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InternetWorks: E-Calculators

August 20, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

Calculators are no longer relegated to the role of small, handheld devices used to perform basic math functions. They're not even limited to advanced mathematic calculations or to math at all. The Web offers a variety of calculator and conversion tools from the basic (kilometers to miles, anyone?) to the zany (Pig Latin translation, for example). And for all those students out there, the Internet also has the math ones that are helpful in class.

OnlineConversion.com
Need to convert something? Then visit OnlineConversion.com, which offers a calculator for almost every need. While it hosts many calculators for common conversion needs such as length, temperature, area, speed and cooking, the real fun (and unique usefulness) of the site is its more obscure calculators. A brief sampling of what site visitors can use includes astronomical measurement, computers and electronics, clothing sizes in different countries, mapping terms and viscosity conversion calculators. Many of these categories include more than one possible calculator, so users can find the right fit for their needs. And even categories with only one offering are robust. The force calculator, for example, can convert among 38 different units. OnlineConversion.com makes it simple for visitors to locate what they want. The most popular conversions are listed at the top of the page, and the rest of the categories are arranged in alphabetical order. After users finish with their necessary business, they can check out the Fun Stuff page for calculators that convert names and messages into Morse code, determine a person's weight on other planets, translate words from English to Pig Latin and Häxor, estimate download speeds and much, much more.

Full Universal Currency Converter
Many other websites host currency converters that are easy to access and use, but few offer the comprehensive listing of the Full Universal Currency Converter. Hosted by xe.com (which bills itself as "The World's Favorite Currency Site"), this calculator converts among almost 200 currencies, which include obsolete currencies. The calculator also offers the ability to convert among special units and precious metals. It arranges the currencies based on the locations where they are used, so travelers only have to know their destination (not the denominations used there) to determine conversion rates. The Web page also links to currency code and currency symbols lists. The symbols list page has instructions and tips for working with those symbols on computers. Sound like too much? Visitors to the Full Universal Currency Converter can select to use the standard converter (also called the Universal Currency Converter) instead. This tool performs exchange calculations at mid-market rates for the top 85 world currencies.

Graphing Calculator
The Coolmath site is designed for students, from those who love math to those who are just looking for some help to make it through a class. In addition to the site's other arithmetic-related offerings, it has a free online graphing calculator that can compete with the common, expensive handheld versions traditionally used by school children in upper-level classes. Though multiple calculator websites offer graphing calculators, this particular one comes with helpful bonuses: formula and key explanations. Underneath the calculator gadget, the site posts basic graphing calculator instructions for oft-used equations such as linear and parabolic. Farther down the page, visitors can find a table explaining other functions of the calculator and which keys to press to use them. The site also posts a list of operations that can be conducted with the site's calculator buttons and the computer keyboard or through the keyboard only.

BMI Calculator
Body mass index (BMI) calculators help adults age 18 to 65 determine the amount of fat on their bodies. And like most other BMI calculators, this one works by asking users to enter their height and weight. However, the website also offers explanations of the categories (underweight, normal, overweight, obesity [class 1], obesity [class 2] and morbid obesity) as well as treatment suggestions for those who need to gain or lose pounds. Site visitors can choose to use a metric or imperial calculator. Other calculators available on the site include ones for basal metabolic rate, body fat and waist-to-hip ratio.

The Inflation Calculator
Basic but fun, the Inflation Calculator lets users enter a dollar amount and then select two years between 1800 and 2009 to compare to each other. For example, according to the calculator, $100 in 1850 equates to $2,547.28 in 2009. The site adds another tidbit of information, explaining that if someone bought a product for $3.91 in 1850, the same item would cost $100 in 2009.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new Web sites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

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