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Author Topic: OpalCalc 1.43  (Read 19279 times)
Twinbee
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« on: April 07, 2012, 04:56:55 PM »

I am the sole developer of "OpalCalc" for Windows XP/Vista/7 (requires .NET 3.5 or higher), a program with a short but colourful history. It's been featured on LifeHacker, PC World and MakeUseOf, and is currently rated 4.6/5 (20 reviews) at Softpedia.

But since then, it's got quite a lot better smiley Here is the download page:

http://www.skytopia.com/software/opalcalc/

The standard Windows calculator falls short in a number of ways, but most of all it won't allow multiple calculations at once, or allow you to go back and edit previous sums. Before OpalCalc, it turned out nothing on Windows like this existed. The Mac had something called 'Soulver', but a port didn't seem likely soon, so I've slaved away solid for almost a year creating something I hope many of you will appreciate.

The video on the site gives a good overview, but briefly:

Opalcalc uses a special 'notepad' interface where answers are displayed next to the sums, and update live as you type. This makes it ideal for quick sums, or more involved calculations, perhaps such as shopping lists, a work timetable, tax return, math problem, programming debugging, and much more.

You can work with dates and times, money and currency conversion, units (+ conversion), percentages, and use custom variables and functions. OpalCalc supports dozens of in built functions, full colour coding, printing/loading/saving, advanced notation support, excellent documentation and much more.

The pricing is interesting and I think sympathizes with the philosophy of donationcoder.com. Users can use the generous 'demo' (5 lines, but no time limit), and if they upgrade, they can pay a fee of their choice. Even 1 dollar would get them the full version. Furthermore, there are no passwords, keys or DRM of any sort - the license lasts forever, and upgrades are free.

Any comments and reviews would be appreciated. Feel free to dish out any constructive criticism (the amount I've had so far has only allowed me improve OpalCalc, so it's all good!).
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 08:24:16 PM by Twinbee » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 05:03:02 PM »

Very nice! Welcome to the site TwinBee  Thmbsup
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x16wda
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 05:37:41 PM »

Looks cool!  Welcome aboard!
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kunkel321
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 07:02:46 PM »

OpalCalc is AWESOME!  I registered it a few weeks ago after using the free version for a long time  (years?)
Mostly I can only say good things about it.  It works the way my brain thinks.  I guess the only feature that I'd really like to see is a history/memory of previous calculations.  This should only be implemented if you can do it without causing a performance lag, though.  

Another "what if" idea I had was to implement a "workday" function.  The idea would be to have an .ini file of holiday dates in the program folder.  Then you could have a function like in spreadsheets.  =WORKDAY()  Would be cool.  In truth, I probably wouldn't use it often.  I would use a history function though  smiley

EDIT:  I just installed the newest version, and yes, it is faster!  I like the new Volcano skin.  I think that we can all agree it looks awesome with the Jupiter skin I have going http://i.imgur.com/7zvzP.jpg  <wink>  Wink    I'm not sure if the 'Saturation' sliders work as expected though.  They seem to change the tint somewhat, rather than "saturation" per se.... 



(note: The inner colors are the OpalCalc skin and the window border is a WindowBlinds customization based on my wallpaper--which is a pic of Jupiter I scored on Reddit.  The extra window border buttons are ActualWindowManager, which I won in a drawing here on DC.)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 08:06:40 PM by kunkel321 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 06:44:24 AM »

What a stunning amount of power in such a deceptively simple-looking program. Wow. smiley

I have already made a FARR alias to it...

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flamerz
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 08:12:58 AM »

thanks for advertising your software.

its awesome.

donation sent already smiley
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 09:09:58 AM »

@Twinbee
Suggestion:
easy colours conversion built in, i.e.
HTML: rgb(192,192,192) -> #c0c0c0;
or
HTML: #FF7F50 -> coral
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Twinbee
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 10:29:11 AM »

Thanks for the warm welcome and comments all!

Quote
OpalCalc is AWESOME!  I registered it a few weeks ago after using the free version for a long time  (years?)
Perhaps you have a time machine since it's only been available from around Autumn last year Wink Haha, thanks for the comments, and as regards the "history/memory", do you mean referring to a particular line, like "line 3"?

Quote
EDIT:  I just installed the newest version, and yes, it is faster!  I like the new Volcano skin.  I think that we can all agree it looks awesome with the Jupiter skin I have going
That looks ace - did you make the Jupiter backdrop? I wondered about the buttons at the top - that Actual Window Manager program looks interesting! As for the saturation thing, well, if you drag it to 25% that's essentially greyscale. But the 'extra tint' you're talking about is if you drag it even further than that, where we end with negative saturation (almost like negative colours). Basically, it adds more colour setups than the 5 would suggest!


