2.1 What is Calc?
Calc is an advanced calculator and mathematical tool that runs as
part of the GNU Emacs environment. Very roughly based on the HP-28/48
series of calculators, its many features include:
- Choice of algebraic or RPN (stack-based) entry of calculations.
- Arbitrary precision integers and floating-point numbers.
- Arithmetic on rational numbers, complex numbers (rectangular and polar),
error forms with standard deviations, open and closed intervals, vectors
and matrices, dates and times, infinities, sets, quantities with units,
and algebraic formulas.
- Mathematical operations such as logarithms and trigonometric functions.
- Programmer's features (bitwise operations, non-decimal numbers).
- Financial functions such as future value and internal rate of return.
- Number theoretical features such as prime factorization and arithmetic
modulo m for any m.
- Algebraic manipulation features, including symbolic calculus.
- Moving data to and from regular editing buffers.
- Embedded mode for manipulating Calc formulas and data directly
inside any editing buffer.
- Graphics using GNUPLOT, a versatile (and free) plotting program.
- Easy programming using keyboard macros, algebraic formulas,
algebraic rewrite rules, or extended Emacs Lisp.
Calc tries to include a little something for everyone; as a result it is
large and might be intimidating to the first-time user. If you plan to
use Calc only as a traditional desk calculator, all you really need to
read is the “Getting Started” chapter of this manual and possibly the
first few sections of the tutorial. As you become more comfortable with
the program you can learn its additional features. Calc does not
have the scope and depth of a fully-functional symbolic math package,
but Calc has the advantages of convenience, portability, and freedom.