Decent calculator program?

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Decent calculator program?

Postby Jonathan » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:24 pm

I am occasionally in the position of having to calculate things. I have several different tools available: bc, Calculator, or Excel. It's a very nice feature to be able to cut and paste numbers from my work into my calculator, but I'm still considering bringing in my physical calculator from home. If at all possible, I would like to avoid that.

Basically, bc doesn't have all the functions I need. Calculator (or xcalc) is largely fine, except when I want to calculate a complicated formula, and then I get lost in parentheses. Excel is fine, but it's a damn spreadsheet. Also, it's hard to do hexadecimal in Excel. Or binary.

Matlab would work, but I don't have a license. Or I could use any program that simulated the workings of a decent HP or TI calculator. Does anybody use a calculator program that can be downloaded for the asking?
Last edited by Jonathan on Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby VLSmooth » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:49 pm

Excel may be a spreadsheet, but it works!

There's also a <A>TO<B> function that works for binary, hex, decimal, etc.

example: HEX2DEC("F") = 15
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Postby quantus » Fri Oct 10, 2003 1:46 am

In theory, you could emulate your HP or a TI if you get an emulator for the processor in them and use a memory image (like from a backup from a TI). Martin may know more about this since he actually wrote assembly for TI-85s. It should be about the same to do for the 89 which is MUCH nicer.
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Postby Jason » Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:03 am

Why does joe usually come up with one of the hardest solutions to any problem?

Guess that's why he's becoming a PhD and I'm going no where with my life.
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Postby quantus » Fri Oct 10, 2003 2:17 pm

Jason wrote:Why does joe usually come up with one of the hardest solutions to any problem?

Guess that's why he's becoming a PhD and I'm going no where with my life.


Well, it's not really that hard... here
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Postby quantus » Fri Oct 10, 2003 3:34 pm

Actually, you're right, it's too hard for Jonathan to download two files and run them together like you would if you were running zsnes or something similar. Instead, I propose for the maximum laziness on Jonathan's part.. Instead, since Jason says he has nothing to do, I think he should follow Jonathan around with a TI-89 or HP49g or any other calculator/computer of his choice (no games may be installed on said computational device) and attend to his every computational need. Every time a computation is performed incorrectly, Jason shall be billed $20 and need to reperform the computation. If Jason is unable to perform a computation, he will have to give up one major piece of his material wealth starting with the quarter million dollar condo and continue down in descending order of value for each subsequent failure. In addition, since it seems likely Jason will eventually run out of stuff and money, he should be allowed to earn back $1 for every cup of coffee or any other beverage of Jonathan's choice he fetches for Jonathan.

Note: Grumbling is treated as a failure to perform a computation.

All procedes will go to the charity of my choice, which happens to be the "Help Joe Retire Early House"
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Postby quantus » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:45 pm

So, what did you actually come up with as a solution for this? I kinda like the Jason solution myself...
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For all your calculation needs

Postby Martin » Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:00 pm

http://www.5z.com/jirka/genius.html
"The original goal of Genius was to build a better BC then BC. That goal is attained now, with Genius being much more featureful and faster then BC. Also the newer version have gone even farther away from BC like syntax to be more math like. "

If you want something really fancy, check out Mathematica, but it is expensive:
http://www.wolfram.com/

Finally: Yes, it's possible to emulate a calculator on your desktop, but it's generally a dumb idea. If you wanted to go this route, I would recommend the TI-92+, which has the biggest display and the most functionality. Virtual TI is the most popular emulator, and it can handle any TI:
http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fi ... /8442.html
Zophar's domain has a list of emulators but I'm not sure how updated it is:
http://www.zophar.net/ti.html
Aquiring a ROM image could be tricky if you don't have the calculator you wish to emulate. If you're interested in the HP48 here's another page:
http://www.hpcalc.org/hp48/pc/emulators/ And again, you'll need a ROM image.
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Re: For all your calculation needs

Postby Jonathan » Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:09 pm

Martin wrote:http://www.5z.com/jirka/genius.html
"The original goal of Genius was to build a better BC then BC. That goal is attained now, with Genius being much more featureful and faster then BC. Also the newer version have gone even farther away from BC like syntax to be more math like. "


Nice. Agreed, Mathematica, Matlab, and their ilk (Ansys) are real numerical packages. However, free software-wise, Genius looks great. Now if I can only manage to install it on Intel's old-ass RH7 image. Here I go!
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Postby Jonathan » Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:13 pm

Update: Intel's old-ass RH7 image does not have GTK 2.0. I.e., I am SOL. Poo.
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Re: For all your calculation needs

Postby quantus » Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:19 am

Martin wrote:Finally: Yes, it's possible to emulate a calculator on your desktop, but it's generally a dumb idea. If you wanted to go this route, I would recommend the TI-92+, which has the biggest display and the most functionality. Virtual TI is the most popular emulator, and it can handle any TI:
http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fi ... /8442.html
Zophar's domain has a list of emulators but I'm not sure how updated it is:
http://www.zophar.net/ti.html
Aquiring a ROM image could be tricky if you don't have the calculator you wish to emulate.


TI has the ROM's freely available online for the newest calculators like the 89 and 92 when I looked.
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Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:24 pm

I use bc for almost all my calculation needs. The ibase, obase, e, and l commands do almost everything I need to do with a calculator. The only problem I ever have is changing ibase changes the base of the argument provided to future calls of ibase and obase. Distinguishing between A, 10, and 16 can be annoying when you switch back and forth between hex and decimal constantly. I usually wind up quitting bc and starting over.

Another interesting solution which I haven't had much occasion to use since I don't do much symbolic manipulation nowadays is called TeXmacs. It is the bastard child of Tex and Emacs. It is strictly a display-only system, but it provides a plugin system to allow you to connect to other software packages. Of particular interest are the Maxima and Octave plugins. It looks like they need Mathematica's programmable palettes to be really nifty, but this looks pretty nice overall.
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Postby George » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:42 pm

I you're on Windows XP, Microsoft released a free graphing calculator power toy. I only ran it once back when I first tried XP (senior year), so I don't know how well it works. Do a search on Microsoft's web page for Win XP Power Toys and it should show up.
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Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:47 pm

I'm running Windows 2000. Think it'll work?

edit: The XP Power Toys autodetect your OS and refuse to install if you're not using XP.
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Postby George » Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:03 pm

Yeah, I seem to remember trying and failing to run it on 2K after I gave up on XP at home. As it turns out, I have Matlab on all my work PCs, and never have any real need to do tough calculations at home so I never pursued it farther. I can't imagine that the calculator actually makes use of any of XP's features.

TweakUI installs on any version of Windows and just disables the menus that aren't supported. Same with the Command Prompt Here toy, which I use all the time at work.
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