But in reality there is a brand new, rather powerful calculator in Windows 7 — albeit with a frustratingly deficient, non-Windows GUI.
The Windows 7 calculator has some really cool features. These are:
- Date Calculations: Work out the difference, i.e., time span, between two dates. Check how many days you have been on this earth. Since I am also a papal historian in my spare time, this is real handy for me. I am always having to work out how long a pope reigned, how old he was or how long it took before he held his first consistory.
I typically use Excel’s =DATEDIF for this. [=DATEDIF is a now undocumented Excel function. I have never found an explanation as to why it is not documented. Just another Ballmer quirk. Google =DATEDIF. Very useful.]
he Windows 7 date calculation [that you access from the VIEW menu] is nearly as powerful as =DATEDIF. With =DATEDIF you can get the ‘difference’ in years, months or days. The calculator gives you years:months: days and then also days. =DATEDIF only works with dates after 1904 (or thereabouts). The calculator goes back to 1601! I checked. I kind of thought it would stop around there. WHY? The Gregorian calendar (named after Pope Gregory XIII who mandated it) kicked-in in 1582. Ten days got wiped out! Yep. So doing date calculations get messy around that time. For me, as a papal historian, 1601 is pretty recent. [But that covers all of US history … right? << smile >>] By 1601 we had already had 232 of the 266 popes.
[I, à la one of the Y2K solutions, use ’tiling’ to work with earlier dates. Tiling basically means you shift the age up; so if I am calculating dates between 1218 and 1378, I treat them as 1918 to 2078].
- Unit Conversion: Wow. It does temperature, weight, area, length, power etc. etc. Pretty impressive. I have this conversion Web site bookmarked, but now I will use the calculator more and more.
- Worksheets: Yes, like a micro-Excel it provides worksheets, again from the VIEW menu, for calculating mortgages, leases and gas mileage! Pretty damned neat. Now you can, with a few keystrokes, work out how much underwater you are with your mortgage.
- History: You can access a journal of the calculations you have made previously. Handy.
- Digital Grouping: [Get YOUR mind off the gutter.] If you are European like ME, and like to see a COMMA [that is one of ‘,’] between groups of 3 digits … the calculator will do that too. VIEW menu.
Yes, IF you go an STUDY Microsoft’s Windows 7 features, the CALCULATOR is listed as one of the standout features. I will concur.
PIN it to your Task Bar and Bob can then be your uncle [unless Windows 7 loses the icon.]