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    Re: Which Method do you prefer using and why.
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Apr 3, 15:21 -0700

    Lu, you wrote:
    "Another thing that is often overlooked is the cost. I purchased a solar-powered scientific calculator ("if you can see the numbers, it's getting enough light to run," no need for batteries) for $10 over a decade ago. A copy of HO 229 for a single band of latitudes costs more than twice that, and you need HO 229 for six latitude bands (okay, lets be practical, few of us will sail north of 60 deg, so maybe only four). So I could hermetically seal a half dozen of these calculators and store them in a protected location for less than the cost of the four copies of HO 229."

    Excellent points. Basic scientific calculators are just darn cheap. And they're really resilient to many types of damage. And they're also easily replaced. Luis Soltero, author of the Starpilot software which runs primarily on a programmable calculator, made the point some years ago that you can replace a calculator literally ANYWHERE on Earth. It's not like it was thirty years ago. Every so-called "third world" country has office supply stores stocked with the same basics as we find in the economic "first world" including standard scientific calculators.

    From my perspective, a good reason to learn tables is entertainment value. That may sound frivolous, but it shouldn't be overlooked. We stay in practice when we enjoy the process. If tables, even as peculiar as "Martelli's miracles", make you happy and help you stay in practice, then that's half the battle! Go for it. I find that many people stay interested by learning new tables that really offer no actual practical benefit but there's a pleasure in the process. It's more than mere stamp-collecting, more than merely adding another H.O. "badge" to the list.


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