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6. Examples

In /bin/sh, the following will assign the value of "pi" to the shell variable pi.

 
pi=$(echo "scale=10; 4*a(1)" | bc -l)

The following is the definition of the exponential function used in the math library. This function is written in POSIX bc.

 
scale = 20

/* Uses the fact that e^x = (e^(x/2))^2
   When x is small enough, we use the series:
     e^x = 1 + x + x^2/2! + x^3/3! + ...
*/

define e(x) {
  auto  a, d, e, f, i, m, v, z

  /* Check the sign of x. */
  if (x<0) {
    m = 1
    x = -x
  } 

  /* Precondition x. */
  z = scale;
  scale = 4 + z + .44*x;
  while (x > 1) {
    f += 1;
    x /= 2;
  }

  /* Initialize the variables. */
  v = 1+x
  a = x
  d = 1

  for (i=2; 1; i++) {
    e = (a *= x) / (d *= i)
    if (e == 0) {
      if (f>0) while (f--)  v = v*v;
      scale = z
      if (m) return (1/v);
      return (v/1);
    }
    v += e
  }
}

The following is code that uses the extended features of bc to implement a simple program for calculating checkbook balances. This program is best kept in a file so that it can be used many times without having to retype it at every use.

 
scale=2
print "\nCheck book program\n!"
print "  Remember, deposits are negative transactions.\n"
print "  Exit by a 0 transaction.\n\n"

print "Initial balance? "; bal = read()
bal /= 1
print "\n"
while (1) {
  "current balance = "; bal
  "transaction? "; trans = read()
  if (trans == 0) break;
  bal -= trans
  bal /= 1
}
quit

The following is the definition of the recursive factorial function.

 
define f (x) {
  if (x <= 1) return (1);
  return (f(x-1) * x);
}


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