Which calculator? Hp 50G vs Ti89 Titanium

In summary, the Ti89 is easier to use, has more available programs, and is easier to learn than the Hp50G.
  • #1
sharp
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Hey guys, I'm an actuary student and this semester my important math courses are Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra I besides financial math II. I also have calculus 3-4, Linear algebra II, Prob. I-II, and statistics I-II in my future.

Anyway I'm getting a calculator and I can't decide between the Hp50G and the Ti89. I like the infrared and sd flash ports on the hp but I've seen many claim that the 89 is easier to use. Another thing I've noticed is there are more programs available for the 89.

I'm sure most of you know exactly what to look for in a calc. Pleas help me out here, thanks.
 
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  • #2
u can't go wrong with the 89
 
  • #3
I have done quite a bit of research and it seems that the ti-89T had a huge crowd of people who claim it's god's gift to engineer's and upper math students. I think that your research will bring you to the same conclusion, I just ordered mine off ebay :) I can't wait!

By the way, if you get the 89, check out www.ticalc.org if you haven't already. It's a great site for apps. Make sure you get the USB cord with your purchase so that you can easily download apps onto your calc :)
 
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  • #4
Do yourself a favor.. Go with the HP (If they still use RPN).

In the long run RPN is much better. It is not at all hard to learn and very efficient for complex calculations.
 
  • #5
You might want to ask some actuaries if they prefer one or the other, they'd know better what specific functions are more usefull to your studies and professionals.

To second Integral, the RPN won't take long to learn and you will find it much nicer than the usual way of entering things into a calculator (I did anyways). They still are RPN by the way:

http://www.hp.com/calculators/graphing/50g/specs.html
 
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  • #6
I'm glad to see that HP still uses RPN. Most people where I teach use TI's because the math department has standardized on them for their classes, so I use one at the office. But at home I still use my trusty HP 11C almost every day. It's between 15 and 20 years old but all the buttons still have that nice, sort of muted-click feel when you press them, and the display doesn't show any sign of fading or blurring.
 
  • #7
RPN? come on, is there really such an advantage from saving a few keystrokes at the expense of having to mentally convert back and forth between the usual notation and RPN? One of the things I like most about the TI-89 is its infix pretty print feature.
 
  • #8
Borrow an RPN calculator and use it for a few weeks. A normal one feels cumbersome afterwards. Some hp's also have an algebraic mode apparently:

http://www.hp.com/calculators/news/rpn
 
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  • #9
I've had a course in Scheme and I disliked the prefix notation Scheme uses. I like Haskell far better partly because it has infix notation. Postfix should be pretty similar to prefix. Anyway what's the use of reducing keystrokes when very little of the time a proficient calculator user spends is on entering things?
 
  • #10
0rthodontist said:
Anyway what's the use of reducing keystrokes when very little of the time a proficient calculator user spends is on entering things?

I must use a calculator differently than you do (or I'm not what you consider proficient). What do you do with a calculator if not entering things for it to, well, calculate?

I didn't give the rpn any thought when I got my hp48 (it was a gift, I couldn't have in any case). After the short time it took to get used to it, I found standard calculators were painfully slow to use. I preferred it. I can't think of a good reason to not have an rpn calculator, it doesn't take long to learn and I found it easier and quicker. Maybe you won't.
 
  • #11
Well, I mean that a lot more of the time is spent on deciding what to enter than on actually entering it. The only thing I could imagine where you might prefer RPN is if you have a big list of data that you want to add up. But a graphing calculator the best way to do that is to enter it into a table, then use an add function. That way you not only save the keystrokes of pressing + (really only a possible concern if you have 20+ items), all your values are saved in a table so that you can check them for accuracy.

Anyway what's the difference between hitting + and hitting enter? Actually I can't think of any example because there is no difference in keystrokes between RPN and infix in that case even if you did want to add them all up on 1 line. RPN only has a keystroke advantage when there is a complex parenthesized expression, which you will just about always have to think about a lot more than it takes you to enter it. Converting a complex parenthesized expression from the standard infix notation to RPN would probably take more effort than the extra keystrokes saved, which could only be a couple seconds of keystrokes.

Do you have an example where RPN is more convenient than infix would be?
 
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  • #12
0rthodontist said:
Converting a complex parenthesized expression from the standard infix notation to RPN would probably take more effort than the extra keystrokes saved, which could only be a couple seconds of keystrokes.

