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Alphabet Soup Prefix Conundrum
03-18-2017, 03:54 AM
Post: #12
RE: Alphabet Soup Prefix Conundrum
To answer the original poster's question, I didn't find the number of options overwhelming. In my opinion the 34C was the best laid out of the classic portrait calculators. I had one, and I can definitely identify with the risk of an overwhelming number of options. I think part of the success was those lovely multi-face keys that HP was so well known for, allowing a function to be printed on the 'front' face of the key, not just the top face. However, the improvement over the HP-67 was simply a better layout. More related things were put together where it made sense; all three shift keys next to each other, register roll on the same key, X-register swap/test keys all on the same side of the calculator, and so on.

Almost the only thing that had me freaked out about the 34C was getting used to the operators and the big Enter key on the left hand side. For someone who had only really used the FX82 (and other four-bangers) and the Sharp PC1247 before, this was a radical departure from those. However, the RPN made up for it. What had me lost was the lack of a manual, I'd received the calculator third-hand and I had to look up my local library.

IMHO, I think that the 'modern' take of hiding multiple functions behind menu keys, is a human interface compromise at best. At least for the two big calculator/computers that I have, it makes it almost mandatory to read the manual for the not-so-obvious stuff, with a more in-depth look in the AUR for the really obscure stuff on the HP-50G (Appendix G sort of stuff). When I first played with the HP-50G, it took me a while just to find the factorial function and even longer to find the GAMMA function. To me at least, it's more confusing than the HP-34C, where practically everything was on display, but it's an understandable tradeoff for the number of functions provided.

(Post 58)

Regards, BrickViking
HP-50g |Casio fx-9750G+ |Casio fx-9750GII (SH4a)
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RE: Alphabet Soup Prefix Conundrum - brickviking - 03-18-2017 03:54 AM

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