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I'm looking for an online or software calculator that can show me the history of items I typed in, much like an expensive Ti calculator.

Can you recommend any?

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23 Answers 23

up vote 8 down vote accepted

SpeQ is really nice. If you close it's left/right areas it's just like Notepad, but a Notepad which can compute stuff. You can change any line displayed, press Enter at it's end and the line will be recomputed.

Just like in Notepad, you can select any part of what's displayed and delete it. You can also paste non-mathematical text into it. It will also remember what's displayed inside it the next time you start it. It has an option to clear it's content on Exit.

A lot of people recommended Python. It's is my main programming language and I love it, but SpeQ it's MUCH more powerful and easy to use than Python as a calculator.

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Essentially the most helpful is WolframAlpha, as Ami said, you can use your browser history here too.

WolframAlpha can carry out complex equations can comparisons much like a TI Calculator. Additionally they have some areas where you can see the simplification of an equation paired with charts and graphs where possible.

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and it tells you the freakin' weather too –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 28 '10 at 1:28
I took me a while to figure out (though it helped me find it) that you end a function as x * sin (5 * pi * x) + 12 where x = 42 and if you want the workings, f(x) = x * sin (5 * pi * x) + 12 where x = 42. It must very useful for maths students –  Chris S Sep 13 '10 at 19:20

Personally, I always use Python's console.
It has history and allows all kinds of math operations.


It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac, and others.

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Python's console is excellent for this task - but don't forget about Octave, the open source alternative to Matlab. (It is easiest to use on a UNIX-like command line.) –  Tom Stephens Jul 21 '10 at 0:21
Python even has online consoles too –  Casebash Jul 21 '10 at 0:45
I've now realised the immediate window in Visual Studio is also a good multi-line calc –  Chris S Jul 29 '10 at 11:08
Python is even better with IPython and the -pylab start-up option. Brings lots of handy functions and constants into the global namespace. –  John D. Cook Aug 5 '10 at 0:18
oh ya, well Wolfram alpha can implement Python... ya that's really all I've got, Python is awesome... –  BBischof Aug 10 '10 at 3:01

A few people have mentioned Sage, but I think deserves a bit more of a plug. Firstly someone mentioned that Sage is quite large to install. This is true, the binary downolad comes in at around 1 gig, however you can use it for free online, without having to install a thing! Head on over to sagenb.org , and sign up for a free account, which will allow you to create and save your own worksheets. I think this is really nice--it feels like it's your "gmail" but for maths, so you can just log in from anywhere and "check your maths" if you want :-D

This is a very popular option--I believe that in the last 9 months around 30,000 people have created accounts! It's perfectly suited for high school students and undergraduates, since no installation is necessary, and hence it can be used straight away in any computer lab with internet access. Here's a screenshot of what the notebook looks like. (I just googled "sage notebook screenshot.") It's been designed to look and work like the Mathematica notebook system, and it's surprisingly slick and easy to use.

Sage screenshot.

There really is a lot to recommend it. I used the online notebook for around 6 months before I installed a copy on my own computer, and this was because I became interested in developing Sage. Although Sage is based on Python (so in particular any Python syntax will work), you really don't need to know Python to get started using Sage--I didn't when I started.

Sage is quite powerful too. Aside from using Maxima for symbolic integration, I belive Sage uses Pari for highly optimised polynomial arithmatic, and I have used Sage for some pretty intense linear algebra computations (over the integers as well as over finite fields), although for this kind of thing you'll probably not want to rely on the online server which can be a little slow.

And let's not forget that you also get the moral boost of being part of something really positive--an movement to create an open source alternative to costly and "closed" alternatives like Mathematica, Maple and Matlab.

(Disclaimer: I just came back from the Sage Days 23 sage developers workshop in Leiden, and I'm a bit pumped!)

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Did you mean to include a screenshot? Your third paragraph just says "Sage screenshot." –  Nicolas Raoul Apr 30 '13 at 3:04

Google's calculator is very powerful: http://www.googleguide.com/help/calculator.html and your use history will be stored in your browser history.

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Lots of people like to use Instacalc which lets you do unit conversions and store intermediate calculations in variables.

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I use R these days. It was build to be a calculator and does the job well. It's syntax might be a bit strange but it allows you to do a lot with little typing.

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Try sage. It's like python (it is actually written in python, and uses something similar to a python shell), but with a vastly larger set of built-in mathematical operations.

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For desktop software, I use SpeedCrunch. Has a history, lots of mathematical functions, supports variable, etc.

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In case you happen to be an Emacs user, the Emacs Calc package is a very good programmable stack-based calculator/mini-CAS.

("M-x calc" to start, then "i" to open the manual in info format.)

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Some people have suggested Sage or Python. Sage can do the symbolic manipulation that TI calculators can do using Maxima. Python with the right packages can do this as well (SymPy package I believe). Plus these things will be programmable. Sage however is fairly heavy at a few GB if I recall correctly. I'm not sure if there is anyway to interface with Maxima through Python like in Sage without actually having Sage.

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If I am at school (and in my lab) I will just have Maple running for symbolic stuff. It's pretty good at it. Other then that, for simple calculations I use windows calculator (its a hotkey on my keyboard) and for more advanced stuff, I'll use WolframAlpha.

However, my plan is to learn mathematica.

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Microsoft Math looks like TI and shows the history of items

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For those of us on a Mac, there's Soulver, which is more like a notepad with calculating in mind. Lots of interesting features like conversions and instant stock prices, but no graphing if you're reliant on that.

If you're interested in having a history of disconnected equations over the course of a day, you could just open a new document, use it for the day and then discard it when you quit. However, it's more designed to create a set of calculations which you can save as a document and then return to later. You can link calculations together as well, letting you change a single value and recomputing all your answers instantly.

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I just discovered a software called Spacetime. Its free, available for windows/mac/iphone and very powerful. You can:

Graph 2D, 3D and 4D function, parametric, polar, vector fields, implicit, contour, and fractal plots with the tap of a stylus or click of a mouse. Move, zoom, rotate and trace graphs in real-time.

Furthermore, it supports writing scripts.

The UI is good, and the software comes with a great tutorial.

alt text

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I tend to use Mathematica heavily for its symbolic capabilities, but I have a soft spot for Octave, an open-source MATLAB clone. For simple number crunching, it works nicely.

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If you want a quick RPN calculator with print capabilities for standard calculations, I use free42 which is compatible with HP42S (RPN). There is a print key to print when you need and you can configure the file used to save those prints. You can use skins to make it look the way you want, including the original HP calculator.


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This might be a little more basic than you are wanting but this is web-based "Desmos" - https://www.desmos.com/ does a good pretty good job graphing things.

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maple or maplemathlab are pretty good at what you need it to do

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I recommend the free and open-source Sage software. Its a Computer Algebra System and a competitor to all the expensive over-the-counter CAS programs you can get. Fully functional.

You can also go to sagemath.com for an online hosted equivalent.

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I prefer MATLAB for heavy computing....And Wolfram alpha for quick references...both of these are extremely reliable....

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I really wouldn't call MATLAB extremely reliable. And Matlab is no online calculator andin wolframalpha you have no history –  Dominic Michaelis Apr 7 '13 at 8:27

Smart Math Calculator is what you need. It has a beautiful user interface that allows you to have as many math expressions as you like. In addition you can store the result of those expression and variables and used the variables in other equations. As soon as you change one variable, all expressions that depend on it are recalculated. This calculator is also very precise, capable of handling numbers with 1000+ digits in them. Give it a try, you'll like it.

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protected by Zev Chonoles Jul 2 '13 at 5:02

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