BoardCalc 2.2 User's Manual

BoardCalc is a Palm® OS or Windows® application that contains three calculators specifically for working with wood: a general purpose calculator, a log weight/yield calculator, and a board shrinkage calculator. BoardCalc ‘thinks’ in fractions, feet and inches, yards, board feet, or metric. It does conversions between metric and imperial units, decimal and fractions, board feet and areas/volumes, and makes it a little more comfortable to subtract 5 5/8” from 1’ 3 3/32” or add 5mm to 7/8”.

More info is available on the web at:

Following the feature list, this manual is divided into the following sections:
  1. General Purpose Calculator
  2. Log Weight Calculator
  3. Board Shrinkage Calculator
  4. Species Lists
  5. Recent Calculations
  6. User's Saved List
  7. Preferences
  8. Trial Period
  9. System Requirements


General -

General Purpose Calculator -

Log Weight/Yield Calculator -

Shrinkage Calculator -


1) General Purpose Calculator

a) What is it?
The General Purpose calculator is like most of the other calculators you have used to do simple math. It is an algebraic input calculator (as opposed to RPN, Reverse Polish Notation). You enter the first number, then the math operation (such as '+'), the second number, and then '='. The strength of this calculator is that it works in fractions or decimal with equal ease, works with dimensions in inches/feet/yards/metric, converts between metric/inches/feet/yards or fraction/decimal, can round bizarre fractions to more sensible values, and calculates board feet from two dimensions, three dimensions, surface area or volume.

In the Palm version of Boardcalc, there are two different faces of the general calculator - the Large-Buttons calculator or the All-In-One calculator. These both use the same underlying calculator code. The Large-Buttons calculator is provided so you don't have to drag out a stylus to do a calculation. This can be especially handy if you use your PDA in an environment with dust or chemicals. A PDA is much safer inside a sealed plastic bag, but the stylus isn't accessible then. So the menu has three lines together which form an area large enough to tap with a finger. Tapping this will call up the large-button calculator, and from there all the buttons are large enough to operate with a finger-tip. The downside of the large buttons is that there isn't room to put units buttons on the same page, so extra button presses are required to flip to the units page and select units. The All-In-One page is more convenient when using a stylus.

b) How does it work?
i) Input
Many are the ways to enter values in BoardCalc:
Fractions use the <sp> (space) and / (fraction) buttons. For example, to enter two and a half, the buttons 2 <sp> 1 / 2 are pressed. If using Graffiti® on a Palm OS device or a keyboard on the Windows version, an 'f' character represents the fraction symbol, so you would enter 2 <sp> 1 f 2. There are Graffiti equivalents for all the buttons.

Dimensions can be entered in feet/inches/fraction. If a value includes two whole numbers, it isn't necessary to include the units - number <sp> number can only be feet and inches. A fraction on the end of two whole numbers works the same way (no units required). The following are all legal, and all represent the same value:
2'  2  1/2"       2  2  1/2"       2  2  1/2       2'  2  1/2      26 1/2"

Multiple dimensions can be entered for a single calculation using the 'by' button. This can be useful to calculate area, volume or board feet.
3" by 8' BdFt              gives 2.00 bd ft
3" by 8' by 2 BdFt ]    gives 4.00 bd ft
1 by 2 by 3 =              gives 6
1 by 2 by 3 BdFt        gives 0.04 bd ft
1' by 2" by 3cm =       gives 21 44/127 cu in

ii) Conversions
Converting a value to a different set of units is just a matter of entering the number, the original units, and the new units. If you already have a result of a calculation that has units, just press the new units. To convert from fraction to decimal or vice versa, either press the / (fraction) button, or press the same units again (pressing the 'in' button will flip between decimal inches and fractional inches, for example):
5 cm in                     gives 1.97"     (converted 5 cm to inches)
in (again)                 gives 1 123/127"   (converted decimal inches to fractional inches)
11' 7 3/4" '               gives 11.65'      (converted feet/inches/fraction to decimal feet)
in                              gives 139.75"    (converted decimal feet to decimal inches)
An area in any units can also be converted to BdFt, even though BdFt is a volume. The third dimension is assumed to be 1" (4/4).

