Post Reply 
Best calculator for the working engineer
07-18-2016, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 07-18-2016 10:11 PM by Vtile.)
Post: #81
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
Somehow I feel that graphing calculator is stigma that renders a calculator with more than two lines of information as a "nonproductive or overkill" and not a serious device (the *face factor*) in certain parts of the world. HP48 is more acceptable since it is not GFX calculator? I have been amusing myself reading what gåågle have to say on the matter (typical applause of puritism and the glorification of the "right way").

That said 50g is huge, sadly it could be miniaturized and squeezed to the size pocket size, but I assume that never happens.

PS, Btw. Logan have you tested out the 4th shift ?? aka user keyboard layer, makes huge improvement since you can just assign any userRPL program or build in function to any key you want or use it as default layer and replace all default supporting keys with your "scientific functionality". Industrial grade label maker do make wonders too for those custom keys, since HP refuged to draw good designs / tricks from the past to 50g (41 keyboard stencils) (ok, well some of the good designs..).

<<Your program>>
91 <- key number
ASN [enter]

Also making making "most used" menus for yourself to your "desktop" folder is really handy, IE. doing program MSTUSD: << {CONVERT 1_V 1_A 1_(OMEGASYMBOL) 1_s 1_m {"<=" << 0 MENU MSTUSD >>} 1_F 1_W 1_S 1_W*s 1_A*s/m ...and so forth } TMENU >>makes working with units even better and same goes for many other things. Or you can assign that program / menu to any key with the user keyboard feature.

PPS. One other thing what I like with physical calculators, their quality is more controlled than random phone application than can have really odd bugs. For calculator the accuracy and behaviour is normally known, if the device is somehow proper quality. Plus the longevity, I do want to learn one calculator and use it next 25 years in level of the extension of my own arms. No one knows the longevity of the phones or their apps.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-18-2016, 10:53 PM
Post: #82
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-18-2016 09:34 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  What does it mean "do not trust in a calculator"? Something like this: I stored approx 50-70 equations in my 35S - not a big amount I know it. Mainly equations for my job and 4-5 programs to calculate something little complicated than a simple equation (for example settling velocity of particles, orifice sizing, fitting characteristics curves for blowers data from catalogs, etc...).

During a battery change all of them are lost. That's all.

FYI: That was NOT MY FAULT. Since then my 35S sits in a shoe box - but it seems to me I'll never forgive it.

Csaba

Did you change the batteries one at a time or did you remove them both at the same time before putting fresh ones? If so, this is a bug and should be on the bug list.

I have also noticed weird things like this one below reported by Logan but could never reproduce them. Still, I think the 35s is not that bad (I got a like-new one for $35), the main reasons for that are:

1. It can be easily acquired/replaced;
2. Doesn't cost as much as a used car;
3. Has lots of memory;
4. I honestly don't think those bugs will ever cause trouble. That's probably why HP has not done anything after 9 years since introduction.


(07-09-2016 02:13 PM)Logan Wrote:  I was trying to solve an equation last night with the result "Bad Guess" and it wouldn't solve. After trying a bunch of things (all variables were cleared, stack was cleared, X-register input was close to the correct value etc.), it still wouldn't work. Entered the exact same equation on the line below and it solved it right away. Tried it with the original again (not changing anything) and it solved it too.

Things like this don't inspire confidence, especially when you intend on using these functions for a timed exam. I don't have time to troubleshoot during an exam.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-18-2016, 11:49 PM
Post: #83
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-18-2016 09:46 PM)Vtile Wrote:  Somehow I feel that graphing calculator is stigma that renders a calculator with more than two lines of information as a "nonproductive or overkill" and not a serious device (the *face factor*) in certain parts of the world. HP48 is more acceptable since it is not GFX calculator? I have been amusing myself reading what gåågle have to say on the matter (typical applause of puritism and the glorification of the "right way").

PS, Btw. Logan have you tested out the 4th shift ?? aka user keyboard layer, makes huge improvement since you can just assign any userRPL program or build in function to any key you want or use it as default layer and replace all default supporting keys with your "scientific functionality". Industrial grade label maker do make wonders too for those custom keys, since HP refuged to draw good designs / tricks from the past to 50g (41 keyboard stencils) (ok, well some of the good designs..).

