to be this slight delay before the answer appears. Maybe this decade the batteries are due for a change.

Yip,
Nick
Noticed that too. Made the R/S key work on the 41, too. made me calculate that in slightly less than a second...
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09-01-2016, 10:22 AM
Post: #17
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(08-30-2016 02:30 PM)Thomas Radtke Wrote:  
(08-29-2016 01:57 PM)Logan Wrote:  So what is the appeal of landscape?
It is beautyful.

I agree, there are some really beautiful landscapes! But then, some portraits are equally beautiful :-) :

[Image: mona-lisa-calculator.jpg]

BTW: This is the poll "Landscape or portrait?" from a few months ago: http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-5804.html

Regards
Max
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09-02-2016, 05:52 AM
Post: #18
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(09-01-2016 10:22 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  I agree, there are some really beautiful landscapes! But then, some portraits are equally beautiful :-) :
I always found the smile of Mona Lisa suspicious.

Imagine a portrait 15C: You'd have a hard time reading the vertical LCD!
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09-02-2016, 06:02 AM
Post: #19
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
I also prefer landscape for reasons already mentioned in this thread.
I use fingers on the desk, not thumbs with calc on palm; when I read "my grand father owned a 15C" I guess OP is a new gen smartphone user.
The calculator fits nicely in between the PC keyboard and the edge of the desk.
I find it easier to look at screen and keyboard because the distance is shorter.

I also own a 50g but I definitely find the 15C more comfortable.
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09-02-2016, 08:09 PM
Post: #20
RE: Landscape vs Portrait
(09-02-2016 06:02 AM)Tugdual Wrote:  when I read "my grand father owned a 15C" I guess OP is a new gen smartphone user.

Surprisingly, no. I've never owned a cell phone. It just seems to me that a portable calculator is made to be picked up and used and the use of one's thumbs to do so is natural. I've actually been surprised by how many people set it on a desk and use it that way. But then again, half the time I don't even have a desk in front of me.

The interesting question is, does landscape encourage setting it on a desk? Or do people enjoy landscape because they prefer putting their calculators on a desk? Smile
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