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At one time if you wanted to let your geek flag fly you packed a very expensive scientific calculator. Now if you have a Mac there is no need. Lion equips your Mac with a calculator application that does more than meets the eye. So we'll launch it from Spotlight and press Return. By default the calculator looks like kind of the thing you would pick up at the five and dime store down at the corner, if indeed you have such a thing. To use it you can click on the number 89+ 63=152, as we all know. To clear, clear.
If you have a number pad you can use that instead. 45x812=36540, and there is a Clear key on this number pad that I can use too. If you have a laptop that doesn't have a number pad you can hold down the FN key and then type in numbers using the alternate keys. So J, K and L are 1, 2, 3 respectively, U, I, O are 4, 5, and 6, and then the top row of 7, 8, 9 are also 7, 8, 9.
The question mark is Plus, the equals is Minus, P equals Multiply and O equals Divide or of course, you can use the numbers that are at the top of the keyboard rather than working with this rectangular arrangement. Calculator has far nerdier possibilities, so go to the View menu and you can choose a different kind of calculator. So Scientific for example. So it doesn't have to be just basic arithmetic. You can get into more advanced calculation here or if you're a programmer check out Programmer. This way you're able to do more binary kind of calculations.
Now one of calculator's less well -known charms is its ability to perform conversions. So we'll go back to the Standard view. Now we're going to enter the number that we want to convert, so we'll say 1 for example, then I go to Convert. Let's look at some thing like Area. So I want to convert 1 Acre to Hectares. Convert. So an acre is 0.40468564224. That's so many hectares fit into an acre.
Fascinating though that may be, there is actually a more helpful conversion you can do and that is Currency. So select Currency, you want to make sure that you're connected to the Internet, and then when the Currency sheets down click on Update. Now you have current conversions for that date. Now I want to convert from say US Dollars to the Euro, so today what will a dollar get me in Euro. So a dollar is worth .694059 Euros and of course you can go to the other way.
It doesn't have to start with your home country. So let's say 5, Convert > Currency. This time I want to go from Euros to US Dollars. Convert and that shows me what I can get for my US Dollars. Calculator has a couple of other tricks. The first is that it can speak button presses to you as well as results. So go to Speech.
(Computer/Alex: Speech enabled.) Speak Button Presses and Speak Result. Now I just -- (Computer/Alex: 891+387=1278.) And that's Alex doing our calculations for us. Thank you, Alex and I've turned that off. Also there is a paper tape if you want to keep track of the calculations that you've done, so we go to Window > Show Paper Tape, clear that, and we'll perform calculations, so I'm doing it on the number pad.
And there is the result, in case you're wondering what all those things added up to. We can clear that and we clear the paper tape and we get rid of the paper tape now. Now if you like with the paper tape you can copy the values in it and paste them into a sticky or a text document if you like. And that's really all there is to Calculator. It's a small yet valuable tool that's bundled with Lion.
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