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The 67 rides again
Message #1 Posted by Hal on 19 June 2006, 12:34 a.m.

Hi everybody.
My 10 year old son is taking pre-algebra (summer school), getting primed to go into the advanced math program next year. His teacher has finally told them to bring calculators to class, as they will start working with exponents/scientific notation next week. I'm sending my spare HP67 with him, mostly to see what kind of a reaction it invokes in what I know will be a TI infested classroom. His teacher is only 28 years old, so it's virtually a given she's never seen one! Should be interesting...I'll let you know what happens.
Best regards, Hal

PS...anybody else have any experience with this?

      
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #2 Posted by Paul Marin on 19 June 2006, 3:27 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hal

Not yet, but my 10 yr old son has his eye on my 33E. I'm sure he'll want to bring it to class some day

      
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #3 Posted by John Smitherman on 19 June 2006, 8:10 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hal

Hal, your HP67 is older than your son's teacher ;-)

My twelve year old son thought my 34c looked ancient and therefore probably would not be able to do much. I have since convinced him otherwise but I have not mustered the courage to send the 34c to school with him. Let us know his teacher's reaction.

Best regards,

John

      
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #4 Posted by Valentin Albillo on 19 June 2006, 8:27 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hal

Hi, Hal:

First of all let's assume for the sake of argument that your child is perfectly comfortable and perhaps even prefers RPN to algebraic logic, and further he does like your HP-67, is proficient using it, and even welcomes the chance to get to use it in class.

All this assumed, I'll now try and play devil's advocate here and advice you against "sending your spare HP67 with him" for a number of allegedly plausible reasons, namely:

  1. Everyone else will have a modern calculator with a modern LCD or graphics display but your child, which will find himself stuck with a smallish, red-LED-digits display, with no alphanumerics or even annunciators in sight, just the small red digits, difficult to see under bright light.

  2. Your child better be 100% assured that the rechargeable batteries will last for the whole class or classes or else have an AC outlet nearby, plus the charger, lest he'll find himself with a quickly discharging calculator at a crucial time and unable to cope with the class, to the cruel amusement of everyone else, which will have a field day laughing about the 'ancient relic', and the bulky charger (!), because where we see beauty they'll see utter, preposterous obsolescence.

  3. It might be the case that the teacher doesn't exactly welcome your child's using that obsolete machine, which absolutely differs from all the others in all aspects, and which slows down the class when problems do appear, such as when it frequently discharges amid some follow-up computations, or the fuss his classmates make about it.

  4. A functioning HP-67 is a very valuable vintage model, and it remains so no matter what, even if it's nothing but a "spare" for you. There are few left and their numbers will only decrease in time.

    I see no point in jeopardizing such a valuable model only to perform a possibly ill-advised "experiment", it certainly doesn't deserve to be treated as "cannon fodder", to see what happens. What if it gets damaged ? Or lost ? Or stolen ? Does its "spareness" mean that it doesn't really matter ?

We do have a very graphic Spanish proverb which originally reads like this:

    "Los experimentos, con gaseosa"
and that roughly means, in a metaphoric sense, that if you feel like making some weird experiment involving beverages, you'd be well advised to try it out using inexpensive soda water instead of expensive champagne.

In other words, when trying some far-fetched or potentially dangerous experiment, it's best to minimize costs and risks. Potentially handicapping your child's performance in class while at the same time jeopardizing a valuable, vintage HP-67 seems to me not to be the most advisable course of action.

I do have a 14-year old daughter. Been there, done that, trying to help.

Best regards from V.

Edited: 19 June 2006, 8:39 a.m.

            
67
Message #5 Posted by bill platt on 19 June 2006, 10:29 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Valentin Albillo

Hi Valentin,

I can't help but see the irony of this situation.

24ish years ago, I was sent off into 10th grade with an 11c, and stood out in the class as the *only* HP in the school, with the most advanced and capable, even *programmable* calculator. Yes, I was a freak in the class, perhaps a distraction, (the calculator was perhaps the least of the teacher's worries ;-).

Here we are, a quarter of a century later, and the HP is going to go into the classrom, not as an advanced, cutting edge advanced tool, but as a relic, an antique...

Oh, how times are so fleeting!

(Maybe sending the youngin' in with an SR-40 would be more apropro! :))

                  
Re: 67
Message #6 Posted by Gene on 19 June 2006, 10:45 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by bill platt

How about an original TI-30?

