How do calculators work so quick!

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Offline tangoblue

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How do calculators work so quick!
« on: 12/03/2009 13:45:10 »
i think that it's really wierd how calculators can work so fast.

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lyner

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How do calculators work so quick!
« Reply #1 on: 12/03/2009 14:19:28 »
Not as fast as your PC, though. Just think how much it has to do to make the graphics for a modern game look good.

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Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #2 on: 12/03/2009 17:36:03 »
i think that it's really wierd how calculators can work so fast.
Actually, I always wonder how it's possible that they work so slowly; sometimes, especially at work, I have to wait *minutes* before trying to open a folder or a program, waiting for it *to do its things*. But what on the hell do they have to do? Why we can't have any control on this?

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Offline tangoblue

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« Reply #3 on: 12/03/2009 17:39:37 »
Not as fast as your PC, though. Just think how much it has to do to make the graphics for a modern game look good.

How many calculations does it have to do.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #4 on: 12/03/2009 21:12:00 »
My reply in this other thread[/url=]

Quote
The average desktop PC can perform about 100 million instructions per second. That may sound impressive but the IBM BlueGene/L can perform 360 trillion operations per second. That is officially the world's fastest computer. I think it would be pretty obvious which of those would be classed as a mainframe.

Incidentally, there is a computer, the RIKEN MDGrape-3, that is almost 3 times as fast as the BlueGene/L at 1 quadrillion operations per second. However, that computer cannot run the officical software that is used to rate speed so that is why the BlueGene/L is officially the fastest (I wonder who wrote that test software - IBM. maybe?)

But neither of those can match the human brain. That has been estimated to perform 10 quadrillion instructions per second.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #5 on: 13/03/2009 03:08:22 »
10 quadrillion!? [:o] How many zeros is that? [:)]

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #6 on: 13/03/2009 04:47:27 »
0000000000000000H, I dunno.

(clever, eh!)
« Last Edit: 13/03/2009 04:48:58 by DoctorBeaver »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #7 on: 13/03/2009 04:55:46 »
Very. [:P]

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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #8 on: 13/03/2009 11:53:08 »
They don't have to do a great deal of work to do by computer standards, I suspect they use logarithm's as if I ask mine to give me the cube root of -1 it go's 'bleep bleep' not possible whereas good software like Matmathica has no problem
« Last Edit: 13/03/2009 11:55:02 by syhprum »
syhprum

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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #9 on: 13/03/2009 11:55:11 »
My calculator still works if I do cube root of -1. Your's must be broken.

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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #10 on: 14/03/2009 11:38:13 »
I have tried this on many calculators and many software calculators but very few give the correct answer.
syhprum

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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #11 on: 14/03/2009 11:40:29 »
Well I brought mine for $16. [:)]

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #12 on: 14/03/2009 14:31:06 »
Well I brought mine for $16. [:)]

Real or imaginary $?
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #13 on: 14/03/2009 23:17:18 »
REAL!

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lyner

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« Reply #14 on: 14/03/2009 23:48:36 »
Calculators only give you one value for roots! That's a serious problem if you are a School pupil and believe everything a calculator tells you. Mathematica gives you a proper answer to questions like that.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #15 on: 15/03/2009 01:53:18 »
REAL!

So you didn't pay with NZ dollars then
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #16 on: 15/03/2009 02:45:39 »
Why you little!


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #17 on: 15/03/2009 09:27:20 »
LAWKS!
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #18 on: 15/03/2009 09:35:11 »
         

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #19 on: 15/03/2009 09:42:20 »
HAHA that's an American tank so it only shoots your friends.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #20 on: 15/03/2009 09:44:24 »

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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #21 on: 15/03/2009 09:48:06 »
I can just do this: [:P][:P]


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #22 on: 15/03/2009 10:04:37 »
You've buggered this thread now, haven't you!
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #23 on: 15/03/2009 10:07:29 »
It was buggered when you said this!

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #24 on: 15/03/2009 11:05:34 »
It was buggered when you said...

No it wasn't. That was an oblique reference to real & imaginary numbers. Very relevant to what had been posted previously about square roots.
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Offline lightarrow

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« Reply #25 on: 15/03/2009 14:19:52 »
*cube* root  [:)]   So you don't necessarily have to talk about imaginary numbers, unless you want all three solutions.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #26 on: 15/03/2009 21:27:59 »
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Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #27 on: 16/03/2009 04:30:25 »

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Offline LeeE

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« Reply #28 on: 16/03/2009 12:02:37 »
Isn't the proper answer to this question because calculators don't need to work to a regular clock frequency?  Actually, I'm not so sure if this is the case now-a-days; although early calculators didn't require clocks it may be that even simple calculators now use cpus.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline tangoblue

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« Reply #29 on: 30/04/2009 12:19:12 »
its weird - you ask a question on this site and it seems to just turn into a big, mad and sometimes pointless conversation... not a bad thing though.

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Offline techmatt

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« Reply #30 on: 30/04/2009 19:31:31 »
its weird - you ask a question on this site and it seems to just turn into a big, mad and sometimes pointless conversation... not a bad thing though.
I would not be so sure it is simple.
Some calculators really just have a very weak CPU and a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) that can tell the CPU to add or subtract. All other calculations are just variants of adding and subtracting. The good calculators also have a small about of RAM in them to store information. In essence they are mini versions of of a very basic computer. The average calculator (not the kind we would use) is noting more than a few counters.

Just an FYI your good calculator has more computing power than all the components of the Apollo 11 put together.
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Offline Ultima

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How do calculators work so quick!
« Reply #31 on: 18/05/2009 17:00:50 »
Calculators are fast because most of the time they are not calculating!  [::)]

They use hard wired tables of precalculated values for lots of things, and then do computation on the intervals between these values. (Remember log tables and times tables  [;)]) Also they are usually calculating to a much higher precision than your PC for mathematics, the digits you see on screen are usually not the complete accuracy that was used for calculating, hence most calculators have an "extended" mode that lets you see more digits or calculate with more.

Calculators get away with this kind of thing to be fast where desktop PCs can't. PCs are a general computer and have to deal with far far far more calculations happening of various kinds with multiple inputs and outputs. With a PC you can calculate the n'th root of tan(x) whilst browsing a Science Forum about why your PC is so much slower than a calculator!

Scientific and programmable calculators are faster than a PC mostly because they have extra hardware implementations for maths operations AND don't have anywhere near the software overheads of a PC, they usually have a single program operating system which straight away gives you massive performance.

If you wrote a calculator program for your PC that was the only thing running from boot (no Windows) it would be incredibly fast compared to your hand calculator.
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Offline LeeE

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« Reply #32 on: 18/05/2009 17:34:17 »
Actually, the use of pre-calculated look-up tables is quite common in (PC) software too, especially in gaming software, although the look-up tables are calculated at start-up, rather than being hard-coded.  Trig tables, for example, are ideal candidates for pre-calculated look-up tables.

This is just one of the reasons that an executable that may only be a few MB in size can occupy considerably more ram when it's loaded (and before any data is loaded).
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!