Tag Archives: calculator

sipcalc: First prips, now sipcalc

Not long ago I ran across prips, an IP address calculator for the console. Here’s sipcalc, which I assume would be similar, even if the style isn’t.

2014-04-26-6m47421-sipcalc-01 2014-04-26-6m47421-sipcalc-02

What prips didn’t do, sipcalc probably does. prips gave ranges of addresses according to criteria you supplied.

sipcalc gives you a technical rundown by address, or by interface. I’m more than happy to report that the bulk of the information it supplies is a mystery to me, even if it does look pretty good.

For the quick and dirty, sipcalc -a interface is enough to get a full rundown of just about all the information available on your device and network identity.

However, you can also break apart the results by feeding sipcalc specific flags. Experiment a little and see what you get.

As might be expected, sipcalc is in both Debian and Arch.

I imagine something like sipcalc is quite useful for people whose daily responsibilities include some major league networking issues. For little ol’ me … well, I know about it now. 😐

ses: emacs strikes again

I’ve mentioned a couple of console-driven spreadsheet applications in the past — I’m thinking of sc and oleo there — but somehow ses, the integrated spreadsheet function in emacs, managed to elude me.


There’s no trick to getting it started, you just open a file with the .ses extension and emacs leaps into action.

Navigation is via arrow keys; hit enter to change the contents. As your spreadsheet grows, you’ll need to open rows with CTRL+O but columns can be added just by moving right and entering data.

ses is functional, but would probably take me a while to learn. I glanced through the documentation and it seems most of the fundamentals are in place, with the necessary changes in syntax or structure.

I’m not so averse to emacs that I wouldn’t consider using it for some simple spreadsheets or to fiddle with numbers for fun.

And I admit it is interesting to see how emacs handles the idea of a spreadsheet. What’s next, an onboard mp3 player? (I joke, but it’s probably been done.)

Of course, if you’re already an emacs fan then ses is probably no surprise. I eagerly await the distro that comes armed only with emacs as an entire software suite. 😛

I think I will stick with sc for a while longer though. I have some long, rather complex spreadsheets that are tangled up with calculations, and I’m not quite ready to shift. 😉

qalc: qalculate!’s text only version

I can remember first seeing a GTK+ version of qalculate! around 2009 or so. As a replacement for a generic desktop calculator, it does a fine job.

It never really caught on with me, mostly because I don’t have need of a desktop calculator very often. galculator is okay for my needs, in its GTK2 version, thank you.

There is a command-line version of qalculate! that Debian calls “qalc,” which I have seen called “the greatest calculator ever.” I won’t say whether I agree with that or not.


qalc follows an interactive style, in the same way as bc or some other calculators, but can also calculate CLI-wise. It has onboard help, which is always good. It can access the Internet to get up-to-date conversion data.

I also like that by default, qalc shows you your entire calculation spaced out and arranged, rather than just spitting out an answer. Of course, there is a “terse” flag if you prefer the opposite.

There’s not much to dislike in qalc, but as I am finicky today, I have to be honest.

It seems that qalc (and by extension qalculator!) is trying rather hard to become all things mathematical. While there is convenience in that, I have this nagging prejudice in the back of my mind against programs that try to do everything at once.

I don’t care for audio players that double as music managers, I don’t like file managers that try to be hex editors, and I don’t want a text editor that tries to be an operating system.

All that said, I will temper my dislike by saying that qalc, to the best of my knowledge, stays within the mathematical and doesn’t try to work as a chat client too. I respect that. 😉

pi: A request from the audience

Okay, I promised bshir I would make a brief jump backwards in the otherwise impeccable alphabetical order of these posts, in order to include pi.

Yes, pi. There is a quick-and-dirty tool available to you, to display the value of π out to as many digits as you like. bshir says it’s worth including, and I’m willing to give it a brief spotlight, out of respect for the audience. 😉


And in its own way, pi is pretty cool. It reminds me of primes, and between the two (and maybe factor, which is slated for my next run through the F section), that’s a fairly healthy slice of mathematical power available without relying on a calculator application.

In Arch, pi is in the cln package, which is described as a “class library for numbers.” I’m not sure what that means. In Debian it has its own package called “pi” … which you probably could have guessed. 🙄

But I do like filling up the screen with 10,000 digits of π. I shall have to look closely for the secret of the universe in there somewhere. … 😉

orpie: Or should I say, “Orpie!”

My favorite part of orpie is the name. My second favorite part of orpie is the snarky subtitles it gives itself, when it starts up — things like ” ‘=’ is for the weak” or “RPN for the masses.”

I like an application with an attitude.

Attitude aside, orpie is actually quite easy to use, and I have next to no experience with RPN.


