|Trusty Casio Sci Calculator|
Though worse for wear, I've had this Casio fx-115M solar-powered engineering calculator since I bought it new around 1988 for Electrical and Computer Engineering 101. That's 22 years ago as of this writing. Dang, I'm getting kind of old.
Anyway, it served me well through college and continues to be my go-to engineering calculator for many of my hobbies and projects like robotics, electronics, home repair, mechanical repair on the Jeep and more.
Early on in it's life, the calculator's critical inverse key tore loose. I replaced it with a carefully cut piece of eraser which remained in place all these years despite constant use. The fix worked surprisingly well, believe it or not. Even so I decided to "upgrade" to a newly and squarely cut piece of white vinyl eraser. (I spared no expense on this repair!) :)
|The inverse key was replaced around the time the web was invented.|
And with a little Goo Gone, I'll remove the Professor Fahey's sticker (verifying it is not programmable and ok for use on ECE exams). The stuff works wonders at removing many kinds of adhesive residue.
Several years ago, the battery backup function stopped working. The other day I finally got fed up and decided to fix it. I removed the two screws on the back of the calculator, carefully unlatched the tabs holding the shell together (actually one tab was broken).
|Just two screws. Easy!|
|Battery, holder, negative, and positive clips.|
When done, this old calculator will be good as new for another two decades. By then we'll all have brain implant calculators, I'm sure...
...with no inverse keys that tear loose.
* Why did I keep this antique calculator all these years? What features would possess me to hang onto it, or for that matter, what would possess Casio to continue making it, in an upgraded fx-115MS form? A short list of feature I like:
- ENG button converts to engineering scientific notation: kilo, mega, milli, micro, pico, etc... extremely handy for electronics
- It does math on fractions. No, not decimals, real fractions! Enter 1/2 + 1/3 and it gives you 5/6.
- Does binary, hex, and octal conversion and logic operations--helpful for programming geeks
- Does degrees, minutes, radians math
- Change precedence with parentheses
- Does combinatorial math
- Does factorial math
- Does inverse trig functions -- give it a ratio, it gives you the angle.
- And a bunch of stuff I've never used like standard deviation