calculator.org the calculator home page

Calc FAQ

Installation

Q: How do I download and install Calc?

A: You can download Calc from the Calc download page. Select the site you wish to download from by clicking the appropriate link. Your browser will prompt you for a location to save the file. The downloaded file is a self-extracting zip archive. Run it to extract the files into the directory of your choice. For more detailed information, see the online documentation

If you are installing to a Windows CE device (e.g. Pocket PC, H/PC), the installation program should start ActiveSync automatically when the files have been extracted. ActiveSync should then take over and offer to install Calc for you. If this does not happen for some reason, you can also install the software by manually copying the CAB file onto the device. The CAB file can be found in the Calcx directory (where "x" depends on the platform). You can run the CAB file on the device itself (using the File Explorer on the device, and opening it), because Windows CE knows how to install the software from CAB files.

Q: Why doesn't Calc have a 'proper' Windows install program?

A: The size of the Calc executable is of the order of 500k and the compressed distribution file is not much larger. This makes Calc extremely quick to download and capable of distribution using low capacity media like diskettes. We have looked at several professional install programs and determined that the resulting installation files would be considerably larger than the software itself. We have therefore custom built a lightweight installation program. We think most users would prefer to have the benefit of a smaller download file.

Q: Will installing Calc unleash some bug that will crash my system?

A: We certainly hope not! Millions of people have installed Calc on their systems without problems.

Q: Where is the Help file?

A: The help files have their own directory, "CalcHelp". A single index file "index.aspx" exists in the Calc directory and links to the other files.

Q: How do I replace the Windows Calculator with Calc?

A: This depends slightly on which version of Windows you have. Drag and drop a Calc shortcut to your Start Menu (right click on the "Start" button and select "Open" to open it, or right click on the task bar and select "Properties" and selecting the "Start Menu Programs" tab, or go directly to the directory "C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories"). A shortcut to the Windows Calculator should be in the "C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories" directory and can be deleted and replaced with the Calc shortcut. Alternatively, edit the Windows Calculator shortcut and change the target to the Calc executable.

Q: Another program starts the Windows Calculator. How do I get it to run Calc instead?

A: The executable for the windows calculator is usually called "calc.exe" and can be found in the Windows directory (typically "C:\Windows"). To replace this with Calc, first rename "Calc.exe" to e.g. "Calcexe.old" and then create a shortcut to Calc and rename it "Calc.exe". If for any reason you need to reverse this process, delete the shortcut and rename "Calcexe.old" back to "Calc.exe".

Q: How do I get the calculator icon to appear on my desktop?

A: Put a shortcut to the executable onto your desktop. First use Explorer to go to C:\Program Files\Calc98 (or wherever you installed Calc). In that directory you should see a file Calc.exe. Select Calc.exe and use the Edit/Copy menu item or Ctrl-C to take a copy. Now go to your desktop and right click on it, and from the menu select "Paste Shortcut". You should then have a shortcut to Calc on your desktop. If you want, you can re-name the shortcut by selecting it and then clicking on the title area. Be careful not to accidentally move the Calc.exe file itself onto your desktop by simply dragging it there, otherwise you will get extra files appearing when you run it.

Q: Why does my browser window fill with garbage when I try to download factory.prp?

A: In Internet Explorer, right mouse click on the link and select "Save Target As..." from the pop-up menu, and save to the Calc directory. In Netscape Navigator, right mouse click on the link and select "Save Link As..." from the pop-up menu, and save to the Calc directory. If you have navigated to our website using HTML Help this will not work; you have to use an HTML browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Q: Where does Calc store its files?

A: Calc stores its files in the directory from which it is run. On Pocket PC (Windows CE) some files are stored in "My Documents".

Q: Why does Calc use the Windows Registry?

A: Using the Registry allows different users of the same computer to individually configure and customize Calc.

Q: What Windows Registry entries does Calc use?

A: Calc saves registry settings in "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/FlowSimulation/Calc". The registry entries are used to store the current calculator mode, display configuration and keypad layout.

Q: Why are you using HTML Help?

