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Windows 7: MS Calculator gives different answers

31 Dec 2010   #1

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 
MS Calculator gives different answers

If I copy paste the following line into calculator (Manually entering the numbers yields same result):
1316*57000+85*142500=

I get different answers.

If the calculator is in standard mode, I wrongly get
10689222112500

If it is in any other mode, I correctly get
87124500


This is not a troll. No really, it isn't.

It happens on a rather clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit: one on an Intel Q6600 the other on a brand new mobile AMD Athlon laptop. I have an Ultimate 32bit version that I have not tried yet.

It scares me that this is reproducible on two machines and I cannot find a meaningful relationship between the two numbers. Can someone confirm or explain it?

//Zerodae

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Dec 2010   #2

win 7 ultimate32bit, Win8.1pro wmc 32bit
 
 

Can confirm its true, cannot explain why
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I just tried it and get the correct answer no matter the mode
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


31 Dec 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

I've noticed this earlier.

Calculator makes a mistake in which order different calculations should be made. As everyone knows, that example of yours should be calculated so that both multiplications should be done first (1316*57000 = 75,012,000 and 85*142500 = 12,112,500), and the addidition thereafter (75,012,000 + 12,112,500 = 87124500).

However, calculator forgets the laws of mathematic and makes the calculations in order they are presented (1316*57000 = 75,012,000 > 75,012,000 + 85 = 75,012,085 > 75,012,085 * 142,500 = 10689222112500).

This is not only Windows 7 Calculator issue. It's the same in XP and Vista aswell. In fact, every basic calculator makes this mistake, try if you don't believe me. Calculators working in basic mode do not understand the complexity of a mathematical formula, they do the calculations in the order they are given, not following the laws of mathematics where multiplication preceeds addition.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #5

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Interesting. I cannot believe someone thought that it was a good idea to be different than every other calculator in the world; even my Casio from the last century knows order of operations. Nor that the standard mode would ignore the parens to make it understand order of operations. But I do not remember ever hitting this problem in XP.

Guess I will never use standard mode from now on. Thanks for the insight.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

BEDMAS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zerodae View Post
Interesting. I cannot believe someone thought that it was a good idea to be different than every other calculator in the world; even my Casio from the last century knows order of operations. Nor that the standard mode would ignore the parens to make it understand order of operations. But I do not remember ever hitting this problem in XP.

Guess I will never use standard mode from now on. Thanks for the insight.
That is not so. As i mentioned in my previous post, almost all basic calculators make the same mistake. I just tested with 4 real calculators I found from our household, three normal basic ones make the same mistake, aswell as did my Logitech MediaPad's calculator. Only a Casio scientific calculator got it right.

However, this is a minus to Microsoft; I just checked Mac OSX, Solaris Unix and SUSE Enterprise Linux calculators in basic mode, they all get it right.

Is it a bug then? I honestly don't know. The calculator in Windows calculates exactly in that order the calculations are input to it, so in that sense it does what's asked.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

You have to remember something, when using the standard/basic mode you are responsible for putting the order in correctly. It works on one input at a time like all calculators do. You input a number and a second it will instantly give you the output if you push equals (=) or another operator. This emulates the majority of real world calculators.

This is not a bug it is working how it should be working. If you need it to process the equation before giving a number back use another mode like scientific. Otherwise, the standard mode is working like it should be. It is not a mistake.


Here is what the calculator sees when you input the numbers: Each line is a new input. (equals how the calculator sees it)
1316*57000+85*142500=

1316

*

57000

+ (75,012,000)

85 (75,012,000 + 85)

* (75,012,085)

142500 (75,012,085 * 142500)

= 10,689,222,112,500

This works like every "single input" calculator I have ever used. Only calculators like my Casio fx-300ES that takes the whole equation before calculating takes the order of operations into consideration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #9

W7 Pro 64
 
 

Growing up in communist East Germany, we starteed to have calcualtors in school in 7th grade, which was about 1988. Those were capable to calculate correctly.

Shame on MS and all the cheap calculator manufacturers that they still haven't figured it out. However, my $ 15 Casio 115 can calculate correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Growing up in communist East Germany, we starteed to have calcualtors in school in 7th grade, which was about 1988. Those were capable to calculate correctly.
My dear wife Angie was also born and raised here in Leipzig, in communist East Germany. One of the calculators I tested as mentioned in my last post was one of her old "Made in Soviet Union" ones. It makes the same mistake as Windows calculator.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Shame on MS and all the cheap calculator manufacturers that they still haven't figured it out. However, my $ 15 Casio 115 can calculate correctly.
As Logiearth said, basically Windows calculator calculates correctly. It does calculations in exact order they are input. You have to remember the basic mode calculator counts every click of add, substract, multiply and divide buttons not only as the function of that button, but it is also thought to be equals (=) function for preceeding calculation.

For instance in 1315 * 57,000 + 85 * 142,000, when you press + 85, the press of + sign is for basic mode calculator first as equals (=) for the first calculation and only after that to mark an addition. (Sorry, New Year's Eve and the amount of whisky in my blood at the moment makes this really confusing and difficult to explain in a foreign language... )

I think if you watch this video carefully you can understand calculator is doing just as it is asked to do:



Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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