Poll: Are Swiss Micros calculators well-made?
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Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
09-26-2018, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 09-26-2018 04:24 PM by edryer.)
Post: #41
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
Just received my DM-16L (to complement my HP-16C and DM-16(CC)) and have to say it is absolutely FANTASTIC.

It might not be the thing to say but I find it easier to use than the HP-16C, prefer the clicky keyboard over the velvet smooth HP-16C (nice of course) the LCD more legible (esp. with the changeable fonts) and the build as good or indeed better than the HP-16C. Of course it is much faster as well!

So, day to day now will use the DM-16L in my low level exploits, saving wear and tear on the original.

My DM-16(CC) I find quite hard to use... it is more I think a shirt pocket quick calculation device than a desktop daily use driver. I like it, but not nearly as much.

It really makes me think the DM-15L would be the ultimate Math calculating machine, it's on my thoughts because I think it would be sublime.

HP-28S (1988 US model), DM41X (2020)
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09-26-2018, 05:44 PM
Post: #42
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
I got a 15 and a 41 earlier in the year , whilst both are ‘ok’ ..... build quality isn’t quite up to the mark imho.
On one the metal display trim is now losing adhesion to the cabinet , the other has a gap between top and bottom cabinet parts. (Below the bottom part of keyboard.)

On one of them the rear cabinet screw heads are ever so so slightly larger, so they don’t sit in the countersink flush. I asked for replacements but whilst they were shipped quickly enough they’re pretty much the same. (The combination of thin feet makes the calculator prone to shifting about.
One of the calculators is fine, small well sunk in screws with no other problems.
If I put the smaller headed screws from the good unit into the other they’re fine...


I also had a display problem, the fix didn’t work so he sent me a replacement which is fine ....
But all these things are remembered .... and has put me off (so far) buying more into the brand.
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09-27-2018, 06:45 PM
Post: #43
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
Interesting the DM-16's (both variants) have a back arrow instead of the BSP designation on the key.

Reminds me of the dumbing down by putting a +/- on later HP's rather than a CHS.... was searching for a CHS key... renamed!

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09-28-2018, 12:10 PM (This post was last modified: 09-28-2018 12:11 PM by toml_12953.)
Post: #44
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-27-2018 06:45 PM)edryer Wrote:  Interesting the DM-16's (both variants) have a back arrow instead of the BSP designation on the key.

Reminds me of the dumbing down by putting a +/- on later HP's rather than a CHS.... was searching for a CHS key... renamed!

It's not really dumbing it down, it's writing for an international audience. CHS stands for CHange Sign which only makes sense in English and maybe a couple other languages.

+/-, on the other hand is more recognizable no matter what the language of the user is.

Tom L
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09-28-2018, 04:16 PM
Post: #45
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-28-2018 12:10 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(09-27-2018 06:45 PM)edryer Wrote:  Interesting the DM-16's (both variants) have a back arrow instead of the BSP designation on the key.

Reminds me of the dumbing down by putting a +/- on later HP's rather than a CHS.... was searching for a CHS key... renamed!

It's not really dumbing it down, it's writing for an international audience. CHS stands for CHange Sign which only makes sense in English and maybe a couple other languages.

+/-, on the other hand is more recognizable no matter what the language of the user is.

Exactly. And probably for that reason, HP themselves switched from CHS to +/- around 1988 with the introduction of the Pioneer series and almost all models after them.
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09-28-2018, 07:28 PM
Post: #46
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
Dumbing down may have been too strong a word.

Having used Voyagers quite a bit I guess I am used to a CHS and BSP keys. Good point about the internationalization... didn't occur to me.

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09-28-2018, 08:01 PM
Post: #47
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-28-2018 07:28 PM)edryer Wrote:  Dumbing down may have been too strong a word.

Having used Voyagers quite a bit I guess I am used to a CHS and BSP keys. Good point about the internationalization... didn't occur to me.
As for the "BSP" key on the Voyager series, three labels were used for that key, depending on the model. Only the 16C had a "BSP" key. The 10C and 12C have a "CLX" key. The 11C and the 15C have a "<--" key.
The "CLX" key only clears the X register and does not have a backspace feature. The "BSP" and "<--" keys appear to have the same backspace function while you are entering a number.
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09-29-2018, 08:23 AM
Post: #48
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
An an English speaker but not an American, I always find XEQ on my 35s very jarring and meaningless. I have to decode it manually, as it were - it's not a natural abbreviation at all.
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09-29-2018, 02:08 PM
Post: #49
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-29-2018 08:23 AM)EdS2 Wrote:  An an English speaker but not an American, I always find XEQ on my 35s very jarring and meaningless. I have to decode it manually, as it were - it's not a natural abbreviation at all.

As a second-language English speaker, I find XEQ ugly but sensible. Do you not call the letter X "eks" and Q "cue"? Phonetically it's pretty clever.

In Dutch it doesn't work so well because we call the X "iks" and Q "ku" (with the u in "ku" being a vowel that doesn't exist in English, basically like the French u), but since the HP-41C has an English-based user interface, that's not an issue.

I mention the 41C because that was the first HP with an XEQ key, replacing the earlier GSB (go subroutine). The name change was necessary because GSB doesn't make sense if you're also using it to invoke built-in functions. Like I said, I find XEQ ugly, but given the limitations (basically, three letters maximum), there isn't much else you can do. I think Japanese calculators usually had EXE, which isn't great either, but I guess it is better for non-English-speaking audiences... EXEC would have been better, but alas, too long, and EXC can be confused with "exchange." UI design is hard. Smile
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09-29-2018, 02:38 PM
Post: #50
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-29-2018 02:08 PM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  As a second-language English speaker, I find XEQ ugly but sensible. Do you not call the letter X "eks" and Q "cue"? Phonetically it's pretty clever.

In Dutch it doesn't work so well because we call the X "iks" and Q "ku" (with the u in "ku" being a vowel that doesn't exist in English, basically like the French u), but since the HP-41C has an English-based user interface, that's not an issue.

I mention the 41C because that was the first HP with an XEQ key, replacing the earlier GSB (go subroutine). The name change was necessary because GSB doesn't make sense if you're also using it to invoke built-in functions. Like I said, I find XEQ ugly, but given the limitations (basically, three letters maximum), there isn't much else you can do. I think Japanese calculators usually had EXE, which isn't great either, but I guess it is better for non-English-speaking audiences... EXEC would have been better, but alas, too long, and EXC can be confused with "exchange." UI design is hard. Smile

I completely agree with you, Thomas.

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09-29-2018, 03:41 PM
Post: #51
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
Thomas, you suggest EXE is better for non-English users, implying XEQ might be better for English users.
I don't find that - but as a computer user perhaps I am not typical of the calculator market.
Since DOS in the 1980s I have associated EXE with Executable file...and before that
i associated EQ with equality comparisons in Fortran, and would have guessed XEQ probably meant NOTEQUALS until reading otherwise on the HP museum. XEQ for Execute would never have occurred to me.
(Uk English native)
Is XEQ more common/readable in American?
Or am I biased against that by my exposure to Fortran?

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
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09-29-2018, 04:06 PM
Post: #52
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
It could be that XEQ makes more phonetic sense to Americans than to people from the UK. I couldn't say. As I said, English is not my first language, and my language sensibilities have been heavily influenced by living in the U.S. for some 18 years. On the other hand, I bought my first HP-41C back in 1979, when I had started learning English just a couple of years earlier, and I "got" XEQ right away. Maybe it's just random, like whether you like jazz or not.

Interpreting XEQ as "not EQ" wouldn't have occurred to me. The opposite of EQ is NE. Big Grin
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09-29-2018, 10:26 PM
Post: #53
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
I have probably been influenced strongly by my previous influences too, I read "XEQ" as eXEQute. They could have also used XQT, but that would have been even more inpenetrable. I don't mind "EXE" on the Casios, it's at least unambiguous if you've had any DOS experience, either PC/MS or previous incarnations on other architectures.

I note that XEQ on the HP50G simply isn't there, what gets used instead? Or isn't there really an analogue?

(Post 291)

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09-30-2018, 12:43 AM
Post: #54
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-29-2018 10:26 PM)brickviking Wrote:  I note that XEQ on the HP50G simply isn't there, what gets used instead? Or isn't there really an analogue?

In RPL, there isn't an analogue to XEQ, because you call a program or built-in function named FOO simply by saying FOO. The closest thing to an equivalent of XEQ IND would be EVAL, I think.
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09-30-2018, 10:41 AM
Post: #55
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-29-2018 03:41 PM)StephenG1CMZ Wrote:  Is XEQ more common/readable in American?
Or am I biased against that by my exposure to Fortran?

I'm an American and, yes XEQ would be pronounced ecks-eh-queue which is the same way that the beginning of execute is pronounced.

Now if a keyboard command had the letter Z in it...

We all know that when pronounced, Z does NOT rhyme with bread, right? RIGHT? Big Grin

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09-30-2018, 12:53 PM
Post: #56
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-30-2018 10:41 AM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(09-29-2018 03:41 PM)StephenG1CMZ Wrote:  Is XEQ more common/readable in American?
Or am I biased against that by my exposure to Fortran?

I'm an American and, yes XEQ would be pronounced ecks-eh-queue which is the same way that the beginning of execute is pronounced.

Now if a keyboard command had the letter Z in it...

We all know that when pronounced, Z does NOT rhyme with bread, right? RIGHT? :D

Wrong!
You just say Zed Zed Top, no?
:P

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09-30-2018, 01:28 PM
Post: #57
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-30-2018 12:43 AM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  In RPL, there isn't an analogue to XEQ, because you call a program or built-in function named FOO simply by saying FOO. The closest thing to an equivalent of XEQ IND would be EVAL, I think.

Yes, EVAL executes a program if it or its quoted name is on the stack. EVAL also evaluates algebraic objects and lists.
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09-30-2018, 03:27 PM
Post: #58
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-30-2018 12:53 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  
(09-30-2018 10:41 AM)toml_12953 Wrote:  I'm an American and, yes XEQ would be pronounced ecks-eh-queue which is the same way that the beginning of execute is pronounced.

Now if a keyboard command had the letter Z in it...

We all know that when pronounced, Z does NOT rhyme with bread, right? RIGHT? Big Grin

Wrong!
You just say Zed Zed Top, no?
Tongue

LOL! How about the Alphabet Song? The last letter on each line rhymes.

A,B,C,D,E,F,G
H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P
Q,R,S,T,U,V
W,X,Y & Z

just doesn't work if Z is Zed!

Tom L
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09-30-2018, 05:20 PM
Post: #59
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
(09-30-2018 03:27 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(09-30-2018 12:53 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  Wrong!
You just say Zed Zed Top, no?
:P

LOL! How about the Alphabet Song? The last letter on each line rhymes.

A,B,C,D,E,F,G
H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P
Q,R,S,T,U,V
W,X,Y & Z

just doesn't work if Z is Zed!

I really don't understand: it rhymes perfectly with Ged, Ped and Ved.

Anyway, I am with Zed, since I was taught this way. I was studying english at the time... ;)

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10-01-2018, 03:16 AM
Post: #60
RE: Swiss Micros makes HP 'act-alikes' - programmable
Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.
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