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Weekly Tips and How-To's: ConvertCalc

Fri Dec 5, 2008 - 9:30 AM EST - By Brian Hart


In the United States, even though we are New World, we hold stubbornly to the Standard measurements - miles, yards, feet, inches, Fahrenheit, etc. I even remember all those many years ago, in elementary school, reading a textbook that promised a conversion to the Metric System within just a few years.

A few years went by, then a couple decades, and I still think in gallons, quarts, pints, and ounces. Although there has been only some progress - packaging usually lists both Standard and Metric, for instance - technology has helped bridge the gap in making those pesky conversions between measurements more accessible. There are internet sites available for free conversion, but now you can carry a simple yet useful conversion tool with you on the go. If you are a Palm OS user, then download ConvertCalc, a free conversion app by David Orriss, Jr. of www.codethought.com. You can download it at www.freewarepalm.com.

ConvertCalc offers several conversion options: Area, Distance, Mass, Volume, Temperature, and Number Base. Within each measurement option are sub-categories accessed by drop-down menus. If you want to know how many inches are in 20 meters, for instance, then just select Distance from the top right dropdown menu, then select Meters for your first measurement. Input 20 and select Inches from the second dropdown menu. At the bottom of the screen, the correct conversion will be displayed - in this case, 787.40157480315 inches. Wow, that's an awful lot of numbers after the decimal point! Needless to say, ConvertCalc provides a reasonable amount of accuracy.

This free app is very consistent with the old Palm philosophy - less is more. The interface is very simple, the app is easy to use, but it is powerful and effective. It is also an advantage to have a resident app on your device that requires no data connection to use, unlike the conversion web sites found online.

Once again, it's developers in the Palm community that make life more fun and interesting for the rest of us. A well-deserved thanks goes out to David Orriss, Jr. of www.codethought.net for taking the time and using the know-how to give ConvertCalc freely to the rest of us. Download it today and never wonder again how many square kilometers are comprised of 27 square miles (69.92967897918 square kilometers, to be exact).

If you are a developer with some helpful and/or fun software or if you have a tip or how-to that you wish to pass on to the rest of the community, just email me at: [email protected] Thanks!

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