Roll up roll up roll up folks, and get ready for the Nerd-o-Rama. In today’s edition we bring you Calca, a “text editor for engineers.” Imagine that somebody took Soulver and Markdown and left them together in a survival pod for nine or ten months with lots of booze and no contraceptives, and — eventually — you’d get Calca.
At first glance, Calca looks like a regular plain text editor, complete with groovy fixed-width font. And it kind of is, except that what you’re writing is equations and text, and these equations are solved as you type.
You can do simple stuff like 2+2=?, but of course it does way more, and manages to parse out the numbers from the text. You can set variables as you go, define functions…
f = 9/5*c + 32 can then be used to do this: f(20) => 68 c(100) => 37.7778
…and so on.
It also works with logic, budgeting, logarithms and pretty much any of the math you learned in high school. It even works with imaginary numbers, which are kind of like the unicorns of numbers.
Calca looks excellent, and you can even use Markdown to style the word parts of the calculations. It’s iOS-only right now (Universal) but a Mac version is promised. Should you use this instead of Soulver? I don’t know. Soulver has some other great features like currency and unit conversions, and is probably more accessible to someone looking for a calculator replacement. But Calca looks as if it makes straight up math easier, kind of like a plain text editor for numbers.
And as it’s only $3, it will only cost you $(2+1^43) to find out