Post Reply 
So, for a budding math student ...
03-07-2014, 09:03 PM
Post: #8
RE: So, for a budding math student ...
You stated that you already have some HP calcs; so perhaps you could get by with just using what you already have. In my approximately ~180 credit hours of engineering and mathematics coursework in college (late 1990's) I rarely found myself using the plotting features of my calc. I had been introduced to Mathematica early on and never looked back. To be clear; I and my classmates nearly wore the buttons off our HP48s... but we didn't use them to plot anything, just derive and solve equations. I still use Mathematica today (in Linux) and gladly pay the $295 license for home use. You may look into "lesser" HP scientific calcs for a good bargain.

In all fairness, the Prime plots very fast and you can do more with the plots once you've displayed them (compared to the 48s and 50)... but the Prime cannot (easily) plot output from the CAS... which is where you'll be spending time if you are self-exploring math. Coupled with the "rage-inducing" inability to use common variable name as you see fit on the Prime, I just cannot in good faith send you down a path of spending ~$120 on this calc. This calc suffers from "inconsistancies" in syntax and execution. The underlying XCAS is powerful... but that's of little use when the interface to it is less than consistant. You can get a new HP50G for ~$90 and save yourself some serious heartburn. Or just download XCAS for the PC for free.

To sum up my feelings: The ~$120 Prime is a cludge that sits on my shelf and collects dust. I regret buying it every time I see it. I really wanted the Prime to replace the HP50, but that just isn't going to happen. Mathematica is a 25 year old language that is clean, well thought-out, simple to learn, predictable, repeatable syntax... in short it works. Comparing a hand held calc to Mathematica is like comparing a skateboard to an F16. And it only costs ~2X as much. About the only groups pushing calc these days are.... calc companies !

Further proof: HP Prime forums are filled with stories of disapointment and people trying to work around the machine. Go spend some time at Mathematica Stack Exchange and you'll see the exact opposite.

I will gladly trade my Prime to anyone here in exchange for a new HP50. And I'll pay shipping both ways (US).
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
RE: So, for a budding math student ... - Chris Pem10 - 03-07-2014 09:03 PM

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)