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#1
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This is a very trivial issue. But I am very curious to find out the answer.

Lately, I bought a desk calculator. The way this calculator works is absolutely new and weird to me (and I have used calculator for more than 40 years already).

Let's say you need to do 2+3-4, all in my life with the calculators that I have used before, I would key in [2] [+] [3] [-] [4] [=] and that would give me the correct result of '1'. But with this calculator, keying in that way would give an incorrect result of '3'. In order to get the correct result of '1', I will need to key in [2] [+] [3] [+] [4] [-] [*].

And I still fail to figure out how to use it to do multiplcation or division as I keep getting incorrect results. What kind of calculator is this? I will need to buy another calculator but how can I make sure the calculator that I buy will work in the conventional way, instead of in a wierd way like this one?
 

#2
CathysTaxes  
Moderator
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Wow. It looks like you would have to actually go to a brick and mortar store and hope the displays work so you can check it out.

This would really aggravate me. I was thinking of getting a new one.
Cathy
CathysTaxes
 

#3
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North Carolina
I have never had a calculator where you input the way you say you have done all your life (other than a hand held one). All of mine have worked like the latter.

To multiply, [2] [x] [5] [=] will give you your answer. To divide, you would enter the same way, just with the division sign.
 

#4
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văn phòng
There's probably nothing wrong with your calculator. That's how my desktop Sharp Compet QS-2130 works. It's called "adding machine logic" and IMO it's the only type of calculator that we should be using.

It's the way most old adding machines work, and it's actually faster than traditional calculators once you get used to it. Once you gain experience, you'll appreciate it when you need to add up a series of mixed credits and debits. Although, it is confusing at first to the uninitiated.

Not sure on the multiplication and division part. That works fine for me. Maybe read the manual to troubleshoot if it's you or the calculator.
 

#5
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1997
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Wisconsin
Agreed, that's the standard way an adding machine works. Enter the number and then + or - based on what you want the number to do to the total. It's very efficient
 

#6
AlexCPA  
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Los Angeles, CA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Polish_notation

Explanation
In reverse Polish notation, the operators follow their operands; for instance, to add 3 and 4, one would write 3 4 + rather than 3 + 4. If there are multiple operations, operators are given immediately after their second operands; so the expression written 3 − 4 + 5 in conventional notation would be written 3 4 − 5 + in reverse Polish notation: 4 is first subtracted from 3, then 5 is added to it. An advantage of reverse Polish notation is that it removes the need for parentheses that are required by infix notation. While 3 − 4 × 5 can also be written 3 − (4 × 5), that means something quite different from (3 − 4) × 5. In reverse Polish notation, the former could be written 3 4 5 × −, which unambiguously means 3 (4 5 ×) − which reduces to 3 20 − (which can further be reduced to -17); the latter could be written 3 4 − 5 × (or 5 3 4 − ×, if keeping similar formatting), which unambiguously means (3 4 −) 5 ×.

Practical implications
In comparison testing of reverse Polish notation with algebraic notation, reverse Polish has been found to lead to faster calculations, for two reasons. The first reason is that reverse Polish calculators do not need expressions to be parenthesized, so fewer operations need to be entered to perform typical calculations. Additionally, users of reverse Polish calculators made fewer mistakes than for other types of calculators.[13][14] Later research clarified that the increased speed from reverse Polish notation may be attributed to the smaller number of keystrokes needed to enter this notation, rather than to a smaller cognitive load on its users.[15] However, anecdotal evidence suggests that reverse Polish notation is more difficult for users to learn than algebraic notation.[14]
Even more of my antics may be found on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXDitB ... sMwfO19h7A
 

#7
ATSMAN  
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MA
I have been using a HP-12C calculator since the 80s and it uses Reverse Polish Notation. Also my Sharp adding machine (with paper tape) uses the adding machine logic. You have to press the Total button instead of the = button to get the total and then after a series of steps you can press the GT (Grand Total) button to get the final grand total. I use that when I am adding a large # of expense receipts. I staple the tape right on top of the pile of receipts.

So you just have to get used to it :roll:
 

#8
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845-NY
I use the native Calculator app on the computer, or excel if it's a longer list of numbers.
I have the Calc app in the Quick launch, and 3 monitors, so I can have all the open calc's I need.
Can't stand the desktop calculators and their "logic".
Hard pass.
 

#9
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ReckedCPAEA wrote:Can't stand the desktop calculators and their "logic".
Hard pass.


My Sharp is suffering from self esteem issues now. :?
 

#10
sjrcpa  
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Maryland
I still have an adding machine on my desk. I don't like the Windows calculator app.
When I started as a staff accountant, in my first employment review I was dinged for not being fast enough on the adding machine. We were expected to be speedy and enter numbers without looking at them. Sort of like typing, at which I also suck.
 

#11
HowardS  
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Southern Pines, NC
I just take my shoes off.
I suffer from depreciation.
 

#12
Taxaway  
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Boston, MA
I just gave Alexa a math equation but she wanted to repeat it first. Just to be sure. She was slower than a calculator though sounded better.
 

#13
ATSMAN  
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MA
Alexa and Siri are frankly overrated. People expect it to do miracles!
 

#14
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North Carolina
Howard, that works for income and deductions but how do you compute the tax, which requires division (or multiplication)?
 

#15
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He uses a calculator for that.
 

#16
Beagle  
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Freelander
ReckedCPAEA wrote:I use the native Calculator app on the computer, or excel if it's a longer list of numbers.
I have the Calc app in the Quick launch, and 3 monitors, so I can have all the open calc's I need.
Can't stand the desktop calculators and their "logic".
Hard pass.


I have a handheld calculator for small items. Anything else gets a spreadsheet. Easy to print and view.
 

#17
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1496
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SC
I hate accounting/finance calculators, but I broke down and finally bought one last year after going years of not having one. I use it all the time, now, vs. Excel or Windows' native calculator.

I had to get used to its methods, anyway, since it is also how Lacerte and TTC calculators work.
 


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