Talk:Windows Calculator

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Picture

Someone gotta be kidding me by saying that that picture is from XP. Come on, anyone can see that it's Windows 95 or something...to make up for it, I'll add a shot of the newest version available: the Windows Vista version. Oh!..... Shandristhe azylean 19:45, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, not everybody uses XP with the fancy blue bars and all. I uploaded a new version, though. --Merovingian {T C @} 21:22, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
You're to be replaced =) Shandristhe azylean 12:03, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

pi

How many digits of pi does the calculator store? I once clicked pi, then clicked copy, then clicked the button to subtract, then clicked paste, and finally multiplied the result of that by 10^31, and then I got the next thirty-something digits of pi, and then repeated, and using this method figured out that it had stored at least the first 200 digits of pi. I wonder how whether every microsoft computer has the first 1000 digits of pi stored in some obscure file, or if it was generating them on demand using some algorithm. Any ideas? And the same holds true with e, obtainable by just typing 1, then inv, then ln. 209.6.229.150 23:36, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not accurate to that many digits. Floating point number are easily eroded in computation because they are not easily represented in binary. (read more Floating point) But here is a crude test:

```Microsoft Pi:
3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399311481966593000573842001111842089549379151255564
Pi per Wikipedia (50 digits):
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
```

Wow, for a second I thought Microsoft had done something right! 209.6.229.150 00:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Well that's a silly comment, microsoft used a very precise pi more precise than most data types support, in fact I think it probably is 32 significant digits guaranteed so that would make it a decimal variable (a double precision double)83.226.47.248 20:38, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Pi is stored internally as a fraction so a continued fraction would reveal it. That is why it is more precise than 128 bits.

```Victor Kosko (talk) 23:03, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
```

Pasted Text

I lack a pre-Windows XP version of Calculator to test this functionality on older versions, or I might have just replaced the existing trivia section. In the Windows XP version the effect of pasted text is different than noted in trivia. Can anyone confirm this on other versions?

For one, it doesn't matter if the pasted text is on one or several lines. Hard returns are ignored, although tabs seem to effectively stop input at that point.

While order of operation seems to be preserved (3 + 5 * 2 equals 13, not 16), it seems that otherwise the effect is essentially identical to typing the same characters. One isn't limited to the basic four functions, but can use the keyboard equivalents of most other buttons. These can be found in the Calculator help file's "Using keyboard equivalents of Calculator buttons" or by right clicking on such a button and selecting "What's this?"

For example, 4i@= is like clicking 4, checking Inv (inverse), and clicking x^2, producing 2 (the square root of 4).

This functionality can be useful when parenthesis are involved, such as for fractions. However, the written out expressions can still become long and unwieldy. For example, (((3/4)+(16/9))/(1/3))y(1+(7/8)) for three quarters plus sixteen ninths, the result divided by a third, and that result raised to the one and seven eighths power. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 70.41.110.107 (talk) 01:11, 23 March 2007 (UTC).

Fair use gallery

I removed a gallery of fair use screenshots from this page; this did not meet the minimal use requirements of WP:FUP. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Calcplusconversion.jpg

Image:Calcplusconversion.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 14:26, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Microsoft Powercalc.PNG

Image:Microsoft Powercalc.PNG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 20:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary-precision vs IEEE

The Calculator in Windows 2000 and later Windows NT-based versions uses an arbitrary-precision arithmetic library, replacing the standard IEEE floating point library.

I believe the "arbitrary-precision arithmetic library" was already used in Win98 SE. I still have this version and I can calculate as high as 2 ^ 65536 in full precision, while the floating point calculator (double precision) in QBasic has a limit of 2 ^ 1024. What's the limit of MS Calculator anyway?--Tai Ferret (talk) 19:55, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Powercalc.PNG

Image:Powercalc.PNG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:22, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Bugs section

Referenced below. Massively POV to say the least (most joked about?), minutiae that is unnecessary in a description of the program to begin with and would be better off in a Trivia section, which is not indicated anymore anyway. WP is not a bug database, a place to document software defects or an advocacy platform. The one salvageable paragraph would be this, I guess:

All Calculator versions including the one in Windows XP, save the configuration (whether to use scientific or standard mode) to the legacy win.ini - a file that is not writable for users. So non-admin users will always start in standard mode. On NT-based operating systems, using INI file redirection, this issue can be addressed by modifying the registry. [1] Calculator Plus also fixes this bug by saving the information where it belongs - into the user portion of the registry.

