HP48GX



#10

Thank all of you who answered my question concerning me not knowning which way to go on the calc card or RAM card. I am a construction management marjor who is not the best in math but learning more everyday. I bought the 48gx for my surveying classes and has done really well. I have a calculus class starting in two weeks and a physics class in the fall. I don't know how to program this calculator, I am trying to get better at math and at the same time maintain a respectable GPA. That is why I needed one or the other. Again thank all of you. Roger


#11

Roger,

No matter what decision you make, if you are going to be using your 48 for a calc class I STRONGLY recommend Erable and Alg48 as these programs will address just about everything you will encounter in an entry level calc class. Also there is a great newsgroup comp.sys.hp48 that is dedicated to the 48/49. You can post just about any question there and someone will have an answer, in fact many of the people that post there have authored much of the software available on hpcalc.org. You can access the newsgroup either through the news reader in your e-mail client software or by going to google - http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&group=comp.sys.hp48 - This forum is also a great resource for answers. I also recommend picking up a copy of the User's Guide and the Advanced User's Guide for help with built-in functions and programming. These are available from several places, ebay, samsoncables.com, and commerce.hpcalc.org. Good luck!

Virgil Taylor


#12

BUT you will spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to learn how to use all those ALG48 and Erable features, instead of putting your time into concentrating on actually learning calculus!


Avoid the trap of believeing you NEED the calculator to do well in maths. Calculators are good for computation and arithemtic (and programming--that is fun) but math is not computer programming, nor is it arithmetic. Mathematics is most definitely NOT arithmetic---it is really logic and philosophy----physics is arithmetic (well, heavy duty arithmentic)!


While these "CAS" (Computer Algebra Systems) are very intereting and also powerful, unless you have already learned them along the way, they are too complicated to apply suddenly to your college learning needs--when you are not accustomed to them.


Having taken calculus the old fashioned way in the 80's I cannot speak for the current curriculum, but I bet you don't HAVE to have a calculator?? Perhaps ask the professor---"what's with this calculator thing all about?" (Am I just way out of touch here?).

Regards,


Bill


#13

Hmmmm. My university, UNT, doesn't even allow calculators in the calculus classes, which is actually a good idea IMO. Too much dependence on the calc can stunt your understanding of the subject.
That being said, I missed the postman by 15 mins today. He has my new HP48gx, in hand. Now I have to wait til tomorrow morning to pick it up. :(

Joe

#14

Quote:
Having taken calculus the old fashioned way in the 80's I cannot speak for the current curriculum, but I bet you don't HAVE to have a calculator?? Perhaps ask the professor---"what's with this calculator thing all about?" (Am I just way out of touch here?).

Bill,

I remember calculus the same way. I took calculus in the early 80's and only remember using the calculator to run through a few arithmetic problems after doing the mathematics by hand.

My view has always been, one does not learn something unless you have first hand experience. Then you really don't learn something until you teach it to someone else. Using a calculator or computer to solve problems for you doesn't teach you HOW and WHY it works, it just teaches you to push buttons.

#15

Bill is absolutely correct! Concentrate on learning CALCULUS first instead of learning a CAS. All those neat things a graphing calc will do can be done using calculus methods and you will be much better served by establishing a strong background and an intuitive understanding of what is going on, especially in your later classes. The best way to learn it is to do it, over and over and over and over again =)

Come to think of it, I took my intial calculus classes in 1991 and we weren't even allowed a four banger back then - not that there were any calcs with a CAS in those days (I hadn't even imagined a calulator that could do calculus!). There were a few upperclassmen with 48SX's but other than that the only other graphing calcs were the early TIs and Casios which I didn't feel were worth the trouble of learning.

I suppose I was speaking from the perspective of someone who took Calc I 13 years ago and has had to re-learn many of the differentiation and integration techniques that I've forgotten over the years. I used my calculator to check my work (as well as the intermediate results) but I still use my old calculus book far more often. I agree that it would have been almost impossible for me if I hadn't learned the fundamentals well in the beginning. You have to know what you are doing in the first place to make use of the power tool that is an HP calculator. BTW, my favorite is still my old HP 42S and it sees way more action than the 48GX.

Listen to the wise advice here and learn the math first!

Virgil Taylor

#16

Roger,
I am a structural engineer who took calculus in the early-mid 90's. I am an HP user and I swear by them for everything BUT calculus (though the HP48 did better at plotting slope fields than any calculator I had at the time). If you are taking calculus, I recommend the Texas Instruments (sorry HP) TI-89, which is a far far superior calculator for calculus. Most importantly, consult the math department at your school and find out what they recommend. And yes, they will most likely require a graphing calculator, though times have changed in the last 10 years with regard to teaching methodologies in calculus classes. When I took it, graphing calculators were fairly new and my school jumped on the TI wagon, and I agree with those who caution about "needing" a calculator. They can (like computers in engineering analysis) become quite the crutch...follow your school’s recommendations as the courses can be taught around the calculator, and you can be quickly left in the dust if the instructor is guiding the class through a calculator exercise and you have a different calculator than her/him.


#17

I recently completed my second calculus class and i was using my 49g. I agree with bill as far as not needing a graphing calculator there is very little computation needed to solve the problem but there is alot of theory and symbolic manipulation involed. I used my 49g to check my answers especialy graphing the limits and finding the minimums and Maxiums. This was only in the beginning of the first course.

#18

"(though the HP48 did better at plotting slope fields than any calculator I had at the time). 
If you are taking calculus, I recommend the Texas Instruments (sorry HP) TI-89,
which is a far far superior calculator for calculus."

I would recommend the faaast hp 49g+ instead.
It's in par with the TI-89 and is faster, has SD, AND
it is both Algebraic and RPN plus EQW is now very fast.
Also the IO is now fast with USB operating at 115,200.

{VPN} AXL


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