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Comment: normal RPN calculators rule (Score 1) 636

by Breetai (#35790966) Attached to: Are Graphical Calculators Pointless?

I've always found graphical calculators completely pointless. A PC or laptop can run rings around a graphical calculator.
The only reason a graphical calculator sells because the schools want a limited device used for tests. Plotting functions can easily be done on paper, during an exam.

On the other hand. Getting a good calculator remains invaluable. I've bought a HP 32S-II calculator the day before the EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) exam. My 4th Casio FX-82D had broken down that year and I ead that HP makes decent calculators and that RPN rocks.

EMC is a fairly complex subject and you need to solve a lot of equations. The day I bought the calculator, I was pulling my hair out, trying to find out how the damn thing worked.
Because, I heard that using an RPN calculator allowed you to work faster. However, learning to use an RPN calculator takes a while. Not funny when you have an exam with a lot of equations the next day. On the day of the exam however, I was able to work with the HP 32S-II quite comfortably and was on average 20 minutes faster than the rest of the class.
The reason that RPN works faster remains the fact that you can skip all the intermediate solutions of the equations after you written out the correct algebraic solution to the problem. So that's a real life safer there, during exams, because you have to type a lot less.

Using a real calculator still has benefits nowadays. The tactile feedback from a real calculator allows you to work much faster than using a touchscreen of your phone.

So for graphing and complex mathematics I will use my computer. For simple algebra I will keep on using my trusty HP 32S-II for a long time.

Comment: Re:Compatibility (Score 1) 550

by Breetai (#35470168) Attached to: Why We Should Buy Music In FLAC

Compatibility should not become a problem. After downloading you can transcode the files to any format you wish to use. Getting a program easy enough to do this without too much effort, will require some work.

Also marketing and promoting to users could become a challenge.
But if you download the .flac from a site. That site could also link to the programs / services that could render your .flac's to .mp3/ogg/wma.

Maybe even the site where you buy your music could also include the lossy compressed files as a bonus for extra cost.
I sense several business oppurtunities here.

Comment: Re:Fonts (Score 1) 100

by Breetai (#32387730) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set

I find the Inconsolata very good for diagrams and other texts that need a monospaced font.
- Monospaced
- has a slashed zero
- The brackets are higher than the other characters. So you instinctively see what's inside the brackets.
- has an open license.

Input Devices

The Mice That Didn't Make It 202

Posted by timothy
from the does-anything-beat-a-logitech-marble-mouse? dept.
Harry writes "For every blockbuster of the mouse world (such as Microsoft and Logitech's big sellers) there have been countless mice that flopped, or never made it to market. Mice shaped like pyramids; mice shaped like Mickey; mice that doubled as numeric keypads or phones. Even one that sat on your steering wheel. I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples."

Comment: ngspice using gschem as frontend (Score 1) 211

by Breetai (#28915457) Attached to: Cheap, Cross-Platform Electronic Circuit Simulation Software?

A couple of years ago I used ngspice en gschem for simulation.
I had some problems getting the whole toolchain running. But after the initial effort it proved very flexible and effective.
By creating a Makefile for the whole project everything could be automated.

Use gschem to define the circuit.
gnetlist with the spice back-end to generate a circuit
ngspice for simulation
gwave for viewing graphs and gnuplot for producing images.


Bad Signs For Blu-ray 1276

Posted by timothy
from the anguish-languish dept.
Ian Lamont writes "More than six months after HD-DVD gave up the ghost, there are several signs that Sony's rival Blu-ray format is struggling to gain consumer acceptance. According to recent sales data from Nielsen, market share for Blu-ray discs in the U.S. is declining, and Sony and its Blu-ray partners are trying several tactics to boost the format — including free trial discs bundled into magazines and cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200."

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.