I think you are greatly overestimating the time it takes to convert something to rpn, there really isn't any as you are entering. It's much more natural in how I would think about doing the operations by hand than infix and having to muck about with parentheses (<-that makes it much more convenient).
 
  • #13
0rthodontist said:
Well, I mean that a lot more of the time is spent on deciding what to enter than on actually entering it.

@ 0rthodontist:

I have been using RPN for a week now (I love my new HP 33s). I never have to think about what to enter first. If you are to solve a problem on paper you work from the inside out (about paranthases). Its a natural thing to do, so when you use RPN you just have to work from the inside out. If you have to think about what you need to enter you obviously must not have taken much time to actually use RPN than to learn what it does.
0rthodontist said:
Anyway what's the difference between hitting + and hitting enter? Actually I can't think of any example because there is no difference in keystrokes between RPN and infix in that case even if you did want to add them all up on 1 line.

If you have to add numbers in one line, why are you using a calculator?

What I find neat about RPN is that when you're working through an equation you find multiple answers as you go along. Contrary to the single answer to it all you will find in an infix calculator. This way its very easy to check your work.

0rthodontist said:
Do you have an example where RPN is more convenient than infix would be?

Just the other day my little brother was doing his algebra homework and he entered into his TI84+ SE: -2^4. What do you think his answer was?

He got -16, but everyone knows that it should be 16, that's because all calculators are infix.

the calculator saw -(2^4) but really he should have put (-2)^4 =, if we were to punch that into a RPN calculator all we need to do is {2, CHS, Enter, 4, X^Y}. Only a two button difference, but it's how your brain does math, hmm how simple.

Just a small story that I thought I might share to everyone about my troubles with TI.

BTW: I am only a high school student enrolled in a Honors Algebra II class. I was googling 'infix vs. rpn' and I got this. This site seems really neat I think I'll use it again.
 
  • #14
What's wrong with a pen and paper?

Kids these days... :rolleyes:

<wanders off grumbling to oneself>

:biggrin: :-p :wink:
 
  • #15
nsbomb said:
Just the other day my little brother was doing his algebra homework and he entered into his TI84+ SE: -2^4. What do you think his answer was?

-16

He got -16

which is correct
but everyone knows that it should be 16

which is incorrect.

Have you not yet been taught the conventional order of operations?
 
  • #16
J77 said:
What's wrong with a pen and paper?

That's by far my preference too! My hp was used pretty heavily in first year undergrad courses, it was pretty unavoidable for the types of questions they liked to ask and the form of the answers they liked to get. Beyond that, it was used in statistics class in second year, and as a clock the rest of my courses :-p. It did resurface when I had to TA a financial math class (icky), but I did make a point of bringing in tables of exponential and other relevant values. I'm not even sure where it is now, but I know it doesn't have batteries, they got moved to a flashlight.
 
  • #17
I, too, am a fan of RPN, having owned several HPs over the years, and having worked in an industrial chem lab that standardized on the programmable models. Still got my trusty old HP29C, though my current interests don't require it too often. I remember not being able to financially justify trading up to an HP 15C, since my 29C did everything I needed, but I really liked the 15C. It's financial cousin, the HP 12C is still quite commonly seen in banks, real estate offices, investment counselors' offices, etc.
 
  • #18
George Jones Have you not yet been taught the conventional order of operations?[/QUOTE said:
Arghhh what I meant was his teacher wanted him to:

"take -2 to the fourth power"
more of a wordish problem.

Thanks for finding my error.
 
  • #19
HP's problems and trying RPN

Hello all,

i came across this forum searching some informations about the HP 50G calculator and was amused that this thread is getting more and more a fight pro and against RPN. I myself prefer to work using RPN and my problem is that I'm getting more and more difficulties using calculators not supporting RPN. This might be a reason for you not to start with RPN, but who wants to dismiss a Ferrari because afterwards he intends to change back to rollerblades?

Now some of my experiences: I used a HP48G about ten years until it was getting damaged. This was one of my best calculators ever. So i buyed a HP49G and was disappointed with its poor quality: The keyboard didn't register the hits reliably and so i had to resend three calculators to be substituted. With my fourth HP49G (8 months old) the coating of the plate below the keyboard is beginning to flake, taking the labeling with it. My complaint at HP resulted in the promise to send me a HP50G for free. The staff at HP told me that the above (somehow common?) problems of the HP49G were solved with the HP50G and i really hope so. I'd be happy to hear experiences with the new HP50G.

