It figures.

I mean, seriously, it does math and everything.  Well, not quite everything, but a lot more than it used to.

Today’s Cool Tool is Microsoft’s new calculator.  Not new, really – edging up on five years old.  But it never got included into an operating system until Windows 7.

Pretty easy to get going – you download it, install the .MSI file, agree to the license agreement, install it for everyone who uses your PC (or just yourself if you’re particularly stingy) and about two seconds later you have it available in your Programs list.

If you don’t have Windows 7 yet, get this.  It works the way calculators should, including a backspace key.  It has scientific notation.  And it does conversions.  All sorts (except religious conversions – something to do with where to store the result).

Here’s the original XP calculator:

and then the Calculator Plus:

and the new conversion mode:

Pretty fancy.  It does area conversions, energy, lengths (to great lengths – you can convert from chi to kabiet, or from shaku to parsecs), temperature, and weights.

It also does velocity, but unfortunately does not include the standard measurement needed in all government contracts: furlongs per fortnight. (Note: They did not fix that omission in the Win7 calculator, although that newest entry does have some nifty additions over Calc Plus.)

And a quick reminder: make sure that you’re getting updates from Microsoft, either automatically or here.  A bunch of patches came out today.

(Today’s cool tool was suggested by my brother Mark, the only guy I know who has two blogs.  And he inspired his wife to do the same.)