If one value in an addition or subtraction has units and the other does not, both are assumed to have the same units: 5 + 5cm = 10cm. For multiplication or division, what you see is what you get, in order to correctly keep track of whether the result is an area, length or volume. 5 x 5cm is 25cm, while 5cm x 5cm is 25 sq cm.

iii) Calculating Board Feet
A board foot is a measure of volume. The majority of lumber is from 4/4 stock. If only two dimensions are entered, the third is assumed to be 4/4 when the BdFt button is pressed. A surface area is converted to board feet the same way, by assuming a thickness of 4/4. Either the by button or the x (multiply) button can be used between values when calculating board feet. Any number entered without units is assumed to be inches.
12" by 8' BdFt            gives 8.00 bd ft
12 by 8' by 1 BdFt     gives 8.00 bd ft
12 x 8' BdFt                gives 8.00 bd ft
3cm by 1m BdFt        gives 0.32 bd ft
8" by 8' by 1" =           gives 768 cu in
BdFt                            gives 5.33 bd ft
BdFt                            gives 5 1/3 bd ft

iv) Rounding
A value like 1 123/127" is a bit difficult to find on a ruler. You can round this value to something more sensible using a selector on the all-in-one calculator page, to the nearest 1/2, 1/4th, 1/8th, 1/16th, 1/32nd or 1/64th. This selector only affects the value that is shown (the next calculation will not be rounded).  If the displayed value is rounded, a '~' will show up in front of it to warn you. There will be no '~' if the value shown is exact, even if rounding is turned on.

The numerical value is not changed when it is rounded, only the display of the value is affected. If rounding is turned off again, the original value will be displayed again. All math will come out correctly, regardless of rounding, but results can look odd. For example, if you enter 3/16, round to the nearest half, press Min, '+' and MR, the display will show ~0 + ~0. The value 3/16 rounded to the nearest half is 0, which is shown twice in the display. Now pressing '=' will add 3/16 to 3/16 to give ~1/2. In recent calculations, the last calculation shows ~0 + ~0 = ~1/2, which is a nice trick if you can work it financially. Any time you see the '~', remember that the value is rounded.

Note that rounding does not force the value into the fraction chosen - fractions are always reduced as far as possible. If 1/2 is rounded to the nearest 1/64th, it will still show up as 1/2 (not 32/64, and no '~' is shown because the value is exact). And if 123/127 is rounded to the nearest 1/64th, it will show ~31/32.

v) The Memory buttons
Results can be saved to memory for use later or added to memory to keep a running total. When a value is saved in the memory, an 'M' will show up in the calculator display (above the memory buttons in the All-In-One page, or in the upper left corner below the result display in the Large-Button page). A value in memory can be recalled by pressing MR, and used in any part of a calculation.

If a calculation is not yet complete, pressing Min or M+ will complete it and save/add the result to memory. For example, pressing 2 + 3 Min will show 5 in the calculator display and store 5 in memory. The rounding and units of the calculator value will be saved in the memory value. Again, the accuracy of the value is not affected, only how it is displayed.

The memory keeps track of units just as the calculator does. If you use M+ to add 5" to a value of 3 (no units) already in memory, the memory result becomes 8". Any math operation that won't work in the calculator will also fail for M+: trying to add a length to a volume will beep and do nothing.

M+ adds the calculator result to the value in memory
Min copies the calculator result into memory, losing any old value
MR recalls the memory value into the calculator
MC clears the value in memory

If the calculator beeps when M+ is pressed, the operation is illegal and nothing was done. This is probably because the values are a mix of length, volume or area. Adding an area to a volume or length does not make sense. M+ with different units (mm/cm/m/in/ft) will always work as long as both values are length, both are area or both are volume. A value with no units can be added to anything. It will be given the units of the other value.

vi) The List Add button
When this button is pressed, the text showing in the calculator display is copied into the User's Saved List. No calculation is done, and the calculator itself is not affected. An 'L' is drawn on the screen along with the count of lines in the User's Saved List. For the All-In-One page, the list count appears in the lower left below the List Add button. In the Large-Button page, it is drawn in the upper left corner, below the calculator result display and the memory indicator.

