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    Re: Why do we still use this terrible Babylonian hexadecimal system
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2004 Nov 18, 14:29 EST
    Alex E wrote:
    "P.S. If I ever have to do this in sea,
    I will use my little Casio scientific calculator
    fx-250D ($10, battery for 1800 hours), which
    has hexadecimal conversion to radians or fractional
    degrees. It also has all trigonometry to 8 digits,
    averaging and even standard deviation.
    I find it very convenient for sight reduction.
    It sounds incredible but I never replaced the battery
    since I bought it in 1989 (!)"

    I just bought the newest version of the fx-250. They're so cheap that I figured I might as well have one in my car as a spare ($7.50 at an office supply store). I picked up a photon-powered model which seems to work well, but the nice thing is that they've improved the "DMS" functionality. Now when you tap the DMS key it actually displays something like 23*45'10". That is, the decimal conversion is not necessarily visible. When you hit one of the trig function keys, it calculates correctly based on the true angle. Better yet, it does the inverse conversion: if you have a number in decimal degrees on screen, you can tap DMS and it will show you degrees, minutes, seconds directly. A really nice little trig calculator...

    Frank R
    [X] Mystic, Connecticut
    [ ] Chicago, Illinois
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