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Dennis Feucht

The Calculator: An Important Engineering Tool

HP 45
Dennis Feucht
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D Feucht
D Feucht
8/28/2016 2:30:15 PM
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Blogger
Re: Virtual Calculators
Scott,

"... tactile buttons are replaced with touch screen buttons.  Is there any other difference?"


Probably not, but to me that is an important difference. When I use a calculator, I usually am not looking much at the screen while I am pressing buttons, and I rely on the tactile feedback to know that the button has been pressed. (I have a calculator that has one number button that occasionally clicks but the number is not always entered - most annoying.) 

I suppose the solution to this is to turn on sound on the iThing for a tactile-feedback substitute. That might be quite sufficient, in which case your point is well made.


I run the HP-15C emulator (made by HP) on my desk computer and it is very much like the real thing except for the need to click buttons with the mouse or type them in from the keyboard. The iPad is better, in putting the display and buttons close together.

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
8/27/2016 3:41:29 PM
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Re: Virtual Calculators
re: fading out.

How are virtual calculators any different from hand held calculators of old?  I think it is simply that tactile buttons are replaced with touch screen buttons.  Is there any other difference?

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D Feucht
D Feucht
8/27/2016 1:38:30 PM
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Re: Virtual Calculators
Scott,


Thanks for your personal example of the migration of calculators to iThings. One might suppose that calculators will soon fade out of existence, but I suspect not for the following reason: optimized user interface. The front-panel of calculators makes it easiest to calculate with them, and this endears me to the stand-alone calculator.

For those who do algebra-driven, and hence calculator-driven, circuit design, the calculator receives a heavy workout and is justified as a dedicated device. Mine certainly continues to be.

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
8/27/2016 2:20:11 AM
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Virtual Calculators
When the first smartphone came out I said that I would buy one as soon as I could get my watch, my phone, and a scientific calculator all in one package.  That happened several years ago and I have never looked back.  Now I have virtual HP calculators on my phone, tablet, and PC.

Just stopped using blue-line quadrille pads this year.  Now I draw all rough schematics by hand on an iPad Pro with the Apple pencil using Concepts.  I move over to the fancy schematic drawing tools once I've scratched out the idea.

Signed:  Previous owner of an HP41C and all those other powerful calculators of the past.

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Douglas.Butler
Douglas.Butler
8/3/2016 4:12:25 PM
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Newbie
Happy HP15C user
I own two HP15C calculators, one for my desk and one for my workshop.  I think I changed the batteries on one of them once a few years ago.  Plus I have a HP15C emulator on both my desktop and laptop computers.  I would be lost without them.

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uberestimate
uberestimate
7/21/2016 3:38:37 AM
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Teacher
Lyft Cost Estimator
A calculator is not an important tool for Engineering but it is also an important tool for all Low-value business and mid value business. 

Regards

lyftestimate.org - Lyft Fare Estimator 

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Andy_I
Andy_I
7/21/2016 1:11:20 AM
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Artist
HP-15C
I still use my HP-15C (an actual one) daily.  I probably used it two or three dozen times today.  It works like a charm, as good as new.  I don't think I have even needed to replace batteries.

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Andy_I
Andy_I
7/21/2016 1:08:42 AM
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Artist
Virtual HP-15C ?
I can't find that virtual HP-15C that was mentioned.  Not at the link provided in the article.

There are other HP-15C emulators to be found on the web, so I'm not really concerned, just pointing out an omission.

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dspread
dspread
7/20/2016 8:01:11 PM
User Rank
Newbie
Re: HP48 - RS232, Clock/Calendar
I have been using my TI-85 daily, at work and home, for approximately 20 years. It has survived numerous drops, is not glamorous, but is supremely useful, which is why it is my constant companion. On my PC I run MathCad 15 for complex or repetitive calculations, but entry on the calculator is much faster.

I hardly ever use the graphing functions, but the 8 line text display is worth its weight in gold.

David Spreadbury

UK

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Koda23
Koda23
7/20/2016 1:25:40 PM
User Rank
Teacher
HP41CV
I used an HP41CV throughout engineering school in the 1980's and still have it. It was able to print text on the display and ran short programs that were built from sequences of calculations.

You could also assign a program to a function key, making it easy to run the program from a single key. I stored and used some routines to do calculations in dB, parallel combination of resistors, impedance calculation, etc.

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Page 1 / 2   >   >>
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