Musings and comments about our common interest
During this week end, my 12 year old son came to me with some problems they had been given in class. There was a story of some guys finding others, during the Middle Ages, that used just one hand to count, and therefore count in base 5. From there, a lot of questions and exercises were raised; the good thing about them is that they made children think, as opposed to trying to memorize procedures and methods. One of the questions for the children was to develop a way so that the main character could convert a number in base–5 to decimal, and vice-versa.
We developed together the methods to perform both, but he wanted me to create a couple of programs for his HP Prime to do that. I will have to start learning the HP Basic, after having used most of the time the keystroke programming of the HP15c and HP 41CL.
The HP Prime comes well equipped to perform any kind of base changes - provided is one of binary, octal, decimal or hexadecimal. There is no provision for arbitrary base formulae, so off we go to write the programs!
Tomorrow I’ll try to have the programs written and tested for him, and I will post them here.