Frequently Asked Questions |

How do I do unit conversion? When I click on the [Conv] button, all I get is an error message? | |

The value to be converted has to be shown in the Result Display (the lower black field). As soon as any value is displayed there (after completing any calculation or after you type in any number and hit Enter) the button will bring up a dialog box with units to choose from. | |

The [Format] button and the menus it drops do not seem to do anything. Why? | |

Same as above: this button reformats the result. When there is no result shown, there is nothing to reformat. | |

Nothing happens when I click on the "=" button. What gives? | |

This button means "calculate the expression value and store the result in a variable I'm going to select". It will do nothing if there is no expression to calculate, i.e., nothing has been entered in the Expression Line (the black field at the top). | |

As soon as I compute the expression value, the expression itself disappears. I would like now to change something in that expression and to recompute it - what should I do? | |

I suspect you must have set the Auto Scroll option in the menu. When this option is on, Midget will scroll to the next expression line as soon as the calculation is complete. You may disable this option, or you may use the up-arrow button (or key) to scroll back to the expression you have just evaluated. | |

Your hints explain the acot function as "arc cotangent". I don't have a clue what it means. Could you help? | |

Midget will help you do the math you already know, but it will not teach you new things. If you do not know what "arc cotangent" is, it means you probably don't need it. Just ignore it: it doesn't stand in your way in using Midget to do things you do know. | |

I would like to compute -2/3+7 but as soon as I start typing it in, the program inserts a "t" at the beginning, so that I'm really entering t-2/3+7. Is something wrong?
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Obviously, the "Insert t" menu option is set on. It that mode, when you start typing a new expression from an operator, the last computed value, shown as "t", is inserted at the beginning (so that you do not have to type it in). You may prefer to disable this option. If you don't, then if you want to start a new expression from the "-" operator (the only case you may want to have an operator at the start), just fool the program and start typing from a space. | |

I would like to compute the volume (in gallons) of a box with the sides measuring 2 ft 3 in, 1 ft 7 in and just 11 in. What is the easiest way to do it? | |

Type in ft(2,3)*ft(1,7)*ft(0,11) and hit Enter; the result will show 3.27. Then click on the [Conv] button and select "Volume" in the top field, "cu.feet" in the middle one and, say, "gallons (U.S.)" in the bottom field. Click on OK. The result will now show 2.44 and this is the answer.
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This is fine, but what if I need to use inches with fraction, like 1 ft 7 and 3/16 in in my previous question? | |

Enter ft(2,3)*ft(1,7+3/16)*ft(0,11) and proceed as before.
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I would like to use the exact value of "pi" instead of typing in something like "3.14" or some other approximate value. How do I do it? | |

You haven't read the Help, have you? OK, just this time: press Control-p (i.e. hit the "p" key while holding the Control key down. This gives you the pi with more than 18 decimal digits of accuracy. | |

When I click on the result, a menu pops up with some letters: A, B, C etc. What is this? | |

Did we mention the Help file? By clicking on one of these letters you will store the result in a variable (just a piece of computer memory) of this name; in the next expression you may use that letter instead of the value you've stored there. | |

I've clicked on something and the program just disappeared and I can't find it. Help! | |

You must have clicked on the top-left corner of the program panel (or hit the Pause key). Look in your taskbar Icon Tray; you will find the Midget icon there - clicking on it will bring the program back again. | |

I would like to enter, say, (a+b)^2 and get a^2+2ab+b^2 - what should I do?
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Midget is a calculator: it computes numerical results but does not do symbolic algebra which is what you need. The best program to do that is Mathematica from Wolfram Research, but it is somewhat more expensive. A more reasonable choice for symbolic operations (and not only!) is the TI-92 from Texas Instruments which we highly recommend if you are serious about your math.
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I'm doing factorials at school and I know that "4!" means "1*2*3*4". My book does not, however, say that it is possible to compute a factorial for a fractional value, like "4.3!". Midget accepts this and gives 38.077... Shouldn't it rather show an error? | |

This is a matter of agreement. Factorial is related to the so-called Euler's Gamma function: x! = Γ(x+1). We are using this convention for all non-negative x; if you rather wouldn't, just don't use "!" for non-whole arguments.
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I have a pool with two pumps. One fills it up in 2 hrs 37 mins, the other in 4 hrs 15 mins. How long will it take for both pumps working together to fill the pool? | |

Sorry, we're not going to do your homework. Ask your plumber. | |

What is the purpose of the Universe? | |

We have no idea. |

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Posted 1999/05/27; last updated 2003/09/15 | Copyright © 1999-2003 by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. |