Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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an adding machine (from Twitter)

Another bit of Twitter writing, while doing taxes.

I finally got a proper _adding machine_ for taxes.

I love it already.

This thing is _so unlike_ a calculator. I mean, sure, it does the basics - the _very_ basics - but it's so incredibly optimised for accounting. It's _great_.

And that's the key (lol) point, right? It's a calculator in that it calculates, but _not_ a calculator in that it doesn't work like ordinary calculators.

If you put a printer on a calculator - or bring up the "paper tape" in macOS's calculator app - you do _not_ get _this_.

This is a linear descendant of the old mechanical adding machines. Multiplication and division are like a side-car add-on, and they're _still kept_ that way, and for the purposes of accounting?

It's _better_ that way.

And it's better that way because it's, okay, I've got this fuckoff tally going, oh shit, I need to divide some shit or do some percentages, but _that's okay_, I can pop over on the left and do it in basically a calculation fugue state - and then bring it back right and add it in.

_Without_ having to resort to the memory function or any of that nonsense, even though it's got that built in too, so you can basically do _two_ running tallies, separately. And fugue state over for multiplication/division/percentages/taxes w/e on the left when you need them.

And that doesn't even get into the special function like setting fixed digits of printed precision, three rounding modes, stock calculations, stuff like that.

Or the print roll. Holy fuck the print roll, so you can check your entire entry history without it being a nightmare.

macOS's "print roll" functionality in the calculator is _completely wrong and broken_ when it comes to accounting, and Apple should feel bad about it.

I mean, ffs, they have bean counters. Ask _them_.

If this sounds a little like an Adam Savage Favourite Tool video but in tweet form? Yeah maybe lol.

But seriously, I've wanted one for years, I finally said "so what if I only use it a few days a year, it's a good tool" and I've only had it a day and already?

I love it.

ps: how bad is a standard calculator at this task? This bad. It's bad enough that I was using this instead. Really. It's no worse, and in a few ways? Better.

(I got it at an elderly neighbour's garage sale some years ago. It works!)

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