Author Topic: The ultimate question  (Read 16458 times)

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Offline photon

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2016, 05:46:51 am »
A slide rule requires you to think about the arithmetic and understand logs and loglogs. I still use mine to fight dementia.
 

Offline VulcanBB18

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2016, 05:52:57 am »
It is many years since I ever pushed a button on a calculator. They are, for the most part, a relic from a bygone age. I spend my working day in front of a computer and there is nothing I want to calculate that I can't do better on my computer screen. If I were out and about I would probably look for a phone app before I reached for a calculator.

I use a physical calculator every day. Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.
Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...

Really?! There must be something about calculators I'm missing, because I've always found this :



Plus this :



Was more than ample.  Usually better because I'm sitting at the desk with my project and PC.  Do I just not use one often enough?

Would honestly like to know what is is so horrible about the windows calc, seems to have all the functions I used to reach for a discrete calculator previously?  :-//

cheers,

Jacob
 

Offline amspire

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2016, 05:54:49 am »
The thing that can keep HP-type calculators alive is that the binaries for most of the calculators are available, and the Saturn cpu (used in many of HP's best calculators) has available simulators.  The modern ARM chip based calculators usually have a Saturn emulator. The second point was that the CAS (Computer Algebra System) in the Aussie-designed HP49c and later was open source, so HP made available the tools to recompile the CAS and the tools to build new binaries. If you were trying to make an HP clone, the CAS is probably the really hard part. It is not so hard making a calculator do Sin, Cos, etc.

One of the things about the Saturn chip is that the registers are organised in binary coded decimal, rather then binary and this leads to far fewer of the typical binary to decimal conversion artefacts. Things like 5.0/2.5 = 1.999999999999.

There have been alternate attempts at HP calculator clones like

https://www.swissmicros.com

and the WP 34S that took an HP30b financial calculator and reprogrammed it to be a great open source scientific calculator with a real HP keyboard. A new vinyl overlay was printed to fit behind the keys and some mods were made inside to add a real time clock internally.

http://kk.org/cooltools/wp-34s-scientific-calculator/

If HP kill their RPN scientific calculators totally, you would probably find the interest in alternative commercial and open-source replacements increasing. It will always be a niche market.

I always thought that HP calculators reached their zenith with the HP11c to HP16c range and after that point, the complexity grew past the point that most people could handle comfortably. Going to a backlight Hi-Res LCD screen can help, but you loose the very long battery life most people want from a calculator. I think HP Prime is a step towards oblivion myself. If you need a computer, get a real computer. A PC, notebook, tablet, mobile smartphone, etc. I have never understood why HP didn't continue to sell the HP11c, HP15c and HP16c. They kept the HP12C going, so they could easily make the other models in the same case. They are the perfect shirt pocket-sized calculators.
 

Offline Raj

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2016, 09:08:39 am »
personally, i'll never but a calculator outside of education use... we have computers! we can use them for same purpose .... i'll rather get something to control those computers remotely with my phone like splashtop or chrome remote desktop stuff
 

Offline 3db

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2016, 09:33:19 am »
I still have and use the HP 41CV  I bought decades ago.
I still love it.
The HP12 financial calculator is still made because the algorithms it used are still the standard for the financial industry.

3DB  :D
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2016, 10:05:00 am »
Quote
Present day I love HP calculators.

TI's dominance there comes from their clever marketing.

I'm more of a Casio person, starting with their FX-82 - still have it and still working.
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Offline VK3DRB

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2016, 10:17:32 am »
A brilliant calculator for your portable telephone is RealCalc. Check out the free version. It is so good, I bought it for a few $ to reward the author design and to get some extra features.

I've use RealCalc on my phone  :-+
(but only when I don't have access to a real calculator)

I actually prefer Realcalc because if I am mobile I always have a trusty calculator with me as it is part of my wireless telephone. I often use the hex calculator feature and even the units conversion (I think that one is only on the paid version). Even so, I still have my Farad 808 scientific calculator on my desk which I bought in 1976. It still works and I do love the green glow of the VFD's.

Its a bit like short wave receivers and ham transceivers. You can get SDR's with fancy Windows UI's,, and radios with LCD displays etc with fantastic spec, but there is something special about the glow of an old analogue S-meter or tuning display on an old radio. It lights up with personality and a sense of wonder. Same with old classic calculators that were beautifully engineered.
 
