learnpython.org - an online interactive Python tutorial

harrismh777 harrismh777 at charter.net
Sun Apr 24 04:39:05 CEST 2011

Cameron Simpson wrote:
> | folks are not aware that 'bc' also has arbitrary precision floating
> | point math and a standard math library.
> Floating point math? I thought, historically at least, that bc is built
> on dc (arbitrary precision integer math, reverse polish syntax) and that
> consequently bc uses fixed point math rather than floating point.

My bad... I don't mean under-the-covers... I mean that the user may 
calculate arbitrary precision floating arithmetic ... bc keeps track of 
the decimal point and displays the number of digits the user specifies; 
arbitrary precision calculator.  (loose language, sorry)

On a *nix system, Mac OSx, Linux, run this to get 1000+ digits of PI:

time echo "scale = 1010; 16 * a(1/5) - 4 * a(1/239)" |bc -lq

scale sets the precision,  -lq  loads the math library arctan() quiet.

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