Nevertheless i never thought to change back from RPN and thus leave HP. So buying a HP you risk to get conditioned on RPN/HP, maybe another obstacle to change to RPN. But if you only want to give RPN a try without costs, you are invited to play with my RPNcalculator available for free (under the GPL) at my website http://www.h-bauer.de/index.html?rpncalc,eng. I programmed this utility because sometimes i could not discover my HP below my heavily loaded desk and thus needed to use the keyboard of my pc.

I hope this reply is suitable to clarify some prejudices concerning RPN. Make yourself an impression, then decide which calculator is best suited for you.

Best wishes
Hans
 
  • #20
Which calculator? Hp 50G vs Ti89 Titanium

Hi there! As I have seen, you all started a war between RPN and Algeabric. But the importance isn't there. The importance is in how everybody wants to fullfil his needs. Why I say this? I am an engineer, so I need quick results (approximate or axect), usage of units, to calculate special functions like Bessel, find a transfer function, to plot a Bode or a Nyquist plot and calculate complex integrals using Poisson's formula. So, from my point of view, I need a powerful CAS utility which TI89-Titanium has. The programs supported for TI are plenty and everyone can find them.

In conlcusion, I believe TI89-Titanium is the perfect choice; unless you don't have to take part in exams, so the best solution is Voyage 200.

Have a nice day all of you!
 
  • #21
Read This!

If you want to try the calculators out before you buy...get the emulators


i know you can download the hp49 emulator from their website somewhere..

as for the ti89...get this program http://lpg.ticalc.org/prj_tiemu/

it doesn't need a rom image,instead it uses the operating system files provided free by ti for updating the calculator. Go here to pick whatever calc os you want: http://education.ti.com/educationportal/sites/US/nonProductMulti/apps_latest.html

also i been using a ti89 for years and it's really good...if you get it...be sure to install this program on their: http://technicalc.org/packages/eqw/eqw.htm it adds an invaluable equation writer...something the hp calc have, that the ti89 doesn't come with...

having said that...their really isn't any differance, besides memory and size and screensize, between ti89 and the tivoyager... also i hear the memory allotment is same between voyager and ti89 titanium... so it's up to you :P
 
  • #22
I use Ti-86. The screen and functions are simpler than Ti-89 and it does pretty much everything you can do with Ti-89. Not to forget it's cheaper. I have never encountered a problem that requires extreme processing power during my engineering exams. For those cases, try Matlab or Mathematica.
 
  • #23
Integral said:
Do yourself a favor.. Go with the HP (If they still use RPN).

In the long run RPN is much better. It is not at all hard to learn and very efficient for complex calculations.


You can easily do RPN on the ti-89 with a download from TI. Get yourself the TI, you'll be very happy.
 
  • #25
One question

Hello FrogPad,

thank you a lot for your link to the rpn-software for TI89. Now I tend to give the TI a try. But as i was reading on other sites, there are several changes between the TI89 and the TI89-Titanium and some software need a redesign to run on Titanium.

Does anyone know if the rpn-software (last update 2000) is compatible with the TI89-Titanium?

Thanks a lot
 
  • #26
Hans Bauer said:
Hello FrogPad,

thank you a lot for your link to the rpn-software for TI89. Now I tend to give the TI a try. But as i was reading on other sites, there are several changes between the TI89 and the TI89-Titanium and some software need a redesign to run on Titanium.

Does anyone know if the rpn-software (last update 2000) is compatible with the TI89-Titanium?

Thanks a lot

Everything I've used from http://www.paxm.org as been compatible with my 89-Titanium. You should be fine. If you are really worried about it,
send http://www.paxm.org an email asking them, or you could ask on http://www.ticalc.org.

Just so you know I haven't used the software. If you have a few days to spare, I'll try it on my calculator soon. Probably not today or tomorrow... definitely by Monday though.
 