 

Offline karoru

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2016, 12:50:04 pm »
Is this "college calculator stuff" an American thing? I've seen random college/business calculus textbooks for American colleges and I couldn't figure out why are they more concerned with drawing graphs on magical battery-powered black boxes than actually learning the material and how to think and now it makes a bit of sense if everyone had some Ti/HP gear. When I was getting my first degree (years 200x) nobody really used any more advanced calculator, just random four banger if you really needed, lately I went to technical uni to get my second diploma only thing I've seen was random Casio ripoff crap.
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2016, 01:15:46 pm »
Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.

It seems there's really something wrong with your smartphone, Dave ;) If yours really does work like that, doesn't it make it not fit for purpose, like... you know... making and receiving phone calls? And maybe I'm weird (well, I'm fairly certain I am), but I still don't really get this battery suddenly dying on you thing either. I hear people reiterating this argument over and over again every time they want to make a point against using a smartphone. I know my smartphone well enough to know the battery easily lasts at least one day if I don't watch video or play games for hours on it. Before I go to bed, I shower and brush my teeth. It takes me some 10-15 minutes. Then I plonk my smartphone in the charging cradle on my nightstand and that takes me whole one second. Really, that difficult to make that a habit? There really is no reason not to charge your smartphone each night overnight, when you're (mostly) sleeping anyway and then have a whole worry-free day of smartphone use. For travels, outdoors situations etc., I have a USB power bank. But then again, I rarely have a need to perform complex calculations when I'm out and about :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 01:18:43 pm by Zbig »
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2016, 01:44:48 pm »
HP 50G is the opposite to Dave's requirements:

* sometimes works instantly. Mostly hangs for a bit.
* Usually is out of battery.
* Locks up for GC all the time.
* Doesn't have any updates since 2006 or any of the annoying bugs fixed...
 

Offline amspire

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2016, 02:20:45 pm »
HP 50G is the opposite to Dave's requirements:

* sometimes works instantly. Mostly hangs for a bit.
* Usually is out of battery.
* Locks up for GC all the time.
* Doesn't have any updates since 2006 or any of the annoying bugs fixed...

I didn't know it was that bad. I have a number of HP49Gs which use the 4MHz Saturn processor (not an ARM). It starts in less then 1 second and it doesn't hang - unless you are talking about hanging when you ask it to do a plot with slow calculations. 23 mA when on (about 35 hours) and 0.1uA when off which is about 3 years of life from the batteries.

Like you said, the last official release is 2.09 from 2006, but there is also an unofficial release 1.24 from Bernard Parisse, one of the main HP49G programmers. The CAS source is 2004 or earlier, but there is one 2006 file. As it contains some non-LPGL code, it cannot be released as a  binary, so Bernard released it a source code file with all you need to compile to binary. It does mean that at least we can work on customising and fixing the CAS on the HP49G.
http://www-fourier.ujf-grenoble.fr/~parisse/
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2016, 03:28:18 pm »
HP 50G is the opposite to Dave's requirements:

* sometimes works instantly. Mostly hangs for a bit.
* Usually is out of battery.
* Locks up for GC all the time.
* Doesn't have any updates since 2006 or any of the annoying bugs fixed...

I didn't know it was that bad. I have a number of HP49Gs which use the 4MHz Saturn processor (not an ARM). It starts in less then 1 second and it doesn't hang - unless you are talking about hanging when you ask it to do a plot with slow calculations. 23 mA when on (about 35 hours) and 0.1uA when off which is about 3 years of life from the batteries.

Like you said, the last official release is 2.09 from 2006, but there is also an unofficial release 1.24 from Bernard Parisse, one of the main HP49G programmers. The CAS source is 2004 or earlier, but there is one 2006 file. As it contains some non-LPGL code, it cannot be released as a  binary, so Bernard released it a source code file with all you need to compile to binary. It does mean that at least we can work on customising and fixing the CAS on the HP49G.
http://www-fourier.ujf-grenoble.fr/~parisse/

It's not "That bad".
The only issues that I have found with it (That couldn't be fixed) are the long ass startup time and the fact that the equation writer sucks balls.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2016, 03:41:26 pm »
It is many years since I ever pushed a button on a calculator. They are, for the most part, a relic from a bygone age. I spend my working day in front of a computer and there is nothing I want to calculate that I can't do better on my computer screen. If I were out and about I would probably look for a phone app before I reached for a calculator.

