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July 16, 2003


Cop Car

Yes, I could have told you that. And they think that 1 and l are different and that O, o, and 0 are different. As you did, I learned the hard way--when writing the finite element analysis for my thesis work back in the dark ages when punch cards were still the only way of communicating with the darned machines. You were a bit young to be involved, but you may remember that Sis learned to invert a 3X3 matrix using my brand new HP35 in order to help me check out my programming. [The HP35 is an amazing calculator--my first hand held--it even has a way of storing a number for later use! I still have it--and the HP19C, and whatever my newest one is called (HP485?) that Ive had for about 5 years but haven't even figured out how to store a number let alone the thousands that it has room for) because a value must have a name before it can be stored. HH still has his HP45 and HP65. We've a veritable museum of calculators.]

Wichi Dude

Museum peices they may be, but they still work and are usually more dependable than the newer versions. Not as flambouant, but dependable. And my old stand by, the solar powered mechanical calculator, (pencil), almost never fails, but the accuracy is sometimes questionable.


Hmmm...I have to wonder about that "solar powered mechanical calculator". My recollection is that when he used this wonderful tool for math homework Wichidude instantly got a case of the yawns! Maybe it wasn't the calculator - I guess it could have been the course work.


I think Cop Car is averse to reading the directions on her "new" calculator.

Isn't it funny how even the old mechanical calculator even comes with a "delete" funtion?

Cop Car

Oh, I've read the instructions on how to store a number, all right--many times; because, each time I want to do it, it's been so long since I've done it that I've forgotten how. Since I keep that calculator at work, I don't usually have time to screw around with looking up how to store a number(or even finding the instructions) so I grab the calculator on my iPAQ or any 4-function calculator that happens to be laying about. The HP-19C sits on my desk here at home. I caught myself wondering how to make it print the contents of the x-register the other day; but, at least I can remember how to store at least 20 variables!
In addition to our miriad calculators, HH and I have somewhere between 5 and 10 slide rules scattered about. Perhaps "museum" was the wrong term. I like "arsenal" better. We've an arsenal of computing power (including logarith tables!)

Cop Car

Of course, when I need trig functions or something that a 4-function calculator doesn't have while at work, I just go to Excel on my computer and solve the problem. Fortunately, I've not needed to use a hyperbolic function since buying the HP-48G since I don't know how to do those on Excel--I'd have to go to MathCAD (which I haven't used in years). I don't do too many calculations, myself, anymore. The most esoteric thing that I'm apt to do is a vector cross or dot product. How sad. Wasting all that education!


Arsenal is a good word!

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