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Author Topic: Release: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)  (Read 15916 times)
timns
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« 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
Screenshots
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"


If the "More Information" indicates the file is from DonationCoder and signed by the author, you may trust it and run:




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 Wink

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 tongue - I do not live in a browser
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 09:29:55 PM by timns » Logged

tomos
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 04:03:57 PM »

oooh, this sounds nice.
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Tom
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« 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.
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Stoic Joker
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« 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. Wink
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timns
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« 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  Cry

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.  Grin
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mouser
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« 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 smiley
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timns
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« 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 smiley

But I still get my mug, right  tongue
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 06:55:52 AM »

But I still get my mug, right
are you aware of OpalCalc? It handles some of what you want.
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Chris
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« 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...
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mouser
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« 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.
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timns
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« 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  Kiss
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cranioscopical
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« 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!
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Chris
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2011, 06:28:14 AM »

Nice looking app, timns!  Thmbsup
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timns
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2011, 11:16:01 AM »

Thanks, all, for the comments. Alpha release coming up this weekend.
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timns
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« 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.
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jgpaiva
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« 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:
Formatted for Generic Code with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2*6
  2.   12
  3. .*10
  4.   120
  5. ./6
  6.   20
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mouser
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« 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..
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« 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
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timns
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« 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:
Formatted for Generic Code with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2*6
  2.   12
  3. .*10
  4.   120
  5. ./6
  6.   20

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

@mouser - that should be feasible

@nogojoe -  tongue
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cranioscopical
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« 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)
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Chris
timns
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« 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.
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timns
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« 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")
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2011, 06:25:01 PM »

That looks great, timns! Good solution with the "=" Wink
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timns
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« 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
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2011, 09:41:01 PM »

Sweet little app, timns!  thumbs up
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