|Re: Which HP|
Message #3 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 3 June 2004, 12:29 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Joe Edwards
Let me just start by mentioning that all the text below is based on the newer, not hard to find LCD units.
I have some HP calcs as well, and based on your current calculators and on the fact you use one of the algebraic only as for daily use, you have no specific preference for algebraic or RPN, right?
Anyway, let's put things in this perspective: HP calculators are mostly RPN-based, and some recent models are either algebraic only (some financial models like the HP10B, HP14B, some scientific ones like the HP20S, the fin/sci units like the HP27S, and some non-HP inside, like the HP6S, HP30S) or offer them both (like the financial models HP17B/19B and HP12C Platinum, and some scientific ones, like the HP49 and the HP33S) giving the user the chance to use the calculator the way he wishes or finds better. I guess that having a choice, an option, is always better than having only one possibility.
About functionality: many financial models are resourceful, with extra clock and calendar like the HP17B/BII, HP18C and HP19B/BII and also the new 'plus' ones, while others offer some sort of "basic pack", like the HP14B, HP10B and HP10BII. But the one with the most comprehensible set of useful and handy financial tools is the HP12C. I'm mentioning the financial ones because you use an HP27S daily and it offers almost all resources available with the HP12C plus the scientific ones.
If you are fond to scientific calculators as well, the choices are bigger, if we consider that each family of HP calculators has more scientific models than financial ones. As a reference, let's take the Voyagers: five different models, only one is a financial model while others are scientific. The HP10C is an interesting calculator. It has all basic scientific functions plus programmability. It is a "simple set" taken from the HP11C, an Advanced Scientific Calculator. I'd guess that the HP11C is one of the golden choices for scientists, along with many other models like the HP65/67/97, HP55, HP34C, HP41, HP42S and others. I take these models, as "flat" units (no extra devices, only the calculator as is) as the most impressive models ever made. But we must add the extremely powerful HP15C. This is a hell-of-a calculator. Matrix operations with the ability to handle data from complex matrices, full-operational complex algebra, numerical root finder (SOLVE) and integration. Programming skills are easy to achieve and all possible functions are available in the keyboard, meaning you don't need menu-driven procedures.
The HP16C is a class for itself. The only Computer Scientist exclusive calculator designed by HP. It's hard to describe any features in the HP16C without mentioning the others: operation in any of the four numeric bases with TRUE 64 bit maximum word size in any of them, extensive bit manipulation with rotating and shifting (carry bit included or not), Boolean algebra and arithmetic, unsigned or 1's or 2's complement mode representation, double-precision addition, multiplication and reminder (up to 128 bits), programmable... and can be used as a floating-point, regular RPN calculator anytime you need to. Amazing!
The HP42S is a heavy post-implementation of the giant HP41 with the lack of I/O ports ("If I only had a port..."). I guess that the only one that beats the HP15C when complex matrix operations are the issue is the HP42S. I know that the HP15C is THE calculator for many contributors in here, but I cannot dare denying some facts related to the HP42S: it handles matrices with complex numbers while the HP15C handles real representations equivalent to complex matrices (the HP15C software design is far beyond clever, indeed, I am completely convinced about that, but the HP42S goes further...); it handles complex numbers without the need to activate a complex mode, meaning complex numbers and real-only numbers share stack registers at the same time (I am aware of the fact that the HP42S is actually a big RPN emulator running in an RPL-oriented processor, and that the former concepts applied to fixed four registers stack, RPN calculators do not apply to the HP42S, with a "virtual" stack that mainly handles pointers to objects). The HP42S programming follows the same RPN paradigm found in earlier RPN models, meaning if you know how to write a program for any RPN model, you'll easily write programs to the others.
I guess I'd write some more, but from now on I'd need reading some manuals or take some calculators in hands to check for available resources or particular operation, but I guess others will add many new information as well. I hope I did not loose focus.
Best regards and good "hunting" for other models.
Edited: 3 June 2004, 12:35 a.m.