Gene

                        
anything old, led and ti I suppose ;-0
Message #7 Posted by bill platt on 19 June 2006, 4:43 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Gene

P.S.

I found my father's SR-40 manual this weekend.

But the machine seems to be long gone.

                              
Re: anything old, led and ti I suppose ;-0
Message #8 Posted by Ed Look on 20 June 2006, 3:34 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by bill platt

Quote:
P.S.

I found my father's SR-40 manual this weekend.

But the machine seems to be long gone.


You know why?

I had one once... it made me love my HP-34C that replaced it inordinately, because the SR-40 was built truly like a piece of junk. It didn't last too long at all, say a bit over a year at most.

To put it in perspective, the complaints about the quality of the HP-49G+, 48GII, and 33S ring hollow to me. All I have to do is recall the quality of that TI SR-40 and even these new HPs are fairly well built machines.

                                    
TI-itis
Message #9 Posted by bill platt on 20 June 2006, 4:10 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Ed Look

In 1985 when I went to design school, my instructor said something to me (seeing my 11C) like, "Oh, an HP! That's the cadillac. Sure beats TI-itis" by which he demonstrated on a TI-30---if you pressed "9" you would get "99999999"

He didn't even have to say it--I immediately knew it, "oh--that's what my father's TI does, too!"

:-)

            
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #10 Posted by Garth Wilson on 19 June 2006, 2:34 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Valentin Albillo

The possibility of theft, loss, or damage is certainly one to consider. But LEDs were always plenty bright for an indoor classroom, and my TI-59 batteries would go four hours on a charge, which is certainly more than needed for a 50-minute class. Our older son was supposedly required to have a particular model of TI graphing calculator for a high-school math class a few years ago. I doubted the need, and held off buying one. He did get interested in my TI-59's and borrowed one of them and put new NiCd batteries in it, but used it very little at school and still got a good grade. Even as a small child, he took better care of things than most adults do, and the TI's weren't very valuable to me, so why not. (An HP-67 would be worth a lot more though.) It would be good for him to realize that things don't have to follow "gadget freak" design philosophies and ridiculous modern styling in order to be useful. We never did get the graphing calc, and it turns out that most of the students who had them only used them to play games. I think TI tried to create a need, but it only perceived, not real. (But what do they care-- they made a lot of money fooling the parents.)

I was the only one in my high school still using a slide rule when everyone else in the physics class had calculators. They struggled to understand things while I got easy A's without studying. The teacher teased me a little one time when my calculation of a satelite orbit time was four seconds different from his, but that just impressed the others who thought slide rules were very inaccurate. (Even though the calcs had 10-12 digits, he had the students round to about 4, which was plenty to show if they understood the material.) The slide rule was, if anything, something that impressed everyone with its mystery and unexpected capabilities. It definitely did not hold the class back.

            
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #11 Posted by Hal on 19 June 2006, 3:20 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Valentin Albillo

Hi Valentin.
I appreciate your candor, and your points are well taken.
A couple of rebuttals if I may:

Quote:
Everyone else will have a modern calculator with a modern LCD or graphics display but your child, which will find himself stuck with a smallish, red-LED-digits display, with no alphanumerics or even annunciators in sight, just the small red digits, difficult to see under bright light.

By my son's own account, many of his classmates use 4 bangers from the dollar store. As for the LED display, on both of my 67's, they are quite brilliant, and easily read in anything but direct sunlight. There are a couple classmates with alpha-numeric enabled machines, which they use to pass notes to each other (I don't feel to bad about him missing out on that).
Quote:
Your child better be 100% assured that the rechargeable batteries will last for the whole class or classes or else have an AC outlet nearby, plus the charger, lest he'll find himself with a quickly discharging calculator at a crucial time and unable to cope with the class, to the cruel amusement of everyone else, which will have a field day laughing about the 'ancient relic', and the bulky charger (!), because where we see beauty they'll see utter, preposterous obsolescence.

I sent a freshly charged, new, high capacity battery pack in the machine. I also showed him the trick of entering a decimal if the machine is going to sit idle for a minute or two.
Quote:
It might be the case that the teacher doesn't exactly welcome your child's using that obsolete machine, which absolutely differs from all the others in all aspects, and which slows down the class when problems do appear, such as when it frequently discharges amid some follow-up computations, or the fuss his classmates make about it.

Apparently, there was no reaction from the teacher, who saw the machine on my son's desk. There was, however, a reaction from three classmates...one awesome!, one cool!, and one sweetness!.

