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Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
04-03-2017, 09:22 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2017 09:29 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #1
Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
So, I apologize for the recurring topic. Indeed I hope to have chosen a proper subforum. I did a research for the last year on this site, but I got only this thread, that's not bad but I have a bit different focus. As someone may have recognized, I started reusing the 50g and I'm pretty satisfied by the machine. The userRPL part requires some out of the box thinking to go faster (and it is welcomed, but time consuming) but I hope in the newRPL in the best case, and patience in the worst case (or hpgcc).

In terms of math functions, so far the ones exposed in the hp 50g user guide are covering my needs, sometimes I have a special wish but it can be worked out with the available built in functions and a bit of userRPL.

Anyway a big limit could be the memory, although I hope to try some ideas to juggle data from the eeprom/sd to the memory, do computations, and then read new data. Eventually expose the procedure (in userRPL or hpgcc as suggested by Claudio L.) for newcomers and use it a bit. (I have a pretty large dataset with thousand of entries waiting for the remedian.

Of course I can use a computer or a smartphone for some computations, but programming languages for the computer often are easier for developing, if I start to need specific libraries, the situation changes unless I use math environments like mathematica, matlab, scilab and co.
The math library of a calculator, plus 3rd party libraries, plus the interface that is very suitable to insert numbers and functions, all this makes a calculator just great. Moreover I don't have many systems that I can dedicate to one intensive task without being interrupted, so a calculator can do it, and silently. Last but not least, I love to use calculators, and that's is already a motivation.

So looking around, mostly on some wikipedia pages, I found out the following.

- programmable calculators with 4Mb or more of RAM, plus at least 16 MB of storage
HP: Hp prime (32 mb ram, 256 mb storage)
TI: nspire (16 mb ram, 20 mb storage), nspire CX (64 mb ram, 100 mb storage)
Casio:

Aside from the ram/storage requirement, other requirements are more or less obvious.
- having a good math library, at least like the one built in in the 50g, even better with 3rd party libraries (therefore an active and passionate community is needed).
- executing programs natively (the hp50g with his userRPL emulation is ok, but sometimes it takes too much workarounds to get one first working solution that does not take ages)
- having an expressive enough programming language (at least one) that is not arbitrarily limited, like it would be a bit of a pity to have Mbytes of ram available, and then arrays capped to a length of, say, 1024.
- having good tools for development (at least like the hp 50g for the userRPL, even better if syntax error is added)
- having a native version of the OS as application for windows PC or android, so one could reuse the programs without a layer of emulation that slows down everything.
- having a good keyboard for typing numbers, common functions and also letters.
- having good software menus or otherwise one is doomed to type commands manually. (the menus on the hp 50g are ok)
- having a good documentation, even better when expanded by the community (see calculus marathons for the 50g, then all the manuals about userRPL, sysRPL and so on).

I did not extensively searched for possible problems and limitations of the Prime or of the nspire series. I read a bit there and there, but it seems that I get mostly common questions, as expected. So I ask the ones that likely have at least one of those machines plus an 50g (or 49g+ or 48 series), what you would recommend and why?

PS: I know that few may have or use new TI calculators here on this forum, but nevertheless I ask.

On ebay.de I see a lot of used (and we know how much used are the calculators) nspire (no CX) for 50 euro, and 50g for 90 euro. So if the ti nspire are ok, well one could think about the previous model.

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04-04-2017, 03:36 PM
Post: #2
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
I can't speak for the N-Spire, but I will say that the programming environment and capabilities of the TI-89, TI-92, and Voyage 200 are excellent, even if they're all rather poor choices for daily number crunchers for various reasons (the 89 keyboard layout is terrible, and the 92 and 200 are enormous).

I'd suggest finding a TI-89 or 92 emulator and trying it out a bit to see if it would meet your needs. I suspect it's not any better than its competitors at handling very large data sets, though.

You might also consider using Python, possibly running on some portable or handheld device (Android tablet, PocketCHIP, etc.). It seems to be a pretty popular choice for math and data science programming.
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04-04-2017, 04:03 PM
Post: #3
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
I do have a ti-89 and it is not much better than the hp 50g in programming, nor for memory. Moreover I do need from time to time the math library, otherwise as you suggested I would just move on python or other programming languages implemented in embedded systems that are __not__ math specialized.

I may have to ask on a ti forum (I hope to find the right one).

Thanks for the input anyway!

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04-04-2017, 05:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
(04-04-2017 04:03 PM)pier4r Wrote:  I do have a ti-89 and it is not much better than the hp 50g in programming, nor for memory. Moreover I do need from time to time the math library, otherwise as you suggested I would just move on python or other programming languages implemented in embedded systems that are __not__ math specialized.

I may have to ask on a ti forum (I hope to find the right one).

Thanks for the input anyway!

