|12CP and other (Long)|
Message #5 Posted by bill platt on 1 June 2003, 11:35 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Stan (Sg)
Stan, R.Lion etc,
First, one of the most fascinating aspects of this newsgroup is that there is a constant (healthy) tension between two worldviews here--the collecting worldview, and the "what should be happening now" worldview in terms of calculators. And even more fascinating, most of the personalities here are living in both worldviews!
I agree that incremental improvements are imoprtant to product sales. This is precicely what has kept microcomputers selling all these years. Except that with calculators, a large part of the market (how large, we do not really know) does not want or need new features--the product has sort of reached a plateau in that respect. It's kind of like knives---good designs have been around for 1000's of years and so the choice of appropriate design is more a matter of taste and specific application, rather than getting a better one.
Second point is that the speed of the older calculators is noticably inferior, and in my opinion unacceptable. I feel this way because of my viewpoint:
I used an 11c for 12 years, until I lost it in'96. Bought a 32sii--and the transition was so absolutely seamless--I barely had to read the manual. And the 32sii had a bunch of new features--which was nice, and I was glad to have them, becasue they did not "interfere" with my core understanding or needs, but they were right on the keys, and handy, and I use them!
Then, recently, like 3 months ago, I finally bought a 48GX. That was also a pretty good transition for basics, though it took a significant amount of time (about 16 hours) of reading the manual and using it, to understand even the basics of the whole new system. And while the speed for the calculations is good, the menus are slow--they feel slower than my 1 Ghz pc. And it really is not as convenient for gneral use, as there are almost always more keystrokes than the 32sii, when looking for handy calculator features.
Finally, I got crazy and bought an old 41cv. Now that gives perspective. Having been in 32sii land, and then 48 land, I can see that there is Never a reason to reintroduce that venerable 41c. Never. It is cool, to be sure; it is easy to program--being regular rpn, but my god, it is clumsy, like an ALpha Register?! That is clumsy, in retrospect. But necessary, when you have not invented sysRPL yet, I guess. And the solve times are slower. And there are no built-in handy functions on the keyboard. But it really was not a calculator--it was a proto-PC sort of--or better yet a blank fully customizable tool. You can see how, (I admit, even today) by using overlays and USER mode, you can make a custom tool for some specific application--like you hand the tool to the guy on the line and say, "now you just do this and that, and then bring the machine in and plug it over there at the end of the day..." But today, you would rather build that onto a pocket pc or a palm tungsten T? or W? (the one with the key board).
I also recently found an old 11c. So nicely made. But having been on the 32sii, I find that it runs REALLY slow---almost unbearably after having gotten used to the modern world. And I have really come to like having the alphanumeric, rather than keycode, programming, and the equation editor/solver. I suppose that if i were an "EE and used complex math, then I would not even consider the 11c (it would have been 15c anyway).
Products do have to keep up with the times. They *must* work faster than old ones. Speed is really important, for the user to accept the product as being up to date.
It seems to me that the new 12CP is headed for failure, if it is taking 30 seconds to solve for the interest rate, on a TVM computation. Like, I could do that faster by hand!
Just my $50. wrth ;)