Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Casio fx-260 Solar II (fx-82 Solar II)



Review:  Casio fx-260 Solar II (fx-82 Solar II)

 Company:  Casio
Year:  2017
Type:  Scientific
Power:  Solar
Statistics: 1 Variable
Operating System:  AOS (classic)
Cost:  $8.99




So New?

Ironically, I was not able to find the fx-260 Solar II online, but saw it on a very rare trip to WalMart.  The Casio fx-260 Solar II calculator is so new that still isn’t featured on the Casio’s website (as of 3/27/2017). 

As a note:  The fx-260 is the name for the version sold in the United States.  Internationally, the calculator is known as the fx-82 Solar II, and Casio does have that calculator on its website:


An Update of a Classic
 
fx-260 Solar original on the left, fx-260 Solar II on the right  (named fx-82 Solar (II) internationally)

The fx-260 Solar II is an update of the very classic (and still selling) Casio fx-260 Solar (outside the United States, it’s the fx-82 Solar).  Functionally, the fx-260 Solar II is the same as the classic fx-260.  As a reminder:

* Trigonometric functions
* Angle conversions: polar, rectangular, to degrees (Shift Mode 4), to radians (Shift Mode 5), and to grads (Shift Mode 6)
* Random numbers
* Logarithms and exponents
* 1 Variable Statistics
* Fractions (up to a maximum of 10 digits between the whole, numerator, and denominator parts)
* DMS/Decimal math and conversions

Pretty handy for a basic scientific calculator.  The fx-260 Solar II, like its predecessor runs entirely on solar and light power, hence a completely green calculator.  50 lux is required.

There is a NF version which was stated on the quick manual that came with the fx-260 Solar II.  The NF stands for “no fraction” and the diagram shows the fraction button [ a b/c ] button disabled.

The percent key still works the same as the predecessor.  The keystrokes:

Find N% of W:   W [ * ] N [Shift] [ = ] (%)

W is N% of the whole:   W [ ÷ ] N [Shift] [ = ] (%)

Markup/Tax:   W [ * ] N [Shift] [ = ] (%) [ + ]

Discount:  W [ * ] N [Shift] [ = ] (%) [ - ]

The differences between the fx-260 Solar II are:

 
The back of the fx-260 Solar II

1.  The processor is faster, most noticeable when try to calculator n! when  50 < n < 69.  In reality, it can be seen as negligible since the predecessor is no slow poke. 
2.  The fx-260 Solar II is has a more compact design than the original fx-260 Solar.  The fx-260 Solar II is close to a size of an iPod Touch/iPhone.  Per the manual, the dimensions of the fx-260 Solar II are 3/8” height, 2 3/4” width, and 4 3/4” depth. 
3.  The one difference I’m not a fan of is how the mode reminders are moved to the back of the calculator.  Furthermore, the reminders are white text on a white background.  It is only because of the etching that the reminders could be readable. 





Easter egg: I think this is the first time Casio dated their manual (2017). 

Final Verdict

If you are fan of small calculators, solar calculators, Casio, basic level scientific calculators, or just want something nice to add to your collection, then the fx-260 Solar II (and the original fx-260 Solar) is a nice pick up for not much money.

Eddie

This blog is property of Edward Shore, 2017.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Retro Review: Garrett CM 20 Calculator



Retro Review:  Garrett CM 20 Calculator
 
Introduction

Is it Pac Man or is it a calculator?

I bet if Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man ever used a calculator, it is this one: the Garrett CM 20 calculator.  I received this calculator as a present from my good friend Chris Brame in Illinois.  Many thanks and appreciation, and it is hit with the household.

There is close to no information for the Garrett CM 20, only to find that model originated in 1973, predating the famous Pac Man game by seven years.  On the bottom label, the Garrett Comtronics Corporation is located in San Diego, California.  The CM 20 was made in the United States. 

The CM 20 is AC powered, with the power switch on the back of the calculator.




A Spherical Delight

The CM 20 comes has a spherical design.  Garrett also produced several calculators with a spherical design, the CM 25 and CM 35.  The CM 25 has memory functions. 

