Bill Brown bio photo

Bill Brown

A complicated man.

Twitter Github

Dave Winer notes that Google now has a built-in calculator. I’m sure anyone reading that will immediately think, “Enh. Windows and Mac OS X have readily accessible calculators. Maybe I’ll use that sometime. Or not. Whatever.”

Are you depressed? That’s a pretty blasé attitude there, mister. GoogleCalc, as I’m now fond of calling it, is so much more than that. It converts units (“2 miles in microns”, “116 degrees in celsius”) and seems to be able to understand pretty complex conversions at that.

My favorite is one that I was confronted with this weekend: 1 1/4 cups / 2 in cups—half the pancake recipe on the back of Jiffy Mix. I rounded it up to 2/3 cup.

[UPDATE: GoogleGuy offers a few more options.]

[UPDATE (8/14/03): Mark Pilgrim figured out how to get 42 out of the GoogleCalc, something which Google-Guy hinted at. I tried quite a few variations, but didn’t get it. The way, in case you don’t feel like clicking over is “answer+to+life+the+universe+and+everything”. Someone else noticed that if you feed it numbers spelled out, it returns the answer spelled out. This is such an innovative implementation of a mundane feature.]

[UPDATE 2 (8/15/03): Kuro5hin’s got a great article outlining a lot of the non-obvious features.]