MacMost Now 50: Calculator Alternatives

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at some alternative to the Dashboard Widget calculator that ships with Leopard.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary Rosenzweig. So you're Mac's got an intel core 2 duo processor and are capable of billions of calculations per second. But when you go to bring up the calculator it does just about as much as a calculator bought at the discount store. Surely there's something better and there is. Let's take a look at alternative calculator programs in this episode of MacMost Now. A lot of these calculators will come as dashboard widgets such as this one. Pemdas from donkeyentertainment is a very capable scientific calculator. Compare it to the standard calculator you can see how much more there is. You can even use a programmers mode which I have it in now which has binary, octal and hexadecimal numbers as well. Here's another dashboard widget. It's an RPN calculator. That's a reverse polish notation. So you may remember from back in college you enter in a series of numbers 5,6,7 and then you enter in an operation like plus that'll add the last two together, then the previous two before that, so if you're in to using that type of calculator here's a dashboard widget for you. Now here's a calculator called CalcHundter which is for programmers mostly. It's a single line and you can enter in a calculation just as you would align a programming code, like that and what's better is it even gives you the answer in various formats like hexadecimal you can even use hexadecimal numbers. So for instance do this and it does a conversion for you and allows you to add hexadecimal and decimal numbers together. This one isn't a dashboard widget it's a standalone application. Now here's a very interesting calculator. Suppose you don't want all that fancy features. You just want something that's easy to access. This program called Calq spelled with a q allows you to just hit a key combination and it instantly brings up a small window over whatever it is you're doing and you just type the calculation. It does it very quickly and it dismisses it just as easily. So this is a great little program if you just need to add quick numbers and you don't want it to get in the way of whatever else you're doing. Now if you find yourself saying calculators back in my day we used to do this in slide rolls well then Caveman's Calc is for you. It's an actual slide roll that you can use on your screen -- but fun none-the-less. The best thing about all of these calculator applications is they're all completely free and there's more too. If you've got a favorite leave it as a comment to this post at MacMost.com. Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 6 Responses to “MacMost Now 50: Calculator Alternatives”

    Ian
    2/28/08 @ 4:09 pm

    That Calq is fantastic, it’s just what I’ve been looking for a long time. Now planning my finances will be a little bit quicker!

    KB
    3/1/08 @ 12:35 pm

    You should also mention the graphing calculator that is in the Utilities folder simply called Grapher…

    Jeff
    3/1/08 @ 8:33 pm

    Gary,
    I love what you do but you missed the boat on this one.

    What is wrong with the calculator found in Applications? It has a Basic, Scientific and Programmer mode. It also does more conversions than others that are shareware. Why didn’t you show the calculator which has come as a part of the OS for years.

    3/1/08 @ 9:59 pm

    Jeff: Excellent point. I was focusing on the Dashboard widget calculator, and ignoring the Calculator “Application” which is excellent. I should have mentioned it.

    3/3/08 @ 5:36 am

    A great calc for the Video Professional is Timecode Calculator 2.2.1. Downloadable from the Apple Site under Shareware. It does have a minimal cost but it does replace the old Radio Shack timecode calculators.

    6/1/08 @ 3:38 am

    Magic Number Machine is a nice app worth mentioning as well.

Comments Closed.