|Re: Emulator of 9820A?|
Message #3 Posted by bill platt on 13 Oct 2004, 3:27 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Klaus
Thanks for the offer. I am not sure whether that will get me what I want to know. Basically, I would like to see how the front end handles expression input and interpretation--what the syntax is, whether there are any inconsistencies or bugs, etc.
Perhaps I need to find an actual unit and try it out!
And yes, this is all because it is alg not RPN (if it were RPN, then we would already know the answer:-)
Seriously, though, I think it is too bad that RPN has become the focus for HP machines. There is so much more than the choice of operator "logic" to the making of a successful and useful calculator. A consistent, logical and well thought out algebraic interface is a joy to use---too bad it is so hard to find one!
And think of all the other things which go into a good calculator---robust routines for all the mathematical functions, an ergonomic and logical layout, dependable keys...etc.
Really, when I look at the total picture of the voyagers, for instance, it is not fundamentally RPN which makes them so special---rather, it is all the other good design and construction. I come to this opinion after having been exposed to over a dozen different hp machines--and it starts to become clear that some algebraics are nicer overall than others which happen to be RPN etc.
Example: from a "unity of design" standpoint, the 11c is a real gem compared to her ultimate replacement, the 32sii, and the especially the kinhp33s. The 32s, on the other hand, is quite nice from a design standpoint. (Though I gladly and happily learned to deal with the somewhat confusing layout of the 32sii, as there were so many great new features!)
For instance, compare the 27s design to the 32sii. Except for the advantage of complex numbers and keystroke programming, the 27s has more and better mathematical features, and is a much more logical machine to boot, with a truly versatile "solver." (If I had realized that this machine had such great features, I would have been very happy to have owned one back in 1990--but I was "blinded" by my RPN feelings at the time. I do remember seeing the Algebraics at the time, and thinking 'oh no, yuck!' Live and learn.)
It seems to me that RPN turns out to be a bit of a cop-out--a very simple, robust and logical, albeit rather obtuse, method of solving the problem (a non-trival problem) of how to parse mathematical expressions into computer coding. To develop a good algebraic system--that takes real skill, effort, and thought.
To that end, I am extremley curious to see what HP came up with all those decades ago with the 9820A.
Edited: 13 Oct 2004, 3:32 p.m.