Post Reply 
Best calculator for the working engineer
07-05-2016, 08:12 PM
Post: #63
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
This discussion has been fascinating. I'm in much the same position as the parent poster.

I've always enjoyed calculators and for the last 10 years or so have been using the TI-89 regularly. I knew one student who had an HP-50g and I'd always been curious to try it.

Recently I decided to take the PE exam and after looking at the approved calculators and comparing them, decided to buy the TI-36+ Pro. It's a good calculator, it has a lot of functionality. The problem for me was that the screen refresh was very sluggish when entering long equations, and that everything is so graphically based that it takes a long time to do anything.

I was familiar with the concept of RPN and decided to try the HP 35s, figuring I could use algebraic mode if I wanted. I liked the calculator, read through the entire manual, and decided I'd give RPN a go. It makes sense to me but I can also see why it's not widely adopted, especially with things like the TI-89 around.

Anyway, having spent a good bit of time with the 35s, I recognize it has a lot of very nice quick-access features, but it also has a few shortcomings. I've entered Stefan's matrix multi-tool, written a few programs of my own, added summation and differentiation routines, expanded the quadratic solver (the default one seems a bit lacking). It's been good but I've now been hunting for the ultimate scientific calculator.

I like the idea of the WP 34s, it just seems to suffer from low-quality base material and I'm dubious that the stickers will hold up. Smart phone apps are handy but just don't do it for me. I'm a EE so the 42s looks great but prices of $200+ for used ones seems extravagant. I was very interested in the Swiss Micros 42L, either the landscape or portrait version, and would definitely consider one, even if that ends up being $200.

So yes, I like the 35s quite a bit, it's replaced my TI-89 for most calculations (I love the quick conversions, for example) but it just seems to be a bit lacking in some areas.

This is a very interesting market, it seems like there would be more people like Swiss Micros who were working on the "ultimate scientific calculator" but then again, I guess there isn't too much of a market for that, at least not RPN ones Smile
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer - Logan - 07-05-2016 08:12 PM

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