|Re: HeavyCalc Upgrade (not HP)|
Message #6 Posted by Norris on 31 Aug 2004, 1:52 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by GE (France)
I don't agree that the Calculated Industries models are "a sad joke". To take the specific examples you mentioned:
(1) The CI financial calculators apparently do use a 360-day year. But why is that "useless for financial decisions" ? It's a common approach in the US. In fact, the HP-12C by default calculates interest on a 360-day basis (you can get the 365-day result as well, but it takes extra keystrokes).
(2) The CI construction calculators do round fractions to a fixed denominator -- but you can select the desired level of accuracy. The default is 1/16 inch, but you can switch this to 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/32, or 1/64 inch. Accuracy of 1/64 inch seems reasonable for practical construction purposes.
In fact, CI calcs offer some relatively advanced features, including:
(A) Feet-Inch-Fraction Mode. Suppose you have to divide 7 ft 3-1/4 in by 4. This is trivial on a CI (the answer, by the way, is 1 ft 9-13/16 in) but a hassle on a traditional calc. The optimal solution, of course, may be to abandon traditional English units for metric units, but that's not always a practical option in the US.
(B) Units Mode. Many calcs offer unit conversions, but these typically just multiply the displayed number by some constant. CI calcs actually attach units to numbers, which is a feature otherwise found only on advanced graphing calculators, like the HP48/49 series. The "HeavyCalc", for example, works with units of length, area, volume, and weight; e.g. "5 FEET" x "2 FEET" = "10 SQ FEET". Other CI models work with other types of units; e.g. the "ElectriCalc" works with volts, amps, ohms, etc.