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  • #27
Which calculator? Hp 50G vs Ti89 Titanium

Something sounds strange here. I would understad the list like this:

Grigoris said:
I am an engineer, so I need quick results (approximate or axect), usage of units, to calculate special functions like Bessel, find a transfer function, to plot a Bode or a Nyquist plot and calculate complex integrals using Poisson's formula.
if after that some specialized software was listed. What really concerns me is that for the uninitiated it did sound like there was some specialized software involved:

Grigoris said:
So, from my point of view, I need a powerful CAS utility which TI89-Titanium has.
But searchin for that "CAS utility" (just curious to see where to download it :-) showd that it is essentially just the formula editor - which HP had for quite a number of years too :smile: and frankly speaking that "powerful" qualifier sounds way too much like an advertizing. So, yeah, people using HP don't know TI-slang abbreviations, but that's no reason to use it in a misleading way.

So, what's the actual deal here? If TI-89 is built in a way that for many things one needs extra software (some of that in assembler?) then one has to start asking integration questions at the very least.

For example, if one has to download (and install) separate software in order to get RPN-something, does it interact with everything else. For example in HP-s RPN one can type in algebraic formula (not your granma's HP :-), let it sit on the stack, push a few more, actually calculate with formulas as items on the stack, same for values with measurement units or strings. That is where the ultimate ease of use comes for RPN-loving folks - the allowance to not care about naming everything, storing everything, but just leaving it to sit on the stack and using it.

So basically the same modus operandi that makes evaluation of simple numerical formulas so fast and simple for the RPN lover gets extended to the world where you have symbolic formulas and whatever else one can put on the stack (yes the object stack - kind of :-).

Now if this was programmer's forum one might argue the benefit of actually having Motorola 68000, and assembler etc. as an education tool. Even then the question would be does one really have the time and reason to spend coding assembler for the good old 68K if he could be doing multiproc stuff on DualCore-something with the same investemnt of time and effort.

The key thing here however is that these days one doesn't really need/want to fiddle with and maintain "software" for a calculator just to do a simple thing like pushing a few numbers on a stack :rolleyes:

I might even be tempted by the 68K inside TI-89 just for the sake of it. However my bigggest complaintys against TI-89 and alikes is BULK. I know the great state of Texas is big and it comes natural to build things BIG o:) , but my wrists have a finite capacity :frown: and these days there is no rational excuse for a graphing calculator to be nearly as big. Emulators for PDA-s anyone? :-p

So, besides the RPN which goes way beyond just punching in a few numbers, and not having to chase software for obvious and simple things, my principal trust with HP is that they don't have the tradition of BULK, that their calculator is always going to be thinner, lighter, more modern if you like.
 
  • #28
I have used both TI and HP. I was a diehard TI fan for many years. When I was using my TI calculators I hated the thought of using HP RPN mode. We used many programs at work written for hp and I went as far as to convert them to TI because I thought TI was better. It was extremely difficult to convert a working HP program to TI.

After I converted several programs from HP to TI, I tried the reverse and converted several TI programs to HP RPN. I was amazed in how easy this process was. I have never used any of my TI calculators since.

After using both types extensively, I have to admit that RPN will spoil you once you start using it. It is using a calculator in the natural way we think. I have never found a person who uses RPN that has ever switched back to non-RPN. I have found many non-RPN users who now use RPN.

Once you go RPN there is no going back. I like to do things the easy way. Once you seriously use RPN, you will understand its simplicity. I guess I’m a little lazy at heart. Once I do something in an easier simpler way, I refuse to go back and do it the hard way. I guess that is why I have never seen anyone who has taken the time to learn RPN ever go back to their old ways.

The choice is yours. You can be stubborn and refuse to do it an easier way and swear by TI. Or you can switch to an easier way using HP RPN. The only problem I see is that once you go RPN, you will never want to go back to the calculator you used before. Do you want to do it the simple or hard way?…only you can make that choice.

And for you TI die hards: How can you make a TI – HP comparison unless you have spent the time doing both? I have not met a HP user that has not used a TI. I have never met a TI user that has not learned RPN that does not have something bad to say about RPN. They are used to doing things the hard way and believe RPN is hard so they never take the time to learn RPN. And they have no problem putting RPN down.

I’m an RPN user. I don’t have anything against people who what to do things in a harder way. But please don’t try to convince someone harder is better then easier. Easier will always be easier and I prefer the easy way.
 
  • #29
New experiences with HP50g,

Hello again,

as i stated in #19 above, i received an HP50g-replacement for my former unusable HP49g calculators and now I'm able to share my experiences with this new model. First of all, the pros:
  1. The keyboard of the HP50g is comparable with the keyboard of the for-former HP48g. The poor keyboard of the intermediate HP49g is of the past.
  2. Working with the HP50g is very comfortable and the design is appealing
  3. The features and implemented routines are great as ever before.