c) Things to know.
i) Chain calculations
You can do a chain of operations without pressing the '=' button. Each time a new operation is pressed, the previous operation is calculated and the result is used as the first number for the new operation. For example, if you press 1 + 2 x 3 =, the result is 9. 1 + 2 becomes 3 when the 'x' is pressed. Then 3 x 3 = 9.

ii) Board Feet and the NHLA method
BoardCalc figures board feet by treating board feet as a volume: 144 cubic inches equals 1 board foot. It does not make corrections for thickness less than an inch or round thickness to the nearest 1/4. In fact, it does not do any rounding at all in the calculations. The answer calculated is therefore not necessarily what you would get using the NHLA method to calculate board feet, especially for multiple boards where you tally a surface measure first, rounding up one time and down the next. It was done this way so that you can always see what you get, with no hidden rounding to surprise you. If you need to use the NHLA method to calculate board feet, it is up to you to do the rounding. There are many discussions (and arguments) available about this topic on the web and elsewhere.

iii) Graffiti and Graffiti 2
Inputs from Graffiti can substitute for most of the buttons and menu selections in the program:
q      - square (units)
u      - cubic (units)
'      - feet (units)         (not available in Graffiti2)
y      - yards (units)
" or i - inches (units)
m      - millimeters (units)  (not available in Graffiti2)
c      - centimeters (units)
e      - meters (units)
o      - board feet
%      - percent
<bs>   - backspace
<sp>   - space
f      - fraction button
k      - clear
.      - decimal point
= or ret - equals, completes the calculation
b      - by (between dimensions)
+      - add
-      - subtract
x or * - multiply ('*' in Windows only)
d      - divide
r      - recall memory
$      - add to memory
&      - clear memory
^      - memory in
l      - select length field (Log Weight Calculator)
d or w - select diameter (Log Weight Calculator)

Palm OS version: Graffiti2 creates some problems with this list. A few crucial characters are entered by two strokes, the first of which is also a legal letter. For example, to enter a double quote for inches, you first enter a single quote, and then another single quote. When the second quote is entered, the operating system sends a backspace to eliminate the first single quote, and then sends a double quote. This works for text, but if the calculator is showing a result and you tried to change the units to inches, the calculator would 'see' a single quote (converting the result to feet), a backspace (clearing the result) and a double quote. There is now nothing to convert to inches. For this reason, on any machine using Graffiti2, the single quote and the lowercase L are ignored, so that most of the Graffiti equivalents work.

iv) It BEEPS at me!
Sad to say, sometimes the machine is smarter than we are. If BoardCalc beeps, it couldn't do what you asked it to. This usually means that the dimension of the result is impossible. Multiplying an area by an area, or adding a volume to a length, for example, will get you a beep, because these don't make sense.

If converting units for an area or volume, you don't need to press sq or cu, and you will be beeped if you do. All that is required is inches, feet, etc. BoardCalc already 'knows' that it is an area or volume.

v) Overflow/overrun
If numbers become too large internally, they can cause an overflow, which means that BoardCalc doens't have enough room in a single number to hold the value or complete a calculation. If this happens, OVERFLOW is displayed. Too see this, enter 8888888888 (ten '8's) and press '='.

Internal to the calculator, all values are stored in inches. Because of this, it is possible for a large value to be valid in inches, but too large to convert to cm or mm. If this happens, the display will show Display Overrun. The value is still valid, but can't be shown in these units.

vi) Accuracy
BoardCalc stores all values as fractions. This means that values entered as a fraction will always be exact, as opposed to most calculators that store values as decimal mantissa with a power. 1/3 is really 1/3 in BoardCalc, rather than .333333333.... with some vanishingly small error. In practical terms, this just means that if rounding is not turned on, the fraction displayed is the exact value and not an approximation.

Decimal values and math are accurate to about 8 significant digits. This is much less than most scientific calculators, and was done to avoid having to load a math library along with BoardCalc. This level of accuracy would not be adequate if calculating orbital parameters for a satellite shot to Jupiter. But for an 8-foot board, an error of 1 in the 8th significant digit amounts to .0244 microns. For comparison, a bacterium is about 100 times larger (2 microns), and the thickness of a sheet of paper is roughly 5000 times larger (100 microns). So .0244 microns should be accurate enough for most woodworking.