I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at in the first paragraph above. People ridiculing graphing calculators, or people ridiculing calculators that are non-graphing?

That's good to know about the 50g, since it has many features I like (CAS, infinite stack). I guess customization is nice, I'm just not sure it's for me.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-19-2016, 10:10 AM
Post: #84
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-18-2016 10:53 PM)Marcio Wrote:  Did you change the batteries one at a time or did you remove them both at the same time before putting fresh ones? If so, this is a bug and should be on the bug list.
I'll search the whole story for you I wrote it in another topics.
And yes, I read the manual before and I have ~17 years experience with HP calcs. Wink

I guess above 4-8kB it is recommended to save memory if required or use non-volatile type memory (eg. in Palm Tungsten - after years with dead battery everything is remain in memory). What is the problem with USB or SD card? Maybe the US school provisions do not allow these elements?!

That was a good era when engineers designed calculators for engineers. Not for "managers".


Csaba
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-19-2016, 12:48 PM (This post was last modified: 07-19-2016 03:11 PM by Marcio.)
Post: #85
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-18-2016 09:34 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  During a battery change all of them are lost.

People have reported weird stuff related to memory loss and they seemed to be caused by bad/flat batteries. See this thread. You don't want that to happen during a test after you have loaded the 35s with useful equations.

This gentleman recommends turning on the calculator after the first battery is replaced, see this link, the point being that fresh batteries could also be bad out of the box. I am guessing that was learnt the hard way.

And yes, I also think the 35s was designed to be used by students. That is probably why it is cheap.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-19-2016, 04:39 PM
Post: #86
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-05-2016 08:12 PM)Logan Wrote:  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.

You can choose much cheaper option. Palm 515 or TX and great 42s emulator (Free42) by Thomas Okken. On TX an emulator of HP 48/49/50 (Power48) by Robert Hildinger can be used. I bought a few m515 and TX, second hand and very cheap, to use these emulators. Free42 on m515 has over 180KB of memory, on TX over 1MB. Palms' touch screen is very precise, no problems like on that nasty android devices.

BTW. Power48 can be tailored to emulate 50g as well. I tried to configure it but unfortunately with no success. Could anybody tell how to make Power48 emulate 50g?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-19-2016, 07:53 PM
Post: #87
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-10-2016 06:40 PM)Vtile Wrote:  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).

I tend to agree with this statement. I work with a 50g daily. Yes, I use computer software all the time to properly document and fine-tune the designs, but the 50g sits next to the PC keyboard. Not just for general number crunching but for simple approximations using design programs in RPL. "Design and document in one step" is merely a promise from software companies. Truth is, is quite common to spend precious hours inputting your data on the greatest program ever invented, only to realize after looking at the solution, that you started from a bad idea which you need to trash or heavily modify and re-input.
I do initial approximate designs on paper/pencil + 50g to make sure the idea is worth exploring. Then and only then I create the model in more advanced software.
So the 50g is a very valuable engineering tool for me, with a few libraries, my own programs, and custom keyboard shortcuts all over the place. All of it properly backed up to an SD card, so even after a catastrophic data loss I'll be back to work in a few minutes.
I also agree with Csaba: Sorry, but a calculator where I have to re-type all my programs after a disaster is not "for the working engineer". Let me store my programs somewhere (punched cards, magnetic cards, SD card, anywhere!).
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-24-2016, 04:07 PM
Post: #88
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-18-2016 11:49 PM)Logan Wrote:  
(07-18-2016 09:46 PM)Vtile Wrote:  Somehow I feel that graphing calculator is stigma that renders a calculator with more than two lines of information as a "nonproductive or overkill" and not a serious device (the *face factor*) in certain parts of the world. ...

I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at in the first paragraph above. People ridiculing graphing calculators, or people ridiculing calculators that are non-graphing?

I'm not Vtile, but I believe he may be referring to those who generally dismiss the practical uses of graphing calculators because they seem to be marketed more to a student/educational market (among other reasons I suppose). Except for occasional troubleshooting assistance, I've never used any of the graphing/plotting features on my 48-49-50 devices for anything meaningful. Personally, I don't think of these systems so much in that context but rather as "large screen" devices.

