On Macs and Linux I can still use the bc command instead (it’s an old Unix command) but it’s far less handy than Python. See the bc man page.
There’s also dc, the even less used, reverse Polish notation calculator. It is a standard Unix command that predates bc.
Interestingly, the dc “language” is older than C, Awk, Perl, or any other programming language still found on Unix systems. It is implemented in C’s predecessor, the language B.
You can tell that bc and dc are early Unix commands from their names, many of the oldest Unix commands are just two characters long.
The ability to use variables, math functions, lists, loops, and completion in Python will likely keep me using it as my basic calculator. Although I need to figure out a way to edit my REPL history to fix typos better.
Why do you do math on random people's laptops?
In my own office I use perhaps a dozen machines. Servers running FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or Linux. Linux, Windows, and Mac desktops and laptops. Few are actually set up as Python development machines (those of course have recent Python installed), but having a ubiquitous tool for simple calculations (or even short scripts) is quite handy on all of the others.
My work might not be typical: I have been programming for over half a century and I started making use of Python for simple programs in the Python 1.2 time frame around 20 years ago. I'm not really a Python developer, but I appreciate it as a useful tool--even as a keyboard driven calculator.
Also available on macs/linux and most unixes.
$echo '1/2' | bc
$ echo '1/2' | bc -l
though honestlyI usually just type bc -l you enter into an interactive calculator similar to python.