|Re: the experience of programming: old vs. new|
Message #20 Posted by Thomas Okken on 6 June 2009, 2:18 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by Mark Edmonds
So I'll just be happy with my 15C/42S and emulators. Emulators will live forever.
True, they will and the development of emulators to preserve our computing heritage is a wonderful thing ... but in terms of devices like pocket calculators, don't you find them a strangely detached experience and very removed from operating the real thing?
Myself, I use emu48 for quick calculations but when I want to program something, I always grab the real thing. For some reason, I just cannot get into programming an emulation.
It's a matter of perspective, I guess. My experience seems to be the opposite of yours: I regard my real HP-42S as a museum piece, cherished but rarely used, kept around more for old times' sake than anything else; when I need to use a calculator in everyday life, I use an emulator on whatever device is close at hand.
At work, I always have a PC (I'm a computer programmer so PC availability is an occupational hazard). At home, my iPod touch is never far away... And when I'm travelling, I always have my Palm with me. I have and use these devices anyway; installing calculator emulators on them means I have a calculator with me at all times, too, without needing to carry Yet Another Physical Device -- and without having to worry that my hard-to-replace vintage HP will break or get stolen.
I do miss the HP-42S keyboard sometimes, but my virtual calculators run on commodity hardware, and can always be ported to new hardware should the need arise... The HP-42S, on the other hand, is slowly dying out. That reality, sad as it may be, makes using the real HP-42S feel like a detached experience, and it makes using an emulator feel more like the real thing -- for better or worse. ;-)