But that's also irrelevant to the article, IMO. Thoughts? §FreeRangeFrog 02:22, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Although WP isn't a how-to, the above solved my problem of how to get it to start in Sci mode, even without editing registry. The info that it was in win.ini was all that was needed. That file had been deleted as being what you said - legacy, which sounds like "useless". Didn't connect that to later disappearance of default Sci view. Imagine my surprise when a search through the Registry had no config info for Calc. Restoring the win.ini file did the trick. ... This is an oddity, because most apps store their config info in the registry, in, say, HKCU\Software. Because it's an oddity, it's notable. Unimaginative Username (talk) 05:04, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

"Hex Mode Limitation and Behavior"

This section seems to be a long rant about an extremely minor point and it strays a long way from Windows Calculator into general mathematics. Also, my recollection (I'm under Linux right now, so can't check) is that the limitation applies to binary and octal as well, but is bit-based rather than digit-based.

Surely all that needs be said is "though the calculator operates in arbitrary precision for base ten, in other bases it is limited to 64-bit integers"?

--Clive Jones (talk) 03:27, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

But where IS it?

This article suffers from the same lack as most of Microsoft's own help articles: It assumes you've found the function in question! I came here with a very simple question: How do I open the Calculator in Windows 7? The article doesn't answer that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GeorgeTSLC (talkcontribs) 13:49, 27 August 2011 (UTC) Hit the start button, then all programs, accessories, calculatr. However, this is not suitable content for a wikipedia article, and I am only putting it here in case you don't know.Millermk90 (talk) 05:20, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Errors

I am removing the Erros Section. It does not apply to the newest (Windows 7) version of calculaator (at least there is no error on my computer). If anyone feels it should exist, then it needs to be specific as to affected versions and it needs to be referenced.Millermk90 (talk) 05:20, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

• the bug still exists, even in Windows 8.1. However, your description was incorrect. You can't subtract the result from itself. You must hit the minus sign, then re-enter the integer. This happens because calc seems to use an approximation algorithm to compute roots, even when the root is an integer. (This is probably because of legacy code dating back to the days before Intel CPU's included a math coprocessor by default.) The way to test this is to enter the following sequence: 4 sqrt - 2 = 72.199.249.133 (talk) 18:19, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft broke it.

In programmer mode, calculator always assumes signed numbers. Therefore a single byte cannot represent anything higher than 127. This actually makes it completely useless for a lot of people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.103.71.106 (talk) 08:21, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Another annoyance that wasn't there in Vista nor XP: It doesn't let you use operations like exponent and sqrt in programmer mode, nor floating point even if the base is set to 10. Even worse, switching between modes clears the stored number, making it a hassle to do calculations involving different number bases and calculations other than what's available in programmer mode. Previously it would truncate if you switched out of decimal base, but that's a reasonable alternative to throwing away the number completely (showing a hexadecimal point and fraction like EA.8 when coming from 234.5 would be even better). The interface is too modal. 24.85.162.40 (talk) 11:28, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

I can only agree: Since Windows 7 the calculator is a pain for programmers. As soon as you switch to "programmer mode", you basically cannot use any floating point numbers (even when in decimal). This is absolutely horrible; obviously someone at Microsoft decided that a programmer does not need floating point numbers :-(. 194.25.174.98 (talk) 17:20, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Weeell they copied ALL scientific calculators... FIX: write a paper explaining completely how binary math mode should be done, for all calculator implementers... Rather many features are that way like DRG should not include gradians but should include mils and pi-multiple-gradians. Victor Kosko (talk) 23:19, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Redundant section

Extended content

Calculator in "Hex" (hexadecimal) mode cannot accept or display a hexadecimal number larger than 0xFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF (decimal 18446744073709551615). That 8-byte (64-bit) limit, combined with absence of notification to the user regarding the limitation or how it is handled, presents a serious dysfunctionality. For example, if the user switches to "Hex" mode, and then types "10", and then presses the "x^y" button, and then types "10" again, and then presses "=" the result will be "0".

