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Electronic Calculators and Data Analysis: A Consumer's Report on the SR-51, HP-21, HP-55, and HP-65

Edward R. Tufte
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 19, No. 4 (Nov., 1975), pp. 783-794
DOI: 10.2307/2110727
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110727
Page Count: 12
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Electronic Calculators and Data Analysis: A Consumer's Report on the SR-51, HP-21, HP-55, and HP-65
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Abstract

Four of the fancier and newer pocket electronic calculators are evaluated in terms of their utility for doing data analysis, their price, and their quality. Some general principles, perhaps helpful for the consumer of calculators, are derived from the experience--including: (1) Always buy at a discount. (2) Competition has its benefits in this sector of the computer industry. (3) Computational technology has overrun input-output technology. (4) Calculators are designed by engineers for engineers and businesspeople--and not for data analysts. (5) Some quite impressive (and expensive) machines are now available. (6) If in doubt, wait for a good machine that prints.

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