Posted by: insight4survey | June 1, 2008

Weblog Updating

After a few months of hiatus, we finally get a chance to clean up the site, make the download page more accessible, and also to release some new information. Give us a few hours while we are at it. ūüôā

The site re-organisation is needed for 2 main reasons: Many visitors come here for the free downloads and also the links to other Casio surveying site, so we need to have the download page more prominently placed. Secondly, we are releasing the old InSight code again, plus the programs passwords, and releasing InSight 1.3 soon (finally), which shall come with a few updates and 3 new programs. A good development of InSight is that we shall release it under a GNU-like license, which means the code will again be shared, and the full program is available for download here as soon as it is ready.

Another exciting development for us is that we shall begin offering Casio calculator here, but in limited amount only. Specifically we shall begin by offering FX-7400G+ and FX-9860G, at a price you will find reasonable. For FX-7400G+ we shall install InSight for free before shipping it, while owner of FX-9860G can easily download it here and load the program with the USB cable which comes with the calculator.

In addition, we scrap the idea of writing programs for FX-5800P, mainly due to its slow processing speed (hey I did not know you guys work in the hot sun for that long!) and also for CFX-series since it is confirmed that Casio will phase out the CFX-series as soon as this year. As we speak now, it is virtually impossible to source for CFX-9850GB+. Not to worry, the FX-9860G is a well qualified and great replacement.

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Posted by: insight4survey | September 27, 2007

Review of FX-5800P

Now now. I have the privilege to see this model once, test it for a short while and “feel” it.

Firstly, the dimension of the calculator is just right for most hands. This is an important factor because devices are designed for human use. Therefore, an ergonomic design is one of the winning properties of modern products.

The calculator has 120-odd built in programs/formulas, which is a nice touch, although it is not easy to find someone who has need for as much as 20% of these formulas. You can define your personal formula using existing formulas, which is cool. These user-defined formulas are stored as programs.

The language installed in this model is Casio BASIC. If you know how to handle Casio BASIC of FX-7400G+, it will be a breeze working on this model. This is an upgrade from older model such as FX-603P because conditional branching and jump are now easier to write. Of course, a few days to figure out Casio BASIC is necessary if you have never work with one before. Two extra commands of the FX-5800P BASIC is the Locate and Getkey commands. These can be very useful in designing friendlier user-interface.

Another nice feature is that user can add extra variables for storage of values, in the form of array Z[i], where i =1, 2, …. Theoretically user is allowed to add up to about 2372 such variables, but in practice this is not possible. If you are quite a heavy user with fair amount of programs loaded, I would estimate that you can get another 300-400 extra variables (that’s 5Kb memory taken) out of your machines using this feature. That is not a lot if you are working with a lot of data, as in most real technical problems.

Now if you have used the Casio FX-ES series scientific calculator, you’d see that Casio has sort of fused features of the FX-570ES with some of the features of the FX-880P, with a modern twist. For one, the Natural Display is obviously a new feature previously available on the FX-570ES. The Matrix and Equation, two features only available in Casio MS and ES series previously, are now available in FX-5800P. Other ES features such as CALC and SOLVE are also now available in the FX-5800P.

In short, it is not wrong to describe FX-5800P as the enhanced version of FX-570ES, with 120 built in formulas, and has programming capability.

If you are an engineer or students of engineering, and you need a scientific calculator, forget the FX-570ES. Fork out extra couple of hundred ringgit (3.60 ringgit = 1 US$) and buy this baby. Perhaps the only problem is that your school may not allow you to bring it in to exam hall. Well, all I can say is, your school’s lost. (Come on, this is the information and knowledge age…do you still assess people’s formula memorising capability?)

I do have 2 bones to pick though. Firstly, the memory size is just 28KB. This is 2007, and my lousy 2004 hand-phone has 11MB on it. 64Kb or 128Kb is more like it IMHO. Furthermore, there is no storage memory (Flash.) Come on Casio R and D…my 2G thumb drive cost only RM70 (USD20), and the price is still spiralling down faster than you can say wait. Perhaps I am being too critical, but you cannot blame me for being idealistic and ….greedy. ūüėÄ Anyway, its a thumb down IMHO.

Another is the infamous speed comment by users. Some users ridiculed its speed as being too slow for comfort. If it is true, well, in this age of speed, there is simply no excuse for producing an electronic device slower than, say, a model which is 15 years older. I hope what I heard is not entirely accurate.

If these two “bones” are not an issue for you, by all means, get it for your technical work. But of course if they are BIG issues for you, well,¬† go get the Casio baby monster¬† FX-9860G…you will be drooling over its speed, memory capacity, functionality and massive features if you have one. YES, I said IF. ūüėÄ

Coming Soon…what do I think (if you care) about CFX-9850GC+ and FX-9860G…

Posted by: insight4survey | September 25, 2007

More Programs Releases

One question which begs us to ponder is why pay when you can get many things free nowadays. Allow me to phrase it more precisely Рwhy pay when you can get many free things online nowadays. People have to be nuts to allow free access to all their hardworks, while they used up their personal time for others benefits.

In our case, we are not, erh, nuts. ūüėÄ

We believe that if you like what we do so far, and also help us in keep improving the products by giving us advices and resources, then InSight as a brand and product will prosper, and the rewards which come later will even out the efforts we are paying forward now.

For this we must thank those of you who have communicated with us. We also want to thank Marco Corporation for keep supporting us (so you see we are not nuts).

Before InSight fully becomes a commercial entity, there is so much more we need to do. Which means more testing and developing, and more free releases of source code and catalog files.

We are also glad to provide a sneak preview of our business direction. We shall be cooperating with some real heavyweights in land surveying to push our technical threshold to as far as possible. Of course we will keep you update on our progress but not before our discussion has finalised.

  

Posted by: insight4survey | September 25, 2007

Full InSight 1.1 Released!

Go to Downloads page fixed at top of the blog, and find the links to download the  InSight 1.1 in .catalog files.

You can try the utility programs at your Casio programmables, provided you have the link cable and the link software. Since we uploaded the full version, we have taken down the link to InSightLite.

We organise the utility programs into 3 modules: CURVE, COGO and UTILITY. This way you can easily choose to load just the module you need into your calculator. 

Have fun and tell us what you think.

Posted by: insight4survey | September 23, 2007

Latest Release

It is time for us to let you truly test the utility programs, before we move on to the next version. This is the right thing to do we suppose, for any software still new in their infancy stage.

So for owners of Casio programmable calculators, specifically FX-7400G, CFX-9850 and FX-9860, get ready for the full release of the program in .catalog format, very very soon.

All we ask is just a simple comment email from you. ūüôā

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