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on the RPN mentioning sharp pc-1211, v.albillo, el-506w and recurring topics
12-04-2017, 06:50 PM
Post: #23
RE: on the RPN mentioning sharp pc-1211, v.albillo, el-506w and recurring topics
More serious response. :-)

1) Most of what I compute is off the cuff on the spot computation where I am gathering data and having to compute things that were not prepared in advance. I don't **know** the formula up front so I work through it by hand. To me, RPN wins here hands down. I can compute a result and if it turns out I need to compute another result and then use it on the first result, I find RPN easier to do this in than algebraic.

2) As a previous programmer in AOS (I had TI calculators from the SR-51A to the SR-52, SR-56 and TI-58C) and a programmer in lots of RPN and RPL machine environments, I find programming on a calculator (that's important here) much harder in AOS than RPN. In a structured programming environment using a procedural language, algebraic orientation is fine. Through college, I got through BASIC, fortran, COBOL, SNOBOL, and more without a stack-oriented machine. However, on a calculator, I find it terribly difficult to keep track of what the state of the machine is on an AOS style machine vs. an RPN one. I have no doubts that programming on a TI graphing model is easier than the 58C, but ...

3) As a college professor who taught business math, statistics, managerial accounting, and operations management for quite a few years, I have found most non-engineering users of calculating devices do not think through problems AT ALL. Whatever the calculator (or Excel formula) gives as an answer must be the answer. It is a black box. Period. I think RPN makes it MORE likely than AOS to see if something went wrong by providing the intermediate answers. It is an advantage (to me) that you have to think through the problem because you are more likely not to suggest an answer is $500,000 when if fact it should have been $25. I've seen enough college students do things like that in part because they don't understand what they are doing... and AOS style machines (I classify the market leading TI BAII Plus machines this way) do not help you understand very well what you are doing.

My 2 cents. I am fluent in AOS and higher level languages, but find them impractical on anything lower level than the HP Prime except for cut and dried problems.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program. :-)
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RE: on the RPN mentioning sharp pc-1211, v.albillo, el-506w and recurring topics - Gene - 12-04-2017 06:50 PM

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