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- Thread starter AznBoi
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I became an RPN convert back in my second year university (almost 15 years ago) when I bought an HP 28S (still use it today). RPN has become second nature enough so that I have to think a little when I go back to using a regular calculator (which isn't too often). I wouldn't worry too much about getting them mixed up.

To get around the no graphing calculator rule, one thing you can do is go out and get yourself a cheap little HP 12C, 33s or other similar single line calculator. Then you can stick with RPN all the way.

To get around the no graphing calculator rule, one thing you can do is go out and get yourself a cheap little HP 12C, 33s or other similar single line calculator. Then you can stick with RPN all the way.

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- #3

turbo

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I still use my HP-15C, cannot use an algebraic calculator, it seems counterintuitive to me now.

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Yeah, this is the thing I'm most concerned about. Since I'm only a Sophomore in high school. I don't know if I will encounter many complex equations. Mabye I will next year, when I'm taking calculus, but otherwise I don't see how RPN can benefit me now. Will I use RPN and calculators a lot when I'm taking calculus? Will I use the graphing section of the calc a lot??I still use my HP-15C, cannot use an algebraic calculator, it seems counterintuitive to me now.

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Yeah, this is the thing I'm most concerned about. Since I'm only a Sophomore in high school. I don't know if I will encounter many complex equations. Mabye I will next year, when I'm taking calculus, but otherwise I don't see how RPN can benefit me now. Will I use RPN and calculators a lot when I'm taking calculus? Will I use the graphing section of the calc a lot??

I couldn't tell you, graphing calculators were very expensive when I was in college taking calculus if they actually existed at all. I will say that I didn't use a calculator in any of my math courses during my years getting my BS. The most I ever used my calculator was in lab courses where we had to analyze data in class before we left for the day (we couldn't take our data out of the lab for any reason and we didn't have computers).

- #7

ranger

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Yeah, this is the thing I'm most concerned about. Since I'm only a Sophomore in high school. I don't know if I will encounter many complex equations. Mabye I will next year, when I'm taking calculus, but otherwise I don't see how RPN can benefit me now. Will I use RPN and calculators a lot when I'm taking calculus? Will I use the graphing section of the calc a lot??

I only read about RPN. I dont want to use it and never will. It just seems counter intuitive to me. For my calculus courses, one of the requirements was to have at least a TI-83+. I rather enter the equations as I see them, rather than do the translation to RPN notation is my head. It seems that I will be prone to always be making errors in the translation. How often do you see "5 1 +" rather than "5 + 1" or "3 − 4 + 5" written as "3 4 − 5 +"? I doubt you will use RPN notation in your calculus courses as the majority uses infix notation.

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- #9

Integral

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Take a few minutes and learn to use RPN, you will never look back.

My trouble is that the first calculator I ever used was a HP (HP35 back in '73) I have never learned to use anything else and struggle any time I have to use a non RPN.

- #10

berkeman

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When I try to use a standard calculator, I'm always having to plan ahead and store temporary results in memory registers (and remember where they are), or try to enter parenthesis and get the number of them correct. I think it only took me a couple hours way back in my freshman year of college to learn the basics of RPN (I still remember my hands shaking when I pulled that old HP25 or whatever it was out of the box...great stuff), and I've always been frustrated with non-RPN calculators since.

I'd say give RPN a try, and make your own evaluation in your classwork.

I use a Windows emulation of an RPN calculator called RPNcalc.exe. You can google it to find a download site that you trust. It's a bit dumpy the way the functions are overloaded on the keys, but still easier for me to use than the standard Windows calculator.

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Hello berkeman,

there are several RPNcalc's on the run. Which one do you mean?

I myself offer a freeware 'RPNcalc' based on Javascript to be used within a popup window of any browser. If you meant mine (at www.h-bauer.de)[/URL], could you please specify what you meant with the "dumpy way the functions are overloaded on the keys"? Maybe i can do some optimization.