Then the cons:
  1. The calculator is gorging power. When permanently using the calculator you might have to replace the 4 rechargeable batteries every 14 days.
  2. The battery case is poor. It's hard to say how long the springs will work until they break. The cover of the battery case is jigling and not very trustable.
  3. To save power the calculator turns off every 5 minutes of beeing unused. This is extremely annoying for people like me blind-typing formulas and then recognizing that the calculator was off. I contacted the german hp consumer center and reported this nasty behaviour. They could not serve a workaround, e.g. increasing the span until turn off or alternatively darken the screen with standby keyboard. They contacted hp-usa to incite a solution.
  4. The default for the keyboard is a KEYTIME of 1/6 second. That means that if you press a single key twice within 1/6 second, only one keystroke will be recognized. If you e.g. type 2334 very fast you will get 234. For fast typers this preset is unusable. I asked my german hp consumer center for a solution to change this behaviour permanently. They contacted hp-usa to incite a solution 1 month ago, I'm still waiting for a responce.
But nevertheless the HP50g is a great step, leaving the HP49g behind. But the usability of my older (tearly damaged) HP48g is not reached at all.

Hope this helps to make your decision.

Best wishes
Hans Bauer
 
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  • #30
The HP50g also has the equation and constant library that th HP48 calculators. The HP49g does not have these.

The HP50g also has a new flash update. A professor at one of the colleges found a problem with the HP50g that HP had to correct to make it work for the class he taught.
 
  • #31
Question to jaschhandler

Hi jaschandler,

thanks for your hint for the new flash update 2.09 for HP49g and HP50g. But at
http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv016.cgi?read=99782

I found
After updating the ROM to v2.09 in my HP-49G+ , I found that the Equation Library didn't work as usual!
Are you really sure to recommend this update? Does it solve my above described issues? I nowhere found a description of the content of this update. Thanks in advance for your answer.

Hans Bauer
 
  • #32
Hans Bauer said:
Hello again,


[*]The default for the keyboard is a KEYTIME of 1/6 second. That means that if you press a single key twice within 1/6 second, only one keystroke will be recognized. If you e.g. type 2334 very fast you will get 234. For fast typers this preset is unusable. I asked my german hp consumer center for a solution to change this behaviour permanently. They contacted hp-usa to incite a solution 1 month ago, I'm still waiting for a responce.

I had that keytime problem and it is fixable. Keytime defaults to some number around 1300. You need to decrease it. 400 is good. In RPN mode enter 400, then enter ->KEYTIME. In algebraic mode enter ->KEYTIME(400).

You can set that keytime value as a startup default by creating a program as follows, between the quotes - "<< 400 ->KEYTIME >>". Store it in the home directory as a file named STARTUP. Reboot cause STARTUP to be executed (also good for setting you own default system flags).

HP support should have answered this quickly.
 
  • #33
Ok I put RPN on my 89 and am trying to figure out what makes it so great.

Something I often do with my 89 is evaluate an expression for different values. Let me give an example:

Lets say you have (a+b)/b

Now I want to evaluate this at {a=1, b=2; a=2, b=1} for example:

with an 89 I can do,
(a+b)/b|a=1 and b=2

I can press enter and see a result,
now if I want to quickly change a number I go back to the result screen and press enter,
this comes up: (a+b)/b|a=1 and b=2

I then just change what I want by using the arrow keys,
(a+b)/b|a=2 and b=1

is there a quick way for evaluating expressions using RPN ?
 
  • #34
As with your TI such a trick is not part of the basic functionality. You run a special program on the TI, likewise you would run a program on a RPN calculator. This is especially true for calculations more complex then your example.

Rather then looking for duplication of higher level functionality you would do well just to work with the basic RPN to see how well it works with first simple then more complex calculations.
 
  • #35
Integral said:
As with your TI such a trick is not part of the basic functionality. You run a special program on the TI, likewise you would run a program on a RPN calculator. This is especially true for calculations more complex then your example.
So there is a special program for doing something similar on an HP calculator?

Integral said:
Rather then looking for duplication of higher level functionality you would do well just to work with the basic RPN to see how well it works with first simple then more complex calculations.
Yeah, the example I quoted was extremely simple... I would just do that in my head.

I'll keep playing around with RPN when I have the time. I think mixing between both input methods may be the best of both worlds for me.
 

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