To me, the real value of the larger screens is in being able to see much more information without having to roll/scroll to see it in context. Seeing more stack entries, using forms, and displaying larger portions of programs and output adds much more value for my use than any of the graphing capabilities.

Just my 2¢ worth...
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-24-2016, 05:01 PM
Post: #89
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-09-2016 02:13 PM)Logan Wrote:  Second, I also was trying to solve an equation last night with the result "Bad Guess" and it wouldn't solve.

"Bad Guess" appears if at least one of the two guesses (yes, there are two) is an invalid number for Solve, e.g. a complex number or a vector. On the other hand you can enter guesses where the function is not even defined.

(07-09-2016 02:13 PM)Logan Wrote:  After trying a bunch of things (all variables were cleared, stack was cleared, X-register input was close to the correct value etc.), it still wouldn't work. Entered the exact same equation on the line below and it solved it right away. Tried it with the original again (not changing anything) and it solved it too.

Again this sounds like there was an invalid value stored in the variable you solved for. Remember: you always enter TWO guesses! That's the one in stack register X and the one in the variable you solve for.

Example:
Enter the equation A*A=2.
Now store a vector or a complex number in A, e.g. 1 i 2 STO A.
Try to solve for A while using 1,4 as the second guess.

1,4 SOLVE A => BAD GUESS

Now enter two valid guesses:
First guess: 1 STO A
Second guess: 2
SOLVE A => A=1,41421356237

In your case, once the equation has been solved successfully, the variable holds the solution. Any subsequent SOLVE then runs the solver with the solution and the value in X as the two initial guesses. Since the former directly solves the equation, the result is returned immediately.

Dieter
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-25-2016, 10:17 AM
Post: #90
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-24-2016 04:07 PM)DavidM Wrote:  To me, the real value of the larger screens is in being able to see much more information without having to roll/scroll to see it in context. Seeing more stack entries, using forms, and displaying larger portions of programs and output adds much more value for my use than any of the graphing capabilities.

Agreed. I'm becoming convinced that 2+ lines is almost a necessity. My main quibble with the graphing calculators is that the keyboard layout, by necessity, tries to do too much that would now be much more suitable for a computer.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-25-2016, 10:19 AM
Post: #91
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-24-2016 05:01 PM)Dieter Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 02:13 PM)Logan Wrote:  After trying a bunch of things (all variables were cleared, stack was cleared, X-register input was close to the correct value etc.), it still wouldn't work. Entered the exact same equation on the line below and it solved it right away. Tried it with the original again (not changing anything) and it solved it too.

Again this sounds like there was an invalid value stored in the variable you solved for. Remember: you always enter TWO guesses! That's the one in stack register X and the one in the variable you solve for.

Dieter, thanks, but I clearly stated in the portion you quoted, that I had cleared all variables.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-25-2016, 11:23 AM
Post: #92
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-25-2016 10:19 AM)Logan Wrote:  Dieter, thanks, but I clearly stated in the portion you quoted, that I had cleared all variables.

Yes, I have noticed this. But after clearing all variables (A...Z) the BAD GUESS message simply cannot appear. Is it possible that you used CLVARX ?

There must be a logical explanation to this. I am using the 35s since it was available in 2007, but I never encountered such a behaviour. I also cannot remember any reports of something like this here on this forum. And there were many strange things that have been reported. ;-)

Dieter
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-25-2016, 05:17 PM
Post: #93
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-25-2016 11:23 AM)Dieter Wrote:  Yes, I have noticed this. But after clearing all variables (A...Z) the BAD GUESS message simply cannot appear. Is it possible that you used CLVARX ?

