The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 17

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Economist vs. Engineer
Message #1 Posted by Mvdn on 24 Oct 2007, 6:48 a.m.

Just a side remark,

However HP did a great thing to build the HP 35s I still believe the engineers amongs us are still harmed against the economists. I still prefer, for simple calculations, my 12C. That device, commercially available almost 30 years has still the 'real' touch.

      
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #2 Posted by Maximilian Hohmann on 24 Oct 2007, 8:18 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mvdn

Hello!

Quote:
I still prefer, for simple calculations, my 12C.

Me too, and I'm an engineer. Since all engineering calculations are done on larger computers anyway, at least as far as I am concerned (*), the only keys I really use in a pocket calculator are '+' '-' '*' and '/'. And for this purpose, the 12C is much nicer to handle. Even more so the 25 and that's why I carry that one along most of the time :-)

Greetings, Max

(*) NB: Ever looked at eBay descriptions of "complicated" calculators like HP-48 or Ti-89? Most of the descriptions contain a phrase like this: " ... this calculator helped me through school/college/university but now I'm finished and at work I don't need it any more ...!" If I wouldn't collect them, I wouldn't keep my calculators either.

            
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #3 Posted by DaveJ on 24 Oct 2007, 8:37 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Maximilian Hohmann

Quote:
Hello!

Me too, and I'm an engineer. Since all engineering calculations are done on larger computers anyway, at least as far as I am concerned (*), the only keys I really use in a pocket calculator are '+' '-' '*' and '/'. And for this purpose, the 12C is much nicer to handle. Even more so the 25 and that's why I carry that one along most of the time :-)

Greetings, Max


I'm a design engineer and I do practically zero calculations on a computer!, and the most I ever need to do on a calculator are the usual trig and log functions etc. I have essentially zero need for a fully programmable and/or graphic calculator. The same goes for almost every engineer I know.

This is why I was disappointed in the 35S, it's a calculator for programmers.

Quote:
(*) NB: Ever looked at eBay descriptions of "complicated" calculators like HP-48 or Ti-89? Most of the descriptions contain a phrase like this: " ... this calculator helped me through school/college/university but now I'm finished and at work I don't need it any more ...!" If I wouldn't collect them, I wouldn't keep my calculators either.

All the engineers at work say exactly the same thing! My HP-28 and HP-48 gather dust, while my classic non-programmable scientifics do all the real work.

Dave.

                  
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #4 Posted by Jack Neely on 24 Oct 2007, 2:03 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by DaveJ

I am a Civil Engineer and use my HP calculators everyday in the course of my work. I also use a computer on a daily basis to perform various design tasks.

What people are failing to mention in regards to calculators is that they are small and portable. Using a calculator (my personal favorite in the HP 48GX, with 1 MB memory card with a vast equation library) to check calculations in the field or on the shop floor, design things on the fly in the case of an emergency (I live in San Diego and with the current fires being able to run a quick hydraulic calculation on a water system has been a godsend!) and not have to carry around trig and log tables is priceless. In addition, not having to wait for the calculator to boot up or worry about the state of the batteries is a major plus.

Computers are better at performing calculations except how do you verify that your output is correct? Pull out the old HP and spot check.

I just think that calculators still have a place in the modern engineering office, especially when you are away from the office. It is time to give the HP a little credit where credit is due.

Any thoughts?

                        
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #5 Posted by Massimo A. Santin on 24 Oct 2007, 5:14 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jack Neely

Quote:

I just think that calculators still have a place in the modern engineering office, especially when you are away from the office. It is time to give the HP a little credit where credit is due.

Any thoughts?


Today I showed a 35s to a civil engineer (an old HP calculators user). He asked me to buy some of them for the office.

By the way he just bought a big server and several powerful workstations but he surely see some place for these calculators.

                        
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #6 Posted by DaveJ on 24 Oct 2007, 6:08 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jack Neely

Quote:
I am a Civil Engineer and use my HP calculators everyday in the course of my work. I also use a computer on a daily basis to perform various design tasks.

What people are failing to mention in regards to calculators is that they are small and portable. Using a calculator (my personal favorite in the HP 48GX, with 1 MB memory card with a vast equation library) to check calculations in the field or on the shop floor, design things on the fly in the case of an emergency (I live in San Diego and with the current fires being able to run a quick hydraulic calculation on a water system has been a godsend!) and not have to carry around trig and log tables is priceless. In addition, not having to wait for the calculator to boot up or worry about the state of the batteries is a major plus.

