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Release: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)

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NANY 2012 Entry Information
Application NameFentwissVersion0.8Short DescriptionSimple keyboard-centric calculator and converterSupported OSesAnything that runs JavaSetup 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 alreadyAuthor InfotimnsDescriptionTwo 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 hotkeyScreenshots
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"
Release: 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:
Release: Fentwiss (a simple calculator / converter)

Release: 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 )

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)

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

oooh, this sounds nice.

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:
I think that part was covered in the "I do not live is a browser" statement. ;)

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.
-mouser (November 15, 2011, 07:52 PM)
--- End quote ---

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


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