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Calculators Which calculator? Hp 50G vs Ti89 Titanium

  1. Sep 23, 2006 #1
    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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2006 #2
    u cant go wrong with the 89
     
  4. Sep 23, 2006 #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 :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2006
  5. Sep 23, 2006 #4

    Integral

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    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.
     
  6. Sep 23, 2006 #5

    shmoe

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    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
     
  7. Sep 23, 2006 #6

    jtbell

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    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.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2006 #7

    0rthodontist

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    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.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2006 #8

    shmoe

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  10. Sep 24, 2006 #9

    0rthodontist

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    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?
     
  11. Sep 25, 2006 #10

    shmoe

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    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 prefered 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.
     
  12. Sep 25, 2006 #11

    0rthodontist

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2006
  13. Sep 25, 2006 #12

    shmoe

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    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).
     
  14. Sep 26, 2006 #13
    @ 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.
    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.

    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, thats 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.
     
  15. Sep 27, 2006 #14

    J77

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    What's wrong with a pen and paper?

    Kids these days... :rolleyes:

    <wanders off grumbling to oneself>

    :biggrin: :tongue: :wink:
     
  16. Sep 27, 2006 #15

    George Jones

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    -16

    which is correct


    which is incorrect.

    Have you not yet been taught the conventional order of operations?
     
  17. Sep 27, 2006 #16

    shmoe

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    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 :tongue2:. 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.
     
  18. Sep 27, 2006 #17

    turbo

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    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.
     
  19. Sep 28, 2006 #18
     
  20. Oct 8, 2006 #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
     
  21. Oct 11, 2006 #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!
     
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