Quote:
A functioning HP-67 is a very valuable vintage model, and it remains so no matter what, even if it's nothing but a "spare" for you. There are few left and their numbers will only decrease in time. I see no point in jeopardizing such a valuable model only to perform a possibly ill-advised "experiment", it certainly doesn't deserve to be treated as "cannon fodder", to see what happens. What if it gets damaged ? Or lost ? Or stolen ? Does its "spareness" mean that it doesn't really matter ?



My son is under penalty of death for the well-being of the HP67 he is entrusted with. Also, I am holding his X-box hostage! (tounge in cheek of course), but seriously, he has promised to take very good care of it. (Remember that 67's came with cases that were actually capable of protecting the machine!)

Also, let it be noted that I did try to hook my son up with a 33s for his class, an offer which met with a polite

Quote:
those things suck!!!
It seems he instinctively prefers the sculpted shape of the classic machine in his hands, as opposed to something that feels like a piece of waferboard. Also, he doesn't like where the enter key is on the 33s...That's my boy!!
Best regards, Hal
                  
Fascination with dinosaurs?
Message #12 Posted by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. on 19 June 2006, 11:03 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Hal

I have an HP-67 in my collection. It's fully operational (many thanks to Viktor Toth) and comes with a Handbook, a Quick Reference Card, a Standard Pak, and spare cards. I occasionally charge up the battery pack and use it for a few minutes. One thing that does is serve to remind me how far the technology has come in succeeding years. The HP-67 is one of the valued machines in my collection, but not my favorite. That honor goes to my 1971 Canon Pocketronic which uses a paper tape output similar to that used in the original Cal-Tech and a 20 ampere (yes, twenty ampere is the correct value) hi-speed battery charger.

You wrote

"It seems he [your son] instinctively prefers the sculpted shape of the classic machine in his hands, as opposed to something that feels like a piece of waferboard."

I wondered what that was all about until I remembered that many kids these days are into dinosaurs. Or was that last year? The HP-67, the HP-65, the HP-25, the SR-52 and the TI-59 were all wonderful machines in their time. But, let's face it, they are really dinosaurs in the twenty-first century.

You also wrote

"Also, he doesn't like where the enter key is on the 33s...That's my boy!!"

and

"those things suck!!!"

Is that what he really believes or is he just humoring his father. I have little doubt that his teacher understands that there is some humoring going on.

                        
Re: Fascination with dinosaurs?
Message #13 Posted by Hal on 20 June 2006, 12:30 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.

Seriously, I have never voiced an opinion on the 33s in my son's presence...he just naturally gravitates toward the more visually appealing machine. HP did put a lot of effort into the ergonomics, keyboard layout, etc. in those early machines. Compared to the "layed out by captain chaos" keyboard of the 33s, it's no wonder he likes the older machine. The math he is doing now (and for the next several years, if not more) falls easily within the capabilities of the 67...so why not enjoy using the old dinosaur. That's what I say.
Best Regards, Hal

                              
A contrived distraction?
Message #14 Posted by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. on 20 June 2006, 9:07 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Hal

At the beginning of this thread you wrote

"I'm sending my spare HP67 with him, mostly to see what kind of a reaction it invokes in what I know will be a TI infested classroom. His teacher is only 28 years old, so it's virtually a given she's never seen one! Should be interesting...I'll let you know what happens."

My teaching experience is limited to a year of freshman mathmatics as a teaching assistant. One thing I remember is that there were more than enough incidental distractions. I didn't need any contrived ones.

                                    
Re: A contrived distraction?
Message #15 Posted by bill platt on 20 June 2006, 9:34 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.

[sizzle crack pop]

Does anyone else smell bacon cooking?

                                    
Re: A contrived distraction?
Message #16 Posted by Hal on 21 June 2006, 12:10 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.

Fortunately, there was no distraction at all (after two days). I don't think the other kids, or the teacher care one way or the other...as long as it works for my son, and so far it does :)
Regards, Hal

      
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #17 Posted by Steve S on 20 June 2006, 12:50 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hal

...If you want your son to really stand out, send him to this class with a tabletPC and a copy of MathJournal...!

See: www.xThink.com

            
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #18 Posted by Dia C. Tran on 20 June 2006, 1:56 p.m.,
in response to message #17 by Steve S

Should I send my son to school with the Faber Castell 2/83? It's a nice rule though.