Python has the NumPy and SciPy packages for various advanced math functionality. It might be worth a look to see if they can do what you need.
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04-04-2017, 06:17 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2017 06:19 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #5
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
(04-04-2017 05:36 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Python has the NumPy and SciPy packages for various advanced math functionality. It might be worth a look to see if they can do what you need.

Thanks for the additional answer. Yes I heard of them and they are pretty complete as far as I know. The problem is that there may be quirks already with different version of python for windows or limitations due to the differences between python for windows and python for embedded platforms. For example something may not work on all the ARM CPUs (there are quite a lot of different ARM ISA out there).

While I do think that in the end is possible to find a solution with python or the like, buying a well tested (well, I assume so) package -a calculator - that is complete in itself with programs written for its "not so far changing" hardware, is quite an advantage in having less headaches. Beside that, I really love to see a calculator working for an answer that I want to know.

The closer to an 50g on the computer are the applications designed as mathematical software from the start, like matlab and competitors. (and even then, programs from the community may run on matlab version Y but not on version X)

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04-05-2017, 12:42 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2017 01:49 AM by Helix.)
Post: #6
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
I don't own a Prime or a TI Nspire, but I'm thinking about a new powerful calculator, and I've made some investigations.

- about the community, TI world is more active, because TI is more popular than HP.
- About the keyboards, I know someone who recently bought the TI Nsipre CX CAS, and told me that the keyboard is not comfortable, and disappointing. The HP Prime keyboard receives very good evaluations.
- about programming languages, have you seen my recent post? You can click on the links to have more information.
- Ti Basic is slow, and somewhat limited.
- Lua is fast, and supported by TI, which means there are commands that interact with the OS. The TI Nspire CX (CAS) is delivered with the TI Nspire software which includes a tool to write and test Lua scripts (and of course TI basic programs too).
Normally, Lua programs must be written on the computer, and then transferred to the calculator. But as I wrote in the other post, there are third party Lua script editors, which allow writing Lua directly on the calculator.
The question I have is whether it is possible to access within a Lua program to the mathematical functions of the calculator. It's still not clear for me.
- There is also a Python version for the TI Nspire CX, but it needs Ndless, a sort of hacking, so upgrading the OS must be avoided as long as Ndless has not been updated too. About NumPy and SciPy, I have found this message.

You can subscribe on the tiplanet.org forum. This is an active French community, but most members use indifferently English or French. I know also the omnimaga.org forum. There are certainly other TI groups.

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04-05-2017, 06:41 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2017 06:44 AM by pier4r.)
Post: #7
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
Helix thanks for sharing your investigations!

I investigated a bit too (shame on me to not report updates) and I read about Lua be available for nspire and nspire CX since OS version 3. It seems quite fast compared to the ti-basic, as you reported. The problem is that I really thought lua could use the mathematical library of the calculator seamlessly.

I also read about ndless but as you said, it does not interface with the library on the calculator (at least, not directly), so it is a no go for me. When I have to skip the built in functions, then I go for hpgcc on the 50g that, AFAIK, could even talk with the 50g functions if one wraps the object in and out hpgcc properly and recalls the built in functions.

So having just lua but without the ability to use the rest of the library would be pretty disappointing, because it means I need to go searching functions myself outside ticalc.org (aka: ready made) and it would defeat the purpose of an environment well packed.

Ok, it is possible. TI-Nspire Lua Scripting API Reference Guide , In addition to the functions that come with the standard Lua math library, there is an interface to the TI-Nspire™ math server that allows access to the advanced mathematical features of the TI-Nspire™ product. So, it would fit the bill. Thanks for raising the question though, I was taking it for granted.

I was expecting more info about the Prime here though. I mean, it seems a solid product but I do remember that at the start there were limitations (like capped arrays), I am not sure wheter they were corrected or not. Sure I may end up buying a 50-60 Euro refurbished nspire (no CX) for starters, instead of a 60-70 euro 50g or 120+ prime/nspire CX.

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04-05-2017, 01:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2017 01:45 PM by Helix.)
Post: #8
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
(04-05-2017 06:41 AM)pier4r Wrote:  Ok, it is possible. TI-Nspire Lua Scripting API Reference Guide , In addition to the functions that come with the standard Lua math library, there is an interface to the TI-Nspire™ math server that allows access to the advanced mathematical features of the TI-Nspire™ product.

That's a good thing to know. Thanks you for the update.

About the Prime, why don't you try the free HP emulator? It will allow you to explore the functionalities of the calculator, and decide if they satisfy your needs.
Personally, I'm disturbed by the way the OS works, and I miss the consistency and extreme flexibility of RPL calculators. But I'm not sure I would find the TI Nspire more convenient, though.

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04-05-2017, 02:38 PM
Post: #9
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
(04-05-2017 01:43 PM)Helix Wrote:  That's a good thing to know. Thanks you for the update.

About the Prime, why don't you try the free HP emulator?

