I am an advocate of Old School methodologies. Old school method rocks. A scientific calculator, a writing pad, a pen, and probably a straight rule are the only basic tools needed.
I am not against technological advances. People, however, are becoming too dependent on these high technology tools that they can not perform their tasks in the absence of these tools. Worse, whatever the result will be accepted as it is without any verification that it was truly a correct result.
I overheard once my 'mature' engineer buddy talking to a Vendor. He was questioning the Vendor's proposal as it seems to him is not logically correct. He mentioned that using the basic relationship between differential pressure and flow, the Vendor's proposal is not correct. The Vendor's answer was, it was the result of the Vendor's software tool. He was not convinced so he just went to another Vendor who had given him a more acceptable proposal.
Software are good tools to expedite the completion of tasks but total dependency on them will make the Engineer a total idiot. The engineer will be reduced to an ordinary data encoder or in design terms, a tracer.
I use analytical software only when I need to. For most of my calculations, I do it manually or use a spreadsheet for more complicated systems. I use MVA method if I need to calculate short circuit faults in systems with at least a dozen buses or less. If I need to do a more accurate calculation, 'per unit' is a good option but with a spreadsheet, impedance method will be much easier easier to use. On-site works where high-tech tools are not available, old-school method rocks.
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