Application Suite: SciCalc



  SciCalc is a scientific calculator which runs on the RISC OS desktop. To load SciCalc open the Apps folder on the iconbar and double click on the SciCalc icon. SciCalc will then appear on the RISC OS iconbar. Click on this icon with SELECT to open the calculator window.

You can use SciCalc in two ways:

Firstly you can click on the buttons to enter numbers and perform calculations. In this mode SciCalc operates just like a real desktop calculator.

Secondly you can click in the display section of the SciCalc window (the box with 0 at the right hand end) with SELECT. This will give keyboard input focus to SciCalc. You will see that the title bar goes yellow. If the title bar is not yellow then SciCalc will not accept key presses from the keyboard. You can now type numbers on the numeric keypad on your keyboard and the numbers will be entered into SciCalc. You can also use the keys that have mathematical signs on them, for example the + (plus), - (minus), * (multiply) and / (divide) keys.

As an example suppose you wanted to add 2 numbers together. Type the first number of the numeric keypad, lets say 25. Then press the + (plus) key. Now type the second number, lets say 57.23 (use the full stop key to represent the decimal point). Now press the Enter key and SciCalc will show you the result of adding the two numbers.

The version of SciCalc supplied with RISC OS Six now supports cutting and pasting of values using the RISC OS clipboard from applications such as Edit. Use Ctrl-C to copy, and Ctrl-V to paste.

You will find that SciCalc is a very useful tool as you can always have a calculator available. SciCalc is also very useful for software developers and the following sections cover the more technical aspects.

SciCalc Technical Information

SciCalc offers 4 numeric bases, 3 trigonometric modes, a memory and a single level of brackets. Its accuracy is limited to that of BASIC 64, which SciCalc uses for calculations.

Numeric range

SciCalc has the following numeric ranges:

  • Decimal Real values, -9.9E99 to 9.9E99 entry, (-9.9E307 to 9.9E307 displayable)
  • Binary - 32bit signed, 10000000000000000000000000000000 to 11111111111111111111111111111111
  • Octal - 32bit signed 20000000000 to 17777777777
  • Hexadecimal - 32bit signed, 80000000 to 7FFFFFFF


  Mode           Accuracy          Number of digits displayed

  Binary         Absolute          32
  Octal          Absolute          10 - 11
  Hexadecimal    Absolute          8
  Decimal        64 bit FP         10 or 10 + 2 digit exponent

Note that real number underflow is not trapped.

Keys in decimal base

  Calculator        Keyboard           Function

  0..9              0..9               numbers
  +, -, x, , =,    +, -, *, /, =      standard operators
                    Return, Enter      same as =
                   #                  change sign on number or exponent
  Exp               E                  allows entry of exponent
  .                 .                  decimal point
  10x, LOG, LN, eX                     exponential and logarithmic functions
  nCr                                  combination
  nPr                                  permutation
  ()                (, )               brackets (one level only)
  TT                                   the number Pi
  RND                                  random number between 0.0 and 1.0
  NOT, AND, OR, EOR                    logical functions
  %                 %                  percentage
  HYP (followed by trig fn)            hyperbolic functions
  SIN, COS, TAN                        trigonometric functions
  ASN, ACS, ATN                        inverse trigonometric functions
  x!                !                  factorial
  x                                   square root
  yx                                  Yth root of X
  x                                   square
  xY                ^                  X raised to the power Y
  1/x                                  reciprocal
  C                 Delete             clear calculation
  CE                                   clear current number only
  MC                                   clear memory
  Min                                  memory in
  MR                                   memory recall
  Mode                                 select radians/degrees/gradians
  Base                                 select decimal/binary/octal/
                                       hexadecimal base

Alternative keys in non-decimal bases

  NAND                          NOT AND
  NOR                           NOT OR
  EQV                           NOT EOR (equivalence)
  <O , O>                 rotate left or right
  <<< , >>>   logical shift left or right
  << , >>           arithmetic shift left or right
  DIV                           integer division
  MOD                           modulus (integer remainder)
  A - F             A - F       hexadecimal base digits

Using the percentage key

Here are some examples of using the percentage key:

47.3 + 15 % = take 47.3 and increase it by 15%
15 % * 47.3 = find 15% of 47.3

Operator precedence

Operators are evaluated in the following order of precedence (highest shown first).

unary operators
nCr, nPr
*, /, DIV, MOD
+, -
<O, O>, <<, >>, <<<, >>>

The SciCalc window

The title bar indicates the current base and, for decimal, the current trigonometric mode. The SELECT and ADJUST buttons applied to the "Base" and "Mode" keys cycle through the bases and modes in opposite directions.

The numeric display contains the most recently entered number or result. Any errors, for example "Division by zero", are displayed here too. To clear an error, use the "C" button.

Note that changing from decimal to a non-decimal base will round the currently displayed value to the nearest integer, but has no effect on previous parts of the current calculation. Rounding also occurs on numbers being recalled from memory in non-decimal bases.

Start-up options

You can set SciCalc to automatically open its window at a chosen place on the screen when SciCalc is run, by setting the system variable SciCalc$Window, for example:

     *Set SciCalc$Window 700,900

The numbers are the x and y graphics coordinates for the bottom-left corner of the displayed window.

You can also choose a particular base and trigonometric mode in which SciCalc is to start, by setting SciCalc$Options, for example:

     *Set SciCalc$Options 2,1

The first number specifies the base, the second the mode. Allowed values are:

  • Base
    • 1 Decimal
    • 2 Binary
    • 3 Octal
    • 4 Hexadecimal
  • Mode
    • 1 Radians
    • 2 Degrees
    • 3 Gradians

The above example sets the base to binary and the trigonometric mode (used when you next change to decimal base) to radians. The default values are 1,2 i.e. decimal and degrees.

Quitting SciCalc

You can quit Scicalc by clicking MENU on the icon and selecting Quit. Alternatively, to remove the calculator window temporarily, click on the window's close box. Subsequently clicking on the icon will re-open the window in the same position, with the calculation state preserved.


This documentation is copyright 3QD Developments Ltd 2013 and may not be reproduced or published in any form without the copyright holder's permission. RISC OS is subject to continuous development and improvement as such all information is provided by 3QD Developments Ltd in good faith and is believed to be correct at the time of publication E&OE. 3QD Developments Ltd cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any information provided as part of the RISC OS Documentation.

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