Thanks, Hans Bauer

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Well that actually depends, if you go into numerical methods a calculator can really come in handy.The further you go in math the LESS you will use a calculator

Heck even in my differential geometry course, having the ti-89 next to me is nice as it's symbolic algebra system can save me a lot of tedious steps where I am prone to make mistakes (the more math I learn, the more I question if my algebra was right, because if I make one silly mistake it will come back and bite me).

As for RPN vs. Algebraic calculators, I personally think that the algebraic system just makes more sense. You type it in just as you would write out the problem on a sheet of paper and manipulate from there. RPN, at least to me, through my limited usage, is overly counter-intuative.

If you have the time, I guess you could learn to use both...but I see no harm in just picking the one that you are most confortable with and using it. (Though for the SAT's and your math tests where you aren't alloud to use a graphing calculator...it might be a better idea to swap between graphing and non-graphing regularly while you do homework so as to not become so use to one calculator that you don't get confused when you have to switch).

- #13

Integral

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Yes, I have studied numerical analysis, at the post graduate level. I did use my HP28c to do some simple iterative schemes, It make it possible to do some work in the park on a sunny day.

Since you do not use RPN you do not like it....Seems that everyone who has got stuck with a TI says the same thing. :rofl:

- #14

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I didn't see if it was specifically mentioned yet or not, but the biggest advantage of RPN and the stack-based paradigm is that you don't have to worry about nested parenthesis and multiple numerator and denominator and operator groups of numbers. You just solve whatever from the inside-out, and use the stack to intuitively process the longer equations.

When I try to use a standard calculator, I'm always having to plan ahead and store temporary results in memory registers (and remember where they are), or try to enter parenthesis and get the number of them correct. I think it only took me a couple hours way back in my freshman year of college to learn the basics of RPN (I still remember my hands shaking when I pulled that old HP25 or whatever it was out of the box...great stuff), and I've always been frustrated with non-RPN calculators since.

yes, the Stack. I love the stack. There have been countless times I've gotten the wrong answer out of an algebraic calculator because I messed up parentheses (number, order, etc). Once you figure out the stack and how to manipulate it, RPN becomes your best friend.

- #15

berkeman

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Hello berkeman,

there are several RPNcalc's on the run. Which one do you mean?

I myself offer a freeware 'RPNcalc' based on Javascript to be used within a popup window of any browser. If you meant mine (at www.h-bauer.de)[/URL], could you please specify what you meant with the "dumpy way the functions are overloaded on the keys"? Maybe i can do some optimization.

Thanks, Hans Bauer[/QUOTE]

Hi Hans, No, it wasn't your calculator software. It's a different one, and the function overloading on the keys wasn't done very well, IMO. After all, why not show all the keys anyway, since it's on a CRT and not limited by a small keyboard.

I followed your link, and your calculator version looks pretty good. I'll try downloading and using it when I have time. Thanks.

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The intention for my RPNcalculator was to perform 'simple' calculations using the rpn-method, not to implement all the numerous features of my hp50g. Thus i implemented only the keys needed for calculatons.

I have to do a lots of calculations due to my job (civil engineering) and sometimes i could not find my hp50g on my heavily loaded desk. I needed a replacement for my work, demanding only a small section of my monitor (the rest is occupied by other applications) and allowing me using my easier to find keyboard. So if you test my RPNcalculator, please don't expect a fully qualified rpn-machine, just try it for simple calculations but with all necessary keys for this.

But above all, thank you a lot for your reply.

Best wishes, Hans Bauer

- #17

turbo

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Thank you very much for your freeware RPN calculator. I love it. Nice simple interface that lets me use the numeric keypad, visible stack, etc. A very good replacement for my old 29C when I don't need programmability and need to do some basic calculations at my desk. I have put a bookmark to the executable file on the tool bar of Firefox, so it will always be one click away. Thanks again!

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