Tag Archives: Engineering

macOS New App Release – Calcline 4.3

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Product AnnouncementsTension Software of Milano, Italy has released Calcline 4.3, the Mac math calculator in a small stripe. Calcline allows you to have a powerful algebra solver in small stripe window taking just a small portion of your Mac screen. It opens in a flash ready to be used.

You can use it for simple additions or for complex formula using and assigning variables and constants. Variables and constants can be managed and assigned in an intuitive to use table (in a separate window) with simple clicks. Performed calculations can be displayed in a separate log window (content retained over re-launches).

Calcline offers an array of functionalities to help you work in a fast and effective way. You can work with all the variables and constants in a separate window, creating, deleting assigning them with click and edit. You can also create and assign variables via calcline assignment x=…

You can specify precision display up to 16 decimal positions, work in radians or degree, and have always available a popup to paste (without errors) all the available formulas, and defined variables and constants. You can have the variable and constant values displayed inside the main stripe windows
If you need detailed instructions Calcline has a PDF User Guide included (as any application created by Tension Software)

Any performed calculations can be saved inside a log. You can select to show step-by-step calculation or just the result. Log content is retained over re-launch of the application. At any time you can reset it. Variables and constants can be displayed also in a compact form inside the main calc window.

Calcline works with your international preferences settings (as an example it uses ‘,’ for decimals or ‘.’ depending on your country. You can force at any time the value you like via the preferences.

It works also as a service to _all_ the other app you have installed on your Mac! You just select a math expression in any other app you have and from the service menu (available in any application on OS X) you paste the result!

Using it in an advanced way, Calcline offers mathematical expressions with an infinite level of parenthesis to nest expressions and large selections of math functions as:
square root, cube root, trigonometric sine, trigonometric cosine, trigonometric tangent, trigonometric arcsine, trigonometric arccosine, trigonometric arctangent, hyperbolic sine, hyperbolic cosine, hyperbolic tangent, hyperbolic arcsine, hyperbolic arccosine, hyperbolic arctangent, natural logarithm, base 10 logarithm, exponent base e, exponent base 2, exponent base 10, absolute, ceil, floor, factorial computation.

Features:

  • Opens in a flash, it’s Mac native code only for Mac only (no cross-platform crap inside).
  • Uses small stripe windows that let you still focus on the other task you are working on.
  • Evaluates mathematical expressions with parentheses, nested functions, variables and constants
  • Easy to use and effective
  • Variable creation and reference inside expressions are very easy using an interactive table.
  • Constant table with editable values
  • Variables and constants values are retained over different runs
  • Expressions solved optionally step by step showing all the mathematical passages.
  • Uses a very small window, expandable if necessary to show vars/consts .
  • Offers calculation service to other Apps, just selecting an expression and choosing ‘Calc With Calcline’ from the services menu.
  • Based on a custom fast calculation engine developed by Tension Software on macOS.
  • Uses long double calculation (High precision with up to 16 decimal digit precision)
  • Popup for fast introduction of variables and constants in the formula
  • DEG and RAD calculation for trigonometric functions
  • Numeric format customizable depending on the user needs and country
  • Values and position retained over relaunches
  • Embedded PDF user guide

New in this release:

  • Random function
  • Bug fixes
  • Various optimizations
  • macOS 10.13 Sierra optimized

Minimum Requirements:

  • Requires macOS 10.10 or higher
  • Optimized for macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • 7.6 MB

Calcline 4.3 is just $4.99 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies. The app is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

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Japan, Tokyo – Sony Archives

When looking for someplace within walking distance of my hotel I came across the Sony Archives. The small museum is located at 6-6-39 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. The archive collection is managed by Sony, is free and is open to the public, but it does require a reservation ( +81 (0) 3-5448-4455 ).

Sony was founded in the wake of world War II in the fall of 1946. The Sony Archives is not large. You can easily browse through it in about an hour. Many products are on display, including the prototype electric rice cooker that was their first product.

If you are interested in more history of Sony, the Podcast Tech Stuff had a series of three episodes (November 2, 9, & 16 of 2017) that give a good background story. You can find them on the iTunes site.

I would not recommend going out of your way to visit the Archives, but if you are in the area and have a little free time it is an interesting walk through elecronics history.