Come to think of it, the last time I used anything RPN-ish was the last time I tinkered with orpie. 🙄

orpie wins points for me by using the full screen, keeping all the important tips on the screen and using the obvious keystrokes for the major mathematical functions.

On top of that, it handles trigonometric functions, octal, hex, binary, polar, and a long list of other fun stuff … most of which is triggered through the abbreviations menu.

The screenshot above is from Debian, because as luck would have it, the Arch version fails on some dependencies — ocaml-gsl, if I remember right.

Score one more small point for precompiled distros. 🙄

oleo: No joy in Mudville

These are hard times, friends.

2014-02-17-lv-r1fz6-oleo-debian 2014-02-17-lv-r1fz6-oleo-arch

oleo seems to have fallen out of favor with the computer gods. Debian no longer carries it, and the 1.99 version crashes and burns in Arch Linux. No joy.

Not so long ago oleo was on board Ubuntu — and presumably related distros — as a console spreadsheet. And not a bad one either: decent enough for vacant-headed bloggers to chatter about it, as is wont to happen. 🙄

Right now though, it appears oleo has overstayed its welcome. Left for dead. Sent down to the minors. That ship has sailed. Lost and gone forever.

Well, probably not forever. Nothing ever really dies in the world of software — even applications that haven’t been updated since 2001. Programs just sit on a shelf until someone with talent and interest comes along, and fixes them up.

And really, if sc, the +/- 25-year-old spreadsheet can find its way into the Arch Linux orbit, doesn’t that mean oleo has a chance too?

I can hope. oleo had its day in the sun and gnumeric may carry the blessing of the GNU/Gnome papacy now, but I will always have fond memories. 😦

mathomatic: Something looks familiar here

I don’t know why, but I could swear I have seen mathomatic before.


It may be the case that I have; according to the home page mathomatic has been around since the mid-80s in one form or another. It is not inconceivable that I brushed up against it during one of my previous adventures.

It also makes it quite impressive from a development standpoint, since the last version is stamped from October 2012.

I will be painfully honest and admit that I don’t have the time to dig through all of mathomatic’s crevices and crannies, but if I had the need or inclination I don’t think it would take long to learn.

My only other fear is that, in this day and age, a student who needed mathomatic might look down on its less-than-glossy interface, or gravitate toward a tool with more visual gimmicks. Web access. Smartphone versions. “Like!” buttons. 🙄

I could say that about anything here though: These tools are only useful to people who can look beyond visual gimmicks. 😉

ised: Compact power for calculating

I suppose I should not be surprised that every console calculator I encounter is quite powerful and perhaps even complex.

After all, what use would a dull, punch-button calculator be, beyond balancing your checkbook?

ised is no exception, although it seems to take a different approach from some others seen thus far.


Borrowing from the man page, ised works with arrays and returns arrays as output. ised follows calculations in the order they appear, and without any array, ised just works as a command-line calculator.

Superficially, ised seems to stick to one-line of calculation like concalc, whereas some other calculators might trap the console to run their own environment — a la bc or calc.

The fun part is watching ised generate number patterns, like strings of primes, or Fibonacci sequences.

ised can handle some very complex strings as well as a lot of higher-order mathematical functions, meaning it could be preferable to some other command-line calculators.

Depending on your project, ised might be useful. Of course, it could also balance your checkbook for you. 🙄

concalc: A much simpler calculator

The console calculators I’ve seen thus far have been slanted toward the scientific, with each one striving to be exceptionally precise and capable of some very impressive math.

concalc is probably just as powerful, but I almost prefer it for its apparent simplicity.


Much as you might expect it to behave, you issue the command, follow it with the calculation, and it returns the answer, without any frills.

There are some options available to you; you can set the precision, change base, work with specific angle measurements, and so on.

But the nice thing about this is, it doesn’t seem tied up in intense calculations or mimicking a particular programming language.

Probably it can do some of those things. But from this vantage point at least, it’s nice to see something simpler. 😉

calc: You knew this was coming

The Cs had to have some obvious entries in it. calc is one.


As you might imagine, calc is a console-based calculator and — as seems to be the theme these days — it’s exceptionally complex. Not for adding up your grocery bill.

This one will do some very sophisticated math, and in an instant, as you can see above. Much like bc, last month.

Before you dive in, take a look at the help page. There you will see even more help pages, introductions, command lists, tips, cues and so forth.

I daresay I’ve never seen an application — graphical or not — with quite so much help available immediately.

But the real appeal of calc, as I understand it, is that it closely mimics the style and arrangement of C. The programming language, that is.

Whether or not that is true is not for me to decide; I have so little experience working with C that I shudder at the thought of recounting it.

Either way, between this and bc, you’d think there wouldn’t be much more in the way of calculators that were needed in Linux.

You’d think that, anyway. 😐