Originally Posted by

**HallsofIvy** Yes, people used to do problems like this in years "BC" (before calculators). However, it involves using tables of logarithms or doing complicated roots.

For example, 5^(1.7)= 5*5^.7. .7= 7/10 = 700/1000 and 1000 is reasonably close to 2^10= 1024. find the 700 power of 5 and then take the square root 10 times! That gives 15.0239 whereas, by calculator, 5^1.7= 15.4258, approximately.

(I confess I used a calculator to find the 700 power of 5 and then 10 square roots. YOU can spend hours doing those by hand!)