RPN calculator versus Iphone emulator?


Just a question for all, similar to the one lower on the forum and raised due to some of the postings. (HP calculator - pure RPN only).

The question:

If you were presented with a new simulator/emulator for an RPN
calculator for the iphone (any PDA); or the actual calculator,
which would you choose?

Issues as I see it (now that's an open ended request for critical thinking!!) and I will spice it up with my ultimate stand alone calculator as follows:

The ultimate (my choice) stand alone calculator, HP of course!

1.  voyager size product and styling.  In my opinion the perfect
ergonomic design, as evidenced by the continuing 12c
production. The 15C is one of my favourites and I carry it
with me.

2. at least 1000 lines of programming or as much as you can put
in it.

3. alpha capability for labelling output (similar to 41c).

4. backlit display.

5. integrated time functions similar to the HP 01 dynamic time

6. infared printer capability.

7. usb porting for programming ease.

8. long battery life.

B. downside to having an all in one device (IMHO):

1.  at my work every piece of hardware and technology is triple
redundant with very FEW exceptions. The point being that nothing
is all in one. Call it quasi-ludite philosophy, but I like stand
alone articles, space or inconvenience not withstanding, we all
have our limits ;-).

2a. further to the above, having been around for all the HP calcs
from the 35 classic on, as well as my first lab computer, an 8086,
I have seen where one aspect of an all-in-one product can crash
the entire unit. Take for example an old style fax card in the
PC. When the card died the PC would not boot up as part of a
failed startup selftest. If you were not computer literate at the
very least an external modem allowed you to unplug the RS232 and
boot up with out the modem. If the iphone dies it now takes with
it the calculator, calendar, mp3 player, gps and etc.

2b. Yes I know, but I don't mind carrying the 'super voyager' (if
I had one!), pocket GPS, PDA with wifi and ipod music nano. If
any quits then so what! In fact in my brief case other than the
articles required for work, I carry:

. Archos video 504
. Garmin nuvi 250
. Ipod nano
. cell phone
. HP 15c
. HP 211 with 15c emulator programmed with the same at work
programs I have on the 15c
. oh yes, and a watch (HP 01)

So fire away and remember, a stand alone object as described; the ultimate Voyager, or the all in one Iphone standard.

Cheers, all, Geoff


If I had to pick only one, it would probably be the all-in-one PDA version. I don't even have an iPhone (I'm a Treo guy).

My reason is that if I had the "perfect" RPN calc, I'd want to carry it around with me all the time, and that just isn't practical. As it is, I carry a 35s or 17bii+ around most of the time, but it's just not that easy or convenient.

On the other hand, I'm rarely without my PDA phone. It would be awesome to have a great (I mean SUPER) emulation on it. It wouldn't replace a standalone HP on my desk, but it would be the one I'd carry with me all the time.




I vote for the hardware solution. Anyway, more and more I come to the conclusion that I am a collector, not a user of calculators. I simply find no useful things for them to do...

But if I need one, I want a genuine one with real keys. And a luminous display. OLED, backlit, tritium coated, whatever. But luminous it must be!

Maybe one day when I have an iPhone (which is not supported by my current mobile phone provider - and as a pure gadget without its most important function it is simply too expensive) and some time to spare I might "make" my own calculator for it. The one that does exactly what I need: Sum-up time values, and determine how much fuel to order.

Ah, and in my briefcase, apart from the very few items really needed for work (headphones, logbook, handheld radio and handheld GPS - the latter two because I still do quite some instructing on piston singles and twins), I only carry one more item: My good old Titanium PowerBook, the best portable computer ever made, which really provides me with everything I ever need away from home.

Greetings, Max


I'd prefer an ultimate Voyager according to your description. After all, nothing (in this area ;) overcomes touching real keys. Real = slanted. All-in-one devices have to compromize, and I don't want to have a calculating phone or a phony calculator, I love to have a real one of both. Those of you knowing me and/or having attended HHC2008 will have guessed already what I imagine being the ultimate Voyager. So, I don't have to talk about features anymore. It fullfills your requests 1 through 8 easily -- personally, I'd clearly prefer 8 for 4, and I may drop 6 and 7 for an SD card slot.

Just my 20 Milli-Euros, as usual.

Edited: 6 Oct 2008, 7:51 p.m.


I'd prefer the real thing which I picture as HP42s functionality (with EQN support added as on the 35s) & size + slanted keys (as on the 35s) with alpha chars added + better display (unlike on the 35s) + heaps of memory, Free42 style printer, any sort of IO (mini USB will do).


The question:

If you were presented with a new simulator/emulator for an RPN
calculator for the iphone (any PDA); or the actual calculator,
which would you choose?

