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    Re: Calculators revisited (TI-86, HP 48gx)
    From: Geoff Kuenning
    Date: 2000 Dec 09, 4:15 AM

    I heartily agree with Dan in general, but my experience leads me to
    one caveat.
    Back before computers were affordable to the common man, I did a *lot*
    of programming on my trusty new HP-41C (which is now my trusty OLD
    41C).  I have found that, at least for my mind, RPN is the perfect
    notation for ad-hoc calculations, but it is much less handy for
    writing complicated programs.  The problem is that when you are
    writing a long program, it is very difficult to keep track of what is
    on the stack.  When I wrote for the 41C, I would often use a piece of
    scratch paper to keep track of the stack layout.  Nowadays when I
    write Postscript (see, for example, the Postscript plotting sheet
    available from my Web site) I often use comments to keep track of the
    I don't have same problem when writing code in languages like C and
    C++, where the notation is algebraic.
    My conclusion is that (for me) RPN is best for ad-hoc calculations,
    but algebraic notations are more convenient for programming.
    I also suppose I should mentionk, for what it's worth, that
    programming is both my profession and my life (and has been for over
    30 years).  Not intended as a brag, just an indication of my mindset.
        Geoff Kuenning   geoff@cs.hmc.edu   http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/
    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
    discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
                    -- Isaac Asimov

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