                  
The capability of slide rules
Message #19 Posted by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. on 21 June 2006, 11:18 a.m.,
in response to message #18 by Dia C. Tran

When I am asked how difficult it was doing engineering using a slide rule I like to bring out my 12.5 cm long Faber-Castell 67/22R which is one of the models that has an Addiator on the back. Nothing else leaves a stronger impression of the idea that while slide rules could multiply and divide and do powers and roots the damn things couldn't add and subtract.

                        
Re: The capability of slide rules
Message #20 Posted by Garth Wilson on 21 June 2006, 1:46 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.

When I was a kid and started learning about the slide rule from my dad, I asked him why it couldn't add and subtract. His facetious answer was that you're supposed to be able to do that in your head. Although not directly answering the question, it made sense. Today if I get a few things at a store (picture a Radio Shack, where the employees usually seem to be grade-school drop-outs) and bring the items up to the counter and add them up and figure out the tax and total in my head and tell the clerk how much change I should get, they're absolutely amazed. Today's young people can't do it without the computer.

                              
Sum times the bear gets you
Message #21 Posted by Frank Wales on 21 June 2006, 6:26 p.m.,
in response to message #20 by Garth Wilson

Quote:
Today's young people can't do it without the computer.

I once spent a few minutes trying in vain to convince a burger jockey that two items, each priced below 1, couldn't cost more than 2 when purchased together. Unfortunately, she didn't bring to work whatever capacity for independent thought she had, and just repeatedly pushed the little pictures on the register for the items, and pointed at the wrong total.

Eventually, her manager came over, listened to me, agreed with me, looked at the register, and then pointed out to her that she had been repeatedly selecting the wrong products.

The thing was, her manager was the young one; she was older than me.

I also once blurted out "that can't be right" when I was charged 1.24 for three identical items, to the consternation of the assistant, who seemed to take it as some kind of accusation of attempted fraud.

"How do you know that?" he asked. "Because 124 isn't a multiple of three," I said, matter-of-factly. At this point, a glint of superiority flicked across his face, and he asked: "And how could you possibly know that?" It was as if he were a member of the Innumeracy Police, and he'd just arrested some idiot for trying to understand numbers.

I spent a moment wondering if I should explain the appropriate piece of arithmetic trivia concerning multiples of three, realised that I didn't have my clue gun with me, and decided that my best defence was simply to assert: "because I happen to know that kind of thing."

As it turned out, of course, 1.24 was the right price for these three items, because an unadvertised special offer had kicked in. At that point, nobody cares that the ability to add isn't inhumanly difficult, because the machine still gets to be right, and you're just holding up the queue.

                                    
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #22 Posted by Les Wright on 21 June 2006, 10:30 p.m.,
in response to message #21 by Frank Wales

I often am "amused" by this sort of scenario:

My purchase comes to, say, $3.14. I hand over the fiver in my hand. The cashier dutifully punches in the amount and his surrogate brain, the cash register, spits out $1.86 due. He starts fishing the change out of the till according to the amount on the display. In the meantime, I have dug the 14 cents out of my pocket and turn it over. He looks at me with a mixture of horror and disgust. And, when I see he is suffering and advise him "Just give me two dollars", the look transforms to one of suspicion, as though by my pecuniary prestidigitation I am pulling a fast one on him.

The use of calculators in school is a source of controversy among teachers I know. The idealists advise that the idea is to provide the child a tool by which to explore the wonder of numbers without being encumbered by the drudgery of multiplication tables and fractions and the like. The traditionalists invoke the "you need to walk before you run" line of reasoning. I am admixture of the two extremes, a number explorer who has loved calculators since boyhood and yet doesn't begrudge for one second learning how to do square roots by hand (I actually wish I could remember how!). Alas, I think I may be a nerdy anomaly. I have met one too many preteens and teenagers who automatically reach for a calculator to add small numbers. Like the 17 year old kid a Burger King who seems totally flummoxed by the notion that $5.14 is exactly two dollars more than $3.14.

Illiteracy is viewed as source of shame and stigma and is often well hidden. Innumeracy is often held up with nervous pride as a badge of honour. I have met highly intelligent people with multiple university degrees boast about their loathing of math, as though it were something to be proud of. (By implication, my love of math is viewed as something of bizarre affectation not suitable for socially astute people.)

I hope the lucky young man with the vintage HP machine is one of the enlightened ones who treats the handheld computing machines we all love so much in this forum as an extension of his innate capacities, not a substitute for them. I get the sense he will be just fine. Lucky kid.

