Calculator Definition and 13 Discussions

An electronic calculator is typically a portable electronic device used to perform calculations, ranging from basic arithmetic to complex mathematics.
The first solid-state electronic calculator was created in the early 1960s. Pocket-sized devices became available in the 1970s, especially after the Intel 4004, the first microprocessor, was developed by Intel for the Japanese calculator company Busicom. They later became used commonly within the petroleum industry (oil and gas).
Modern electronic calculators vary from cheap, give-away, credit-card-sized models to sturdy desktop models with built-in printers. They became popular in the mid-1970s as the incorporation of integrated circuits reduced their size and cost. By the end of that decade, prices had dropped to the point where a basic calculator was affordable to most and they became common in schools.
Computer operating systems as far back as early Unix have included interactive calculator programs such as dc and hoc, and calculator functions are included in almost all personal digital assistant (PDA) type devices, the exceptions being a few dedicated address book and dictionary devices.
In addition to general purpose calculators, there are those designed for specific markets. For example, there are scientific calculators which include trigonometric and statistical calculations. Some calculators even have the ability to do computer algebra. Graphing calculators can be used to graph functions defined on the real line, or higher-dimensional Euclidean space. As of 2016, basic calculators cost little, but scientific and graphing models tend to cost more.
In 1986, calculators still represented an estimated 41% of the world's general-purpose hardware capacity to compute information. By 2007, this had diminished to less than 0.05%.

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  1. YoungPhysicist

    Addiator: Short introduction about a calculator from the 60s

    Summary: A short introduction to a antique calculator that I recently got I first know about this thing when I was chatting with @jedishrfu a couple months ago, and I was fascinated by it. It functions like a soroban but looks way cooler and easier to carry around. Also, it is a important...
  2. J

    Calculator or not? (from the TV show Numb3rs)

    Greetings everyone, I thought this would be the place to pose this question. In the TV show Numb3rs Charlie plays with something I am not familiar with. Wooden base 4-5 wire half rounds with beads on each half round. Anyone know what this is? A calculator or toy?
  3. icecat2005

    Calculators Showing Digit Separator in Casio fx-cg20/10

    I have been digging into the manual to figure out how to show digit separator (e.g 100,000). I do not seem to be able to find anything even though I have a vague memory that I have done it about a year ago. All I am managing to do is limit decimal places and show 100k instead of 100000. If...
  4. M

    Calculators RE- TI Nspire CX CAS vs Casio Classpad vs TI 89

    HI y'all! I was just told by my programming teacher that I need a new graphing calculator. She told me to decide between the TI 89, Casio Classpad fx-cp400 (or fx cp500) or the TI-Nspire CX C.A.S. I don't know if greyscale or color matters though in the long run. I am a programmer and need...
  5. D

    Other Plugging numbers into my calculator wrong

    I'm getting pretty discouraged because I'm a straight A engineering student, but this semester I'm getting bad grades because I'm plugging things into my calculator wrong. I study a ton, and I definitely know the material, I just plug things into my calculator wrong and get the wrong answer. In...
  6. epenguin

    I Free or cheap app for log plots

    Trying to complete some homework help I got a bit stuck on an elementary or common problem that was always a bit difficult. I have a function f(x) and just want to plot log f(x) against log x. This is common in chemistry and biochemistry. It should have been easy. :redface: I have picked up...
  7. F

    I'm nothing without my calculator....

    So i graduated with good gpa in a civil engineering program in a school in Québec. Problem is, at that said school, programmable calculators were allowed and we abused it. Every single integrals or derivatives or complex number manipulation was solved by it and now i transferred to another...
  8. onion3000

    Programming on HP 50g

    Is there a programming editor on the HP 50g (like the TI programming systems)? I have been unable to find any information on this, so any help would be appreciated.
  9. lonely_nucleus

    Calculators Can TI-84 calculator send text messages or email?

    Well the texas instruments ti-84 calculator is my favorite toy. I use it for anything I can from getting a girl to put her phone number in my calculator to programming. Is there a way to somehow add an external circuit that can make the ti-84 send text messages. I bet there would have to be a...
  10. P

    How to import text file to casio fx-cg20 calc?

    DOo somebody know how to import text to casio fx-cg 20?
  11. T

    Best (non-program) sci. calculator with a viewable memory?

    What is the best non-programmable scientific calculator with a scrollable (or otherwise easily accessible) memory of past calculations? I would like to find one where the full decimal/standard answers from past calculations can easily be selected and used for new calculations. I already know...
  12. G

    Calculating strength of steel square tubing

    Hello, I'm enrolled in College in the civil engineering program and am looking for guidance with calculating strength of steel square tubing. We are making a project that has parameters. 1- Must be made of steel 2- 4"x6"x36" is maximum OD of section. 3- 14 lbs is maximum weight 4- the load...
  13. Q

    Calculators TI-89 how to save result of an embedded funtion to a variable

    Hello, I do a lot math and physics work, (predominantly advanced fundamental theories), and have consistently been hindered by a particular issue when it comes to a few of my defined functions. I feel like it would be a kind of "order of execution" issue with a simple solution, but though I've...