OT: Most sophisticated 99cent calculator



#16

The 99 cent store has sold 4-function calculators for a while. When I saw a "scientific" on the shelf I had to pick it up and look, and I got a real surprise:

Hex, octal and binary conversions. Ten digits. Parentheses. Complex numbers. Coordinate conversions. Deg.min.sec conversion. Single variable stats. For a buck? Really?

I bought one and tried it out. The functions all work, no missing display segments, and the keys all work and are quite usable for rubber keys.

The complex numbers appear to be just for four-function and coordinates, not for scientific functions. You press for example 2nd CPLX 1 a 2 b X 4 a 8 b = to do a complex multiply, then a and b to see the real and complex parts.

The hex mode is 40 bits (1-2 gives 10 Fs) so it understands two's complement. I was impressed and bought several to give out to the coders at work.

Here's what the package looks like:
Package photo

Here are scans of the two sides of the one-page manual (zoom to read):
Side 1
Side 2


#17

Looks like another clone of the 1980's Sharp EL-506P.
There are many variations of this clone on the market.

Here is a more detailed manual I did for a Staples clone.

#18

The only problem with these sorts--and I have bought a few when they are $1.00 but not when they are $4.00--is that they are very poorly made and will suddenly stop working correctly. I have never had one last more than a couple months.


#19

Quote:
I have never had one last more than a couple months.

That may be mmore cost effective than keeping the batteries in a 33s or 35s. Is the keyboard really that good?


#20

The ones I've had had terrible keyboards. Probably vary a lot.

I just bought a stash of batteries from a battery dealer. I think they were 38c a piece for the 2032.

Edited: 10 Jan 2011, 8:00 a.m.


#21

Quote:
I just bought a stash of batteries from a battery dealer. I think they were 38c a piece for the 2032.

This afternoon I bought a card of nine CR-2032's for $3.99 at ACE Hardware. That's about 44 cents apiece. They are Made in China and distributed by JMK, whoever they are.

#22

Mine are Panasonic.

#23

What does the "parent thesis" key mentioned in the instructions do?

B^)


#24

I've heard of a "parent term paper", but parent thesis? This has gone way too far.

#25

Ren, as soon as you type as good Chinese as those folks type English, you are free to critizice zhi ge ren 8)


#26

I doubt if Ren is marketing products to the Chinese, but I could be wrong.

Reminds me of the '60s when we we actually could purchase Japanese-made electronics. We used to get a kick out of some of the grammar in the instruction books. At the time I remember thinking, they have an American distributor for their products, why can't they cough up a few bucks for a technical writer? But then we would not have had the enjoyment.

Of course this was for meaningful products, not a $1 calculator.


#27

Quote:
Reminds me of the '60s when we we actually could purchase Japanese-made electronics. We used to get a kick out of some of the grammar in the instruction books.

  1. Well you know what happened then ... now there is only minimum US consumer electronics left. So it probably was the right strategy.
  2. Quote:
    I doubt if Ren is marketing products ...

    :) We have an old saying here: "People in a greenhouse shall not throw stones." ;)
#28

Some years ago I bought a CD-ROM reader for a PC and the installation manual was translated to many languages, spanish among them. The spanish description of that small pin hole to extract the CD in the case the door does not open was described as "Emergency ejaculation". Sometimes "not even close synonyms" can bring you some problems ;-)


#29

I have a book describing WWII German submarine technical details. It is a translation from the original German into English. There are several paragraphs discussing generator "agitation". It didn't take but a few seconds to realize that the intended English term should have been "excitation" (the DC current flow in a generator rotor).

Such is always a possibility when the translator doesn't understand the details of the subject being translated.

So...what "99 cent store" is selling these scientific calculators for that price? All we have around this part of the US is "Dollar General".


#30

I've seen several different brands of "dollar" stores. Most mean what most people would expect - that everything sells for $1 or less. But there is one brand where it means everything sells for a whole dollar amount, no cents!


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