NORM's CORRECT!



#3

We need more posts for the HP-34C (I would love to own one), 25C, 67, 15C, 16C, and 42S. In particular the 67. It seems that it was buried by the advent of the 41Cxxx. I can't remember the time frame.

tm


#4

Hi Trent, folks;

I've been wondering sometime ago about programming and usage. As you may have noticed, I think working calculators should be used. I mentioned this fact in an isolated post where Valentin agreed with me, but also showed me (and others as well) that reasons are for storing an working calculator. O.K., not only convincing but also correct points.

After that I thought about Valentin's teasing challenges and I remembered some people here, me included, tried their (our) own challenges. Most of them, if not all of them, were answered by others. I also copied and saved a post by someone that's not a regular contributor (to be honest, I remember this only post by him) explaining the way he used RPN to solve electrical problems. A very "literate" description, you bet.

I still develop and translate programs from one "calculator" (system) to another, mostly for fun. I do not give up doing this, I go as far as I can to accomplish the task. To be honest, there are about fifteen programs I want (and need) to translate from RPN (HP41) to RPL (HP48) and I cannot find the "large and spare" time to do it. The fact is that the first of these programs uses loops that constantly update registers contents in order to achieve an expected result. The truth is that these loops are custom root-finders, and I did not take the time to "depict" them so I can "see" the original expression and use local RPL resources to find roots. It's teasing and fun to do, also keeps some parts of our brains working and alive, if you understand me. If it is not fun doing, I see no reason to do so. Maybe plenty bux in my pocket...

Well, I use about all of the models I have for my own delightful moments, but as a teacher, I must be close to the students and their own resources. So far, only two of the many students I had brought HP calculators to my classes: one HP32S (I tried the harder I could to trade it, but the owner did not want to :( for "personal reasons") and one HP48G. The HP32S' owner gave up studying and the HP48G's owner gave up using it and bought a CASIO...

What to do? Teaching them how to use their own calculators. I get each available model in the classroom and I figure out the fastest, easiest way to convert from DEGress to RADians, compute trigs (direct and inverses) in DEGrees and RADians mode (I only explain what GRAD stands for, but I do not use it in class), convert from polar to rectangular and vice-versa in each of them. Then I show how to use it all to perform complex arithmetic and apply it to vectors and impedances. I think this helps them finding useful applications to their small, key-filled magic boxes. If they understand how to use them, they will not try to make them give answers everytime their keys are pressed. Instead, when the problem is solved, calculators are good to help with numbers since the correct operations are performed. I do not say stuffs like: "Press this and that keys and you'll find the answer". Instead, I say "How do you compute this value? Use sine of the angle times the amplitude, right? How do you compute sine of this angle in your calculator? How much is it?" Then each one gives the answer, and when there are different answers, I tease them to find where they were wrong. In most cases, they are able to find their own errors and they exchange their calculators with the others till they find their own errors. It's amazing to see some of them going from one desk to another and showing their classmates how did they find their answer. Everyone learns a bit with each other. Too bad they do not find RPN calculators easily... In fact, most of them are worried in learning the subject, and as a teacher I must accept it as good thing because it IS actually what teachers want.

Here, at MoHPC forum (thanks Dave and all of you, guys) is the place I find people to talk about RPN, RPL, stack manipulation, programming and the like. I'd like very much to discuss programming techniques, daily use, etc. I prefer not restricting to this or that fact, instead I'd like to see what others are doing. If what I'm doing is not the best way, let me see another, better way. When I was teaching programming basics, I used to say: "If your program gives the correct results for a given set of parameters, it is already the best program. If you want to reduce its size and enhance it's performance, it's a matter of goals and needs." I also always emphasized the fact that programming and using a language are related subjects, but should never be taught at the same time. Programming is a matter of recognizing a problem, finding its solution and teaching someone else how to do this. A programming language is the tool to teach a programmable machine how to do this in its own way, and it's sometimes not too close to the way you understand it. As I have students that naturally speak Portuguese, their understanding of "printf", "scanf", "if...else", "for" and "while" is not as natural as for English speakers. And most of them do not relate their understanding of English with those "keywords".

Sorry; I'm getting out of focus.

I know some will disagree with me, but I take programming as the best part a computing device may offer. Mostly a portable, continuous memory, resourceful computing device as a calculator can be.

Wow! All of this to express my own wishes to participate in any thread where usage, programming calculators and the like is the main subject. I like to use and program them as much as I like to understand how they work and to repair them. If it's worth accepting me as handy, count on me. Actually, I support.

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 22 July 2003, 12:16 a.m.


#5

When I was in school I was the onlyone to use an HP calculator. I was used to it as I had it since I was 12 and I had played with my dads 45 and 25 since i was 6 years old or so.
In all those years I went to school, I found only one classmate who was willing to let me explain to him how RPN works.
The next day he showed up with a brand new HP 32SII.

In 1998 I started studying electronics engeneering, and about 35% of the students had HP calculators. Most of them HP48s. I saw one 42S and 2 32s.

In 2002 I started going to a diffrent University and had to take some of the beginners classes again, because my credids could not be transfered. Only about 5% or less of the students had HP calculators in thoses classes, most others have TIs and some have Casios.
So in only 4 years there has been a significant change in the popularity of HP cakculators.

And this might be a result of many teachers NOT beeing like Luiz, but just telling the students what buttons to press.
Also it might be a result of HP not selling decent Calculators anymore....

Regards,
Harry

#6

Hi, Luiz:

Just a few good-humoured comments to your post, I know you like comments, so there you are ...

Luiz posted: "I think working calculators should be used."

Definitely. I only own calculators I use or intend to use, no way the're staying unmolested for ages in some glass cabinet or vitrine, gathering dust and drying their capacitors out for lack of use. If properly used, quality calculators such as vintage HP's or Sharp's won't degrade noticeably.

"There are about fifteen programs I want (and need) to translate from RPN (HP41) to RPL (HP48) and
I cannot find the "large and spare" time to do it."

Taking into account that you recently got an HP-71B, why don't you translate them for that machine instead ? That would serve you for training purposes and to get your '71B legs' so to speak. Or are you 'chickening' already out at the 71B ? ;-)

"One HP32S (I tried the harder I could to trade
it, but the owner did not want to :"

What kind of teacher are you ? If he were my student, no way he could've get out of the classroom with that 32S still under its ownership, I would have made him an offer he couldn't refuse. There are many, many resources available to a determined teacher, don't forget who's boss in the class ...

"the HP48G's owner gave up using it and bought a CASIO..."

Now, why would he do such thing, I wonder ? Imagine, giving up a 48 for a CASIO ... unthinkable ... when there are so many excellent SHARP handhelds out there ... or TI's ... or even Kinpo's, come to think of it ... ;-)

"Too bad they do not find RPN calculators easily..."

Yes. If they did, we could perhaps coerce them into revealing their source ...

"When I was teaching programming basics, I used to say: "If your program gives the correct results for a given set of parameters, it is already the best program. If
you want to reduce its size and enhance it's performance, it's a matter of goals and needs."

Could it be that the developers of Windows were among your past pupils, perchance ? That would explain why most every Windows program (Windows itself included) seems to take mega-amounts of RAM and disk space and yet be pretty slow, where in the past all serious programmers would do their best to optimize their programs to the max, RPN programmers included. If Bill Gates thinks like you do, that would explain it all: Why waste any extra money or effort, when you've already got the "best program", as per your criterium ?

"Sorry; I'm getting out of focus."

No need to worry ! There are a number of photoretouching
packages such as Adobe Photoshop that can restore focus to most anything, yourself probably included ! As it seems that losing the focus is second-nature to you, I'm sending you a fully registered copy one of these days ! :-)

"If it's worth accepting me as handy, count on me. Actually, I support."

Uh ? I didn't get this one. Could you repeat it slowly, please ? :-)

Best regards, Luiz. One can always count with you to enlighten any thread, no matter how obscure or boring (not that this was so) !.


Edited: 22 July 2003, 8:09 a.m.


#7

Hi Valentin, guys;

You, Valentin, do not let things cheap, ahn? ;^) Thanks for your always welcome words.

Quote:
(...) Or are you 'chickening' already out at the 71B ? ;-)

Not at all! The fact is that most of the times, I intend to reduce program "size", and BASIC needs text to be typed in... I'm lazy! Yes, there are shortcuts in the HP71 keyboard and you can also customize it. And I'm aware of the fact that, in many circumstances, reading a BASIC program listing allows faster understand of its primary purposes. Neither RPN nor RPL allow this so easily, and in some cases, this is almost impossible. Also, there's a need to enhance original programs to some sort of multiline and graphics output. It helps analyzing results when you have three, four or even five related answers at the same time in the same "screen". As I do not have the TV/monitor IL adapter, only the original HP71B one-line LCD, I'll have to generate the RPL versions firstly. Yes, the HP71B's LCD accommodates many well-organized results in one single "prompt" if the programmer uses strings correctly. But wait for me: I'm collecting a bunch of questions about the HP71, some of them related to LEX and BIN programming... Be sure I'm getting used to it; I'm doing my homework... Amazing machine!

Quote:
If he were my student, no way he could've get out of the classroom with that 32S still under its ownership, I would have made him an offer he couldn't refuse. There are many, many resources available to a determined teacher, don't forget who's boss in the class ...