See my other Food & Location articles


 

Will Robots Cause Job Loss?

Robots – I came across this video today. It was published to YouTube back in November of 2017. While I think it brings up a number of good points, I am still concerned that the increasing introduction of robots and automation will have a detrimental effect on jobs. While I do agree that automation will create new jobs, I fear that the bulk of the new jobs created will be lower paying than those that are eliminated.

I guess only time will tell. All we can do, as far as I can see, is to prepare through continuing education. It is also important for students to choose their professions after some consideration of the future work environment. I do hope that High School councilors are equipped to guide these students into what will turn out to be long-term professions.

How does Science Fiction Impact Innovation?

I came across the article “Does Science Fiction Really Drive Innovation?” this morning and found it very interesting. I would have said with more force that the answer was clearly “YES” before I read the article. Now, I am more likely to agree with the author – Science Fiction and Innovation really go hand in hand.

I still contend though that science fiction, in general, is likely to instill in kids and young adults reading or watching it an interest in science that ultimately contributes to innovation. It would be interesting to see how many students who pursue careers in science have read or watched science fiction as opposed to say those who pursued law or history. If that study doesn’t exist someone in academia should take it on.

Happy “Pi” Day 2018

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It is Pi Day today and I wanted to remind all my readers about it. I can’t really say much more than I wrote last year, so I’m just going to repeat it here.

It is time to celebrate once again that incredible number Pi or 3.14159… I had a post that included some of the history in 2016. Take a few moments today and participate in the 30th annual celebration of Pi!

This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to STEM thru Pi. They learn a little history, learn some math and it can be capped with a nice slice of yummy pie. My first choice would be cherry.

As I suggested previously, try these methods of celebration.

One of the easiest and most fun is to simply eat pie!

Wear or display the Pi symbol

Plan your recognition event for 1:59 PM (i.e. 3.14159)

And, of course, mark your calendars for next year so you can plan something in advance.

NASA is offering a way to celebrate Pi Day this year with their “Pi in the Sky” challenge.

Disney Autonomous Animatronics

Robots – I have always liked the animatronics that Disney has placed in their parks. Now they are headed in a new direction with some new self-contained, autonomous animatronic characters – the Vyloo. I read about these today in the article “Disney has begun populating its parks with autonomous, personality-driven robots“.

These creatures have embedded cameras and sensors as well as the control electronics to make them come to life. These little robotic figures are programmed with actions and motions, but what makes them unique is the way they can sense their audience and interact with them.

I look forward to seeing these little guys and even more advanced versions in the years ahead. I can easily see where autonomous robots like these are going to be key to establishing the immersive experience that Disney wants to offer their visitors.

Women and Computers in WWII – Intermission Story (22)

WWII – I read this a while back and have been meaning to reblog it. I thought it gave an interesting look back in history. It is a good, though quick, look at how women used computing to aid in World War II.

Pacific Paratrooper

Women with the ENIAC computer

Before the invention of electronic computers, “computer” was a job description, not a machine. Both men and women were employed as computers, but women were more prominent in the field. This was a matter of practicality more than equality. Women were hired because there was a large pool of women with training in mathematics, but they could be hired for much less money than men with comparable training. Despite this bias, some women overcame their inferior status and contributed to the invention of the first electronic computers.

In 1942, just after the United States entered World War II, hundreds of women were employed around the country as computers. Their job consisted of using mechanical desk calculators to solve long lists of equations. The results of these calculations were compiled into tables and published for use on the battlefields by gunnery officers. The tables allowed soldiers…

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SpaceX Successfully Tests the Falcon Heavy

SpaceSpaceX tested its new, heavy launch vehicle the Falcon Heavy today. Not only was the launch successful placing a test payload into orbit, but it was able to successfully recover both of the flanking boosters at the Florida facility. At the time I publish this there is no word yet as to whether the main stage recovery on a barge in the Pacific was successful.

This will give the US a heavy lift capacity that it has not had in some time. With the ability to lift over 140,000 lbs, this rocket will be able to lift nearly three times the Delta IV-Heavy, TitanIV-B or Atlas V. This may be a significant step forward for missions to the Moon or more importantly to Mars.