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On 11/02/16 09:37 AM, Virgil Arrington wrote:
Thanks for the tip, but back in 1989 when this was all happening, I'm not sure that my DOS spreadsheet even had the ability to display numbers as "currency". I certainly made no attempt to do so, even if it were possible. They were just numbers and, yes, integers, and no, the spreadsheet didn't get 28 divided by 7 correct.

I have learned, however, as you point out, that how numbers are displayed is not the same as what they are. For example, you can't "round" a number in a spreadsheet by simply reducing the number of decimal places displayed in a cell. The underlying number remains unrounded and further calculations with it might produce undesired results. When working with currency, I've developed the habit of probably overusing the the "@round" function at each step of a complex calculation just to ensure desired results.


There were stories back in the 1970s about programmers taking advantage of the binary/floating point rounding errors to transfer a penny here and there into their own accounts. With huge numbers of transactions each day, the pennies added up very quickly.

COBOL actually had features that let you do arithmetic in decimal digits with the decimal point being a display item, not an actual fractional part of a number, so that the results would be exactly what they were if you did the calculations by hand.

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