|Re: Does the HP 10B calculator not support Order of Operation?|
Message #11 Posted by Walter B on 3 Aug 2010, 5:04 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Martin Pinckney
I concur with Katie. Nowadays, RPN is so exotic for over 95% of the target population of pocket calculator users that even HP has to offer ALG additionally at least - and hope to gain some young RPN aficionados this way. One advantage RPN still keeps today is it allows monitoring all intermediate results in a calculation most easily, supporting the understanding.
Stack depth 4 with top level repetition, however, was cutting edge technology when the HP-35 was launched. As Palmer stated, however, 4 stack levels require stack management in real life calculations. This extra effort was justified as long as memory was expensive, but it is no more. 6 levels will allow for straightforward smooth and secure solving all real world formulae IMO. 8 levels will even take care of problems I did never encounter so far. Still, such a stack stays small enough to be handled easily. Add an operation FILL copying x into all stack registers in 1 step, so calculations using constants stay as known. Rv and R^ may be dropped instead. IMHO the one and only reason for keeping stack depth 4 is tradition. Or, less friendly: "We stick to this way because we've always done it this way."
And for the dying species of old RPN users (= us!) HP may offer a settable 4-level "compatibility mode" if it pays. Else we have to recode our favourite routines, so HP will keep our brains trained d;-) We shall be thankful :-)
Edited for emphasizing the message and correcting some expressions.
Edited: 4 Aug 2010, 6:56 a.m. after one or more responses were posted