## 7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

An anonymous reader writes

*"One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."*
## They left out RPL/2 (Score:5, Interesting)

What makes it so awesome is its ability to interface with the OS via POSIX compliant commands -- it's almost like using your HP48 as a scripting tool for Unix.Too bad they didn't mention it.

jdb2

## hp48 (Score:5, Interesting)

I'm amazed they left out the hp48 emulator. It was an amazing calculator, and the emulator does exactly what it it is supposed to do - everything.

It did everything a calculator is supposed to do, and it was _almost_ able to boil my coffee.

After my 10 years working with programming, this is still the environment i love the most. Actually it is probably the only thing i still know the exact location of at all times.

I love beeing a geek :)

## How about a symbolic calculator? (Score:3, Interesting)

I use matlab for work, and its command line interface to maple is decent. What I really want, though, is to somehow combine a command line interface with a nice typeset display - visually parsing the results is so much faster that way. Does such a thing exist?

## Re:I use bc and like better than any GUI (Score:3, Interesting)

I forgot to mention that I use it in scripts too:

~$ (echo scale=5 ; echo 22/7) | bc

3.14285

~$

## Great ones (Score:2, Interesting)

## I might be biased, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

I prefer the Python interactive shell and GNU Octave [gnu.org] (or any other Matlab-compatible environment, including Matlab itself) for numerical calculations, Asymptote [sourceforge.net] for plots and other methods of data visualisation, Maxima [sourceforge.net] when a CAS is in order and LaTeX to turn all the stuff generated by those packages into something readable and publishable.

Throw in some scripted links between all those tools, a few functions from Peter Acklam's Matlab Utilities [online.no], your favourite function for converting a matrix to a LaTeX table and saving it into a file in a single call, a few exec()-equivalents here and there, and you'll get a rig that auto-regenerates your report/publication/thesis/shopping list/whatever else you might have been doing, in a single run of a single program, should you spot a mistake somewhere deep in the calculations, or a typo in the input.

For one, I don't think I'll ever understand people who use spreadsheets. And copy their results to the word processor. And then spot a mistake in a formula, fix it and proceed to copy the new, correct results from scratch. And then spot a typo in the data.

Why biased? Well, I'm studying control systems and robotics. It's all about task automation. Besides, everything in this field involves using Matlab for something, and just about everyone in the academia (the technical side of it, at least) is using LaTeX, so you just kind of get used to using those two for just about anything after a while, and automating everything with scripts.

Of course, the above assumes somtheing more complicated than a few basic operations in a single line. We're talking about

sophisticatedcalculators here. For simple tasks I'm just using Google [google.com]...## Exercise (Score:2, Interesting)

OK linux calculator and math geeks, here's a question I have wondered about before. This is just for fun, show off your leet skillz. Start with the first released linux kernel, get the size, look at some major releases, etc, do your magic as of today's sized kernel, and give us the best guess in your graph or projection when the kernel will reach or exceed one gigabyte in size, the release date as close as possible.

## Sage? (Score:3, Interesting)

Why hasn't anyone mentioned sage yet? It is quite bloated for a calculator (it's intended to rival Mathematica, not MS Calc), but it does plain old arithmetic, calculus, equation solving, factoring and plotting (2d, 3d, 2d/3d implicit, complex, complex implicit) quite well.

## Re:For most people ... (Score:3, Interesting)

## It's all about the tape! (Score:4, Interesting)

The Linux calculator we use at work is gtapecalc: http://gtapecalc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

It is oldler, but a great business calculator. The best feature it has is the ability to emulate a calculator WITH A PRINTOUT TAPE! So you can see everything you did, edit those numbers, add comments, even print the "tape".

## Re:hp48 (Score:2, Interesting)

My hp48gx has been my calculator of choice ever since I first got it. Still works fine.

The benefit of this:

quicker to use, 1 second startup

portable, its a physical device

easily upload results to the PC when needed

I also use python/SAGE...

## Re:Christ (Score:2, Interesting)

True, you need a browser to use Sage's GUI, but you certainly mustn't run Mozilla. It works in every reasonably modern browser, including Chrome (despite my opposition to supporting beta browsers) -- hell -- Willam Stein even uses from his iPhone. If you can't get it to run under NoScript... that's because it uses lots of javascript, and you've disabled it. It's like complaining that your car gets bad gas mileage after you let the air out of the tires!

However, I must disagree with your description of Sage as "labyrinthine". It's got gobs of documentation that's easy to find and navigate, and it's a Python, which is ridiculously easy to learn. Furthermore, the community is large, and it's easy to get help, both on irc and over the mailing lists.

(disclaimer -- I'm a Sage developer, and I love the notebook)

## Re:hp48 (Score:3, Interesting)

I have the 48G. Got it in middle school and still use it. And it spent 10 years being beat to death in my backpack. I remember in high school and college everyone had Ti, pretty much everyone. I remember people would ask to borrow it, couldn't figure out how to add 1+1, then give it back and never ask to borrow it again! It got me through every class in college except for finance (couldn't do Modified Internal rate of return and I went out and bought a HP business calculator that is in a box somewhere.

It survived 10 years of being in a backpack and still works to this day and I still use it. It's in my shachel. (It's not a man purse. Indiana Jones has one).

## Re:RPN Better than algebraic? (Score:4, Interesting)