Les

                                          
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #23 Posted by Hal on 22 June 2006, 12:19 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Les Wright

Quote:
I hope the lucky young man with the vintage HP machine is one of the enlightened ones who treats the handheld computing machines we all love so much in this forum as an extension of his innate capacities, not a substitute for them. I get the sense he will be just fine. Lucky kid.

We were finishing up his homework just this afternoon...his first instinct is still to put pencil to paper and start scribbling out the arithmatic longhand (and that's an instinct I dare not stifle). I think he will be just fine...

Thanks, and best regards,
Hal
                                          
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #24 Posted by Klaus on 22 June 2006, 3:44 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Les Wright

After the 8ths grade, we were allowed to uses calculator (TI-30x). Before that, I was very good at adding and multiplying numbers in my head. After that, I used the calc for any calculation, and just could not to basic arithmetic without a calc. In a physics-test, I got a result of 7.945 and had to convert it to another power of ten. Using the calc, I got 0.0000008 and wrote that down. I didn't get a single point on that!

After school, I was ashamed that I could not survive without my calc, and began to exercise my head. Now whenever I have to pay, I can calculate the return befor the clerk has typed the numbers in the computer.

So I am pretty much against allowing calcs in any course at school, because you get used to it and abolish your head.

                                          
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #25 Posted by Bill - Smithville, NJ on 22 June 2006, 7:48 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Les Wright

Les,

Quote:
My purchase comes to, say, $3.14. I hand over the fiver in my hand. The cashier dutifully punches in the amount and his surrogate brain, the cash register, spits out $1.86 due. He starts fishing the change out of the till according to the amount on the display. In the meantime, I have dug the 14 cents out of my pocket and turn it over. He looks at me with a mixture of horror and disgust. And, when I see he is suffering and advise him "Just give me two dollars", the look transforms to one of suspicion, as though by my pecuniary prestidigitation I am pulling a fast one on him.

Actually, he may be quite right to be suspicious. He may have been trained to watch out for customers offering to either add or switch money after item is rung on register.

My wife works for a local casino, and the "trick" of offering change at last moment (after the cash register drawer is open) is a known method of trying to confuse the cashier into making a mistake. Usually the scam involves switching the bills as well as just the coin change. For example, give the cashier a 20, then at last moment offer to give a 5 or 10 instead of the 20. Hopefully, the cashier will give back change for the 20 which is now showing on the display screen of the register.

That's why where my wife works, the cashiers are instructed that once the cash register drawer is open, NEVER allow the customer to change the money that has been handed to you.

Bill

                                                
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #26 Posted by Les Wright on 22 June 2006, 2:26 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Bill - Smithville, NJ

Point taken, but for some reason I find the necessity of this almost pathetic.

If the ruse actually works (and it must, otherwise the scammers would've long abandoned it), then the need for the casino (or, perhaps, the Burger King) to impose a policy just bolsters the point to be made.

If the aim of the scam is to confuse by capitalizing on the modest numerical facility of the cashier, then that means the cons have deduced that there are enough folks out there who count on their machines rather than their heads to do basic arithmetic to give it some probability of succeeding.

I remember as a child watching with fascination my grandmother in the bakery where she worked invoking the dying art of making change by adding up from the purchase. E.g. The customer owes $2.86, gives you a five. Four pennies gives 2.90, the dime gives 3.00, the two dollar bill (we had them in Canada in my childhood) gives $5. She had a grade school education and a mechanical cash register and always got it right.

My father left school too soon and had difficulty holding a job until he died too young. But he's the one who first taught me long division and multiplying 3 and 4 digit numbers on paper.

I am suspicious of those who uncritically sing the praises of "the good ole days" since so much about life is better today, but in this particular case, I really think the pre-calculator error had its benefits.

I don't have children yet, but if when we do calculators in class from grade school is commonplace I think I am going to be quite busy on the home schooling front!

Les

                                                      
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #27 Posted by Walter B on 22 June 2006, 2:53 p.m.,
in response to message #26 by Les Wright

Quote:
I am suspicious of those who uncritically sing the praises of "the good ole days" since so much about life is better today, but in this particular case, I really think the pre-calculator error had its benefits.

He he, this error was a cute one :))

But I agree with the content of your post. Fond knowledge of basic arithmetics (and more) eases life. Like sports for body fitness ...

