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Both are the exponent sign. 10**2 = 10x10 = 100. In the pension thread I had it as part of the equation for discounting future values, for example discounting 3 years at 4% as (1.04^3) which is 1.04 to the 3rd power or 1.04*1.04*1.04 or 1.124864.
The "**" sign as exponentiation should look familiar if we have any FORTRAN programmers out there...
__________________ "Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
The ** symbol for exponentials is not limited to Fortran. I programmed in SAS for 23 years and that was how I indicated raising a number to a power.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.
"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
And the ** was used in lieu of the caret (^) in the olden days when the caret was not generally available. And just for a little nostalgia, there was a time when some character sets DID NOT HAVE LOWER CASE.
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