The keyboard on the CM 20 is just a delight; the keys are light to the touch and easy on the fingers.  Also, the keys are responsive. 

Check out the display, the digits are orange! 



The A/B and % Keys

The CM 20 is a real basic four function calculator, without memory or a square root key.  However, the CM 20 has an A/B key, which works as a “Last X” key (think scientific keystroke programmable calculators from Hewlett Packard).  After a pending operation completes (+, -, *, or ÷), press the A/B key to recall the last number entered before completing the operation.  For example:

6 [ + ] 3 [ = ]   (Display:  9)  Pressing [A/B] recalls 3 (and puts 9 in the temporary register)

3 [ + ] 6 [ = ]   (Display:  9)  Pressing [A/B] recalls 6 (and puts 9 in the temporary register)

75 [ ÷ ] 15 [ = ]  (Display: 5)   Pressing [A/B] recalls 15.

And so on.

The percentage key works a little bit different from most four-function calculators.  On the CM 20, you are required to press the equals key to complete the operation.  To find out a percentage of a number, enter the base, press any of the arithmetic keys, the percentage and the % key.  To illustrate:

25 [ + ] 15 [ % ]  (Display: 3.75) [ = ] (Display 18.75 = 25 + 15%)

25 [ - ] 15 [ % ]  (Display: 3.75) [ = ] (Display 21.25 = 25 – 15%)

25 [ * ] 15 [ % ]  (Display: 3.75) [ = ] (Display 93.75 = 25 * 3.75 = 25 * (25 * 15%))

25 [ ÷  ] 15 [ % ]  (Display: 3.75) [ = ] (Display 166.66666 = 25 / 0.15)

25 [ + ]/[ - ]/[ * ]/[ ÷ ] 15 [ % ] Stop.  (Display:  3.75 = 25 * 15%)

Final Verdict

This calculator is going to be on my desk for a long time.  I love the retro 1970s design and the spherical shape of the calculator.  Thank you Chris!

Eddie

This blog is property of Edward Shore, 2017





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

HP 15C: Pythagorean Triples



HP 15C:  Pythagorean Triples

This program calculates the Pythagorean triple (A, B, C) such that A^2 + B^2 = C^2 by the formulas:

A = K * (M^2 – N^2)
B = K * (2 * M * N)
C = K * (M^2 + N^2)

The conditions are M, N, and K are all positive integers where M > N. 
Store M into memory 0, N into memory 1, and K into memory 2.  A, B, and C are stored in memories 3, 4, and 5, respectively.  If no such combination can be found, a single zero (0) is returned.

Step
Key
Code
001
LBL A
42, 21, 11
002
RCL 1
45, 1
003
RCL 0
45, 0
004
X≤0
43, 10
005
GTO 0
22, 0
006
RCL 0
45, 0
007
X^2
43, 11
008
RCL 1
45, 1
009
X^2
43, 11
010
-
30
011
STO 3
44, 3
012
LST X
43, 36
013
2
2
014
*
20
015
+
40
016
STO 5
44, 5
017
RCL 0
45, 0
018
RCL* 1
45, 20, 1
019
2
2
020
*
20
021
STO 4
44, 4
022
RCL 2
45, 2
023
STO* 3
44, 20, 3
024
STO* 4
44, 20, 4
025
STO* 5
44, 20, 5
026
RCL 3
45, 3
027
X^2
43, 11
028
RCL 4
45, 4
029
X^2
43, 11
030
+
40
031
RCL 5
45, 5
032
X^2
43, 11
033
-
30
034
X=0
43, 20
035
GTO 1
22, 1
036
LBL 0
42, 22, 1
037
0
0
038
RTN
43, 32
039
LBL 1
42, 21, 1
040
RCL 3
45, 3
041
R/S
31
042
RCL 4
45, 4
043
R/S
31
044
RCL 5
45, 5
045
RTN
43, 32

Example:  Input:  R0 = M = 4,  R1 = N = 1, R2 = 2.   Output:  30, 16, 34

This blog is property of Edward Shore, 2017.

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