2) Log Weight Calculator

a) What is it?
The Log Weight Calculator gives an estimate of the weight and board yield of a log, given the tree species, the length, and the diameter (inside the bark, at the small end). Estimates can be added into a memory to keep a running total.

b) How does it work?
i) Inputs
There are two fields where values are entered - Length (L:) and Diameter (D:). Since logs seldom end up as exactly round cylinders with perfectly square ends, you will usually have to average the length and diameter values before you enter them. Diameter is taken at the small end of the log, inside the bark. One of the outputs on the screen is D2:, which is the diameter used for the large end, calculated from the length of the log and a general estimate of tree taper. This will probably not match the large diameter of your particular log exactly. D2 is meant to give you a rough idea how close the estimate will be. D2 is rounded to the nearest 1/8" (or 0 decimal places, if decimal) before being displayed.

While new values are being entered, the weight and board feet fields go blank. When your length or diameter is entered, press '=' to calculate the new weight and board feet.

Selecting a new species from the list will recalculate the weight for the new species. Selecting a different log rule will recalculate the board feet yield of the log using the new log rule.

ii) How the weight is calculated
Weight is estimated by calculating the volume of a tapered cylinder with the small diameter and length given. The diameter of the large end is estimated by assuming that a log tapers 15% of its diameter over eight feet. The volume is multiplied by the average density of green (newly-cut) lumber of a particular species. The result is rounded to a reasonable number of significant digits. See the discussion of accuracy under "Things to know".

iii) How the Log Yield in board feet is calculated
The three most common log rules are available in BoardCalc: Doyle, Scribner Decimal C, and International 1/4 inch. Log yield is calculated from small diameter and length using the standard formula for each of these methods, and results are rounded to the nearest five or ten board feet, as each method dictates.

There is also a flavor of the Scribner log rule, based directly on the Scribner table. Scribner created his log rule by drawing circles, plotting how many rectangles (board-ends) could fit within each circle, and then creating a table of these values. The values in the table are not linear, and can not ALL be calculated correctly by any reasonable formula. On the other hand, the table only gives values for lengths that are even multiples of feet between 4' and 20', and diameters in whole inches between 3" and 40". In most cases, the table value will match the formula value. Both are provided, for completeness. If a length or diameter is outside the table limits, the result will be 0 or blank board feet.

iv) Memory
Log weight and board feet are both stored in the memory for the Log Weight Calculator. They can be used to keep a running total of log weight and yield - an 'M' just above the memory buttons shows that there is something stored in memory, and the count behind the 'M' shows how many values have been added in. If in doubt, recent calculations shows additions to the memory. When memory recall (MR) is pressed, the saved log weight and board feet yield are shown in the display, and the length and diameter fields are blanked out. This memory is completely separate from the memory in the general calculator - they do not affect each other.

v) The List Add button
When this button is pressed, a line of text is assembled and stored in the User's Saved List. The text line shows the length, diameter, weight, yield and species currently displayed. No matter what units are shown in the log calculator, the values in the User List are in inches. This is done so that the lines will always be the same when exported to a spreadsheet. An 'L' is drawn in the lower left below the List Add button, along with the count of lines in the User's Saved List.

c) Things to know - Log Weight Calculator
i) Accuracy
The weight given by the log weight calculator is a rough estimate. The density of green wood can vary wildly from one tree to the next within the same species, or even within the same tree. The density values in the Master Species List are average for North America. Rot, disease, growing conditions, bark thickness, height of the wood above ground in the tree, time of year, geography and a host of other factors all change the density of the wood. For this reason, the result is rounded to make it clear that this is not an exact value:
This rounding will drive some people crazy, so it is possible to turn log-weight rounding off in preferences. But the non-rounded answer will not be more accurate or better in any way, even though it feels as though it is.

