The joy of a calculator

It’s actually interesting that I feel excited arriving at my home office and seeing a calculator by my computer. Not a simple 4-operation calculator, but my programmable, discontinued, HP 48GX. It reminds me of the time that I actually used it for doing more than just the 4 operations, when I was in undergrad. In graduate school I think I never really had to use it, as most complicated mathematical equations I had to solve I would do it directly on the computer (but there weren’t too many of them – most things were conceptual and not numeric).

Different times, being a different person, able to go months sleeping 4 1/2 hours a day (I did some of it during graduate school too, but I think my average went up to something like 5 or 5 1/2 hours), learning and doing lots of different things. I can’t say I’m not happy today, but I was a different type of happy then. I had more friends around, more music around, and more different projects that were actually getting done and not just in this design and early implementation phase forever.

Now you might be asking: why do I have a calculator by my computer? Can’t computers do it all? Yes! But not while you are playing EVE Online. I’m at a point in the game that I gave up on just going around doing work for other people, and I’m mining and manufacturing goods to sell. So you have to look at things that I can make (i.e., I have all the skills needed and can mine/purchase the raw materials for), calculate how much my cost to make it would be and how much people will pay for it and see how many I have to make to get the ROI for purchasing the blueprints.

They are all reasonably simple calculations. Most products that I’ve analyzed only make sense to manufacture if you go mine all the raw materials (you can only sell it for more than what the raw materials cost), and I try to stay away from those. But there are a few that seem to make sense. So if I feel like I have enough time, I go mine myself and increase my profit, but if I don’t, I can just buy what is needed and I still make a profit.

But why do I do this? Why play a game that the only thing you do is “work” and not get anything new out of it? I probably wouldn’t do it if that’s all I was going to do for eternity. My hope is to raise enough money to be able to buy a better ship and get back to doing work for other people. I need it not to be destroyed when the mission asks me to do something that takes me to a lair of pirates that kill me in a few seconds – I have lost about a 2 million ISK (the currency in the game) ship in the near past because of it.

Ah, fishing with a calculator…

PS: note that this is also a project that ends up being close to unfinished, as I have only been playing once or twice a week (and maybe coming online once or twice more just to set up my skill training queue), so don’t expect me to be “rich” anytime soon.

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