The new Calculator is far more potent than the humble, black-and-white, four-function program—the last remaining bit of the Mac OS’s original 1984 design—that chugged along until 2002. The Tiger Calculator can act as a scientific calculator for students and scientists, a conversion calculator for metric and U.S. measures, and even a currency calculator for world travelers.

The little Calculator widget in the Dashboard is quicker to open, and it’s great for quick four-function number crunches. But the standalone Calculator program is far more powerful. For example:

  • The calculator has three modes: Basic, Advanced, and—new in Tiger—Programmer (Figure 10-1). Switch among them by choosing from the View menu (or pressing -1 for Basic, -2 for Advanced, or -3 for Programmer).


    You can also cycle among the three modes by repeatedly clicking what, on most windows, is the Zoom button (the green round dot at upper-left). It’s a first for the Mac—a Zoom button that changes function each time you click it—but it’s kind of neat.

  • You can operate the calculator by clicking the onscreen buttons, but it’s much easier to press the corresponding number and symbol keys on your keyboard.

  • As you go, ...

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