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HP 12c Platinum Financial Calculator - Using Algebraic Mode to Solve Problems

The HP 12c Platinum algebraic mode
The HP 12c Platinum contains a very flexible algebraic mode in addition to its well-known RPN mode. This algebraic mode allows for flexible solutions to many problems encountered in business and beyond.
When in normal, 'run' mode, every operation performed in the HP 12c Platinum uses the display contents or places results on it. The display always shows the contents of the X-register. A register is a predefined place in the calculator memory that is able to hold a formatted number with a ten-digit mantissa and a two-digit exponent of ten. The X-register is one of the registers that form the algebraic stack, represented in Figure 1 with all contents cleared to zero.
Figure : Stack registers
Anytime a number is keyed in, the X-register is updated to hold this number. It is then available for use.
Practice with solving problems using algebraic mode
Example 1
What is the most common keystroke sequence to compute the reciprocal of 7.2? What registers in the stack are used?
Solution
The most common keystroke sequence to compute the reciprocal of 7.2 is:
Keystroke
Display
Figure : Calculating the reciprocal of 7.2
In this case, simply typing in the number and pressing the related key are enough to compute the resulting value. There are other functions that use only the X-register contents, like or . These are the 'one-number functions', and when they are pressed, the calculator proceeds with the following operation sequence:
  • Take a copy of the X-register contents and replace it with the resulting value.
Example 2
What is the most common keystroke sequence to enter 2.33 and 4.5 and add them to each other? What registers in the stack are used?
Solution
The most common keystroke sequence to add 2.33 to 4.5 is:
Keystroke
Display
Figure : Entering and adding the values of 2.33 and 4.5
When is pressed, the calculator proceeds with the following operation sequence:
  1. Take a copy of the X-register contents;
  2. Take Y-register contents and add to X-register contents;
  3. Replace actual X-register contents for resulting value.
This same operational sequence is observed when , , and are used. These are the 'two-number functions'.
Example 3
Evaluate: 3 x 4 + 5 =
Answer
The result is 17.
Example 4
Evaluate: 5 ÷ ( 10 – 2 )
Solution
The solution below makes use of the key. For complicated problems, evaluating the denominator first and then pressing the key before allowing the division to occur is often a quick way to find a solution.
Answer
The result is 0.63.
Example 5
Evaluate the following expression given x=3.4567?
Figure : Equation to find the value of y
Solution
Keystroke
Display
Figure : Computing the value of y
Answer
The result is 4.34.
Example 6
Evaluate: ( 3 + 4 ) x ( 5 + 6 ) =
Solution
The solution below also makes use of the key. This often makes solutions very easy.
Answer
The result is 77.
Example 7
Evaluate:
Answer
The result is 411.86.

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