Programming is not only for business, and not only for IT professionals. Today, many individuals and hobbyists try their hand at software development, whether for personal skill development, or even creating apps for smartphones and tablets.
There are many courses online available that offer valuable training for beginners, and forums for advanced topics or working your way through more challenging programming tasks.
But one tool that you will eventually find a need for is a programmer calculator that assists with mathematic functions and conversion from one context to another, such as decimal to hexadecimal translation or equations.
Why Use a Calculator for Programming?
A programmer calculator can be indispensable for writing and debugging computer programs. Evaluating the results of your code can be done quickly and efficiently with calculator functions that support:
- Multiple modes such as fixed point and floating point operations
- Variety of operations such as shift, and, or, rotate
- Math functions
- Signed and unsigned numeric values
- Simulating program calculations to validate code results
Let Your Computer Do the Work
Computers were made to take over the management of data and do number-crunching, from the beginning. Utilizing built-in calculators such as provided in Windows and Mac operating systems is a great beginning, but the platforms vary greatly in their use for programming and scientific requirements.
Microsoft provides a calculator download for Windows 10 users that includes a unit converter and solves basic and complex math problems, as well as providing scientific and programmer modes. This new version provides many enhanced features:
- Base conversions for programming
- Retention of calculation history
- Use in multiple concurrent windows
- Ability to toggle between standard, programming, and scientific modes
- Date calculator
- Conversions of measurements such as weight, volume, mass, and more
Most users of the updated Windows calculator rate the application high for its new features, functionality, and simplicity.
Using the Mac Calculator
For Mac users, you have access to the power of a programmer calculator built right into the OS. Simply open the calculator application from the Launchpad, Spotlight, or Applications. Use the View menu to select “Programmer” or “Scientific.”
For programmers, the app presents many features that make your life easier, supporting:
Scientific mode gives you all the features you need:
- Exponential functions
- Scientific notation
- And much more
Need it in the palm of your hand? iPhone provides a scientific mode in its calculator, but if you need the programmer calculator, you’ll need to stick to the Mac.
Mac’s calculator even provides “speech” options that speak the buttons pushed, the results, or both. Speech works with both the basic and scientific calculator modes, but not with the programmer calculator option.
This can be useful when you want to be especially sure that you’re hitting the right keys, and if you want to note down your results as they’re spoken.
Finding it Online
There are plenty of sophisticated, full-featured programmer and scientific calculators (sci calc) online, that you can use in real-time. If you want one you can download and keep, that’s there for you, as well.
A quick search will provide you with multiple options for a programmer or scientific calculator download.
The Calculator Site provides a sci calc that supports the gamut of scientific needs for mathematics, engineering, and physics calculations.
Jump over to iTunes for a free download of a highly-rated scientific calculator for iOS. There are add-ons for the app available for purchase, but the free version may give you everything you need.
Not to leave out the Android users, the Google Play Store has a programmer calculator app for you, as well. This one supports binary, octal, hex, and decimal systems with a simple appearance and ease of use. Hundreds of reviews give the app 4.6 out of 5 stars, due to the full set of features and functions supported.
Your calculator can also create and display the ever-popular emoji characters that proliferate through emails and social media. Scientific calculators can utilize code to “draw” faces or images.
Since an emoticon is essentially a Unicode representation, calculators that support the Unicode standard can interpret and display an emoji with ease.
Want to find out what other developers find useful? Check out Stack Overflow for plenty of comments and suggestions for tools that may be the most useful for your purposes.
There are of course scientific and programmer calculators that can be purchased and carried with you, as well. Take a look at Amazon or other retailers for a stunning number of choices. Amazon is also another resource for programmer and scientific calculator app downloads.
There is certainly a market for full-featured, sophisticated calculators from such innovative manufacturers as Texas Instruments, HP, and others. Before making such an investment, it makes sense to review what’s available on your computer or smartphone, then you’re prepared to make the right choice for your needs.
Feature image via Eddie’s Math and Calculator Blog