|Re: HP35s 2-D frame analysis |
Message #7 Posted by John Wasilewski on 3 Nov 2007, 6:43 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Rodger Rosenbaum
If you had the software to run on a 35S, would you actually use it for work, or is this just for the fun of it? I understand "for the fun of it", but I'm curious to know which it is for you.
It is for both your suggested reasons, plus a third one.
All of these are significant contributors to my motivation.
In no particular order or priority:
For the fun of it. Its a challenge, to try to do something complex and difficult with the very limited computational resources of a programmable calculator. Success is very rewarding, I suppose in the same way as some people (not me) find it rewarding to complete a large jigsaw or a Times crossword.
Programming a complex theoretical procedure is a learning tool. Like when one is studying or revising, it is only when asked to explain the theory to someone else that I find out whether I really understand it myself. Programming it is the same kind of self-test. I finally learned in full how the stiffness method works only by writing a 7500-line Fortran program to solve structures using it. In a similar vein, I have recently RE-LEARNED how to do a rigorous parabolic rectangular analysis of reinforced concrete beams (which I only rarely need to do nowadays because there are more junior staff around to do it for me!).
Yes, I really do have a use for such programs in my work. As I say above, it is not something I do frequently at work because I am 'too senior', and we employ many graduates in the firm to perform such basic analysis work on an everyday basis. Paradoxically, though, this means that I no longer have easy access to the necessary software, so when, sometimes, I actually do need a quick analysis of a simple frame or a quick design check of some reinforcement, the software isn't on my computer and its a pain in the arse to have to find someone else in the firm to do it for me because I do not have the time to do such canlculations by hand. I and other senior managers have a need, therefore, for some nifty analysis tools like this that we can use occasionally to solve such problems ourselves. Programs I have written for this purpose do get used in anger from time to time. How often? In my case, I'd say about once or twice a month as a long-term average. If that doesn't seem very much use, I agree, but the usefulness of having such tools available to me adds very greatly to the value of such occasional use.
Does that answer your question?