would HP still be making good calculators if they were a japanese company.


I read that in the US computer makers won't make a laptop model unless they think they will sell 100,000 or more units. But Japan often "microbrews" and will make laptops models planning on only sell 10,000 or so. one only has to look on www.dynamism.com or another importer's website to find specialty computers. I wonder if this would be true for calculators


Hello other Bill Platt! (are you the Bill Platt that writes a lot in the computer field?)

Yours is a good point---and it is certainly a good question. Perhaps there IS a japanese maker lurking here already. I will note howvere that among contributors, Japanese names are conspicuous in their rarity here on this forum.





For a look at a high quality Japanese RPN see http://www.msdsite.com/forums/upload.php?&upload=zoom&pid=227

Edited: 14 Apr 2004, 10:13 p.m.


It's said at the linked web site about that RPN from Japan that it is very accurate with Trig functions, better than the HP41. HPs after the 41 though like the 28, 48, 42, 20s etc are more accurate regarding Trig functions than the HP41. A good example is where the HP 48 models, and other saturn based calcs, give the correct result to 12 places for the Sin of 3.141592654 Radians, that being -4.10206761537 E-10. As far as I knoiw the newer HPs are the only cals ever made that gives this correct result.


I'm no expert at the calculators' innards, but I expect the "problem," if you can call it that, stems from the fact that the Saturn uses more digits internally than the 41 does. Saturn's processor registers are 64-bit, not 56 like the 41's. Most engineers have no use for that much precision though. I don't remember ever needing more than about 5 digits.


In fact, even with some of their algorithm flaws, many of the early TIs had significantly more accuracy than the comparable HPs. For years, HP produced brochures criticizing TI for its algorithms, but really didn't produce a calculator with comparable accuracy until the "BASIC' calculator/computers and later series were released with 12 digit computation.

You can still see that old TI level of accuracy in the BAIIPlus. Unfortunately, TI has used inferior algorithms, chips, and/or software in many of their models such as its current crop of non-graphing scientific calculators. Similarly for their original LED TI-30 and related models. The SR-51-II from that vintage has excellent accuracy, but the later TI-5X series were disasters.

Edited: 15 Apr 2004, 2:04 p.m.

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