Google online calculator and converterSaturday, May 10, 2008
Did you know Google's search page includes an online calculator & converter? One of my very IT literate friends didn't know this trick, so I thought I'd post this tip.
In the standard Google search box, if you type in a calculation then hit enter or Search, it'll actually do the calculation online for you, and provide the answer where you'd normally get search results displayed.
Use * for multiply, / for divide, and +, - and brackets in the usual way, then Search to see the results (more operators and full instructions here - I do wish they'd allow x for multiply though). There's a limit though, if you type in a very very very long calculation it won't do it, I'm not sure how long but I've definitely hit it.
Online conversionsGoogle also converts from and to units like Roman numerals (very useful in this here 21st century), as well as the more common conversions. And you can enter your query in normal language - e.g. "3.5 lbs in kg" works, just try clicking that. Or even Google's example of 0x7d3 in roman numerals! Tip: you may need to experiment, it seems to work OK with no space, but sometimes it works better if you add a space (e.g. before the lbs in the previous sentence).
Note also that the converter is case sensitive - so converting MB to GB will work but not MB to gb.
But although Googlers showed their sense of humour in allowing you to change your Google search interface language to Klingon or even Pig Latin, they don't yet let you convert into polar bears or Golden Gate Bridges. For that, you have to use the Weird Converter, though even that doesn't have baby elephants. However, if you want to, you could convert into Jenifer Anistons or human tongues, or even right whale testicles or flaccid penises, if you really can't resist the urge to try those! (Heh heh, I bet no one ever thought I'd be able to legitimately work testicles or flaccid penises into a blog post, did they?).
I can use the trick for speeding up searches on Google and other sites with a keyword, to do even fast calculations too: Ctrl-l to call up the Open URL box, then type g then space then my calculation or conversion.