I use a physical calculator every day. Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.
Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...


Really?! There must be something about calculators I'm missing, because I've always found this :



Plus this :



Was more than ample.  Usually better because I'm sitting at the desk with my project and PC.  Do I just not use one often enough?

Would honestly like to know what is is so horrible about the windows calc, seems to have all the functions I used to reach for a discrete calculator previously?  :-//

cheers,

Jacob



They have more physical buttons to them (Sorry for the grainy ass picture, too lazy to charge actual camera)
Not only that due to RPN you can calculate faster on EVERY function. Look up and try RPN on a physical calculator
(Or at least an emulated calculator using real buttons.

These calculators have functions like absolute value, rounding, turning decimals into fractions, the ability to put in a function and have it plug in every number in for X.
They normally take numbers out farther (Mine can go to 9.99999999999 x 10499)
They can graph (Normally useless and slow, I never use it.) functions.

They also have a LOT of financial algorithms and built in functions that windows calculators don't have. (With the exception of excel, but that's not good for doing a lot of odd calculations with big numbers on the spot in 20 seconds)

Real calculators have a reason to exist because they are a device with CLEAR purpose and they have been engineered for over 45 years with that exact purpose in mind.
That will obviously make them better at what they do. The programming and interface outranks that of the PC by MILES

From today until the day I spontaneously combust into flaming popcorn, I will use a physical calculator for my programming and engineering needs.
The only reason I wouldn't use it is if it really couldn't do something that a computer can. Otherwise it's better then using a computer.
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Offline R_Gtx

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2016, 04:08:31 pm »
It's 1770, the year Lieutenant James Cook charted the east coast of Daves' homeland. Over in Germany, the priest and eminent clockmaker Philipp Matthäus Hahn in designing planetaria decided that to speed up the calculation of the necessary wheel trains, he would need a calculator, none being commercially available, he invented his own, the result is what I would call a real engineers machine!

http://history-computer.com/MechanicalCalculators/18thCentury/Hahn.html

 

Offline lapm

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2016, 05:59:18 pm »
Personally i still use my HP48GX almost daily... Bought this long ago when i was in school studying engineering... Infact engraving in back says 1993, so its almost 23 years old now...

I my memory serves correct the infared coms were real battery killers at time... Me and fellow students quickly made serial cable to solve that... Pinout was in manual :P
Electronics, Linux, Programming, Science... im interested all of it...
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2016, 06:39:07 pm »
If HP still made their 12C style scientific calculator, I would have bought it, but instead I settled on a TI-30Xa and am very happy. At least it has decent feeling buttons.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2016, 11:22:37 pm »
HP or Ti (There are others but I have never seen a Sharp or Casio)
I had to buy a HP calculator for school but I quickly reverted back to my good old Casio fx4500 because the HP could not keep up with my typing but also because the Casio has the f,p,k,M, G etc postfixes which are very handy when working with electronics. It lasted for over 20 years and after that I got a Casio fx-115ms (actually a few).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2016, 12:23:56 am »
It is many years since I ever pushed a button on a calculator. They are, for the most part, a relic from a bygone age. I spend my working day in front of a computer and there is nothing I want to calculate that I can't do better on my computer screen. If I were out and about I would probably look for a phone app before I reached for a calculator.

I use a physical calculator every day. Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.
Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...

Really?! There must be something about calculators I'm missing, because I've always found this :



Plus this :



Was more than ample.  Usually better because I'm sitting at the desk with my project and PC.  Do I just not use one often enough?

Would honestly like to know what is is so horrible about the windows calc, seems to have all the functions I used to reach for a discrete calculator previously?  :-//

cheers,

Jacob

Well,

1: Its windows.  I not going to waste $100 on a license to use it and spend more $ for tools to fix its defects and security vulnerabilities and spend time maintaining it and rebooting it when it goes in the weeds.
2: Its not RPN
3: That keyboard doesn't have the same fees as the great old HP's, you would have to use one for a bit to understand that part.

