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Last post Author Topic: Release: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)  (Read 19106 times)

timns

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Release: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« on: November 15, 2011, 01:34:00 PM »
NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application NameFentwiss
Version0.8
Short DescriptionSimple keyboard-centric calculator and converter
Supported OSesAnything that runs Java
Setup Filewww.head-in-the-clouds.com/game/Fentwiss.jnlp
Suggested Donation49 cents. Donations will be divided up in support of Donation Coder itself, and two of my favourite charities.
System RequirementsJava runtime environment - which most of you will have already
Author Infotimns
DescriptionTwo things drove this NANY submission:

1. Me not really finding a tiny converting calculator that suited my own needs. During my working day, I deal with quite a few measurements and volumes in varying units, as well as a number of currencies and of course timezones. I wanted a very light application that would let me do quick arithmetic and quick conversions with a minimum of clicking and selecting. I've tried quite a few, and they all suffer from bloat and too much mousing around. (The closest I can get is 'Frink' which I do really like, but it does have limitations from my point of view)

2. Me wanting another NANY mug.

So my criteria were:
  • Easy conversion without using the mouse
  • Ability to see and edit several calculations for comparison
  • Accurate currency conversion
  • Always available
  • Keyboard-centric
Features
  • Simple and natural syntax for fast calculation and conversion: e.g. "32 miles as km" or "4 1|2ft->cm"
  • Tries to present the results in a human-friendly way (mixed units, fractions)
  • Very accurate conversions
  • Online currency look up for correct exchange rates
  • Fractions
  • Mixed conversions and calculations
  • Available under a hotkey
Screenshotsscreenshot0032_2011-11-15.png
InstallationFentwiss will be provided as a Java Web Start link

You may see the following message - this is because I have signed the jar file using a self-generated key and certificate. Since this key, certificate and signature is not issued by any CA, webstart displays it as "Publisher: UNKNOWN"
fw1.pngRelease: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)

If the "More Information" indicates the file is from DonationCoder and signed by the author, you may trust it and run:
fw2.pngRelease: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)

fw3.pngRelease: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)

Using the applicationFentwiss tries to be intuitive: it will attempt to recognise the calculation or conversion you are keying in, and will evaluate it on the fly. There is no "=" button to press.

In addition, you can tell Fentwiss your preferred units and formats to save extra typing. For example: if you tell it you like to think in metres, length conversions are automatically shown in metres unless you say otherwise:

Default: 15ft = 4.57
Override: 15ft->cm = 457.20

Examples of use

Simple arthimetic:
11+22*33-44/55 ( = 19 )

Fractions:
8 1|2 + 9 3|4 ( = 18.25 or 18 1|4)

Math functions:
sin(0.7)*cos(0.9) ( = 0.4 )

Hex / Bin / Programmer functions:
2^64 ( = 18,446,744,073,709,552,000.00 )
12245589->hex ( = BADA55 )
0b101010 ( = 42 decimal)

Conversion:
1271 cm -> ft ( = 41.70, or 41 128/183rds, or 41ft 8.39inches)
2400usd->gbp ( = 1516.08 at today's rate)

There is very little error checking. If you want to do something silly, no-one minds. For example, my height in Canadian dollars is $2.79. I will not be sharing my weight in British pounds ;)

UninstallingDelete any shortcuts you may have created
Known IssuesOh well just start playing with it, no doubt there are some beauties in there.

What I do want to hear about:
  • crashes,
  • errors in results,
  • errors in understanding your syntax

What I do not want to hear:
  • missing units (yet - I am still adding them, and only have a small subset so far)
  • any suggestions about using online resources for conversion :P - I do not live in a browser
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 09:29:55 PM by timns »

tomos

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 04:03:57 PM »
oooh, this sounds nice.
Tom

mouser

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 07:52:14 PM »
The only thing i would suggest is have a look at something like Wolfram Alpha -- it sure seems like it is designed to do this kind of thing and more -- in fact it handles many of your example queries right out of the box.

And there is already a good alias for it for FARR.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 08:39:56 PM »
I think that part was covered in the "I do not live is a browser" statement. ;)

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 09:30:39 PM »
The only thing i would suggest is have a look at something like Wolfram Alpha -- it sure seems like it is designed to do this kind of thing and more -- in fact it handles many of your example queries right out of the box.

And there is already a good alias for it for FARR.

Story of my fracking life - never heard of Wolfram Alpha till now. That'll teach me to be away from DC for so long then come mincing back into a NANY without some up-front research.

But having said that, Stoic Joker's keen eye is correct - I want something I can just pop-up almost inside whatever-it-is that I'm currently running. Which is why Fentwiss is toggled in and out by hotkey, and is tiny and doesn't *need* an internet connection (although it likes one)

Update - I just tried 45cm->in in WA. It took almost 2 seconds and returned a page of crud  :'(

This is a classic example of the bloat I keep wibbling about - I honestly don't give a flying toss that 45cm is 6.3 times the width of an average credit card.  ;D

mouser

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 09:31:16 PM »
oops.. well never let it be said i only tell people what they want to hear :)

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 09:33:28 PM »
oops.. well never let it be said i only tell people what they want to hear :)

But I still get my mug, right  :P

cranioscopical

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 06:55:52 AM »
But I still get my mug, right
Ahem
Passing over the matter of your ugly mug…   ;)
are you aware of OpalCalc? It handles some of what you want.

