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Best calculator for the working engineer
07-10-2016, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2016 06:58 PM by Vtile.)
Post: #78
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-10-2016 12:42 AM)Pekis Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 09:21 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  If you think a Ford Escape looks like a Chevy Tahoe, then you're right.

It will be worth comparing features of both, and I don't think there will be so many differences, apart from better complex numbers handling and usb transfer... in favor of DM 42.

Well one thing is for DM42 favour, it is open platform in many ways..

On the other hand I feel this conversation (as many others a like) is inrelevant in way that they are many ways looking behind. Even DM42 as a replacement of HP42S.

Also I find somewhat amusing the conversations in the past that said that the handheld calculators are dead in all aspects except for education market and the future is for PDAs. The reason I feel it is amusing is that the radio were the victim of similar conversation when tele-vision system were invented and yet now 80 or so years later the cars (which use 100+ years old power sources for a good reason) are delivered with a radio! Same story have been with the paper books, it is invention that in current form have been around for last hmm 550 years.. and still going strong and it will not go away any time soon it is optimal set of features in many aspects for many situations over the ePaper / digital data. (Ie. micropower, compatibility and self-life) I have one book that is 300+ years old and still in working condition, by just turning it on. Same goes for the classic physical device called handheld pocketcalculator, it does have very good set of features and it is purposedly build device (should be precision instrument) a tool for certain tasks. While PDAs even in current form of "NonSmartPhones" and "TableTopTablets" are merely a swissarmy knifes.

I said that many of the conversations are looking behind, I will also look behind, since I will be talking about 50g. On the other hand I will not talk about big enter key, which for some seems to be "the feature" of the calculator, while arguably it is the "trademark" feature of old HPs.
We should take the 50g for a baseline, as it is extremely versatile system, but... It is based on 25 year old technology (Saturn emulation). ..But I don't need the versatily if I have matlab/GNUOctave/mable/mathematica etc.. that extra feature you do not need is needed a collague in different department his add-hoc / mock-up / prototyping and even you might see it handy in some opscure situation you can not see beforehand. Speed, speed, speed can be seen in many topics discussing the usability or the value of the calculator (ie. 8-queens benchmarks etc.), I would rather say battery life, battery life, battery life. That is something more valuable to consider for something like pocketcalculator than speed comparable or exceeding of modern portable phones and tablets or even PCs. Even the 50g do have plenty if it wouldn't run on 25 year old technology (forementioned Saturn emulation), in fact it is in pretty good position in some speed benchmark listing made a member of MoHPC forums, when running at ARM ASM. I went through my highschool and lower with Ti83+ (which were pretty lame compared pretty much everyone elses Ti89tits and a few HP49geesh), then when I two years ago did jump back to school bench again I got one of those Casios FX-CP400s which is an hybrid of the PDA and calculator, It were all except a nice user experience, it weren't as versatile as PDA (touchscreenphone) and weren't as purposedly build tool as ie. 50g or even Ti83+ calculator. On the other hand it is purposedly build teaching device, not serious calculator. From there I did jump to 50g (to find out it is 25 years old device inside) and also have 35S that is sub par device of 21st century (except it does have a big ENTER, big EXIT could be more usefull though).

I could continue this ramble to infinity so it is better to stop.

All I want to say that 50g even in its discontinued state is the (last) calculator for the working engineer. Unfortunately its formfactor and mentality in many ways is from the beginning of 1990s, not 2010s. The calculator for a working engineer in my eyes is $4 scientific or 50g-level of calculator, there is nothing between these days (of course with exceptions). The grey mass between is for education and certificate tests.

Why? Well 50g style because versatily, memory, real programmability (and fast scripting with UserRPL), CAS and screen estate for ie. more than 2 lines of stack and "equation handbooks with pictures/description" to customize the tool to suit your needs. You can't get them on these par minimum programmables with 16x2 display or other 1900s legacy issues anyway so you can better stick with matlab, reference books et. al. Why RPL? for many reasons, one is the debugging on-fly while doing work with it, compared to algebraic (textbook / pretty print etc.) where you catch (if you notice them) the errors of calculation after you have the final answer. Why not RPN as programming method? because it belongs to history box with its 4 accumulators else it could be fine ASM like language.

Four bangers and calculators like 35S, TI36abc etc. (of course with exceptions) replaces just ten to twenty first pages of mathematical reference pamflet [Image: attachment.php?aid=3743](attachment), while calculators like 50g replaces whole handbooks, paper, pencil and so fort when done correctly. So does a computer or a phone, but those are jacks of all trades and generalist needs a specialists opinion at times.

What comes to Stack and RPL vs. Algebraic I don't see why they couldn't be working fluently together in the same machine. 50g did come pretty close and at times it just handy to jump to EQW for "pretty print / textbook" input method, but it does have a few too many "glued on top of RPL OS" quirks on ALG mode. While Prime did not get close with it's separated (with too high wall between) HOME/CAS applications, what I have read & seen. In general modern algebraic machines start to look a lot of RPL stack machines with reduced functionality on their history stack.

<Ramble End>

PS. I have money reserved for DM42. Tongue

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RE: Best calculator for the working engineer - Vtile - 07-10-2016 06:40 PM

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