|Re: My favorite short RPL program|
Message #3 Posted by Tom Barber on 10 Sept 2006, 10:35 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bruce Horrocks
I am experiencing a mixed reaction to your comments. On the one hand, I appreciate that your overall impressions were “positive”, which is manifestly better than the alternative. On the other hand, I was a little surprised to see a summary opinion volunteered in a moderately peremptory manner by someone whose experience with the book amounts to a “quick flick-through”. I stumbled over the phrasing, and was unsure whether you intended to relegate in total the material that I covered to the status of material that “rapidly becomes trivial and second-nature to the user”. I eventually decided that you possibly did not mean that exactly, but I could never decide what to make of the last phrase of that sentence, i.e., “too dry to learn from”.
An accurate, matter-of-fact characterization of my book would be to say that it is very carefully written and unusually thorough in its treatment of those essential features that are within the scope of the undertaking. There is no question that many experienced users will find a significant portion of it downright boring. Yet, I have confidence that many, perhaps the majority, of experienced users will nevertheless find my book useful and desirable, for any of several reasons. The treatment that I give, to many specific topics, is so much more complete than that available elsewhere, that many experienced users may discover a useful improvement to their understanding of various topics. Experienced users who do not sleep with their calculator under their pillow and who forget how to use certain essential features of the calculator from time to time, will appreciate a narrative explanation that is handy and that will quickly refresh their memory of how to use those essential features.
Genuine experts such as you excluded, users in general and novice users in particular who find themselves dissatisfied with the smattering of knowledge offered by the standard manuals, will likely appreciate the thorough, exact presentation that offers a fast track to gaining intimate familiarity with the use of the calculator. (And if there is one craving that we all share, it is the desire to be intimate with our calculators.)
If the moderators are inclined to indulge me, I will provide an excerpt or two, so that anyone who happens to be curious, will be better able to make an informed opinion as to whether it is likely to be useful to them. Since this forum is mostly attended by people who would be bored with any excerpt that only novice users could appreciate, I will endeavor to avoid that in the excerpts, even though that risks giving novice users the impression that the book will be over their heads.
The first excerpt will deal with the CAS modes Numeric and Approx, and will appear in a post following this one.
Edited: 10 Sept 2006, 10:42 p.m.