...is that so wrong?
This is my new calculator.
How have I lived without this thing?
In college, my Financial Math professor warned us to make sure we knew the formulas, and so cautioned us against using the financial calculators. Being a poor college student, I was happy to oblige not having to buy one more thing for class.
Fast forward about four years to grad school. The professor suggested that we get a calculator, and the Texas Instrument BA II Plus was fairly cheap at Wal-Mart, so that was it. I did use it for my classes, but always had a hard time making the math turn out right. Plus, there are a lot of buttons to push when doing worksheet calculations. Still, it is a great value for the money, because it has so many functions, and would probably be a first or second choice for undergraduate work.
Which brings me to now. The appraisal industry has but one calculator, the HP 12c. All of the class literature I've read has warned me to make sure I know how to use it before I get there, so I've been fiddling around with it for a month.
And all I can say is where has this been all my life.
There are two highlights of the calculator: the craftsmanship, and the operation.
I like how it is made. It's sturdy, the buttons are firm and responsive, and because of its horizontal orientation, I can hold it one-handed (which, given a four-month old in the house, comes in quite handy).
But perhaps even better is the operation. The calculator operates on a principle known as Reverse Polish Notation, or RPN. If you don't know anything about RPN, try Wikipedia, the Hewlett Packard website, and the HP Calculator Museum.
Once you've read about it, may I suggest downloading a copy of an RPN calculator to try it out for yourself? My current favorite is Excalibur, downloadable here. Free to be downloaded, or you can send $5 via Paypal to the author. I hate paying for software, but I play on sending him his Fiver--it's that good.
Once you go RPN, you'll never go back.