It depends, what are you asking me to do?

If I need to survey Mt. Everest old-school, or rebuild civilization, then its the 15C with fresh batteries and a very good math book. In the land of no power, the man with the 15C is king.

The likelihood of that happening is nil.

I have a 41CX, 12C, 15C, and a 16C on my iPhone. The 41CX emulator can be held and used in one hand and has the ability to download programs and printout results that can be emailed. This suite of emulators has become my primary calculator, with a few exceptions. I still use a 50g emulator and 50g at my desk. Speed of entry and the large display of course are the reasons. However the #1 reason is MES, of which, I do not want to live without.

I travel for a living. My bag always contains a 15C and I always carry my iPhone. The answer to your question for me its going to have to be "both". If I have to crunch numbers manually then its the 15C. On the other hand, I am not taking a 15C shopping when all I need is my iPhone and an emulator.

Looking towards the future, emulators will always exist because of people like Eric, JFG, Thomas, Christoph, etc..., and given that most here are dissatisfied with the functionality of current models, then for this group the emulator may become king.

Edited: 6 Oct 2008, 8:30 p.m.


Well, Egan, as with me you carry both, my spare 15c is on my PDA along with all the other tidbits, email, games, articles, photos and etc and on a 5 day pairing I have to carry an international adapter, plugs and etc to recharge a 5 hour battery.

Thats why the 15c is in my pocket. Don't have to mess with the PDA and shortlived power supply just to access my important job specific programs, and why I would rather hold a physical 15c then the simulated one.

My 15c is in my shirt pocket and could do with more memory, I use it for short calculations based on specific problems that arise in my field. I find it more convenient, albiet slower than pulling out the PDA.

My hp41cx is in my flight bag with infared printer for hard copies and a much more expanded version of the 15c programs with alpha lables. The 41cx will actually work up a 12 hour flight plan and weight and balance for my aircraft type for a flight from Beijing to Vancouver and print it out.

If ERIC would actually create a windows mobile 41cx I would port to the PDA my entire 41cx as long as I could still use the infared printer. Guess I will have to do it myself ;-)

The question can be broken subjectively into many parts, Can I have both the emulator and the actual? or I could have asked a much more specific question:

Your ultimate HP 15C voyager (as modified in my preamble) in physical or virtual mode, you choose?

I think the answers are going to be subjective, based on feel, age of the person answering, need to keep stuff at a minimum, etc etc etc.

Your statement about the '15c and a math book' would be 'slide rule and a mathbook' for an earlier generation, very subjective.

So in general if someone offered you an HP 15C++++++ with some of the earlier mentioned improvements or a simulated version, which would you choose?

Cheers, Geoff

P.s. I absolutely agree, the simulators can certainly give you the 'ultimate' version of whatever it is that you need. The hp15c emulator that I use is wonderfully fast, lots of programmability but I do need more label ability, and would prefer an alpha ability to meet the label requirement both for input and output as well as subroutine control. For me it is a subjective feel that brings back memories of university and the novelty of the calculator feel and performance.

Edited: 6 Oct 2008, 9:11 p.m.


If ERIC would actually create a windows mobile 41cx I would port to the PDA my entire 41cx as long as I could still use the infared printer. Guess I will have to do it myself ;-)

Google for ev41, then checkout http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/redeye.shtml, then convince the author to add that to ev41.


Get an iPhone and live with a virtual printer. You can scroll the output, save as many rolls as you like, email it to a friend, and from a PC print it out. Oh, and it can print in color. (Here's a project for you, some have been able to speak redeye using audio, so, rig up a 3.5mm jack, circuit and IR, then get the iPhone to play the output.)

So in general if someone offered you an HP 15C++++++ with some of the earlier mentioned improvements or a simulated version, which would you choose?

Probably the physical for the same reasons I have so many other calculators, because I like them.

Fortunately I do not have to choose. The 15C++++++ will never exist, and if it did someone would emulate it. And, the 41CX/15C on my iPhone meets almost all of my out-of-the-office experiences, so I wouldn't need the emulator.

Edited: 6 Oct 2008, 10:03 p.m.


I have been thinking about customizable calculators since a man went around buying 41 calculators for shop estimating. The flip keyboard for the TI could be managed in one of the touchscreen sets merely by scrolling. Is there a future calculator development suggested here? Sam


I'd use a physical device, and your Voyager description fits with what I have in mind.

-- Antonio


HP 50G emulation sounds nice
but I think that RPL/2 and xCAS using full RAM and speed
would be THE calculator i want
why iPhone? Why not iPaq Phone Edition + nice keyboard

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