# 10.4.3 broke the calculator

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ToastyX, Nov 9, 2005.

1. ### ToastyX macrumors regular

Joined:
Oct 4, 2005
#1
The percent sign... just kidding.

10.4.3 broke the way precision is handled.

In the View menu, set Precision to 4.

123456789 + 123 = 123500000
987654321 + 123 = 987700000

That's not how precision is supposed to work. The answers are totally wrong now.

Even worse, try setting the precision to 3.

123456789 + 123 = 1
987654321 + 123 = 9

Um, what?

Someone also mentioned this at Apple Discussions:

Set the precision to 4.

123456789 + 234567891 = 3

Based on that example, I was able to figure out more examples:

Set the precision to 8.

12345678 + 99654322 = 1
999999999 - 1 = 1000000000

Yeah, the calculator is broken.

This is what I mean. There's bugs and glitches everywhere, yet NOBODY REALIZES IT.

This is exactly the kind of attitude that bothers me. People act like problems don't exist because they don't notice any problems. People also have too much faith in software. No wonder they don't notice any problems. They assume software is doing everything correctly.

Even worse, from searching Google, it seems the calculator has had a spotty history. It seems Apple has always had trouble making a calculator that works properly. I'm getting fed up with Macs. I can't even trust the results of a simple calculator.

I have other gripes with the calculator as well.

Set the precision to 16.

62 + 40% = 62.3999999999999986
62 * .4 = 24.8000000000000007

Before someone lectures me on floating-point arithmetic and rounding errors, I understand the problem. That doesn't change the fact that the answer is wrong, and that doesn't mean it's not possible to make a calculator without this problem. In fact, the calculator in Windows has greater precision without this problem.

Also, why isn't it possible to open more than one calculator window? That's a stupid limitation.

I also hate how I have to wait for the silly button press animations to finish before the numbers show up. If you don't think that's annoying, try pressing a bunch of numbers really fast.

This is the crappiest calculator program I've ever used.

2. ### zap2 macrumors 604

Joined:
Mar 8, 2005
Location:
Washington D.C
#2

what is tha button supose to do?

3. ### Makosuke macrumors 603

Joined:
Aug 15, 2001
Location:
The Cool Part of CA, USA
#3
Hmm...

This:
is the behavior I would expect. Useless, of course--the precision after the decimal point would obviously be both more intuitive and useful, but I can't call this wrong for a simple calculator.

Everything else is obviously wrong even if from a programming standpoint it
"makes sense", and is clearly a rather stupid error in the way the precision algorithm is written. The 16-digit precision fractional errors are less of an issue, but still silly.

Obviously whoever is in charge of the calculator app at Apple just doesn't care that much, or doesn't have a lot of time to devote to it. You'd think they'd just put some math guy on the project for a week, get it running smoothly, and then forget about it for the next five OS releases like they should.

4. ### stridey macrumors 65816

Joined:
Jan 21, 2005
Location:
Massachusetts, Connecticut
#4
You actually use Calculator.app?

I just google equations. You can even do 5 choose 4

5. ### pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000

Joined:
Dec 30, 2001
Location:
The SimCity Deli
#5
What's weirder is that my antique (2 y/o) 17" powerBook has calculator problems but my July iBook doesn't.

Toss in 47.50 * 700 to the Widget calculator and get 33,250; do the same for our old friend and it gives me 3.325e+04, which of course is the same thing (I'm also using a precision of 4).

6. ### iMeowbot macrumors G3

Joined:
Aug 30, 2003
#6
Lots of people are lulled into that kind of thinking, that a bug is only a bug if it results in a local error message or a crash. There has been plenty of talk about provably correct software over the years, but hardly anyone really tries to do it.

7. ### mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Jan 9, 2004
Location:
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
#7
Ditto here -- I also tried some of the errors listed in the first post and I could not replicate them. Except for the very first thing. Which I also interpret as technically the correct answer. (iBook G4 from Dec 2003, 10.4.3).

I've mostly been using the Calculon widget since its creator introduced it here.

8. ### iMeowbot macrumors G3

Joined:
Aug 30, 2003
#8
That's part of the strangeness, there are different results if the calculator skin is set to, say, programmer or scientific.