A: We switched from Windows Help (WinHelp - the help system used exclusively on versions of Windows up to Windows95) to HTML Help because this was the direction Microsoft encouraged developers to go at the time. HTML Help offers many advantages over WinHelp, but unfortunately support in older versions of Windows was incomplete. In these cases Calc needs to find a browser to display the help files, which gives rise to other problems (see below).

Q: Why does Calc try to use Internet Explorer?

A: On older versions of Windows which do not have built-in support for HTML Help, Calc tries to locate an HTML browser. When you click on the Help button, Calc first tries to launch Windows HTML Help (which is a standard component of more recent versions of Windows). If this fails it starts looking for Internet Explorer, because most Windows systems have IE installed. If Windows fails to locate IE it looks for Netscape Navigator. If this fails, the user is given the opportunity to specify the location of the browser. You can also specifically tell Calc which browser executable to use within the Data tab of the Options dialog.

Q: Why does a file called "default.dat"' keep appearing on my desktop?

A: Calc creates a file called "Default.dat" in the directory from which it is run to save values when you quit the calculator. You can delete the file, but you will get a new one the next time Calc is run. When you install Calc on Windows, one way of making it easily accessible is to drag a shortcut of the Calc executable onto the desktop. The problem occurs as a result of accidentally dragging the executable itself, or a copy, onto the desktop, instead of creating a shortcut. This means that Calc gets run from the directory corresponding to the desktop, and this is where it will store its data file. To create a shortcut, drag the object and hold down the ALT and SHIFT keys before releasing the mouse button. Or you can use the right mouse button as you drag to get a pop-up menu; then select "create shortcut here".

Q: Why does a file called "default.dat"' keep appearing in my Start Menu?

A: Calc creates a file called "Default.dat" in the directory from which it is run to save values when you quit the calculator. You can delete the file, but you will get a new one the next time Calc is run. When you install Calc on Windows, one way of making it easily accessible is to drag a shortcut of the Calc executable onto the Start Menu, for example using the Taskbar Properties or adding it to the "C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" folder. The problem occurs as a result of accidentally dragging the executable itself, or a copy, onto the Start Menu, instead of creating a shortcut. This means that Calc gets run from the Start Menu folder itself, and this is where it will store its data file. To create a shortcut, drag the object and hold down the ALT and SHIFT keys before releasing the mouse button. Or you can use the right mouse button as you drag to get a pop-up menu; then select "create shortcut here".

Q: How do I get back to the installation prompt to add a shortcut?

A: You can run the installation program at any time by double clicking on SETUP.EXE in the Calc directory. This program only installs shortcuts, it does not fully re-install the software. Nor does it delete shortcuts that already exist.

Q: I have just upgraded Calc. Why does it look and behave like the old version?

A: You may have had Calc running when you ran the installation program. You need to make sure that Calc is not running, and then run the installation again.

Q: Why does it try to extract the files every time I try to run it?

A: You are probably trying to run the self-extracting zip file instead of the Calc executable. This can sometimes happen if you create a shortcut to the zip file which gets run instead of the extracted file. The zip file will be called something like c9853w.exe. You run this once to create an installation directory ("/Program Files/Calc" by default). This directory contains a file Calc.exe which is the program.

Q: How do I un-install Calc?

A: Please see the section below for problems related to Windows or Windows CE versions, as appropriate.

Q: Why do I get an error message that it can't unpack the files when I try to install on Windows?

A: In order to run the installer program (Calc9853w.exe, etc.) you will need to right-click on the file and select "Run as administrator". If you do not do this, Windows will not be able to save the unpacked files to the default directory, and you will get the error "Can't create output file C:\Program Files\Calc98\CALC.EXE" or similar. Next you should see a prompt to either Allow or Cancel. You should click on Allow in this case because you know you have intentionally run a program as administrator. Now you can click on the Unzip button as normal and the files will be extracted and the setup program will run to install the software.

Q: Does Calc run on 64-bit versions of Windows?

A: Calc 98, including the free version, will run on Windows 7 and on 64-bit versions of Windows. like most 32-bit applications.

The installation process will install the software to the “Program Files” folder by default, although you are given the option to specify the installation location, such as "Program Files (x86)", if you wish. This does not affect the way the program runs.