The Net’s Most Outrageous Number Crunchers

Photo by Richard Bowen via Flickr

When you get down to it, every computer is really a glorified calculator that turns simple binary calculations into data that then gets transformed into text, images, and all sorts of media. Not many people think of computers as number machines, but it is still what they do best. And fortunately they are far better at it than humans. In homage to the perfect counting that computers do every day, here is a list of some of the more interesting and popular number machines.

Chord Calculator: Choose a root chord and a few other specifics, and this tool will happily spill out every possible guitar/bass fingering for that chord…every mathematically possible fingering, so some fret diagrams may look awkward to say the least.

The Inflation Calculator: Oh, inflation. The escalating worthlessness of money has been a prime mover in the financial world since money was invented. With computers we can judge historical inflation with pinpoint accuracy and predict future trends. This calculator lets you see historical inflation rates for the dollar…or a lot of dollars, depending on what you input.

Metabolism Calculator: Computers have solved so many other problems, surely they can tackle weight loss? Well if nothing else, they can apply some math to your metabolism. Discover your metabolic rate using this simple tool and see how many calories you burn, or wish you could burn, each day.

Metronome Online: Counting to one is pretty easy right? Computers love to do it – after all, binary language is just counting to one, over and over again (sort of). This metronome tool does the same thing, except the program is happy to count to one at whatever pace you want. Adjust the dial depending on your music lesson. This calculator may seem tame compared to some of the zanier options, but few are more useful to American families who want to buy homes. Taking out a mortgage is often the most important financial step people take. Calculators like this distill data down to simple information on monthly payments.

Number Factorizer: This site allows you to quickly and efficiently compute prime factors. If prime factors are not your goal, there is a list of just about every other calculator you could want, from graphing to gamma functions. Random number generators are largely self-explanatory. Of course, a programmer would be quick to assert that no generator is truly random, but given a range of integers some can come pretty close. Use this generator to pick your range and produce all the randomized results you want! There are also multiple alternative generators to choose from on the site.

Splitwise: This is an app/site that helps you split bills. Here computers help out with the quintessential roommate problem, divvying up expenses with mathematical precision and sending email reminders so people have no excuse. Follow utilities, food bills, cleaning expenses and more.

Tools for Noobs: Number to Words Spelling Tool: Silly humans with your words! Numbers are a much purer form of expression. But if you have to have it spelled out for you, this tool turns beautiful numbers into shoddy word equivalents for communication purposes.

Word Count Tool: Most programs have easy word count options. But if you have a chunk of text and no easy way to find out how many words it has, paste it into this calculator. The computer will deal with the messy work of counting up all those words and give you an easy answer.

Zero Footprint Youth Calculator: This site is a carbon footprint calculator for kids! It may seem strange, but this tool is a fun way to show kids how their daily lives produce carbon dioxide and how they can set goals to lower their environmental impact. Now if only there was a grown-up version for corporations…