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Prime vs Excel, IDE...
04-04-2021, 11:01 PM
Post: #1
Prime vs Excel, IDE...
So I've been living with my Prime for a few weeks now and I'm trying to develop an intuition for when to use it (or any calculator) vs something like Excel or a "real" programming environment. I'd like to compare notes with people who know the calculator better. For background I'm a software engineer so a lot of my day-to-day problems are light calculus, geometry, and simple to not-so-simple programming.

The best case seems to be graphing. Geometry in particular seems to blow away other tools I've used like Geogebra, Demos, etc. I've struggled to take those beyond toy math problems and into programming my own object definitions for my problems. HP really shines here.

CAS is similarly great. Of course it's no Wolfram but it's a lot cheaper and less hassle for the vast majority of the time I need a closed-form integral of a simple function.

I'm less confident about the rest though. e.g. Inference app is perfectly serviceable, but it's tough to beat software like Wizard for quickly comparing two populations.

I'm still trying to form a view of programming. Today I wrote my first nontrival program, since I need to figure estimated taxes. It was a great excuse to learn PPL and pretend I'm not doing taxes. I'm not sure it compares favorably to either Excel or a real programming environment though. For want of a keyboard I used my computer, but it's weird programming in a tiny window without autocomplete, unit tests, versioning, or even the ability to write help for my function. The upside is I can integrate my taxes or intersect them with a triangle which is cool I guess. Practically though I wasn't able to leverage much from the calculator and I'm a bit uncertain about whether it's worth writing the little programs I use day to day.

It would help to have better programming support. I know Python is popular but if I were in charge I'd be looking into js/wasm. Wasm would connect the Prime to the dozens of languages that compile to wasm already, and very elegantly solves tricky questions like "how much python to support" and "how to call builtin functions".

Spreadsheet app is a total mystery to me. I have no idea why you would use it over Excel. For the CAS functions I suppose, but I have yet to figure out what a CAS spreadsheet is for.

I don't want to complain too much, it's a great calculator. I think my expectations were high though, from using calculators years ago in school. I wanted a general-purpose environment where I could dump all my formulas and little programs to use throughout the day, compose them together, relate them, etc. Prime seems a bit more special-purpose than that as a tool.

Curious to see what those with more time on the calculator think. When do you find yourself reaching for Prime/calculator vs Excel or IDE?
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04-07-2021, 08:38 AM
Post: #2
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
I really enjoy the adv. graphing in the Prime, or the triangle solver. I have some custom simple apps that I use sometimes.

I wish the geometry app was similarly intuitive than the TI one, but after so many years it is just a pain in the ass to use.

My website: erwin.ried.cl
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04-07-2021, 02:05 PM
Post: #3
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
There was a HPCC conference on youtube some years ago, lead by Cyrille from HP, where he showed how to use the Prime spreadsheet unique features, it's like a kind of (infinite) smart formula "repeater".
The formula repeats itself when necessary , you don't need to manually copy/paste.
I can't remember/find it on youtube.
In the demo , he applied it on a Fibonacci serie example, easily generated.
Maybe somebody here will remember...

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Olivier
48GX, Prime G2, 50G. A long time ago : 11C, 15C, 28C, 28S
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04-07-2021, 09:25 PM
Post: #4
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
Excel is crap. Half my reporting at work involves workarounds for its limitations and bugs^D^D^D^Dfeatures
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04-08-2021, 01:24 PM
Post: #5
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-04-2021 11:01 PM)compaqdrew Wrote:  Curious to see what those with more time on the calculator think. When do you find yourself reaching for Prime/calculator vs Excel or IDE?

as I wrote, "some years ago"... ;-)
"HCC 2013: HP Prime Q & A"
Starting around 27 min in the video, a difference between a common spreadsheet and the Prime spreadsheet.
https://youtu.be/R50Mgkr8geE


(what is the difference between "HCC" and "HPCC" ?)

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Olivier
48GX, Prime G2, 50G. A long time ago : 11C, 15C, 28C, 28S
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04-08-2021, 01:30 PM
Post: #6
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-07-2021 09:25 PM)EugeneNine Wrote:  Excel is crap. Half my reporting at work involves workarounds for its limitations and bugs^D^D^D^Dfeatures

If you're using Excel for reporting and not using Power Query and/or Power Pivot, then it's going to be pretty unpleasant. Wink
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04-08-2021, 02:24 PM
Post: #7
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-08-2021 01:24 PM)OlidaBel Wrote:  as I wrote, "some years ago"... ;-)
"HCC 2013: HP Prime Q & A"

(what is the difference between "HCC" and "HPCC" ?)

Gene: I don't see "HCC" anywhere ?

HHC stands for HP Handheld Conference. HPCC is the UK HP user group.
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04-08-2021, 08:05 PM
Post: #8
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-08-2021 01:30 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  
(04-07-2021 09:25 PM)EugeneNine Wrote:  Excel is crap. Half my reporting at work involves workarounds for its limitations and bugs^D^D^D^Dfeatures

If you're using Excel for reporting and not using Power Query and/or Power Pivot, then it's going to be pretty unpleasant. Wink

I'm not doing reporting in excel, its people want to be able to export data from reports so they can look at it in excel themselves. A few updates ago it started splitting tabs, carriage returns and line feeds into separate columns even if you have those options unchecked. Its now limiting cell length so I have to check my data length first, etc. And thats not counting the existing bugs like failing to completely save a workbook and leaving a .tmp file in its place.
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04-09-2021, 07:49 AM
Post: #9
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-08-2021 02:24 PM)Gene Wrote:  Gene: I don't see "HCC" anywhere ?

HHC stands for HP Handheld Conference. HPCC is the UK HP user group.

yes, HHC, sorry. Thank you.

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Olivier
48GX, Prime G2, 50G. A long time ago : 11C, 15C, 28C, 28S
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04-09-2021, 02:27 PM
Post: #10
RE: Prime vs Excel, IDE...
(04-04-2021 11:01 PM)compaqdrew Wrote:  Spreadsheet app is a total mystery to me. I have no idea why you would use it over Excel.

I don't use the spreadsheet app frequently, but I find it to be quite useful when I do use it. The ability to define an equation for an entire row, column, or even the entire spreadsheet is exceedingly useful. As a simple example, if you click on the cell in the upper left corner (the one with the hp logo in it) and enter =Row*Col, the entire spreadsheet becomes an endless multiplication table.
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