Custom Programming vs. Pre-packaged programming


I prefer custom programming since it forces me to learn some mathematical concepts. I also like having to work out the problems and then to acheive a desirable result. I also like doing the research.

If memory serves me correctly, I recall this is an idea of HP users since they can program calculators to any way they want.

I usually don't use pre-programmed stuff because (a) I tend not to use it all and (b) I feel I learn more by doing it myself. Any thoughts?


It depends on your hp model. But on the 48-49, some of the functionality can only be accessed by using sysRPL or assembly. In this case if you don't have the knowledge, then you are better of using pre-packaged programs.
Some programs are also too complicated to write in a reasonable time.
For instance, even though I know sysRPL and assembly, I use a prepackaged compiler or compressor (what is more I can then exchange files) because it would be too much work for me to do.

Of course for simpler program I follow the same rule as you, I try to learn a bit more every day.



Hi, Eddie;

I totaly agree with you.

About going further, Arnaud points out an important aspect: going DEEPLY further. Whenever you want, there's even more deeper 'space' to go ahead.


Luiz (Brazil)


Eddie stated,


I usually don't use pre-programmed stuff because (a) I tend not to use it all and (b) I feel I learn more by doing it myself. Any thoughts?

Yeah, I've got some thoughts on the matter...

Doesn't this defeat the purpose of the calculator, which is to provide consistently correct calculations over a wide range of inputs with minimal user effort -- in other words, to be a tool that works for you?

The pre-programmed functions in the legacy HP calculators incorporated algorithms developed by mathmeticians, microprocessor coding by skilled programmers, and validation by professional software testers. Can you match that expertise?

The pre-programmed functions will run faster and produce more accurate results than the typical user program.
Why would one program Taylor series (or other algorithm) for SIN and COS, when the complete set of trig functions and their inverses is readily available?

In the case of the 15C, for example, where the transcedental math functions are defined for both real- and complex-valued arguments, there's not enough storage for user programs that duplicate that functionality.

You can write your own algorithms and compare accuracy to the pre-programmed functions if you like, but the best use of programming is to develop custom applications for your own needs.

-- KS

Edited: 24 Jan 2005, 3:44 a.m.

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