I do admit to having Droid 48 on my phone but its just not the same as the real thing.  You can't emulate the feel.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2016, 12:30:22 am »
Is this "college calculator stuff" an American thing? I've seen random college/business calculus textbooks for American colleges and I couldn't figure out why are they more concerned with drawing graphs on magical battery-powered black boxes than actually learning the material and how to think and now it makes a bit of sense if everyone had some Ti/HP gear. When I was getting my first degree (years 200x) nobody really used any more advanced calculator, just random four banger if you really needed, lately I went to technical uni to get my second diploma only thing I've seen was random Casio ripoff crap.

I bought my HP48 my second trimester of college when I found out how far behind I was in math.  My high school didn't allow me to take any advanced classes because I "wasn't college material".  The HP48 had a graphical equation editor where I could enter the problem just like in the book then single step through it.  That HP48 taught me more math than all my high school math teachers.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2016, 01:56:11 am »
It is many years since I ever pushed a button on a calculator. They are, for the most part, a relic from a bygone age. I spend my working day in front of a computer and there is nothing I want to calculate that I can't do better on my computer screen. If I were out and about I would probably look for a phone app before I reached for a calculator.

I use a physical calculator every day. Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.
Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...

Really?! There must be something about calculators I'm missing, because I've always found this :



Plus this :



Was more than ample.  Usually better because I'm sitting at the desk with my project and PC.  Do I just not use one often enough?

Would honestly like to know what is is so horrible about the windows calc, seems to have all the functions I used to reach for a discrete calculator previously?  :-//

cheers,

Jacob

Well,

1: Its windows.  I not going to waste $100 on a license to use it and spend more $ for tools to fix its defects and security vulnerabilities and spend time maintaining it and rebooting it when it goes in the weeds.
2: Its not RPN
3: That keyboard doesn't have the same fees as the great old HP's, you would have to use one for a bit to understand that part.

I do admit to having Droid 48 on my phone but its just not the same as the real thing.  You can't emulate the feel.

The feel of a good calculator is great.  But not so great that I want to switch back and forth between the screen/keyboard and the calculator.  This isn't just a Windows thing.  Linux has calculators and spreadsheets also.  RPN calculators.

When I am doing heavy engineering work away from a computer I use a calculator.  When I am not doing heavy work away from the computer the emulators on the smart phone are good enough, and certainly the defects aren't worth carrying another piece of hardware around.  Those times when the calculator are the right answer are getting downright rare.  The only other time I really use one is when I am in an application that isn't friendly to window switching (clears the form whenever it isn't the primary window).  Fortunately those are also rare.   
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2016, 02:55:58 am »
It is many years since I ever pushed a button on a calculator. They are, for the most part, a relic from a bygone age. I spend my working day in front of a computer and there is nothing I want to calculate that I can't do better on my computer screen. If I were out and about I would probably look for a phone app before I reached for a calculator.

I use a physical calculator every day. Nothing beats having something right there that you can carry with you, always works instantly, is never out of battery, never locks up, never updating some crap etc.
Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...

Really?! There must be something about calculators I'm missing, because I've always found this :



Plus this :



Was more than ample.  Usually better because I'm sitting at the desk with my project and PC.  Do I just not use one often enough?

Would honestly like to know what is is so horrible about the windows calc, seems to have all the functions I used to reach for a discrete calculator previously?  :-//

cheers,

Jacob

Well,

1: Its windows.  I not going to waste $100 on a license to use it and spend more $ for tools to fix its defects and security vulnerabilities and spend time maintaining it and rebooting it when it goes in the weeds.
2: Its not RPN
3: That keyboard doesn't have the same fees as the great old HP's, you would have to use one for a bit to understand that part.

I do admit to having Droid 48 on my phone but its just not the same as the real thing.  You can't emulate the feel.

The feel of a good calculator is great.  But not so great that I want to switch back and forth between the screen/keyboard and the calculator.  This isn't just a Windows thing.  Linux has calculators and spreadsheets also.  RPN calculators.

When I am doing heavy engineering work away from a computer I use a calculator.  When I am not doing heavy work away from the computer the emulators on the smart phone are good enough, and certainly the defects aren't worth carrying another piece of hardware around.  Those times when the calculator are the right answer are getting downright rare.  The only other time I really use one is when I am in an application that isn't friendly to window switching (clears the form whenever it isn't the primary window).  Fortunately those are also rare.   

