|TI-89/Voyage 200: worthy successors to the HP-71B ?|
Message #1 Posted by Vincent Weber on 3 Jan 2006, 4:36 a.m.
I recently got the opportunity to play with a TI-89 and a TI Voyage 200, and especially to have a closer look at TI-basic.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how powerful and simple to use this basic is, and then I had another look at Valentin Albillo's interesting pages on the HP-71B basic/math rom.
Well, the two systems seem to have a lot in commun! And I thought that, for those who legitimately regret the death of the fabulous Titan, buying a TI-89 titanium or a Voyage 200 may be an option worth considering.
TI-basic, just like the basic of the HP-71B, allows user-defined functions which can operate on several data types, seemless integration of matrixes/complex numbers, full recursion, and local variables. I have to admit that it is much simpler to use than UserRPL, and, unlike UserRPL, you do have simple ways to break a loop (Cycle/Return).
Looking at Valentin's pages, it seemed to me that programs could be ported from the HP-71B to the TI-89/Voyage 200 with some adpatation, but not a complete re-writing, like it would be to port them to the 48/49 RPL family.
Compared to the HP-71B:
- You don't have a qwerty keyboard (well, you have in the Voyage 200, even if it is somewhat bulky) with BASIC keywords shortcuts, but you have an efficient menu system to key in BASIC statement fast,
- You don't have module expandability, but plenty of flash memory to download third-party applications,
- You don't have an HP-IL to control a plotter, but you have a graphic screen, which allows easy matrix edition, spreadsheet computation (Cellsheet), and also allows several BASIC lines to be seen at once. One of the major acknwoledged drawback of the HP-71B was the single-line display.
- You don't really have the equivalent of Lex files, but you have access to 68K assembly development, which can expand the calculator functionality greatly.
All in all, I apologize for praising TI on a HP forum, but I found TI-89/Voyage 200 a pleasure to use, with comparable power to the HP-49, but easier to use, especially to those who prefer BASIC to RPL. And they are sold today... The Voyage 200 is bulkier than the HP-71B, but the TI-89 (Titanium) fits in a much smaller package !
My 2 cents,