## Comment Re:Good for science and engineering, too (Score 1) 318

I'm fairly well-versed in interactive use of MATLAB and ipython/numpy/scipy. I also have an HP-50g next to my monitor, with the USB cable plugged in so I don't need to keep replacing the batteries every few months.

Generally speaking,

I use ipython if :

- the problem has a significant non-mathematical component (string processing or some other general-purpose programming language task), or

- I want good looking 3d graphs

I use MATLAB if:

- I need to plot a bunch of things (2d), or

- the problem is almost entirely linear algebra

I use the 50g if:

- the problem is short enough to quickly write on paper, or

- the programming only requires a handful or short routines, or

- neither of the above programs is running, and the problem won't take more than a minute or two to type in and run on the 50g

There's a strong inverse relationship between the power of a calculating tool and it's usability. For really short stuff with only one or two variables, the ergonomically-ideal 15c is much much quicker than the clumsy notation of numpy. The 50g, with it's math-optimized keyboard and GUI, is often much faster than either desktop option because the bottleneck is the typing process, not the computation process.