Sunday, May 4, 2008

Time to start calculating!

Sometime in the middle of February, a germ of an idea for a website raised its head. By now, CalcTool contains getting on for 200 different calcs, and is getting around 50 users a day. OK, that's still not much, but it's enough of a start for it to have been worthwhile, and something to build on.

So, what is it? CalcTool aims to make simple everydays calculations easy for everyone. No more looking up formulae, messing around with unit conversion, or searching for a calculator. The idea is that for anything you want to calculate, for example the day of the week you were born on, or the reflection from a window, you look up the relevant "calc" page, tell it what you know, and get the answer out. It helps you out with a diagram is necessary, gives handy hints and notes, and lets you know (to some extent at least) how the calculation is performed. It also makes some attempt to do away with esoteric language, so that if you want to know (for some reason) the volume of water flowing through a river, you can do it without needing to have heard of the Manning equation, or knowing what "head loss" and "Q" are.

Probably the most powerful (and simple)  feature of CalcTool is the built-in unit conversion menus attached to most input and output boxes, that allow your measurements and answers to come in any form you are comfortable with. This also leads to a while bunch of very convenient unit conversion calcs

Anyway, enough of the blatant advertising. I want to use this blog space to document some of the latest calcs I'm proud of or interested in, as well as upcoming changes and development issues.  I have no idea how often I'm going to post - it may depend to some extent on how many people seem to be listening.

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