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A colleague has a problem: His HP 48gII is displaying the results of division as a fraction. If we key in

2 Enter 5 /

The display reads


I'm an RPN guy, not RPL, and neither of us can figure out how to change this back so division displays as a real number with decimals. The calculator is in Fix 3 mode. Addition, multiplication and subtraction seem to work as expected.


Edited: 9 Apr 2010, 5:49 p.m.

Read the manual, look at the system flag settings, under MODE. Look at the CAS settings there. Sounds like it has to do with not being in approximate mode or something like that.

He's in exact mode. If he wants it behave more "normally" he can switch to "approximate" mode by holding down the right shift key and pressing ENTER. Note that the small "=" indicator at the top will change to a squiggly equal sign to indicate approximate mode.

If he wants to stay in exact mode and just convert the value to a number, press right-shift then ENTER to execute the ->NUM function.

Tim wrote a very good new users guide to the 50g that should apply to the 48 gii also. I urge your friend to work through it.

It isn't perfect, but it was written from the approach of "lets teach you about the most common stumbling blocks, while introducing some of the really neat things this calculator does. By the time you go through it, you should be able to use it for day to day calculations without problems and at least have an idea where to go if things go wrong."


Click on the paperclip on the second post there. It was the first placeI could findit.

I'd download it and tell your friend to go through it. If I recall, it talks about real/approximate atleast 3 places. Don't you lovecomputers with broken keyboards. . . (using the wife'smachine that is full of food under the keys :-D )


Thanks, everyone. It was indeed exact vs. approximate mode. My friend is like many people who own a graphing calculator. He knows well the features he uses every day, but has forgotten the ones he doesn't.

The 48-50 series is complex enough that one errant keystroke can sometimes send you to the Land of Oz. I have a 48S, but only occasionally use it, mostly for unit conversions. Most of the time, I reach for my 32S or 32Sii.