No. I checked the memory after clearing the variables and no values were stored. Plus, as stated, simply entering the equation on the line below, character for character, allowed it to be solved, and then the original as well, with no other alterations.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-28-2016, 09:58 AM
Post: #94
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
Hi.
I have been using HP calcs since 1989 during my engineering studies.
I started with 28s, then switched to a 48sx+128kb card+equation library.
I heavily used the 48sx, also after graduation, then bought one of the last 48gx (Indonesia, painted keys, black lcd) and one 128kb and one 1mb Cynox cards.
The 48gx has been kept in a drawer since few days ago.
In the meanwhile i decided that i wanted to keep away the 48sx+cards and bought a
49g+. Two keys broke quite fast ang got a warranty replacement, which broke after a few months. HP send me a 50g, which i have used till now.
Being an RPL addicted, i wanted to RPN, so bought a 35s.
Nice calc but the lack of a good backup way keep me away from writing long programs. Furthermore, it lacks the excellent Units handling of the 48/49/50 series, which is vital in my job. Anyway it lives in my bag ;-)

After this preamble, my answer.
What i require to my everyday calc?
1) excellent Units of measure handling
2) numeric solver capabilities for single equations and systems
3) capability of using long names for variables and programs
4) long battery duration
5) pc connectivity or sd card

So, the 48-49-50 series is my choice but with some caveats.
I used heavily the 48sx and the 49g+/50g.
The 50g has many nice features (speed, SD card, lot of memory) but also some defects from my point of view:
- symbolic capabilities are welcome even if i don't need them, as long as their presence does not impact on menus usability and keyboard layout. Unfortunately both cons are present, having useless keys (to me, like Symb and X), the CST key as shifted and the small ENTER
- 50g is a real battery hog

Recently i decided to retire the 50g from operations and take the 48gx. I installed Metakernel and all the stuff i use.
Well....if i don't consider speed and SD, the gx is to me a better calc if compared to the 50g: keys are in the right place, batteries last much longer, keys feel is better. The screen is smaller, but still ok. No too many useless (to me) functions.

What would be the _perfect_ calculator for me and my job: the 48 series with lot of internal menory, SD card and USB. Graphic capabilities can be stripped away.

My two cents....

Regards
Marco Polo
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-28-2016, 11:29 AM
Post: #95
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-28-2016 09:58 AM)Marco Polo Wrote:  - 50g is a real battery hog

Power it with a set of eneloop or other low discharging rechargable and you'll have no problems
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-28-2016, 01:31 PM
Post: #96
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
Power it with a set of eneloop or other low discharging rechargable and you'll have no problems
[/quote]

Right, but it does not solve the keyboard layout issue
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-29-2016, 03:59 AM (This post was last modified: 07-29-2016 04:04 AM by RMollov.)
Post: #97
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-28-2016 09:58 AM)Marco Polo Wrote:  ...
What would be the _perfect_ calculator for me and my job: the 48 series with lot of internal memory, SD card and USB. Graphic capabilities can be stripped away.

My two cents....

Regards
Marco Polo

I agree, but would add reducing size, it's 21st century after all. SwissMicros apparently are designing something that looks like it:
DM42
Add Claudio's newRPL to it and there you go Wink

Cheers,
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-29-2016, 05:45 AM
Post: #98
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-29-2016 03:59 AM)RMollov Wrote:  I agree, but would add reducing size, it's 21st century after all.
SwissMicros apparently are designing something that looks like it:
DM42
Add Claudio's newRPL to it and there you go Wink

I am waiting for DM42 release: it seems a very interesting base to develop many calculators.
Unfortunately the 42s does not fits my needs, otherwise I will purchase one.
Anyway, Claudio's work is quite astonishing and it could fit well on DM42 body.
All I have to to is to wait....
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-29-2016, 10:43 PM
Post: #99
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-29-2016 03:59 AM)RMollov Wrote:  I agree, but would add reducing size, it's 21st century after all. SwissMicros apparently are designing something that looks like it:
DM42

It looks like this machine has display of more than two lines?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
07-29-2016, 11:05 PM (This post was last modified: 07-29-2016 11:07 PM by Vtile.)
Post: #100
RE: Best calculator for the working engineer
(07-29-2016 10:43 PM)wojtek Wrote:  
(07-29-2016 03:59 AM)RMollov Wrote:  I agree, but would add reducing size, it's 21st century after all. SwissMicros apparently are designing something that looks like it:
DM42

It looks like this machine has display of more than two lines?
Yes. Look up the "non related" section of the MoHPC, there is dedicated thread for this DM42 device. Wink

http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-6246.html
Here is the mentioned Claudios NewRPL thread.. It is really cool project also.
http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-4645.html
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 29 Guest(s)