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 10:16:14 AM »
OpalCalc looks good - thanks for mentioning it.

Shame it's Windows-only. And it doesn't appear to do fractions, which is a bit of a surprise!

Soldiering on...

mouser

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 03:20:13 PM »
Quote
Soldiering on...

Good for you -- even if an exact duplicate of your idea existed.. there is often value in starting a new project -- inevitably it will take on a character and feature set of it's own and diverge from the other programs.

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 05:25:25 PM »
Quote
Soldiering on...

Good for you -- even if an exact duplicate of your idea existed.. there is often value in starting a new project -- inevitably it will take on a character and feature set of it's own and diverge from the other programs.

Exactly. Otherwise we'd all be driving Fords instead of exotic sports cars  :-*

cranioscopical

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 08:39:57 PM »
Otherwise we'd all be driving Fords instead of exotic sports cars
Never forget, one can't cross a ford with a Lambo!

kyrathaba

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2011, 06:28:14 AM »
Nice looking app, timns!  :Thmbsup:

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2011, 11:16:01 AM »
Thanks, all, for the comments. Alpha release coming up this weekend.

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2011, 05:01:42 PM »
Ok I just released an early alpha in case anyone would like to try 'er out. Please see the pledge message for your link. It should simply download and run after a couple of clicks.

Avoiding all the usual disasters, you should end up with a little window that you can type into.

Type into it.

Please note:
The Options are not really hooked up yet apart from the decimals and the layout.
The system tray menu doesn't do anything.
But the hotkey is working! Ctrl+KeyPadPlus will toggle the program in and out for you.
Some currencies, some units, some functions are implemented. Try a few things.

Examples:

125.99 gbp as eur
250eur->usd
28.9+15%
sin(0.65)+cos(0.545)
8yd+16cm->ft
1+2+3+4+5
1 1|2 + 2 3|4 - 7|8
2^17+1 -> hex
0xBAD + 0b101101

Particularly interested to hear if it works for Linux and Mac users as well as various Windowses.

jgpaiva

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2011, 12:37:00 PM »
It works great in MacOSX!

Just something I miss: could you include a way to use the last result in the current calculation?
I usually use the command-line bc (which is very similar to your program but with fewer functionalities), and when I use ".", it is replaced by the last value it output.
In case I'm not explaining myself decently, here's an example:
Code: Text
  1. 2*6
  2.    12
  3. .*10
  4.    120
  5. ./6
  6.    20
  7.  

mouser

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2011, 12:39:19 PM »
Hey could we have a commandline invokable mode, where we can pass it a commandline and have it send it's output to stdout or save it to a file?  If so we could make a FARR alias for it..

nogojoe

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2011, 04:26:05 PM »
But I still get my mug, right
are you aware of OpalCalc? It handles some of what you want.

Thanks for the tip on opalcalc just what i have been needing for a while   :Thmbsup:
Often the most convincing people are those who have lost the plot so much they don't recognize the difference between fact and fantasy

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2011, 05:21:58 PM »
It works great in MacOSX!

Just something I miss: could you include a way to use the last result in the current calculation?
I usually use the command-line bc (which is very similar to your program but with fewer functionalities), and when I use ".", it is replaced by the last value it output.
In case I'm not explaining myself decently, here's an example:
Code: Text
  1. 2*6
  2.    12
  3. .*10
  4.    120
  5. ./6
  6.    20
  7.  

Good one - I'll see if I can do something as handy.

@mouser - that should be feasible

@nogojoe -  :P

cranioscopical

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2011, 06:35:47 PM »
That's nice, as usual timns  :Thmbsup:

I like the lazy man's result for fractions as both decimals and fractions together

+1 for carrying a total down to the following line

If I enter the same currency convertion on consecutive lines this seems to slow things down (might be just my crummy internet sevice)

Super-lazy request, any chance of using >> instead of -> (a split second faster)

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 09:39:34 PM »
That's nice, as usual timns  :Thmbsup:

I like the lazy man's result for fractions as both decimals and fractions together

+1 for carrying a total down to the following line

If I enter the same currency convertion on consecutive lines this seems to slow things down (might be just my crummy internet sevice)

Super-lazy request, any chance of using >> instead of -> (a split second faster)

All good suggestions, thank you.

The 'carry to next line' is in place, using '=' (and it can be embedded anywhere in the line)

The currency lookup happens too often. I'll fix that and you hopefully won't get that pause.

The >> is a great idea.

0.4 coming up shortly.

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2011, 06:12:44 PM »
0.4 uploaded.

To use a previous result, simply type the "=" character. It can be used anywhere in your next calculation, so it's pretty handy.

For example:

1/7        0.14
=*54     7.56
75-=      67.44
sqrt(=)   8.21

Also added Cranio's fine suggestion of using >> for conversions:

2ft+6in>>cm      76.20 (76 1/5)

You can also use " as " and " to " but you do need the spaces around 'em:

10m as ft    32.81 (32 38/47) (32' 9.7")
10mi to ft    52,800.00 (52,800' 0")

jgpaiva

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2011, 06:25:01 PM »
That looks great, timns! Good solution with the "=" ;)

timns

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2011, 06:54:12 PM »
Fanks! It's nice to know there are other folks out there who find it useful  :Thmbsup:

kyrathaba

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Re: Pledge: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2011, 09:41:01 PM »
Sweet little app, timns!  :up: