Windows Calculator: I Am Error

I’ve been using PCs for the better part of two decades, and in all that time, I’ve used Windows’ calculator maybe four times. As such, that the following has never been noticed by me isn’t exactly surprising, and if the breadth of your experience with the program is anywhere as vast as mine, it’s not surprising that you haven’t noticed, either. But apparently, Windows’ calculator is lying to you.

According to Windows calculator, two minus two doesn’t equal zero.

That’s not exactly true, but kinda. Be a peach and open up Windows’ calc for a second, would you? Thanks, you’re the best. Alright, find the square root of four (using the square root button, not just hitting 2… even though it’s 2). Now subtract 2 from the resulting 2.

Should be zero, right? Isn’t that weird? Who knows how many long years this ghost has been in the machine. My guess: many.

ADDENDUM: A mathematically-inclined friend of mine has pointed out as I write this that the true square root of four is not, in fact, exactly two. So the ‘buggy’ answer we’re getting is apparently the true remainder of subtracting 2 from the square root of 4. For all intents and purposes, the number we’re getting is so close to zero it hurts, but it’s not entirely as erroneous as I’m making it out to be.

If you ask me, then, Windows calculator is just lying about that first 2 being 2.



By tydunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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