The Custom Species List gives you a place to keep values for your specific situation, which may be more useful to you than the average values for all of North America. It can also be used to avoid sorting through 300 species to find one or two that are used often. Copy common species for your area into the Custom List, and they all show up on one page for easy selection.

ii) Default input and units
It isn't necessary to tap the Diameter field every time you want to enter a new value. Since you will probably be working with a fairly standard length most of the time, the calculator assumes that if you haven't selected a field, you want to calculate for a new diameter. Units are not required either. A number entered in the diameter field will be taken as inches if no units are selected. A number in the length field will be taken as feet unless units are selected.

iii) Conversions
The log weight calculator does not do unit or fraction/decimal conversions. Inputs remain in the form entered, outputs are always lbs and board feet.

iv) Input Range
The Log Weight calculator will reject a diameter or length that is under 1" or over 100', which means it will beep without doing anything and wait for you to correct what is obviously a mistake.

3) Board Shrinkage Calculator

a) What is it?
Wood changes size significantly across the tangential and radial faces as its moisture content changes and its cells swell or shrink. The moisture content of the wood depends on the relative humidity. The Board Shrinkage calculator is set up to show a range of shrinkage or swelling based on a board's width at the current relative humidity.

b) How does it work?
Warning: the descriptions below are going to sound very complicated. But the shrinkage calculator isn't hard to use. The three dimensions show three different widths of a board at three different relative humidities. If you change one of the dimensions, then the other two also have to change (be recalculated) so that all three are correct at each rh. The central rh is the relative humidity right now. If you change that, then the two dimensions at the other rh's will change. And if you change the left or right rh, that doesn't change the rh right now, or the width of the board right now, it only changes the left or right dimension at the new rh.

i) Inputs
There are three fields at the top of the screen for dimensions. Below each dimension is a field for its relative humidity. Any of these can be changed - tapping a field clears it to take a new value. If no field is selected, button presses go into the central dimension field.

ii) How the shrinkage is calculated
Shrinkage for a board is found by calculating the board's Equilibrium Moisture Content from the Relative Humidity, finding the change in EMC by subtracting the EMC of the original dimension/rh pair, taking the change in EMC divided by the Fiber Saturation Point and multiplying it by the total change in board size from saturation down to bone dry, and then multiplying this percent change by the original dimension of the board.

If a dimension is changed, that dimension/rh pair is used as the reference, and the other two dimensions are recalculated according to what their size would be if the reference board reached EMC at the other two relative humidities. For example, if the relative humidities are 10, 50 and 90, and you change the central dimension to 12, the reference size is 12" at 50% relative humidity. The board's EMC is calculated for 50%RH. Then the left dimension is recalculated: the EMC for 10%RH is found, this is multiplied by the total tangential or radial shrinkage for the species, then multiplied by the central dimension to find the change in width. Likewise, the right dimension is recalculated for an EMC at 90%RH.

If the central RH is changed, the central dimension/rh pair is used as the reference size, and the left and right dimensions are recalculated.

If the left or right RH is changed, the central dimension/rh is used as a reference to recalulate the left or right dimension at the new RH.

c) Things to know.
i) Fiber Saturation Point
The Fiber Saturation Point is the point at which water starts to leave cells in the wood, and it begins to shrink. Moisture change above this level does not change the size of the wood. The FSP is slightly different for different species - an average value of 28% is used for all calculations here.

ii) Output resolution
The dimensions shown in the Shrinkage Calculator are rounded to the nearest 32nd of an inch, just to keep the display to a reasonable size. If higher accuracy is desired, use decimal input (which will show the number of decimal points chosen in preferences or on the calculator page). Be aware that shrinkage values vary within a species and that an FSP of 28% is used for all species, and boards are never exactly radial or tangential, so beyond a certain point, more digits in the answer don't mean anything. The nearest 32nd of an inch should be sufficient.

iii) Conversions
The shrinkage calculator will change units on the dimensions to any of inches, feet, mm, cm or meters. Display can be flipped between decimal and fractional display by pressing the fraction button or the same units button again. (For example, if the display is in decimal inches, pressing the 'in' button again will switch to fractional inches).

