El Cal — Kalkulator's Grandfather

Although Kalkulator for Windows was released only in November '95, the program has a history going much further back.

Back in '88 I wrote a program called El Cal (Elementary Calculator) for the Atari ST. The ST was a wonderful machine to write for, very much like the MacIntosh, but with a leaner and more efficient operating system; at that time it was five or seven years ahead of the mediocre Intel/DOS platform.

Here is a screenshot of the El Cal (the last released version of 1993), running on a monochrome ST system; you can clearly see from whom Kalkulator inherited the good looks.

During the six years of El Cal development I was able to refine and optimize the math algorithms; the user interface also evolved quite a lot.

The original El Cal was written in Pascal (with an early prototype in Modula-2); therefore writing Kalkulator in Delphi (which is a superset of Turbo Pascal, differing from it like C++ differs from C) allowed me to re-use the existing, well-tested and optimized code.

All this saved me quite a lot of work on the development of Kalkulator; it also was the reason why Kalkulator was quite a mature and bug-free application from the first release.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I would like you to know that the program you are using (or considering) is actually a product of twelve years of development. I also wanted you to know that there were times when there was life outside of the Wintel world.

Now that you know Kalkulator's grandpa, you may also want to meet the father: Ex for the HP LX palmtops.


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