The Calculator is much more than a simple four-function memory calculator. It can also 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, but the standalone Calculator program is far more powerful. For example:
Calculator has three modes: Basic, Advanced, and Programmer (Figure 11-1). Switch among them by choosing from the View menu (or pressing ⌘-1 for Basic, ⌘-2 for Advanced, or ⌘-3 for Programmer).
You can operate Calculator by clicking the onscreen buttons, but it’s much easier to press the corresponding number and symbol keys on your keyboard.
Press the C key to clear the calculator display.
Figure 11-1. The Calculator program offers a four-function Basic mode, a full-blown scientific calculator mode, and a programmer’s calculator (shown here, and capable of hex, octal, decimal, and binary notation). The first two modes offer a “paper tape” feature (Windows→Paper Tape) that lets you correct errors made way back in a calculation. To edit one of the numbers on the paper tape, drag through it, retype, and then click Recalculate Totals. You can also save the tape as a text file by choosing File→Save Tape As, or print it by selecting File→Print Tape.
As you go, you can make Calculator speak each key ...