Quote
What a stunning amount of power in such a deceptively simple-looking program. Wow.
Cheers, Ctrl+F1 will make it even simpler (whilst still allowing the function keys to act as shortcuts).

Quote
thanks for advertising your software.

its awesome.

donation sent already

Many thankyous smiley

Quote
@Twinbee
Suggestion:
easy colours conversion built in, i.e.
HTML: rgb(192,192,192) -> #c0c0c0;
or
HTML: #FF7F50 -> coral
Ah, that's interesting. I could generalize a couple of things to make this work, but it could be a lot of effort. Alternatively, I may specifically code this feature as it is quite often used I guess. I might add rgb2hex() and hex2rgb(). For now you can type:

192
192
192

...and make sure the output is base 16. It's a workaround of sorts!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 12:08:05 PM by Twinbee » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 11:24:36 AM »

Wow... Just checked it out, and... in a word... WOW! smiley

When I saw this thread a while ago, I thought... Oh god... who cares about a calculator... There are plenty of crappy ones out there already... But you've really come up with something out of the box here! I think I'm going to like this a lot. 

I'll be giving this a spin over the next while as I just about always have an instance or 3 of Calc.exe open.

Oh - and for the colour values -- that would be awesome. I've done colour programming here and there (in .NET and JS), and I think that you'll be surprised at just how easy it is (I don't know about how it would fit into OpalCalc, but the actual colour stuff isn't very hard). It can be somewhat tedious, but there is lots of code out there, and there are lots of charts that can be put in a permanent array for reference.

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rjbull
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 04:26:28 PM »

Before OpalCalc, it turned out nothing on Windows like this existed.

Erm, Hyperionics freeware Free Math Calculator is basically similar - but it's console mode...  WJJsoft's freeware calculator is based on a similar approach, but doesn't have as much functionality (and seems to be gone from their Web site, too).
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Twinbee
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 09:09:39 AM »

Quote
Erm, Hyperionics freeware Free Math Calculator is basically similar - but it's console mode...

Hi, yes a console format isn't the same - my previous favourite calc called "Console Calculator" from ZoeSoft was also like that. As for WJJsoft's freeware calculator, wow what a find, how obscure is that one?! I hunted for ages to look for a Soulver type calc, and you may have found another one. It's a shame the download is gone from their site (and from the web generally) - I may email them about it. Do you have the install exe per chance?

Renegade, hi too! Would you also find colour names (such as coral or crimson) useful in conversion too, or just the hex to dec conversion?
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kunkel321
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 09:48:50 AM »

...and as regards the "history/memory", do you mean referring to a particular line, like "line 3"? ...
  No, what I meant by 'history' is that a session would automatically be saved upon exit.  I do see that you already have a "Save" function, which is nice, but I often don't think I'll need to re-visit a calculation when, later, I then do.    For example yesterday I calculate 2+2, but don't think I need to save it.  Then, sure enough, today I run in to 2+2 again, or worse, I can't even remember what the two numbers were that I had needed to sum.  It would be nice if OC saved those in memory, then I could just activate the "Show history" command and it would show me.  I guess there'd need to be an option to tell OC how many days to keep history items before purging them.  Otherwise you'd get hundreds accumulated, slowing down performance.  Also, (my thinking is) as long as the data was saved at exit, it could be pulled off of disk by OC when needed.  Therefore it wouldn't need to affect startup performance (i.e. it wouldn't get automatically loaded into RAM). 

Also, RE that 'Saturation/Tint' slider:  I see what you mean about it working as both "Saturation" and to change color...    Pretty cool implementation!
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Twinbee
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 11:54:31 AM »

Interesting. Should I implement that on a sum by sum per basis, or a whole sheet basis? If I do the latter, it would enable the user to restore multiple sums at once.

Alternatively, to make it easier for me, I could add an option to restore just the last working session (sheet). Would this offer most of what you're looking for, or should I allow restoring of previous sheets (or sums) too?
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 01:25:10 PM »

Do you have the install exe per chance?

Here you go: http://skwire.dcmembers.c...soft-Calculator-Ver10.zip
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 03:25:05 PM »

As for WJJsoft's freeware calculator, wow what a find, how obscure is that one?! I hunted for ages to look for a Soulver type calc, and you may have found another one [...]Do you have the install exe per chance?

Yes I have the file, which is no-install, but skwire beat me to it  smiley  And I'm pretty sure I heard about it here on DC myself  smiley
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Twinbee
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 05:42:48 PM »

Thanks skwire for that. Interesting calc, and yeah, it's got the great 'notepad' style and live answer (though lacks the dual-pane).

