for college folk. a primo calculator. hi-res display, which is *really* good news for entering equations & graphing. does everything you could want, even functions as a word processor. even 3d graphs, and I think they can even rotate. solves equations on-screen. Bulky, so put big stick-on rubber feet on the bottom if it doesn't already have them - so it won't slide off your desk or book. This is not a balance-on-one-leg calculator: too wide & too heavy - like a brick. I think it's 1-1.5 inches thick If I remember right. TI programming languages are easy, NOT RPN (yay!), full-featured, and resemble a BASIC function with arguments and uses keywords like IF and WHILE. programming: flowcharts are a good idea if you are getting complicated. This is an algebraic-mode calc. only HP's use RPN. You can download new applications into this calc.
for college folk and especially the professional. a primo calculator. 2300 built-in functions. normal resolution display (average for a graphing calc). does 3d graphs. HP's equivelant to the TI voyage-200 but with a lot more beef (and a bit more fixed), seems mostly for the scientific professional with serious business in mind. The programming language (RPL) can detect math-object types (such as strings or integers) & branch on that condition. but remember this is an RPN calculator, and programming is achieved the RPN way (ugh! well, sometimes anyway. write programs out with your favorite text editor on your PC/MAC first...), arguments on the stack... RPL is a *LOT* easier on the eyes & fingers than was the HP-33s and looks like a calculator language (ugh) that uses keywords like IF and WHILE and a number of special symbols (the calculator language look). If you can afford a calculator, get one of these or the TI voyage, depending on your needs. I would go for this one personally for general use, but if you need to do an amount of programming and can't handle programming stack-based languages like FORTH, LOGO, and RPN/RPL (glance though the advanced HP49+manual to test yourself), I would choose the TI. Programming: flowcharts are a good idea if you are getting complicated. the RPN (Reverse-Polish Notation) will very probably throw you off in programming because you have to keep track of what's in the stack, at least in your head. Some say not as sturdy as the 48g.
Homebuilder's estimator calculator $0 I think
woodworker/contractor's calculator, InchMate 2000, available from woodcraft $40
ft., in., mm., cm., board feet, yards, miles, decimal feet, weight, liquid units, keys for rafters, you name it.
HP 12C financial calc, available from hp $80
int. rate conversions, mortgage & loan pmts, bond prices and yields
HP 17bII financial calc, available from hp $100
you name it financially, it does it. (250 built-in functions). looks like an upgrade of the 12C.
HP 35S 8502 Processor Scientific Calculator, available at newegg $55+6
one surveyor said HP did it right. 100 functions. uses a menu. wiping the display causes it to temporarily turn black - so display is vulnerable.
HP 33s scientific calc, available from hp $50
it does a fair amount and has a lot of nice features, the standard scientific calc stuff including fractions in any form you like, a dandy decimal-to-fraction-to-decimal converter (worth the price, and it tells you if it's over or under the exact conversion), °F/°C conversion, lb/kg conversion, number-base conversion for binary and other number systems, cm/in conversion, time/map (HR/HMS) coordinate conversion, random number generator, has integer dividd & remainder, sums, x!, percent, and has lots of memory-store locations, at least as many as there are letters on the keyboard. Works in algebraic or RPN mode. says it's programmable but as a programmer I think it's a tough as nails to program. don't bother. Casio makes easier programming to work with. You can find it on ebay for $20. supposedley can solve equstions, but only if everything is pretty much known - as it's one of those programming jobs (same with integrals), don't bother. Still a nice calc to have around though.
Casio FX-9750G PLUS graphing calc, available from casio $50
does a lot (graphing calculators usually do). financial, matrix, spreadsheet, numeric integrals, simple equation solver, and some other things I don't know about. doesn't do metric conversions or anything like the HP-33s. converts fractions to decimal and back like the HP, except the HP tells you when it's estimating/off a little bit. doesn't convert from decimal to fraction well like the HP-33s. in fact, it usually doesn't (try 1 2/3).
Casio FX-9860G Graphics calc w/USB 2.0 interface, available from casio $80
does a lot (graphing calculators usually do). financial, matrix, spreadsheet, numeric integrals, simple equation solver, and some other things I don't know about. doesn't do metric conversions or anything like the HP-33s. converts fractions to decimal and back like the HP, except the HP tells you when it's estimating/off a little bit. doesn't convert from decimal to fraction well like the HP-33s. in fact, it usually doesn't (try 1 2/3). For a serious calc, you should probably try the HP-50G if you can afford it.
prorammable calculator software for mathematitians & numerical analysisprecision to N digits. want pi to 1000 digits? just do
\p 1000and then
Pidoes matrices, eigenvalues, does
forloops, etc. Built on cygwin.
MATH: Maxima (formerly Macsyma), Open Source
for manipulating symbolic expressions, differentiation, integration, taylor series, Laplace transforms, diff-eq's, arbitrary precision integers (like pari/GP), plotting functions, plotting data in 2 and 3 dimentions, vectors, matrices, systems of linear eq's, factor, reduce, blah, blah.