Which calculator? Hp 50G vs Ti89 Titanium

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  • #201
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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.
Hi. I'm a Professional Engineer...not an actuary. However I 'grew up' during the early programmable calculator days. When the HP-41 came out I immediately bought one. On the contrary, my employer supplied a TI SR-52 (I believe it was called). I used both for complex calculations and wrote rather lengthy programs for both.

First, the HP IS easier to do math and/or complex calculations. I have alot of problems using the (what I would term) antiquated method of entry/function/entry = technique of calculating anything.

Second, the HP was far superior in ease of entry for programming, the number of keystrokes (which are executed automatically when running the program) it took to enter the 'same' program for each and last but not least the speed with which the program was run.

I freely admit that the new HPs (I have progressed thru the HP-48sx, the HP-48g, the HP-49+ AND the HP-50g...all of which I own) are NOT as easy to program, etc. as the HP-41 is....at least for me. I have reverted to an HP-41cx (the last and 'best' of the line) which I paid MORE for on ebay than ANY of the newer HPs can be bought for NEW! In fact, they go for more USED than a new TI-89! I think this supports the strengths of the original HP-41 programmable calculator.

My recommendation: give the 41cx a look as well as the two which are the subject of this thread. Unfortunately I personnally can't recommend a direct answer to your question but I hope this might help in your decision.
 
  • #202
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Hi again.

After reading more of the threads, my reference to the 'TI SR-52' was in error. The SR-52 was an earlier (the first non-programmable) RPN calculator made by HP which my first employer (a consulting engineering company) made available...they were pricey...we only had 1 to share. I believe the programmable TI the IDNR bought was the TI-59 but that was along time ago. My prior 'evaluation' and comments are basically unaffected by my mistaken reference to TI. I apologize for the error.
 
  • #203
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I had a Ti89 Titanium. It works well. I bought an HP50G, (I like RPN!) intending to give the TI89 to my niece. I haven't had the HP a week and the ON button has quit working. I can turn the calculator on by removing and inserting the battery, but ... HP doesn't seem to provide support for this calculator.

HP has lost a customer.
 
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  • #204
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I haven't had the HP a week and the ON button has quit working.
That is really frustrating. I am surprised that HP isn't helping at all as they say they have a 1 year warranty.

As much as I like my HP50g (and RPN), I have to admit that these days I just use a computer for anything complicated. Free software like wxMaxima almost renders any programmable calculator obsolete. Even for portability, my netbook is only roughly twice the size of the 50g and has a colour screen, browser, etc...
 
  • #205
I know this is an old message but I have any problem getting -16 on my HP 50g
Set it up in the equation writer. Its much easier and you don't make simple errors.
Chan
 
  • #206
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Today I decided to upgrade my calculator. I have used a Casio fx-115 and thought it to be great. After all I can do the complex calculations either in Mathematica or Matlab so what-the-hell. For some reason I got offered 2 of the discussed calculators here at the same time at almost a quarter of their listed prices. To cut a long story short I ended up buying the HP 50g and to say I bought myself a new toy is an understatement. I downloaded the manual and realised that there was another mode of calculation called the RPM. After doing just one complex example I realised how fats it was. It seems to coincide exactly with the way I look at arithmetic and calculations.
I'm still learning how to make good use of it and I'm loving every second even though I can still use Matlab or Mathematica !!
 
  • #207
CalcNerd
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I have both and I like both. There are many that say that RPN by itself makes the Hp better! However, I feel a bit different. Admittedly, I do prefer RPN, but it is an acquired taste that comes naturally to some (and to those that it does, they seem to become extremely biased). Depending upon the type of math you do, RPN can save you some to a LOT of keystrokes. It should always save you some...

However, the Hp 50G is an inferior calculator to the Ti-89 in algebraic mode. It still has some math functions that aren't ported well from RPN to algebraic mode. Two obvious areas are units conversions (more like the Ti-89 ie awkward) and vector and matrix functions. In RPN mode these features are well implemented (after you configure calculator to behave like the older Hp 48G), not so much in algebraic mode. Hence if you do NOT know RPN or don't feel like its worth learning, you will be better served by a Ti-89.

The Ti-89 has a very good CAS that outputs answers more in line with textbooks. It also has some high end software that is included or can be downloaded that used to be sold retail for big bucks (ironically these used to be commercial software for the Hp 48G series, the preceding calculator to the HP 50G). 9 out of 10 high end graphing calculator users should just buy the Ti-89. It's drawbacks are Trig functions not directly on keyboard, hard to read LCD (because it is high contrast ratio, fonts were made small to use more of the screen). Units conversions poorly implemented in comparison to earlier Ti-86.

Both Hp and Ti now sell newer calculators than either of these. Ti sells a Ti nspire and Hp sells the Hp Prime. Both offer color screens and CAS too. I still prefer my older Hp 50G or Ti-89 to either of these.

The new Hp Prime is very nice to use for most calculating. Color touch screen, nice keyboard, FAST. It is an algebraic calculator with an RPN option. The RPN mode is more comparable to an Hp 32sii with solver than the Hp 50G for features and options.

The Ti nspire is ok. It boots up (10 seconds or so, annoying for a calculator). Keyboard is crowded (there are several flavors, mine is color with CAS, best keyboard at the time of this response). In short, it is a toy.. errr tool for math, not necessarily that good for learning anything else. It feels like a class room dedicated math tool for learning math and seems awkward (for me anyways) to use for general number crunching. If you have a high end math class, this may be an excellent tool.

If I were going back to school and taking math intensive subjects (but not math specific) ie engineering or physics, I might get a decent pocket calculator and use free or low cost software or apps for my high end needs. But all of the above are not big $$$ in comparison to other college expenses. Pick one and learn it well.
 
  • #208
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To my experience you should go with TI-89.
 
  • #209
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u cant go wrong with the 89
You can go wrong with the 89. If he is going to be doing complex calculations, then the TI89, is slow, cumbersome, and inefficient.
 
  • #210
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Wow, this thread is classic...-2^4=16 lmfao... using a CAS calculator and not understanding 101 math is just wrong. Then argue it...? The classic forum fooI. I know this is an old thread but I wanted to add my experience since this can be see by others with the same question or someone looking for a cas calculator.
I have had an 89 for a few years and really don't have any complaints. You can't go wrong with an 89. Writing your own programs is easy and TI even has lessons and activities on writing programs for advanced calculations using the lagrange multipliers, vector calculus and more.
I did however recently purchase the Nspire Cx Cas and it is in my opinion better. The 89 was better than the Nspire for some time, but recently the Nspire surpassed it with more features faster cpu and more memory. The color screen is very nice and in 3d graphing could be a huge help if your taking cal3/multivariable calculus. I took cal 3 with the 89 and when viewing surfaces in 3d it took forever to load and wasn't very easy to see the surface clearly depending on what it was.
I never used a 50g but i do hear good things, I am under the impression that it has an enormous amount of built in functions for math and science, you could create the functions yourself in the 89 or download apps with them, but I think the 50g comes with more as a standard feature. If you're on a budget 50g is cheaper and seems like the best bang for your buck now days. I would pick Nspire over a 50g or 89 but if you decide to go with the 89 I can assure you that you will love it. The 89 is easy to use, it's design and function really makes sense, you can jump around the screen quickly to copy, paste, select... In some ways it is better than the Nspire but overall I think the Nspire has surpassed it now.
 

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