# Is a question about calculators in SI format according to “what topics can I ask about here”?

I put the following question (10k-only link) and immediately received down-vote, thus, deleted it. Could be question is off-topic, could be someone is happy trigger of down-votes.

Yes, I known is a strongly practical question but, who doesn't uses a calculator? And I do not see any one that can be configured in SI format.

I do not see any entry in "what topics can I ask here" that allows or discard this question, being the most near "Experimental technology used in physics or astronomy" (allows) or "Implementation details of computational tasks" (denies)

The question was:

Utility question, knows someone about a calculator that shows the results in format $$a \cdot 10^b$$ where $$b$$ is a multiple of 3 (positive or negative) and $$a$$ is a real number in decimal format with $$1 \le |a| \lt 1000$$ with a configurable number of decimals or number of digits ?

Examples:

• Allowed:

• $$123.45 \cdot 10^{12}$$
• $$1.23456 \cdot 10^{3}$$
• $$12.34$$
• Not allowed:

• $$1.2345 \cdot 10^{14}$$ should be $$123.45 \cdot 10^{12}$$
• $$1234.56 \cdot 10^{3}$$ should be $$1.23456 \cdot 10^{6}$$
• $$0.1234$$ must be $$123.4 \cdot 10^{-3}$$

Usual scientific mode in calculators is a different format than this one, because they allow any integer exponent

• Do you really need a calculator which does that kind of conversion? It seems like you're asking for a product-recommendation; such questions are off-topic. They almost ask for spam and advertisements. – user191954 Oct 12 '18 at 9:49
• @Chair: thanks for your comment. If the answer is "there are not", I think this is not a product recommendation. If the answer is "configure scientifical mode as ..." then it is a (elemental) but normal question. About the second part of your comment, any improvement to a basic tool that discards elementary errors is welcome. In fact, a calculator able to work with units (kg, m, s) will be even better. – pasaba por aqui Oct 12 '18 at 10:23
• The technical name for what you're looking for is engineering notation (as opposed to 'scientific notation'). Using the correct search term, google reveals multiple suitable options for both physical electronic calculators as well as software packages. – Emilio Pisanty Oct 12 '18 at 11:19
• ... but no, the fact that the object exists does not mean that your question is on-topic here. In the forms you've phrased it in this thread, it isn't. – Emilio Pisanty Oct 12 '18 at 11:20
• @EmilioPisanty: Thanks a lot for your comment, that in fact answers the original question. I see know that some calculators has the "normal/cientific/fixed decimal notation" as configurable option but a separate key "ENG" to convert any result to engineering notation. – pasaba por aqui Oct 12 '18 at 11:30
• @EmilioPisanty - indeed, my earliest ‘real’ calculator (not slide rule, but those were useful too!) was an HP that had engineering notation. Every other HP I’ve owned has as well... – Jon Custer Oct 12 '18 at 17:23
• Aside from the merits of the question (it's off topic) I'm not sure that "immediately received down-vote, thus, deleted it" is generally the right response. That said, the nomenclature for what you want is "engineering notation". Not that I see it used much. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Oct 12 '18 at 23:12

I put the following question and immediately received down-vote, thus, deleted it. Could be question is off-topic, could be someone is happy trigger of down-votes.

I don't think that 1 DV necessarily indicates it's off-topic; that just means 1 person didn't like the post for any reason. Typically, but not always, someone will leave a comment indicating that it's off-topic for reason X when voting to close it; that's how you can know it's off-topic.

I do not see any entry in "what topics can I ask here" that allows or discard this question, being the most near "Experimental technology used in physics or astronomy" (allows) or "Implementation details of computational tasks" (denies)

I'd say it's disallowed because it's a software request which is generally considered as off-topic (see also this post too) because they're generally too broad as thy're list-based questions. But again, a single DV doesn't strictly indicate topicality.

When it comes to resource requests, we are very peculiar, basically restricting it to books/articles/webseries for a variety of reasons, all of which can be found through searching Meta (primary Q&A is here + the "Linked" bar to the right). Most of us don't believe that software requests would satisfy the conditions needed for resource recommendations; hence, they're off-topic.

• Thanks for your answer. Happy trigger of down-votes without comments is a problem in all stack exchanges. Strictly talking, it is not software question and, more important, it is not about implementation. It is about a tool. Could be I must rephrase the question as "it exist a calculator that allows ... " – pasaba por aqui Oct 12 '18 at 10:27
• @pasabaporaqui that's still, in my opinion, an off-topic question for similar reasons I gave: it's not a physics concept question nor is it a resource recommendation for a book/article/webseries. – Kyle Kanos Oct 12 '18 at 11:44