4) Species Lists

a) The Master Species List
This list holds data for domestic hardwoods, domestic softwoods, and imported woods (softwoods and hardwoods lumped together). All the species have shrinkage data, but green density is more limited. This list can not be edited - it serves as a reference that you can always go back to. Any item in the master list can be copied to the custom list with the Add> button.

b) The Custom Species List
This list starts out empty. Items can be copied to it from the master list or added from scratch. Any item in the list can be edited. The Custom Species List serves three purposes - first, a place to put a shorter list of the woods you most often use, so you don't have to wade through 200 species on a small display to find one that you use almost every day. The second purpose of the custom list is to provide a place to add new species. And finally, the custom list entries can be edited with values more accurate for the specific materials you use. If the White Oak that you cut on your woodlot averages 62 lbs / cu ft instead of the Master List's 65, you can put an entry in the custom List that says so.

c) Sorting
The lists will always appear in alphabetical order when BoardCalc is restarted, with all types (hardwoods, softwoods and imports) visible. The order of items in the database never changes, only the order in which they are displayed.

When sorted, the lists show the value that was used to sort. As an example, if the Tangential Shrinkage was used to sort the list, the percentage for tangential shrinkage will be displayed on the end of the line for each species. If sorting alphabetically and the list was called up from the Log Weight Calculator, the density of each species will be shown, and only species that have a density value will be visible.

Checkboxes on the sort page can remove hardwoods, softwoods and/or imports from view when the list is sorted. This can speed up a sort and shorten the displayed list considerably, especially when sorting on the Tan/Rad shrinkage ratio (stability).

d) Shortcuts
Entering a letter using Graffiti or the keyboard will skip within the list to show the next species that starts with that letter. An 'o' will skip to the next Oak species, for example.

e) Editing
Any line in the Custom list can be edited, or new entries created. How this is done differs between the Palm and Windows versions of BoardCalc:

Palm version: Tap on a species in the Custom list to highlight it, and then press the Edit button. A new entry in the custom list can be created by pressing the Edit button when no species is selected. The edit form will come up with default values which can be changed. Density is optional - a species with no density will not be visible when the list is called up from the Log Weight Calculator. Note - if you select a species and then wish to create a new entry in the custom list, there is no way to unselect the species. Press cancel, and then enter the list again.

Windows version: any time a species in the Master or Custom list is selected, its data also goes into the Edit page. (This is one way to see all the data for a species.)  In the Edit page, data can be changed and then saved or added to the Custom list. A new entry can be created by pressing the New button, which will clear out all fields. The Green Density field is optional, all others are required.

5) Recent Calculations

Every time the general-purpose calculator completes a calculation, it stores a line of text to the Recent Calculations List. The text contains the parts of the calculation and the result, as they appeared in the calculator display. The entire calculation appears in the same line, as in:
11" by 11" by 11" = 1331 cu in
2 + 3 = 5

A line is also saved to the list every time a new weight/yield is calculated in the Log Weight calculator. Each line gives the length (inches), diameter (inches), and resulting weight/yield:
96 by 15 = 525 lbs 61 BdFt Alder, Red
The list is saved when BoardCalc is exited (which did not happen in BoardCalc 1.0). The list length is fixed at 13 lines(Palm) or 15 lines(Windows), which is one page. The most recent calculation is added below the other lines in the list. If the list is full, all the other lines are bumped up one line and the top line is thrown off. Any line in the list can be copied to the User's Saved List by selecting (highlighting) it and pressing the "->L" button.

After a few sessions, the recent calculations list will fill up and stay full, putting new calculations at the bottom. If you would like to see only what you have done lately, the entire list can be deleted. Press the "Delete All" button and press OK when the alert pops up to ask you if you want to delete the entire list.

(In the Palm version, Recent Calculations can only be reached from the options menu. )

6) The User's Saved List

This list holds lines added using a "list add" button (->L) from the Recent Calculations page or one of the calculator pages. In the user's list, these lines are just text, and are editable. They will be saved until explicitly deleted. The list will hold up to 99 lines.

Any single line can be deleted by selecting it (tapping on it) and pressing the delete key. The single line will be deleted immediately (no alert to ask Are-You-Sure) and lines below it will be moved up to fill the empty space.

The PC version allows selection of multiple lines, using the mouse. No matter where the cursor is at the beginning or end of the selection block, when the mouse button is released the selection will switch to whole lines. This makes it easier to copy lines to the clipboard to export, but means that a nothing smaller than a whole line can be selected. Once a block is selected (highlighted), it can be copied or deleted with a button press.

The entire list can be deleted at once, by pressing the "Delete All" button and pressing OK when the alert pops up to ask you if you really want to delete the entire list.