That mode selection and keystroke sequence means Calculator is being told to evaluate 16 (decimal) raised to the 16th (decimal) power, and to display the result in hexadecimal base. In "Hex" mode, on a less limited calculator, "10" "x^y" "10" "=", would produce 10000000000000000, which is the hexadecimal representation of X'10' ** X'10'. That number is 17 digits long, and in "Hex" mode, Calculator is limited to registering and displaying no more than 16 hexadecimal digits. In "Hex" mode, if a result is larger than can be represented in 16 hexadecimal digits, Calculator will return a 0 and yield no error message.

No matter what integer base one may be using, in that base, "10" is the number of the base. Taking to its own power the number of any integer base results in a number which is in that base a 1 followed by a number of 0s equal to the number of the base. So regardless of what integer base one is using, if one keys "10" "x^y" "10" "=", one should get a 1 followed by a number of 0s that is equal to the number of the base one is using.

That works fine in Calculator for binary, octal, and decimal modes. Using "Bin" (binary) the user gets 100 (a 1 followed by 2 0s, i.e. base 2). Using "Oct" (octal) the user gets 100000000 (a 1 followed by 8 0s, i.e. base 8). Using "Dec" (decimal) the user gets 10000000000 (a 1 followed by 10 0s, i.e. base 10). But if the user tries to do that using "Hex" mode, the user gets a 0.

In hexadecimal, a 10 represents the number that in decimal is represented by 16. If the user selects "Dec" mode, and types "16" and then presses the "x^y" button and then types "16" again, and then presses "=" the result will be (decimal) 18446744073709551616, which is correct, as that is the decimal number for "16 raised to the 16th power". Calculator is capable of displaying that number in decimal, but it is incapable of displaying in hexadecimal any number greater than or equal to that number.

If the user seeing that number displayed switches to "Hex" mode, "0" will appear on the resultant display, and if the user then switches back to "Dec" mode, "0" will still appear. That is due to the 16 hexadecimal digit limitation imposed in "Hex" mode, and to the method chosen for handling numbers which cannot be represented in 16 hexadecimal digits. The choice was made to simply substitute zero for any number greater than 0xFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

In "Dec" mode, Calculator is limited to 32 digits in result displays. If a user operating Calculator in "Dec" mode produces a result that exceeds the decimal number resultant display limitations of Calculator, Calculator will resort to Scientific Notation, i.e. it will express the number as a between-1-and-10 number (sometimes inclusive of a decimal point and of numerals after the decimal point) times ten to some power. So, for example, Calculator in "Dec" mode, can display Avogadro's Number as 602214179000000000000000 (that value is plus or minus about 30 in the least significant nonzero digits) which is a 24 digit number, but if the user squares that, the result is 3.62661917388644041e+47. That would be a 48 digit number if it were displayed without the e+ notation. Calculator won't do anything analogous to the e+ notation in "Hex" mode. It just reports any number larger than 16 bytes as 0.

Isn't this whole section basically saying that the Hex mode is limited to 16 hexadecimal characters? It's basically repeating itself for paragraphs and paragraphs just to reiterate that point. 86.160.180.131 (talk) 22:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen on Wikipedia. I've reduced it as you suggest. – Smyth\talk 06:01, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Undocumented precision modifier command-line option?

According to http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=5856918 and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2004/05/25/141253.aspx#145636 there is a "/p:nnn" command-line option that can change the number of digits of precision it uses. /p:64 or /p:512, for example. Came across it doing some Googling for something not-quite-related, and at least in Windows XP, it works. This sort of info is pretty hard to find, so worth mentioning in the article? 24.85.213.54 (talk) 00:48, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi.
I am afraid the source does not fit the bill for WP:RS. This source is self-published with not vetting.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 12:27, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Unit conversion

The article states that unit conversion for the metro calculator was introduced in Windows 10, but this was already present in Windows 8.1. --LyThienDao1984 (talk) 06:04, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

'calc.exe' as PoC for exploits

AFAIK, 'calc.exe' is the de facto Proof of Concept used by security researchers to show that they can execute arbitrary code. Searching in the Metasploit project or on Twitter seems to confirm this. Xjomo (talk) 23:10, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

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