wcalc: A calculator with a conventional appeal

There is a mighty swirl of calculators for the console, and wcalc is caught up in it.


Reaching back, we can draw on qalc, orpie, ised, concalc, calc, and even bc. Does the world need another cli-based calculator?

You can decide that. I will give wcalc a nudge for keeping a more conventional and less eccentric approach. Its help screen is pleasantly brief (although more detail is possible), and it behaves a little more like a forgiving pocket calculator than its peers.

Don’t take that to mean wcalc is somehow less powerful than the ones I listed up there. I have no reason to believe wcalc isn’t a contender in the scientific calculator bracket.

wcalc just seems more … approachable. For example, one nice touch in wcalc is the reservation of the “a” variable as the answer last supplied. In other words, your last result is pushed straight into the variable “a,” and you can use that immediately in your next calculation. Nice touch.

You can also supply data in hex, binary, octal or scientific notation, and comment out lines much in the same way as some programming languages.

I like wcalc, and I believe the next time I’m in the market for a console calculator, I might reach for it first. I’ll let you know when the moment arrives. 😉

3 thoughts on “wcalc: A calculator with a conventional appeal

  1. CorkyAgain

    I think the “a” variable is short for “accumulator” — which is the name of the CPU register used to store intermediate results.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I am willing to accept that theory. I took it to mean just “a” as the first available letter, but knowing some letters have specific mathematic interpretations (n, or p, or what have you) it makes sense. Thanks for the note. 😉

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