Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nerd Alert

I got another new calculator, the HP 35s

It's not like the old HP calculators--but at least it looks like one, not like the previous monstrosity, (which I also own) the HP 33s:

which had (*gasp*) a gender-challenged teal and purple color scheme. It also had an ENTER button that was the same size as the other buttons, rather than over-sized as, I am pretty sure, is commanded somewhere in Leviticus. Madness. At that time, HP was too busy spying on its own employees to design a decent calculator.

Both use the far superior RPN rather than the Euro girly-man algebraic entry. The hideous, little-people algebraic entry requires the cumbersome and obfuscating "equal sign" button as well as the unspeakable crutch of open and close parentheses buttons. Bleh. That's for calculation-phobic biologists and other wordy wimps.

There is, I am told, a way to put these new HP calculators into algebraic mode. Blasphemy. I don't want to know how to do it.

As I have mentioned in the past, a great stupid-calculator-trick is to hand a RPN HP calculator to a student taking an exam who forget his calculator. Just watch him search in vain, with growing anxiety, for the "equals" button! Good fun!

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