"Programmers" Calculator (was Re: ZX81 denigrated!)

From: Tony Duell <ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun Nov 28 12:21:45 2004

> >>Heh. I've been toying with the idea of buying one of the TI programmable
> >>graphics calculators (probably a TI-84). Anyone got one? Can they be made to
> >>do RPN, hex->bin conversion, bitwise operations, etc.?
> >>Failing that, anyone care to suggest a nice, (fairly) low-cost programmers'
> >>calculator? I know at least one person is going to say "HP 16C", but I
> >>haven't seen any around my neck of the woods for a while, and the ones I've
> >>seen on Ebay seem to go for insane amounts.


> If you want something cheaper still from memory the casio fx-100d has hex,
> octal, binary and some logic functions. There shouldn't be any trouble
> finding one. At least around here they were the standard "high school"
> calculator before the graphic calcs came along.

You might also consider an HP48 (or an HP28 if you can live without any
way to back yp your programs and data -- the 48 has an RS232 port, and
Kermit in ROM...). They're not that expensive second-hand (a lot cheaper
than a 16C anyway), they can handle hex/binary/octal numbers up to 64
bits long, have the normal bitwise logic functions nad shifts/rotates.
They do not have the floating point binary mode of the 16C, though. The
48 is a pretty nice calculator too, I really like the programming
language (RPL). It's stack based, and you can push _anything_ onto the
stack -- real numbers, complex numbers, arrays, lists, strings, even
programs (!), and then operate on them.

There's also the 49G. The keyboard is horrible, but the firmware, now
that they've got the bugs out, is rather nice. Just about all the 48
features + an assembler (!), systemRPL compiler, big integers (think of
working out 100! and getting _all_ the digits!), exact mode (1/2 + 1/3
evaulates to 5/6, square root of 8 evalutes to 2 * sqrt(2), all displayed
symbollically), and so on. Alas the 49G+ is unusable for me since they
replaced the useful RS232 port with that Useless Serial Botch thingy....

Received on Sun Nov 28 2004 - 12:21:45 GMT

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