One of the early Mac OS X calculators was KoalaCalc™ from Macropod Software. KoalaCalc™ is free for the download.
Calculators, of course, are somewhat deceiving. At first, they look like, well, uh, calculators. However, the functionality going on behind the scenes is a marvel of science, mathematics, and programming.
KoalaCalc™ has two modes, just like the calculator that comes with Mac OS X. In fact, in Simple Mode, the two are hard to tell apart.
Click on the Advanced Features box of KoalaCalc™ and it becomes a life-saving Scientific Calculator. Your mileage and life-saving attempts may vary.
KoalaCalc™ is not like the Australian marsupial, the koala. KoalaCalc™ is not slow moving, although it’s cuddly (in a Mac sorta way). Koalas are simple to use. Feed them and they’ll stick around for more cuddling. KoalaCalc™, though, is a quick moving marvel of engineering and design prowess. Feed it some numbers and it’ll spit out accurate responses faster thant George Dubya spits on the White House lawn.
I collect calculators because I can. Some are exceedingly useful, like those that change metrics to whatever it is we use here; and back again (you know, quarts to liters, that sort of thing). I also have one for Final Cut Pro which calculates time code for video. That whole 29.97 frames per second thing keeps me tense.
KoalaCalc™ exceeds expectations in a number of areas. There’s the standard mathematical functions, trig and log, and 10 individual memory banks. And, thank you very much, there’s also that handy conversion thing I noted earlier.
Similar to Apple’s calculator, there’s currency conversions which check the International Monetary Fund via the Internet for up to the second accuracy for your money laundry requirements.
There’s a built-in tape recorder. It’s not real tape, of course; just looks like it on screen. Another handy feature is the voice recognition input. Now, this could get disturbing if you’re calculating in a cubicle farm. But it’s cool if you want to show off the fact that your Mac can do trig and all you have to do is tell it what to do (a challenge in itself).
In addition to voice recognition, KoalaCalc™ will also talk back to you (unlike the koalas in the zoo).
For those of you into such things, there’s also a probability calculator which computes exact “p” value based on the F distribution, and amazingly, it does this with or without epsilon corrections.
That alone is worth paying for; except KoalaCalc™ is free so you don’t have to worry about the cost of computing with or without epsilon correction.
Oh, and there’s keyboard shortcuts. Only the good Mac calculators have keyboard shortcuts.
Another nice feature is the fact that there’s no second “function” key. You know, it’s the key that adds more functions if you press it but you can never remember what the extra functions are so you have to carry around the manual. With KoalaCalc™, all the functions have their own key.
Now, there’s not really a manual available for KoalaCalc™. However, just leave your mouse cursor on top of a button for a few seconds, and POP. You get help.
You know, it says something about the Mac community in general and the folks at Macropod Software, when they put their hearts and souls into a product as nifty, neato, and useful as KoalaCalc™ and they don’t charge a nickel for it. Or a dime. Or, like, anything at all.
Remember, KoalaCalc is a FREE download for Mac OS X. Click Here for the product information page and the download link.
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Thanks to reader david for pointing out that koalas are marsupials, not bears.