Addendum: I've worked with slide rules till the end of my 1st year at university, and seen the ability to do reliable mental arithmetics (or educated guessing ;) ) decreasing rapidly thereafter due to lack of training and practice. Like growing fat without walking. Don't get me wrong - I love those fascinating little machines! But you'll find a slide rule in my collection next to my first calc and an HP35, to show where it all came from. Nowadays you have to *tell* people (and students in particular) about significant digits - way back after some (few) consecutive operations on a slide rule you could see them fading away right under your hands. And we had a very natural approach to SCI then -- enough, the present era has other advantages! Please accept my apologies for this long rant.

Edited: 22 June 2006, 6:13 p.m.

                                                            
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #28 Posted by Les Wright on 22 June 2006, 7:20 p.m.,
in response to message #27 by Walter B

I don't believe in errors. It was more like a Freudian slip!

                                                      
Re: Sum times the bear gets you
Message #29 Posted by Bill - Smithville, NJ on 22 June 2006, 4:35 p.m.,
in response to message #26 by Les Wright

Les,

Quote:
If the aim of the scam is to confuse by capitalizing on the modest numerical facility of the cashier, then that means the cons have deduced that there are enough folks out there who count on their machines rather than their heads to do basic arithmetic to give it some probability of succeeding.

The scam doesn't depend on the modest numerical facility of the cashier at all. It works by creating distractions and confusion. Quite often there is a second person in on it who creates a secondary distraction. Now add in long lines, difficult customers, bad day, whatever, amd even the most numerical person could end up falling for it. It has nothing to do with counting on your machine or in your head.

Bill

                                          
Re: "Sum times" the bear gets you
Message #30 Posted by Karl Schneider on 23 June 2006, 1:18 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Les Wright

Quote:
My purchase comes to, say, $3.14. I hand over the fiver in my hand. The cashier dutifully punches in the amount and his surrogate brain, the cash register, spits out $1.86 due. He starts fishing the change out of the till according to the amount on the display. In the meantime, I have dug the 14 cents out of my pocket and turn it over.

Right on, Les! This has been a pet peeve of mine for a few years now, and it just happened to me again several days ago.

Even worse, the very instant one hands over the $5 note that covers the charges, the clerk will usually blurt, "Outoffive?", then do his/her mindless thing without even waiting for the answer or giving an opportunity to provide coins.

How about this one: A charge of $5.06, and the smallest bill you have is a $10. Hand it over, and immediately begins the digging for $4.94 of change -- four dollar bills, three quarters, a dime ($0.10), a nickel ($0.05), and four pennies ($0.01). That's 13 pieces of money -- and the entire time, the clerk is ignoring your outstretched hand that is proffering six cents. Utter silliness, but the electronic cash registers make it so easy to do things in that manner.

I've tried to stymie this modus operandi by initially withholding the bill(s), and giving the coins first. But, that's a nuisance -- check the wallet and decide what to give, then set it down, check the change pouch and give coins, extract bills from wallet and provide them.

You made another good point about the dying art of counting change upward from the purchase amount.

== End of rant ==

-- KS

      
Re: The 67 rides again
Message #31 Posted by Anthony L. Mach on 21 June 2006, 12:23 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hal

Hi Hal,

Well, I can tell you from personal experience that it may be an excellent decision. My dad gave me my first calculator when I was ten and it really helped me through math classes all the way through high school. Of course, he also gave me a nice Pickett Aluminum slide rule. Although I did not have a HP with RPN then(Radio Shack folding scientific), I did quickly grasp many concepts that were a struggle with other students. My marks in Math were excellent every year and that really allowed me to focus on the other areas of study.

Having RPN could be a huge advantage, especially with chain calulations. Your son may be able to really shine at math.

As for the theft issue, kids today really do not seem interested in anything that doesn't go "ring-ring" or look flashy, so you may be OK in that department. I would watch out, though, when your son reaches seventh grade, as hormones generally force some to bully or steal.

I couldn't tell you what teachers are using now for high school math, but it is probably 39g w/applets or TI-something. Your son may be forced to buy a calculator that he has to use for class, but can't tolerate! Same goes for college. Many of the rules regarding alpha-numeric calculators for certain tests and exams have either been relaxed or tightened. Do you know what your son can use for AP Math or Math League, for example?

Personally, I used a 48g for the first round of college, but now I use my 12c (early USA) and 95lx almost exclusively. I do bring out the 33s to keep it from getting dusty!

Good luck to you and your son, and who knows, he may become interested in (*GASP*) becoming a mathematician!

Tony, AB9IO


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