Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

General discussion about calculators, SwissMicros or otherwise
dm319
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm

Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by dm319 »

This is just to continue a discussion on this thread.

I, and I think many here, believe that RPN calculators are actually more elegant and easier to use than algebraic calculators. I find I can calculate 'while I'm thinking', and I like the security of seeing intermediate calculations while I work through it.

Whether or not younger children will accept RPN as part of their learning is up to them, but it would be pretty bad if we got them into RPN, only for these calculators to be banned from their exams. There is also quite a gap between the introduction to calculators (a least several years before GCSE), but they might need to use calculators in exams until beyond degree level.

Here are some nice quotes from the last thread:
keithdalby wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:38 am
In an exam, I think you can get away with using a DM42 because it doesn't natively handle graphing or symbolic integration etc. It does have nonvolatile storage, which isn't allowed, but you can clear that and show it is clear. You cannot IR communicate with other devices in the exam room.

If instead you simply have a pocket PC with physical keyboard (which is what I think you want, and which are already available), then that would be banned from the exam room without hesitation.

To me, it makes sense to keep pocket PCs and calculators as separate devices. But, I'm a teacher so I'm approaching this from a different perspective.
budmur wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:10 pm
On the NCEES exams, the DM 42 wouldn't be allowed because of the full alpha capabilities. It's not so much for cheating on the exam, but to prevent test questions from leaking out back to exam preparation mills. I got lucky because that policy wasn't in place when I took the exams, so I got to use my 42S. I'd hate to try and take them now. For me, the ability to give variables a real name, like "Head" or "Watts" versus "H" or "W" makes all the difference in the world in usability.
keithdalby wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:10 pm
In the UK at GCSE and A Level (and in some universities) there is a 'banned calculator' list rather than an 'allowed calculator' list, I believe. All calculators that can perform symbolic differentiation and integration are banned, but programmable calculators and graphing calculators are allowed in some exams, as long as their memory can be wiped.

As a physics teacher, I really only know about the physics exams, where graphing calculators are fine but symbolic calculus is not. The DM42 probably wouldn't be allowed because of the ability to store programs persistently, but invigilators wouldn't recognise it and it isn't on the banned list, so I reckon you'd get away with using it. Please note, I am not endorsing cheating!

The DM15 would be perfectly allowed with no caveats.

If you started loading Linux onto the calculators, they'd find their way onto the banned list pretty damned quickly.
A bit of my own googling has found this from Trentham High School
To ensure compliance with examination regulations the following
calculators will be acceptable for use in GCSE Examinations:
- Aurora SC582
- Casio FX-83 series
- Casio FX-85 series
- Sharp ELW531 series
- Sharp EL53 and EL52 series
But a more authoritative source, referenced by OCR, is this from the joint council for qualifications, which has this to say:
Calculators must be:
-of a size suitable for use on the
desk;
-either battery or solar powered;
-free of lids, cases and covers which
have printed instructions or formulas

Calculators must not:
-be designed or adapted to offer any of these
facilities: -
--language translators;
--symbolic algebra manipulation;
--symbolic differentiation or integration;
--communication with other machines or
the internet;
-be borrowed from another candidate during
an examination for any reason;*
-have retrievable information stored in them -
this includes:
--databanks;
--dictionaries;
--mathematical formulas;
--text.
So it would seem like local schools might have their own rules about what is allowed, though the JCQ are far more lenient. However, they don't allow printed instructions or formulas on the case, which would be a problem with the DM-xxL series of calculators.

Maybe a wire-brushed DM-15L would be ok?! If anyone has info on other countries, I'd be interested.

Also I don't know if anyone would trust their treasured swissmicro with their kid, but that's a whole other question.
grsbanks
Posts: 1122
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:23 am
Location: Preston, Lancs, UK
Contact:

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by grsbanks »

It would seem that the DM42 would indeed be ruled out by those regulations. The clincher here is "communication with other machines or the internet". It doesn't qualify what kind of communication (two-way or one-way) or what kind of "machine". A printer is a machine, right?

It might be too easy to fool an examiner into thinking that the calculator has been emptied when there's a bunch of saved programs (or even a state file) on the FAT disk :)
There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.
dm319
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by dm319 »

Yes it does sound like that.

To be honest the DM42 is overkill for a school kid. They really don't need much more than +/-/div/x/ln/log/10x/e^x/x^y/sin/cos/tan and the inverses. Maybe the DM10 is what's needed, though maybe with a four-level stack!
User avatar
Walter
Posts: 2074
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am
Location: Close to FRA, Germany

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

dm319 wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:24 pm
To be honest the DM42 is overkill for a school kid. They really don't need much more than +/-/div/x/ln/log/10x/e^x/x^y/sin/cos/tan and the inverses. Maybe the DM10 is what's needed, though maybe with a four-level stack!
Even the DM10 is overkill with its L.R. and PRGM for school kids. But if you think of RPN for the next generation, give them an eight-level stack!
DM42 SN: 00041 β
WP 43S running on this device

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-35S; WP 34S & WP 31S for obvious reasons; DM16L
grsbanks
Posts: 1122
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:23 am
Location: Preston, Lancs, UK
Contact:

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by grsbanks »

Walter wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:20 pm
Even the DM10 is overkill with its L.R. and PRGM for school kids. But if you think of RPN for the next generation, give them an eight-level stack!
Give them a machine with a stack limited only by available memory (RPL) :)
There are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who do not.
toml_12953
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 7:46 pm
Location: Malone, NY USA

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by toml_12953 »

grsbanks wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:44 pm
Walter wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:20 pm
Even the DM10 is overkill with its L.R. and PRGM for school kids. But if you think of RPN for the next generation, give them an eight-level stack!
Give them a machine with a stack limited only by available memory (RPL) :)
No no! Anything but RPL! When I type something on the keyboard, I want it in the X stack register as I type it. I'm used to the classic HP machines,
HP-35, 45, 65, 67, etc. Having a separate entry line makes no sense to me. It seems like an unnecessary waste. I would like an unlimited stack, though!
Tom L

Some people call me inept but I'm as ept as anybody!
DM10L SN: 059/100
DM41X SN: 00023 (Beta)
DM41X SN: 00506 (Shipping)
DM42 SN: 00025 (Beta)
DM42 SN: 00221 (Shipping)
User avatar
Walter
Posts: 2074
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am
Location: Close to FRA, Germany

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

toml_12953 wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:32 pm
grsbanks wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:44 pm
Walter wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:20 pm
Even the DM10 is overkill with its L.R. and PRGM for school kids. But if you think of RPN for the next generation, give them an eight-level stack!
Give them a machine with a stack limited only by available memory (RPL) :)
No no! Anything but RPL!
+100.
Remember Valentin A.: RPL = RePelLent!
toml_12953 wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:32 pm
I would like an unlimited stack, though!
Well, YOU may get it if you really like that, of course -- but for kids? KISS: 8 levels cover everything which will ever happen to an intelligent person. Worry-free calculations and computations, top level repetition, no stack overflow in real life, no need for level tracking, etc.
DM42 SN: 00041 β
WP 43S running on this device

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-35S; WP 34S & WP 31S for obvious reasons; DM16L
dm319
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by dm319 »

Walter wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:39 pm
but for kids? KISS: 8 levels cover everything which will ever happen to an intelligent person.
Yes, I'm also of this opinion! Would be nice to have them all visible too. I remember someone, I think on hp forums, lamenting the lack of very simple RPN calculators. I currently use galculator on my desktop, in it's basic RPN mode it just has the most basic functions and a stack of 4 - pretty nice.
User avatar
Walter
Posts: 2074
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:13 am
Location: Close to FRA, Germany

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

Why do you want to see 8 stack levels on the screen? Just confusing. Even displaying 4 stack levels is annoying and overkill IMO. Two shall suffice - compare the HP-42S - so you know the next operands.
DM42 SN: 00041 β
WP 43S running on this device

HP-35, HP-45, ..., HP-35S; WP 34S & WP 31S for obvious reasons; DM16L
Peet
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:01 am
Location: Germany

Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Peet »

Walter wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:39 pm
Well, YOU may get it if you really like that, of course -- but for kids? KISS: 8 levels cover everything which will ever happen to an intelligent person.
Is there any example in regular math (college or Abitur) where four stack levels are not enough? Stack levels in RPN are like wheels on a car. More than four doesn't suit everyone and very few need them. Then you'd better get a tracked vehicle (RPL).
My programmable calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP28S, HP11C - current: HP48G(256kB), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
Post Reply