For the records: it was a she (pretty little one, you bet) and the HP32S was a gift her father received from a later deceased brother (her uncle). What to do? :(

Quote:
Imagine, giving up a 48 for a CASIO ... unthinkable ... when there are so many excellent SHARP handhelds out there ... or TI's ... or even Kinpo's, come to think of it ... ;-)

If it is an HP15C, you'd be asking for his address so you could send him a bomb... and I'd give it to you, of course :^) But there is another story. One of the students at the university was trying to sale an HP15C so he could buy an HP12C. As others were looking for an HP12C as well, I was contacted by him and we made a deal: I completed the money he needed to buy the HP12C (Chinese model). He was so happy (me too, of course!)... My first HP15C came with the original box and I thrown it away after getting worn out, about twelve years ago. This one came with the original, somehow worn, box. I'm keeping it "alive and well", believe me. 8^)

Quote:
Could it be that the developers of Windows were among your past pupils, perchance ?

Remember: programs must work first... No chance! ;^)

Quote:
One can always count with you to enlighten any thread, no matter how obscure or boring

Very kind of you, thanks, I'm flattered. Mostly when comes from guys like you, so much dedicated to the best of everything. And we're lucky having this forum crowded of people like this (I actually mean it, no pun intended). The only "problem" is that I like communicating... alot!

Best regards V, folks.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 22 July 2003, 3:29 p.m.

#8

The subject says it all: it's rare that Valentin's correct.

Specially when he's in a good-humoured vein ... :-)

Sorry for the nonsense, and best regards from V.

#9

Hi, Trent:

If 'posts' does include programs and articles, I've got some unpublished ones, namely:

HP-25/25C & equiv:  50+
HP-67 & HP-97: 50+
HP-34C: 40+
HP-11C & HP-15C: 20+
HP-16C: 2+
HP-41C/CV/CX: 40+
HP42S: 2+
HP-71B: 20+
SHARP machines: 100+

as well as a large number of hints, tips, 'challenges', 'quizs', and similar. I intend to publish them all, if at all possible, in Datafile and in a future web site of mine, the only problem being it takes an awful lot of time and work to write, format, and proofread an 8/10 pages article (several days), so it will be a sloooooow process. Also, Datafile has limited space so I can't submit more than one article or so for publication every other month, for a maximum of some six a year, if at all. So, it'll take a number of years till all my programs and articles get published that way :-)

Being fully aware of this bottleneck, I considered the possibility of publishing them here, in the Museum of HP. To that effect, I would be willing to submit them to
the Articles Forum, but the catch is they are in PDF format. Some months ago, I exchanged a number of e-mails with this Forum's David Hicks, re the possibility of creating a new section specifically intended to upload PDF documents, but David argued that that would make it quite
difficult if not impossible to access them from PDAs, and that was it.

Frankly, I don't quite see why access from PDAs would be so important that it's preferable that 0% users have access to said materials (i.e., not publishing the materials at all) instead of 90% (say) users being able to download them. It's clear that even PDA users can eventually connect from a PC and download them as well, it's something that would affect them only on the fly, while far from a PC, and nevertheless there are many other already present contents equally difficult to access. So it would seem logical to publish said PDF materials as such, so that people accessing the site using a non-PDA device (say a PC) would be able to download them, but anyway I'm sure David knows best.

Nevertheless, it's a real pity, as I feel that PDF is the right format for the articles, because it allows full reproducibility, including fonts, tables, graphics, everything like it originally appeared in print, the user would in fact get a real facsimile of the original. Much of this would be lost if uploaded as HTML or plain vanilla text, and I'm not for it.

Should David reconsider the possibility of actually creating this new section, I would certainly obligue by submitting a number of my articles, both past and future, in PDF format.
Otherwise, I'll probably create a site of my own to make them available, eventually.

Best regards from V.


#10

Is there any chance you could store your articles in the Museum's FTP site and then write brief Articles Forum abstracts (with suitable disclaimers regarding the .pdf documents) to introduce and link to your .pdf articles?


#11

Ellis posted:

"Is there any chance you could store your articles in the Museum's FTP site and then write brief Articles Forum abstracts (with suitable disclaimers regarding the .pdf
documents) to introduce and link to your .pdf articles?"

Thanks for your interest, but the point is, since I have so much material and so little time, not duplicating efforts is essential. All materials are in PDF format, which I find best for facsimile documents, and that's the way they stay. A brief article for the Articles Forum can never be brief, because that's not my style, and would mean duplicating something that's already done and existing as a PDF, a very considerable effort if there are a large number of articles involved.

That said, don't worry. If Mr. Hicks is not amenable to the idea of creating a section specifically for PDF documents (and it seems he is not, as he hasn't commented at all on my suggestion, either personally or publicly in this forum), I'll simply put them in a web site of mine, as stated, to be set up in a near future. Space would be the only problem, but PDF articles tend to be rather small (40-50 Kb), so plenty of them can fit in a modest amount of Mb.

By the way, I'm beginning my summer holidays within 24 hours, so please forgive me if I don't reply to any further postings till next August 20th, or so.

Best regards from V.


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