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Riddle me this: Usefulness of calcl
08-10-2018, 11:07 AM
Post: #9
RE: Riddle me this: Usefulness of calcl
Hi Maximilian.

I don't mean only "oh the calculators are slow". I mean that for what I understood often scientists, technicians, engineers do not create the algorithm that then goes to compute the result, rather they put the input and they get an output in a toolbox designed to solve problems in the domain the work on. Say structure calculations and so on.

Therefore a calculator won't fit the need. The calculator would fit if there would be this "ready made" program only for a calculator. Then they would ditch their computer to just use this toolbox that does all the computation for them.

On the part "the calculators are slow". Sure, anyway one could argue "to get an idea of the problem, one first need to think a bit with pen and paper and a calculator is not bad as help", surely it is better than moving always your head to look at a monitor. Of course in that case even a scientific calculator would be enough for most of the initial tests or understanding sessions.

Still the point above holds. If people don't have to understand much, as the problem that they have to solve are already solved by specific programs that require only proper inputs, then a calculator is unneeded in any case.

Recently I saw a nice youtube video (that was linked here in some discussion) about the basic operations of fire control analog computers used by the US navy.

Now someone on the ship could have done the same work with a slide rule, or a mechanical calculator, or using precomputed tables or the like. The point is, though, that they created a black box solution that having proper inputs returns the wanted output. Even if the operator doesn't know anything about the math needed to solve the problem, the operator get the wanted output.

And that is what I feel happens more often than not today, there are software crafted to solve specific problems so people don't have to deal with the problem anymore, rather with the input values and the output values. A bit like a function on a calculator. One doesn't go computing the sine of 48 degrees anymore.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
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RE: Riddle me this: Usefulness of calcl - pier4r - 08-10-2018 11:07 AM

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