Just released v1.42 of OpalCalc with the new rgb2hex() and hex2rgb() functions! (plus lots more that were mistakingly 'hidden' before). Not sure if there's an 'official' RGB to colour name mapping data set out there for that feature...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 06:11:27 PM by Twinbee » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2012, 10:41:56 PM »

Renegade, hi too! Would you also find colour names (such as coral or crimson) useful in conversion too, or just the hex to dec conversion?

The more the merrier~! cheesy

It's nice to be able to go from any colour format to another. I don't use HSL much, but others might find it useful. I basically only use names, (A)RGB and hex.

I just remembered where I did some of this stuff...



Here's a bunch of code (could use some cleaning likely) for named colours and all that. It uses RGB and hex, but no ARGB or HSL or any other colour format.

* SomeColourCode.zip (5.66 KB - downloaded 91 times.)

« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 10:51:43 PM by Renegade » Logged

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Twinbee
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2012, 09:29:35 AM »

You have about 150 colours there, but Wikipedia lists about 900 (not sure if there's a better source). Now if I can find a HTML table to CSV converter...
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2012, 11:05:02 AM »

Interesting. Should I implement that on a sum by sum per basis, or a whole sheet basis? If I do the latter, it would enable the user to restore multiple sums at once.

Alternatively, to make it easier for me, I could add an option to restore just the last working session (sheet). Would this offer most of what you're looking for, or should I allow restoring of previous sheets (or sums) too?

RE 'Show history' feature request: I think that the most logical would be to save sessions.   A lot of the time that will be only one calculation.  So if I open OC, then do 2+2, then close it, that would be one session.  But if I open it and do a bunch of sums, then close it.  That would also be one session.  I find that, in practice, I often enter data, then delete it or change it and end up with my finished equation.  Then I'm done with OC so I close it.  It should save a history of only what was there when I close the app (the other stuff I deleted or changed is irrelevant and doesn't need to be recalled).  If OC could remember even the one most-resent calculation it would be good.  I'd say 90% of the time it's the most recent calculation the I need to revisit.   

I guess you could have a pref option to "Remember the 'N' number of most recent sessions..."  Click the History Button once for the last session to be inserted at the top of the window.  Click it a second time for the next-most-resent to inserted above that, and so on.

Also note:  I'm not sure how this would work with the 5-line free version....  Maybe as OC added history items, the bottom-most calculations would get pushed down and anything below line 5 would get truncated(?)  Also, if there were Line References Such as "Total = Line 5 +1," they'd have to be update.  (i.e. If one line of history were added, it would become "Total + Line 6 + 1.") 

Did I explain that coherently?
 
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2012, 03:43:27 PM »

Has anyone pointed out, by the way, that the setup puts a shortcut on the desktop even when you tell it not to?

 Wink
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Twinbee
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2012, 04:05:41 PM »

Ahem.

Yes, that's because it knows what you REALLY want, deep down Wink

Seriously, thanks for the heads up - no one's ever mentioned that particular bug before funnily enough - I'll look into it for 1.43.
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2012, 04:57:47 AM »

You have about 150 colours there, but Wikipedia lists about 900 (not sure if there's a better source). Now if I can find a HTML table to CSV converter...

Copy & paste into a text editor, then copy and past that into Excel. Done. smiley (I do it all the time - pasting into a text editor converts cells to tabs, which is great for Excel.)

I did that so long ago that I forget now, but I think those were all the colours for HTML 4 at the time. Or they were the only accepted ones in .NET... Something like that.
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2012, 05:55:21 AM »

Yes, that's because it knows what you REALLY want, deep down Wink

A calculator that knows what I want the answer to be instead of one that knows what the answer IS?

Wow.

Dear Mr Bank Manager

According to my calculations:

my salary - cost of living - other outgoings - large donation to donationcoder - cost of shiny new Ferrari = a large, positive integer.

So your demands are completely unreasonable, and I refer you to Mr Opalcalc for any further justification you may require.

Yours sincerely etc.
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Twinbee
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2012, 10:05:52 AM »

Quote
Copy & paste into a text editor, then copy and past that into Excel. Done.

Wow it works - awesome. Yeah I've done this in the past too, but forgot!

@oblivion: Haha, and if that doesn't console him, tell your bank manager he might find a copy of OpalCalc ahem, 'useful' too smiley
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 10:19:28 AM by Twinbee » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2012, 10:12:27 AM »

Quote
Copy & paste into a text editor, then copy and past that into Excel. Done.

Wow it works - awesome. Yeah I've done this in the past too, but forgot!


Oh... I forgot... Different browsers copy data differently, and Opera won't let you snags tables that easily. The others are ok if I remember correctly...
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