What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

General discussion about calculators, Swiss Micros or otherwise
toml_12953
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by toml_12953 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:19 pm

Thomas Okken wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:13 am
When I hear the words "graphing calculator," I think of machines where you can enter a function, and some limits on the various parameters, and then said machine shows a graph on the screen... and where those machines can do that, without the user having to write, or load, any programs in addition to the function to be plotted.

HP RPL calculators: graphing
HP-42S: not graphing

The DM42 hardware may be capable of being a graphing calculator, but with Free42-based firmware, it isn't a graphing calculator.

I'm a bit surprised this discussion is even taking place. I mean, would anyone consider the HP-41C to be a financial calculator, just because it is possible to load programs into it that perform financial calculations?
We need a term for the DM42. I would agree that it's not a graphing calculator since it doesn't have built-in graphing functions. I really think it can and should be called a graphics calculator, though, since its impressive graphics capabilities go far beyond those of "scientific programmable" calculators that can only display digits and maybe text. We do need a term that lets people know it can display graphics and is much more useful than the text-only models.
Tom L

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Thomas Okken
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by Thomas Okken » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:28 pm

pauli wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:26 am
Calculators use decimal arithmetic because they can then represent our numeral system exactly and the user doesn't get unpleasant surprises.
Indeed. And in calculator programs, those surprises can crop up anywhere.

One common programming technique is to store multiple numbers in one register, like the way ISG and DSE combine loop counter, step, and limit values in one number. Extracting the parts of such combined numbers often involves multiplications by powers of 10 followed by IP, and that kind of thing is where binary arithmetic falls down -- not because it isn't accurate, but because in this specific scenario, it isn't exact.

I ran into this problem while trying to find out why a certain electrical circuit simulation program, that worked fine on the HP-42S, returned dramatically incorrect results in Free42 (when it was binary-only). Once I found the step where the two diverged, in code that split a combined number, I realized that the only way to prevent this kind of failure in general was to use decimal floating-point.

N.B. Of course you could work around this problem by using powers of 2 instead of powers of 10, but if you're trying to support legacy software, that isn't an option, since some of that software has the assumption of exact powers of 10 baked into it.

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revwillie
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by revwillie » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:14 pm

Mark Hardman wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:47 am

Wikipedia equates graphing calculator with graphics calculator.
.....................
It seems to me that the origianal HP-42S meets all the criteria.
For now. maybe Wikipedia deserves an update? FWIW, the HP42s is NOT a graphing calculator for me because I don't want to key in the dplot or plot programs. The DM42 might be a graphing calculator because I can simply load dplot off the FAT drive any time I please. Making the display prettier is just icing on the cake. My teenager needed a TI-84 calculator for school this year and I'm playing with her old TI-83. I'm still not sure what value high school math class gets from the graphing part of the calculator. I've heard the conspiracy theories, but I hope that students with an affinity for math and electronics get some level of enjoyment from a cartesian coordinate-showing game boy. If that helps young minds get excited about math, it's all good. Meanwhile, I'm printing graph paper out on our printer because a sheet or two of graph paper will be used and all textbook and homework stuff is done on an ipad. Because young minds also need to practice moving information from platform to platform to platform, right?
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grsbanks
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by grsbanks » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:42 pm

toml_12953 wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:19 pm
We need a term for the DM42. I would agree that it's not a graphing calculator since it doesn't have built-in graphing functions. I really think it can and should be called a graphics calculator, though, since its impressive graphics capabilities go far beyond those of "scientific programmable" calculators that can only display digits and maybe text. We do need a term that lets people know it can display graphics and is much more useful than the text-only models.
Just to reinforce this, we're discussing management of "graphics" modes right now :)
Not SwissMicros staff, just an enthusiast.

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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by grsbanks » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:44 pm

revwillie wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:14 pm
[...] TI-83 [...] a cartesian coordinate-showing game boy
Love the description :lol:
Not SwissMicros staff, just an enthusiast.

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RAPo
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by RAPo » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:06 pm

Please don't argue about names. We should argue about functionality.
SN:00074

keithdalby
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by keithdalby » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:52 pm

Okay, functionality: either all left-aligned or all right-aligned, this mix (left aligned x stack during numerical entry, everything else right aligned) is driving me bonkers :(

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Walter
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by Walter » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:15 pm

keithdalby wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:52 pm
Okay, functionality: either all left-aligned or all right-aligned, this mix (left aligned x stack during numerical entry, everything else right aligned) is driving me bonkers :(
You could see it as indicator that input is open or closed. So at the bottom line it's functionality isn't it? ;)
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keithdalby
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by keithdalby » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:50 pm

Walter wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:15 pm
keithdalby wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:52 pm
Okay, functionality: either all left-aligned or all right-aligned, this mix (left aligned x stack during numerical entry, everything else right aligned) is driving me bonkers :(
You could see it as indicator that input is open or closed. So at the bottom line it's functionality isn't it? ;)
Functionality worth a debate: I'd prefer a blinking cursor to the vast distance between input and the rest of the stack.

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Walter
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Re: What would be the ultimate calculator in 2017?

Post by Walter » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:52 pm

keithdalby wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:50 pm
I'd prefer a blinking cursor to the vast distance between input and the rest of the stack.
Hmmh, did you get the enlarged screen for senior customers for beta testing? :?
DM42 SN: 00041 --- Follower of Platon.

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-50, WP 34S, WP 31S, DM16L

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