Several reasons:

- first I have a potato thinclient at home, and I cannot really check it. Would be interesting to know, though, if the Hp prime for android it is like an HP prime but compiled natively for android without emulation. I may buy that for my nvidia shield that is pretty powerful. I may ask in the prime subforum.
- second, the emulator is always somewhat different from the real device.
- third: trying out by myself may be costly compared to someone that already uses the machine and can summarize the points quickly.

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04-21-2017, 06:34 PM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2017 06:34 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #10
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
Thanks to ebay.de (1) I found a ti nspire for 23 € (I missed a CAS model for 37 €, but that's fine, I want to program with it). Actually the same prime of the HP prime android application.

So now I will have hp 50g, ti nspire (if it works as in the pictures), ti 89 (very little used, damn me) and hp prime application and I can make a bit of comparisons.

Although the hp prime on the nvidia shield, if it is a native application when I understood Tim Wessmann right, would be extra fast.
The nspire should be from 2007, the same time of the hp 50g IIRC (although the 49g+ was from 2003).

Then in the future I may buy the real prime and the nspire cx. (or a second 50g, since now we have the newRPL !)

I thought multiple times about the 34s, but I cannot get to like the manual input, too tedious for long programs.

(1) holy site, I wonder how much functional products could be sold through sites like ebay, but instead are thrown in the bin. From calculators to GPU , from books to pieces of forniture and so on. Sad

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04-21-2017, 06:56 PM
Post: #11
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
Hi, these are my reasons for choosing a calculator

HP50: by the RPN mode / RPL (language) and next by newRPL kernel, I do not recommend it by the CAS, since it is a very primitive version with respect to the current Xcas.

TI68K (ti89/ti92p v200) for the best educational CAS, easy to operate and program, and also because it has a real terminal view with respect to HP-prime that can not print in pretty-print.
Although the TI-nspire CX-CAs is the successor of the ti-68K, I do not recommend it, as they removed some I/O commands as dialog boxes and toolbar

HP-Prime for the best CAS on a pocket calculator, but not synced with the latest versions of Xcas for PC
Why your programs are compiled and not interpreted



[esp]

Hola, estas son mis razones de por que escoger una calculadora

HP50: por el RPN (modo de operacion)/RPL (lenguaje) y próximamente por newRPL, no la recomiendo por el CAS, ya que es una version muy primitiva con respecto al Xcas actual.

TI68K (ti89/ti92+/v200) por el mejor CAS educativo, facil de operar y programar, y ademas por que tiene una verdadera vista terminal con respecto a la HP-prime que no puede imprimir en pretty-print.
Aunque la TI-nspire CX-CAs es la sucesora de las ti-68K, no la recomiendo, pues eliminaron algunos comandos I/O como cjas de dialogo y toolbar

HP-Prime por el mejor CAS sobre una calculadora de bolsillo, aunque no esta sincronizado con la mas recientes versiones de Xcas para PC.
Ademas la recomiendo por que sus programas son compilados y no intepretados
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04-25-2017, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2017 06:24 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #12
RE: Helping the 50g, Prime or Nspire?
I did not realize that the ti nspire was so big. It is massive.

Next step will be the real prime / nspire CX (I'm not sure if it makes sense to buy the Casio families, they seem great but they have always very little ram, less than the 50g/ti89)

[Image: g3woQLzl.jpg]

The 50g is already big, the nspire is bigger.


update 201706. So I tried the nspuire with lua (to cover the missing parts of newRPL until it is in development) and while the execution of lua on a basic nspire (the first type) is very fast, the utility of the result is abysmal. The lua interface on the nspire is drawing oriented so at the end it is very difficult to manipulate the results. Either one does everything in one go in lua using the math server, or the opportunity cost to program in lua, debug the problems and then handle the result rather than using ti basic (that is still super simple and is 100 times slower than lua, if there is no "server.math" involved, but in absolute terms it is still fast) is not enough.

Really one wants to squeeze the calculators but there is a limit to clumsy setups, otherwise one ends using a computer or a raspi.

So the nspire seems still usable, but one has to use mostly ti basic (also, can be shared with the ti89) , lua is too demanding on the programmer side. Not that it is a difficult language, it is just difficult to handle results that are images for the calculator.

in general the ti basic for the nspire is very tight related to the nspire student software that is given with the calculator itself or can be bought with a subscription but it is valid for one hard drive, so a bit dismal. It means one has to pay a lot or continously TI to get programming abilities on the PC.

The nspire itself could be a nice calculator but without the possibility to develop on the pc with good debug, it is not usable for large tasks.

Update: as discovered Ti basic for the nspire seems usable only on the device if one has no "ti nspire student software" that requires a constant subscription.
This is even more clumsy than lua.

Instead lua, although made for graphics, can export values. See https://inspired-lua.org/index.php/2011/...ssibility/

That then have to be saved in the document as "calculator page" to be mangled. Still clumsy, because based on the device unless one does everything in lua, but better than the situation thought before.

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