Windows 7 Calculates to Large Results for Developers

If you can install it,Windows 7 can calculate to large results for developers.


Is Windows 7 the grand promise replacement to Vista? That is the question many seem to be pondering. I won’t speak for all of Windows 7; however, I will comment on one specific item that has been improved specifically with developers in mind.

After more than a decade without being really changed, Microsoft is updating the applets that come with Windows. As a developer, one of the enhancements that you should note is the updated Calculator. In Windows 7, Microsoft has actually done more than simply add the ribbon that many people have come to loathe in Microsoft Office. Rather, they also made adjustments to the available views for the Calculator. The Standard and Scientific views are still present; however, there are additional ones along with several other new features.

What developers need is a Programmers’ Calculator and Microsoft is providing that in Windows 7. Although you could work with binary in the previous versions of Calculator, in the Programmer Mode binary is presented as part of the default view. You also can choose to use Hex, Decimal, Octal, or binary for doing calculations. With the programmer view, you can always see a binary representation of values. This results in a much more programmer friendly tool, as shown in the figure.


In addition to the programmer mode, you also have several other features in the Calculator. You can use a number of templates to calculate wages, gas mileage, mortgage payments, and more. Unit conversions also have been built into the Calculator. You can convert angles, area, energy, mass, power, pressure, velocity, volume, and a lot more.

Even though the Calculator isn’t enough to justify an upgrade from a previous version of Windows, it is a nice addition to Windows “Vista SP 2”, err, the future version of Windows. When you eventually take a look at Windows 7, take a few minutes to check out the Calculator and the other updated applets. As a programmer, the calculator might be much more valuable to you than it was before!

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