“Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes” — Mickey Mouse (1928-). “I am ill at these numbers” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616) in Hamlet (1601).
Every now and then you run across an idea that makes you stop and say, “Ooh, I wish I’d thought of that!” Such is the case with the idea the folks at Omni Calculator came up with, which is to create an underlying architecture that can support myriad calculators for every conceivable task.
At the time of this writing, there are 863 calculators on the Omni Calculator site. Some of these are conceptually quite simple, like the Circle Calculator, which allows you to specify the units of, and enter values for, the Radius (r), Diameter (d), Circumference (c), or Area (a). As soon as you’ve entered any one of these, the calculator “fills in the blanks.” Other offerings are a tad more robust, like the Car Center of Mass Calculator, the computation of which has kept me up at nights.
Now, you might be saying, “Ho hum,” to yourself, but you’d be mistaken. First, the folks at Omni Calculator have put a lot of thought into this. If you visit the Circle Calculator page, for example, you’ll see this comes equipped with a wealth of circle-related resources, such as the definition of a circle, the properties of a circle, how to square the circle, and so forth. There are also fun facts, like “What’s the roundest country in the world?” (I’m not going to tell you — you’ll have to look for yourself).
Since I’m not a natural programmer, I’m also impressed by the way each calculator accepts inputs in any order and generates any unknown values as soon as it has sufficient data to work things out. All-in-all, I think this is a great idea. I also don’t think it will be too long before Omni Calculator is snapped up by something like Google, in which case I hope they all make bushels of money. How about you, what are your thoughts on this?