Computers are better at performing calculations except how do you verify that your output is correct? Pull out the old HP and spot check.

I just think that calculators still have a place in the modern engineering office, especially when you are away from the office. It is time to give the HP a little credit where credit is due.


Sure, there will always be those people who will need the power of a 48/50 out in the field.

I'm an electronics engineer and have dealt with mostly with mechanical, acoustics, and production engineers in the past, and not one of them that I can remember at any company I have worked for has ever had a programmable calculator on their desk or in their pocket. Every one of them however does have a non-programmable Casio or TI, they are essential for everyday calcs. Most still prefer a calc on their desk to the Windows calculator. A different world entirely.

Dave.

                              
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #7 Posted by papakanush on 25 Oct 2007, 2:04 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by DaveJ

There is an interesting observation at our office, which is an engineering company specializing in chemical plant design.

Every chemical engineer at our office has an HP48, 49, or 50g on their desk. There are a few TI-*?'s out there as well, but all programmable. Then, I notice that the other engineering disciplines in our office, which don't get out to plant start-up's and troubleshooting nearly as much as the chemical engineers do (like structural, vessel, mechanical, instrument) which, for the most part, just have a simpler HP calculator on their desk. In the office, sure, I use the computer for most of the design calculations I need to do (though I still use my HP for quick checks and stuff). But when I'm out on a new plant start-up or troubleshooting trip, I lean heavily on my HP50g. I have a lot of the heat capacity correlations I need, steam properties, equipment rating and some specialty programs, etc. that are real convenient for me when I'm out at a plant. Sure, I still have my lap-top with me, but the HP is nice to quickly pull out and check something without having to break out the laptop, boot it up, worry how long before I've got to plug it in somewhere, etc.

Over the years I used the HP34C, 42S, 48G, (all programmable, which I used on the job when I worked in chemical plant operations) and now my HP 50g is a great tool for me personally. If someone else wants a simpler calculator, fine. But it is presumptuous to assume that no engineers use the programmable capability. If you don't see any, you just need to get out more.

                                    
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #8 Posted by DaveJ on 25 Oct 2007, 6:00 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by papakanush

Quote:
If someone else wants a simpler calculator, fine. But it is presumptuous to assume that no engineers use the programmable capability. If you don't see any, you just need to get out more.

I wasn't saying that at all, just observing what I see in my fields of engineering. There is most definitely a market for high end programmable calcs.

This forum is obviously dominated by those who need a programmable calc, so I thought it interesting to share the "other side".

Dave.

                                          
Re: Economist vs. Engineer
Message #9 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 25 Oct 2007, 6:32 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by DaveJ

Hi, Dave;

Quote:
This forum is obviously dominated by those who need a programmable calc, so I thought it interesting to share the "other side".
I'd not say 'need', instead 'wish' or 'want'. I actually program any of the calculators I have in order to exercise my braincells. And yeap, I use the program to compute my own stuff.

This weekend it took me about half an hour to generate two HP35S versions of the original HP41C program to design small signal amplifiers. It is available with the Electrical Engineering application programs. Having the built-in resources in mind, I reduced the original 170 steps to a 34-step listing (RPN with algebraic expressions) and another with 51 steps (all RPN,to be refined). The reduced number of steps is due to the original having complex subroutines, while the HP35S has the built-in capabilities. I did not count the memory usage in bytes, because the HP41C would be a lot less. On the other hand, if we consider the percentage of use given the available memory...

The HP35S lisiting is like this: (no step# in this list; the symbol refers to the symbol generated after [STO] key in EQN mode)

LBL H
INPUT H
INPUT R
INPUT F
INPUT O
INPUT S
INPUT L
LBL Z
CF 10
-F(1+OL)A
VIEW A
RCL L
ENTER
ENTER
ENTER
REGXR+HZ
REGY(REGX+S)C
REGZREGYV
VIEW V
VIEW C
VIEW Z
(H+S)(0H+OS-FR)T
VIEW T
If anyone wants the all-RPN version, let me know. I'll refine it to reduce two, three steps (it seems to be possible, though). I just had my brain cells exercized...

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 26 Oct 2007, 5:37 a.m.


[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall