Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

General discussion about calculators, SwissMicros or otherwise
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Walter
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

Peet wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:27 pm
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? ...
Equations of this kind need >4 stack levels for solving:
.
stack_overflow.png
stack_overflow.png (4.81 KiB) Viewed 873 times
.
They don't look too difficult for school.
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Peet
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Peet »

Walter wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:53 pm
Equations of this kind need >4 stack levels for solving: ...
Thanks for the really good example. Seems, it needs 5 stack level. If I was faced with such calculations frequently, I would prefer a RPL calculator to RPN, but in school, to better understand arithmetic and keep the overview I would calculate denominator and numerator separately and then divide. This takes 4 stack level and one memory register.

In my opinion the main problem with a stack of more than 4 levels is, that it would not be compatible with either RPN (because of the T register) or RPL. I don't assume that you can get new people excited about RPN if you introduce another variant of the two established ones. There would be more need for explanation than advantages. Optional, maybe. But by no means as a default.
My programmable calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP28S, HP11C - current: HP48G(256kB), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
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Walter
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

Peet wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:43 pm
In my opinion the main problem with a stack of more than 4 levels is, that it would not be compatible with either RPN (because of the T register) or RPL. I don't assume that you can get new people excited about RPN if you introduce another variant of the two established ones. There would be more need for explanation than advantages. Optional, maybe. But by no means as a default.
We did exactly this: The WP34S, 31S, and 43S offer you the choice of either the traditional 4-level stack for ... ummh ... traditionalists or an 8-level stack for users who want to calculate "sans soucis". I don't assume you can get new people excited about RPN when you stick to the limitations of 1972. And I don't think an 8-level stack requires any extra explanations - feed it like you feed a 4-level stack and it will simply work, just without any need to care for overflow.
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Peet
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Peet »

Walter wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:04 pm
...the traditional 4-level stack for ... ummh ... traditionalists or an 8-level stack for users who want to calculate "sans soucis". I don't assume you can get new people excited about RPN when you stick to the limitations of 1972. And I don't think an 8-level stack requires any extra explanations - feed it like you feed a 4-level stack and it will simply work, just without any need to care for overflow.
Cars have had four wheels for over 100 years, I don't think 6 or 8 wheel cars are more advanced - it's more specialized, and those who prefer 4 wheels don't consider them traditionalists. I never saw a 4 level stack to be a limitation, but rather as a given and sufficient.

I find it easier to explain RPN with 4 levels to a new user than to point out an arbitrarily limited but incompatible stack. The countless existing manuals for RPN also usually describe a 4-level stack with descriptive graphics and the special function of the T-register.

As far as I know, even the "unlimited" stack from Prime has not brought many new users to RPN. But I hope I'm wrong and the 43S is helping RPN make a breakthrough and leading a lot of new users to it.
My programmable calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP28S, HP11C - current: HP48G(256kB), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
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Walter
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

I don't think the wheel number is a fitting paradigm here. A fuel tank may be better: with our calculators, you have a choice of 40 or 80 liters. :D And you're not forced to choose the large one, but you will learn about its advantages. You can feed any (!) real-world formula to an 8-level stack and it will digest it properly and deliver a correct result. No stack overflow. Promised. Period. 8-)

Anyway, memory limitations of the past should not determine our decisions today anymore. 8-)
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by toml_12953 »

Walter wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:36 pm
Anyway, memory limitations of the past should not determine our decisions today anymore. 8-)
Hear, hear! I hope that all the new calculators coming out will adhere to that philosophy!
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Walter
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Walter »

toml_12953 wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:24 pm
Walter wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:36 pm
Anyway, memory limitations of the past should not determine our decisions today anymore. 8-)
Hear, hear! I hope that all the new calculators coming out will adhere to that philosophy!
Well, I can only speak for our projects - we offer a choice of 4 or 8 stack levels with each of our calculators. But maybe I missed your point.
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dalremnei
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by dalremnei »

Peet wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:54 am
Cars have had four wheels for over 100 years, I don't think 6 or 8 wheel cars are more advanced - it's more specialized, and those who prefer 4 wheels don't consider them traditionalists. I never saw a 4 level stack to be a limitation, but rather as a given and sufficient.
As a very recent convert to RPN, I completely disagree. For me, a big part of RPN's appeal is how natural and effortless it feels, the calculator gets out of your way and lets you focus on solving problems. A 4 level stack is definitely an arbitrary technical limitation that could completely disrupt your calculations if you needed to solve a deeply nested equation that demands greater than 4 stack levels. At that point, why not just use a calculator with textbook input? It'd be a lot easier…

If you're completely new to the concept of RPN calculators, unlimited is much more intuitive and easier to master. After getting the unlimited stack option, my DM42 has never been set back to 4 stack, I've even rewritten my programs to be compatible with it. New users of RPN are not nostalgic for how calculators of the 1970's worked.
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by Peet »

dalremnei wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:47 pm
At that point, why not just use a calculator with textbook input? It'd be a lot easier…
Maybe this really is better for you. For me, RPN is not nostalgic but more suitable for my calculations than other input methods.
My programmable calculators - former: CBM PR100, HP41CV, HP28S, HP11C - current: HP48G(256kB), HP35S, Prime, DM41X, DM42
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akaTB
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Re: Inspiring the next generation of RPN users

Post by akaTB »

Peet wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:58 pm
dalremnei wrote:
Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:47 pm
At that point, why not just use a calculator with textbook input? It'd be a lot easier…
Maybe this really is better for you. For me, RPN is not nostalgic but more suitable for my calculations than other input methods.
Alternative: use a RPL calculator.
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