Anywhere the list count is shown (L:nn) the User's Saved List can be reached by tapping on the count. The list count is shown in a button that has no border.

Windows version fetch: the Windows version has an extra button on the User's List screen, labeled "Fetch". Pressing this button will import the entire User's List from a selected Palm OS database that has been HotSync'ed to the PC, and append it to the current User's List. You might use BoardCalc on a Palm device in the field, to estimate weights and board yields of logs, put the estimates into the User's List, and then fetch them into the PC version, where they could be copied to the clipboard and pasted into another document. Keep in mind that you must HotSync your handheld before pressing the Fetch button to get the up-to-date User's List from the handheld.

BoardCalcWin has to 'know' where to find your Palm OS database. The first time that the Fetch button is pressed, it will bring up a window to find the database. (This can also be reached from Preferences.) BoardCalcWin will list all the users that it can find in the left half of the screen. If your HotSync name appears there, you can select it and you are done. Otherwise, you will need to find your database file, "BdCalcDB.PDB", using the browse button/ file finder. The database probably is kept in the Program Files folder, under a manufacturer's name. For example, a Sony CLIE keeps users under "C:\Program Files\Sony Handheld\". Within each user folder is a file called "Backup" where HotSync'ed databases are kept, and BdCalcDB.PDB will be in that folder. My HotSync name is JoeD, so the path to my database on a Sony CLIE is "C:\Program Files\Sony Handheld\JoeD\Backup\BdCalcDB.PDB".

7) Preferences

Preferences can only be reached from the menu.

a) Show feet
Applies only to the feet/inches/fraction display of a length. Choices are: Always, 1 - 10, or Never. The number chosen is a number of feet. A value at or above this number of feet will show feet and inches, but a value below this will show up as inches, even though greater than a foot. At the default setting of 10, a value of 9' 11" will show as 119" after pressing '=', but 10' will show as 10'. If Show Feet is reduced to 8, then entering 119" or 9' 11" will show up as 9' 11", because they are at or above 8'.

b) Roundoff
Applies only to the display of fractions. The roundoff chosen in the preferences page is the initial rounding used for all new fractions as they are entered in the calculator. A value displayed in the calculator can still have its rounding changed to any value including none. As an example, if you find yourself converting from decimal values to fractions frequently, you might find it useful to set the roundoff to 32nds in the preferences so that .12" comes up as ~1/8" rather than 3/25" when it is converted.

c) Places
Applies only to the display of decimal values. Choices: 0 - 4. This is the number of decimal places displayed for any decimal value in any of the calculators. This has exactly the same effect as the popup on the All-In-One calculator page.

d) Log Weights Rounded
Only affects the display of weights in the Log Weight Calculator. If set (which is the default) then all weights calculated in the Log Weight Calculator are rounded. This can be cleared to see the exact result of the weight calculation, but be aware that this is NOT more accurate than the rounded value. See the discussion about Accuracy, at Things to know - Log Weight Calculator.

e) metric to inches: fraction
Only affects the display of a length that has been converted from a metric, decimal value to inches. When doing this conversion, you might usually want the inches value to show as a fraction. Setting this checkbox will force the inches value to be displayed as a fraction.

f) Log line columns fixed
This affects text put into the Recent Calcs and User's List from the Log Weight/Yield Calculator. It is provided to make import into some spreadsheets easier on the PC. Setting this checkbox tells the Log Weight/Yield Calculator to add spaces to any line that goes into the Recent or User's List, so that the numbers always start in the same columns. If unchecked, a single space is inserted between each word or value in the line.

8) Trial period

You can try this software out for 30 days. During the trial, all BoardCalc screens will be visible and fully functional except that selection of a species in the Master or Custom Species Lists will not be carried back into the Log Weight Calculator or the Shrinkage Calculator.

If the software is not yet activated, the time remaining in the trial period is shown in the upper right corner of the About page. If the trial period expires and the activation key has not been entered, BoardCalc will only show the About page.

You can enter the activation key at any time, in the field at the bottom of the About page. Once the software is activated, the activation key field will disappear, and full use of the wood species databases will be allowed.

9) System Requirements for BoardCalc 2.1

Palm version:

Windows version: