|Re: The good the Bad and the Ugly|
Message #20 Posted by Ex-PPC member on 30 Nov 2001, 8:55 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Yani
>What are peoples favourite HPs for 1. General keyboard calculation 1. Programming 3. Just plain fun to use and why?
Can't resist. Here are my favourites:
1. General keyboard calculation
Any Voyager, specially the ones with all usual
math functions such as trigonometrics and y^x. So, the
HP-11C and HP-15C are the very best to carry in one's
pocket for normal keyboard calculations. They have also
plenty of storage registers (21 and 67, respectively)
to store intermediate results. Matter of fact, I always
use an HP-11C to fill up my IRSs. Also, the keyboard is
the best money can buy and the screen, not being of the
dot-matrix type, is extremely clear. For general,
everyday calculations, there's nothing best or better
looking as well.
a) an HP-41CV with an Advantage ROM, a PPC ROM, and
an X-Functions ROM is incredibly powerful (nearly
448 registers, matrix, synthetics, anything) while
still being very easy to program. You can do
almost any normal programming task with it.
b) a 71B with a Math ROM and FORTH/Assembler ROM,
also incredibly powerful, lots of memory, three
languages from easy (BASIC) to very difficult
(Assembler), it also has complex math, matrices,
root finding, integration, the works. And very
easy to program even large, complex tasks in BASIC.
c) an HP-42S, a super-set of the 41C, compatible,
incredibly powerful, it has more memory than a
41CV + X-functions + 2*X-Memory, and can run
programs 6 to 12 times faster than a 41C. Also,
very user friendly, menus, named variables,
complex math, matrices, solver, integrator.
d) an HP-15C. The most pocketable and elegant of
them all, and excellent programming, with matrix
functions, solve, integrate, and complex. Its
natural set of functions makes programming it a
delight, and a surprising amount of programming
can be done in very few bytes, frequently
less than any other machine.
3. Fun to use
All mentioned above, for those reasons:
a) The 41CV+Adv+PPC+X-Func, because it's extremely
fun to use the functions in those wonderful ROMs
to achieve almost anything that can be done in
a calculator. Just using the fast microcode
matrix functions (M*M, MINV) which can work
directly on matrices in Extended Memory, or being
able to assign synthetics programmatically will
make programming anything a real intellectual joy.
b) The 71B because of its excellent BASIC, which
allows subprograms with parameter passing,
recursion, a powerful filesystem in memory,
local environments for each subprogram, multiline
functions. With the Math ROM you can do things
like MAT X=SYS(A,B) to solve m systems of nxn
linear equations at once, even if complex, or
MAT X=PROOT(A) to find at once all 100 roots
real or complex of a 100th-degree equation.
And with FORTH/Assembler you can add your own
machine-language keywords to the BASIC or FORTH
c) The 42S because it's incredibly fun to adapt your
own old 41C programs and make them much more
polished, with things like menus, RCL arithmetic,
even graphics ! Its matrix and complex functions
are so well integrated that almost all math
operators work on any of then the same. Its solver
is fantastic, and its integrator, too. And it's
very fast and a pleasure to program.
d) The trusty old HP-15C, because its function set
is so cleverly implemented. The fun is fitting
quite complex programs in very few bytes, less
than on any other machine. Its matrix functions
are incredibly well implemented, with such things
as loops that auto-increment and terminate
automatically when reaching the end of the matrix,
which saves lots of programming bytes, its
unequaled RPN stack of 4 complex numbers plus
LastX (not just 2, like in the 32S/32SII/42S),
etc, etc. The ultimate challenge.
Well, any of them will give extreme pleasure to the
dedicated HP fan. Trust me, get one of each before they
get out of reach in availability and/or price.