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Author Topic: Excalibur 32-bit  (Read 10128 times)

lanux128

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Excalibur 32-bit
« on: June 30, 2007, 03:51:32 AM »
recently, i had been hunting for a RPN calculator when i found this brilliant freeware: Excalibur 32-bit.

Features
Powerful RPN entry. 300 Functions (scientific, business, conversion, computer science, physics, complex numbers, geometry, vectors, etc). Full 4 or 8-level stack. International support for different comma and decimal point formats. Programmable, macros, registers, custom button banks, etc.

excal1.png
http://www.geocities...dbergis/freeware.htm

P.S. this calculator program is freeware but the author requests donations to cover bandwidth costs.

f0dder

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 05:35:36 PM »
Why RPN though? Always seemed a 'bit' alien to me :)
- carpe noctem

Ampa

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 06:00:56 PM »
For those who don't know... (and I certainly didn't)

RPN = Reverse Polish Notation - http://en.wikipedia....erse_Polish_notation

lanux128

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 02:34:38 AM »
and to shed more light on this mysterious form of notation, have a look here.. ;)

ws-hist-rpn-1.png
http://www.hp.com/ca...lators/news/rpn.html

Grorgy

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 03:12:29 AM »
now what would be really good would be a calculator that gives roman numerals as the answer, i like the idea of 2 + 2 = IV   ;D

jgpaiva

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 04:30:08 AM »
now what would be really good would be a calculator that gives roman numerals as the answer, i like the idea of 2 + 2 = IV   ;D
Incredible what one can find on the internet... Roman Calculator ;)

f0dder

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 04:30:49 AM »
I still don't think RPN is more logic - you have to break down expressions into fragments with RPN. HP probably just wrote that blurb because it's easier to do RPN than a complex expression evaluator ;)
- carpe noctem

Grorgy

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 04:57:22 AM »
Hey thanks jgpaiva, thats really good, totally useless but fun, i like that  ;D

steeladept

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 08:32:48 AM »
I still don't think RPN is more logic - you have to break down expressions into fragments with RPN. HP probably just wrote that blurb because it's easier to do RPN than a complex expression evaluator ;)


I agree...And the idea of the RPN saving keystrokes is rubbish as well.  After each number you hit enter, then after the operator you hit enter.  So for 2 + 2 = 4 you end up with 6 keystrokes vs. 4 w/ a standard calculator.  Now for a much more complex equation, you still hit the enter after each keystroke, and unless you have a great many nested sub-equations requiring several Parentheses in a row, then you really loose keystrokes.  Even in those situations it is not as much a savings as you are led to believe.

Another point to argue is the more natural method as taught in school on paper.  I don't know what school(s) they are talking about, but I know a simple algebraic calculator allows me to enter the equation EXACTLY like I was taught in school.

The only "advantage" I can see is seeing the intermediate steps, but even this is trivially completed with a standard algebraic calculator.

So back to the original question - Why RPN?

mouser

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 08:38:03 AM »
i do find RPN to be a beautiful and elegant solution to handling parentheses.  The stack-like process should warm the heart of any programmer.

maybe rpn was originally used on calculators (i had it on my hp 48cv) because it made parsing expressions with parentheses much much easier.  very easy to implement a stack on a primitive calculator.. not so easy to implement a calculator that can accept very long expressions with ( and ) and then report unbalanced parentheses errors, etc.

Ward

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 08:52:54 AM »
I still don't think RPN is more logic - you have to break down expressions into fragments with RPN. HP probably just wrote that blurb because it's easier to do RPN than a complex expression evaluator ;)


I agree...And the idea of the RPN saving keystrokes is rubbish as well.  After each number you hit enter, then after the operator you hit enter.  So for 2 + 2 = 4 you end up with 6 keystrokes vs. 4 w/ a standard calculator.  Now for a much more complex equation, you still hit the enter after each keystroke, and unless you have a great many nested sub-equations requiring several Parentheses in a row, then you really loose keystrokes.  Even in those situations it is not as much a savings as you are led to believe.

Another point to argue is the more natural method as taught in school on paper.  I don't know what school(s) they are talking about, but I know a simple algebraic calculator allows me to enter the equation EXACTLY like I was taught in school.

The only "advantage" I can see is seeing the intermediate steps, but even this is trivially completed with a standard algebraic calculator.

So back to the original question - Why RPN?

You don't have to press enter after every number - just press the operation associated.

E.g. 2 then press enter, 2 again then press +. Exactly the same as a normal calculator. Enter is only used once. The more complex the calculation, the less keystrokes are required.

f0dder

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2007, 09:28:57 AM »
Quote from: mouser
i do find RPN to be a beautiful and elegant solution to handling parentheses.  The stack-like process should warm the heart of any programmer.
Not necessarily the programmers that have been dealing with x86 floating-point code >_<. I do find that there's some zen-like simplicity and elegance to RPN, but I don't find it particularly practical or convenient.
- carpe noctem

elpresi

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2007, 11:34:38 AM »
http://www.tordivel.no/xcalc/

Another RPn calculator   ;)

jgpaiva

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2007, 12:01:22 PM »
you also found us a new kind of license, elpresi!

Spiceware

Actually, I like cooking. So if you like XCALC, please consider sending me some spices! If you have a special local blend or something you like, I would be very happy to receive a sample! Address below. Thank you!

JohnFredC

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 12:40:24 PM »
RPN is for those people who do lengthy chaining of calculations (not just adding-machine work) or who are conscious (or need to be conscious) of mathematical operator precedence and its effects on a calculation's result. 

Once you have learned to use the stack in an HP calculator (an RPN implementation), for instance, you'll understand why RPN is so popular with the more technical-minded among us.

f0dder

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007, 06:47:36 PM »
Quote from: JohnFredC
Once you have learned to use the stack in an HP calculator (an RPN implementation), for instance, you'll understand why RPN is so popular with the more technical-minded among us.
If the alternative is a calculator without decent editing facilities, perhaps... but with even the simple editing of a, say, TI-83, I see no advantage of RPN over standard algebraic syntax that most people can read fluently.
- carpe noctem

JeffC

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007, 11:07:32 PM »
I have used both algebraic and RPN calculators as stand alone machines and on computer programs.  I think that RPN comes into its own with stand alone machines - I can input data MUCH more quickly and accurately using RPN logic on those machines.  I have both a TI-89 (algebraic) and an HP-49G (algebraic or RPN) and, in my opinion, the latter machine is far more productive in daily use when used in RPN mode.  On the computer I don't find the advantage nearly as noticeable, and there are a lot of clever algebraic based calculators available: particularly ones without a keypad that are for 'just figurin ..' like Calcute (http://calcute.com/) or SpeQ Mathematics (http://www.speqmath.com/) both of which are freeware.

f0dder

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Re: Excalibur 32-bit
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2007, 04:52:06 AM »
Both SpeQ and Calcute look pretty nice - thanks for those link!
- carpe noctem