The thing is I don't have a smartphone. I ordered an IPhone 3G to use as a sort of PDA kinda deal, but I doubt it has a nice calculator. Not only that but glass buttons on a touch screen are god awful.
I wouldn't "Carry around" a calculator wherever I go, but I keep one on my desk, and if I am setting up somewhere else I bring it too.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2016, 03:04:21 am »
Is this "college calculator stuff" an American thing? I've seen random college/business calculus textbooks for American colleges and I couldn't figure out why are they more concerned with drawing graphs on magical battery-powered black boxes than actually learning the material and how to think and now it makes a bit of sense if everyone had some Ti/HP gear. When I was getting my first degree (years 200x) nobody really used any more advanced calculator, just random four banger if you really needed, lately I went to technical uni to get my second diploma only thing I've seen was random Casio ripoff crap.

I bought my HP48 my second trimester of college when I found out how far behind I was in math.  My high school didn't allow me to take any advanced classes because I "wasn't college material".  The HP48 had a graphical equation editor where I could enter the problem just like in the book then single step through it.  That HP48 taught me more math than all my high school math teachers.

(As a small note if you are NOT in the US, then I apologize, but practically NOWHERE else in the world are the schools so bad)

This is a GREAT example of the US Education system.

Fk it.

Seriously it is the WORST school system in the world for treating the education of 90% of all school children as a chore that needs to be done by treating everyone like fish going down an assembly line.
Honestly in New York (Which is an example of a bad school state AND I am in Schenectady County which is a bad school county IN a bad school state IN a bad school country) in my area there are FIGHT
CLUBs going on. This is how SHIT the American education system is where you have girls (This is a girl club, but it doesn't matter) attacking random people in the school for fun. Even the PARENTS do this
in parking lots and in sporting events. The management is too piss stoned off the ass of their crap salaries to care about anything. Heck when there was an improvement in the schools who were reporting in the Capitol District, it was because Schenectady just stopped reporting.

And I am sure there are a handful of GREAT public schools with HIGH budgets in nice cities inhabited by more well off people, but for the rest of America the situation is bad. Bullying (Not making fun of people, ACTUAL physical contact) is commonplace and there is nothing being done about it like putting obvious offenders into mental care.

This also effects not only children, but the present generation too. There is a reason why people crack jokes at Americans for being fat and stupid. That's because a good amount of us are. We have bad education, bad traditions that get passed down, and a bad deal overall.

People beat their kids all over the country. I BET you there is not ONE VILLAGE that doesn't have someone who abuses people and their own lives regularly. The average mental capacity of an American is that of
a newborn. Heck a newborn would probably have the sense to not try to kill anyone who steps into their yard to ask for a favor.

Rant over.
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Offline IanB

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2016, 05:15:37 am »
I really dislike using Windows calculators. They are the last resort, sort of like "limp home mode" is a car. A conventional tactile calculator is far easier to use than anything Billy Gates can conjure up. Using a mouse or bloated keyboard just does not cut it. Fatiguing and annoying.

Computer calculator are horrible to use, and the only phone calculators that are any good are the ones that ones that emulate the look and feel on real calculator. There is a reason for that...

I agree that Windows "calculator emulators" are not very convenient, but they are not what I use. When I want to do a few quick calculations, this is what I use:



I can work much more quickly and conveniently with this and a computer keyboard than I can with a small calculator screen and fiddly calculator buttons. Since I am nearly always in front of a computer screen when I want to calculate stuff, there is no reason to switch to some other piece of hardware. Added to which, with the calculator on my computer desktop I can copy and paste numbers in and out of it which saves re-keying numbers by hand.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline heima

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2016, 05:39:02 am »
Anybody else remember tuning in their Rockwell or Commodore calculator with an AM radio, to hear the different tones when the buttons were pressed? No, not talking DTMF tone, just noise from the processor or perhaps the display driver.
 

Offline Raj

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Re: The ultimate question
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2016, 06:59:25 am »
Anybody else remember tuning in their Rockwell or Commodore calculator with an AM radio, to hear the different tones when the buttons were pressed? No, not talking DTMF tone, just noise from the processor or perhaps the display driver.
my calculator still makes those interference waves
 


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