Calculator at hand

UNIX shell is excellent. The toolbox at hand also never stop to amaze. But sometimes there is this feeling that something is missing. No matter how many tools are there, you’ll still want something special and personalized.

I am pretty often missing the calculator. Of course, there are xcalc and kcalc for graphical interface, but that’s just too slow for something that I should actually do in my head. There is bc(1) for console, but I never liked it for quick stuff. expr(1) is pretty close, but it needs a rather complex syntax like “expr 1 ‘+’ 2”.

So here I am with a need for simple console calculator. Here is what I do – write a small perl script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

use strict;

my $expr = shift;

my $verbose = $expr eq '-v' ? 1 : 0;

$expr = shift if ($verbose);

do {

my $result = eval($expr);

print $expr . ' = ' if ($verbose);

print eval($expr) . "

} while ( $expr = shift);

This can be than placed into any directory in the path and used as following:

[leonid@home tmp]$ "2+3"


The beauty of it is that it can do several equations at once and not only equations:

[leonid@home tmp]$ KOEF=` '10 + 5'`

[leonid@home tmp]$ -v "$KOEF * 2" "sqrt(256)" "localtime(time)"

15 * 2 = 30

sqrt(256) = 16

localtime(time) = Thu Feb 26 04:28:25 2004

This ‘-v’ option causes to print out the equation as well. Now I can totally forget arithmetics. :)

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