The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

Imperialism, Metric-centricity and Live Search

Imperialism, Metric-centricity and Live Search

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I'm a child of a mixed up time when it comes to measures and the likes. I am feet and inches tall, stones and pounds heavy, when it's cold outside, it's below zero degrees, but when it's hot, it's in the 80s.

I learned small measurement in mms and cms, so have no real idea of how big an inch is, but long distances are thought of in miles (and petrol is bought in litres to go into a car which reports how many miles per gallon it's getting).

Now and again, I'll need to try & recall how many chains there are in a fathom, or ounces per metric tonne, and typically call on the services of a search engine. That used to be searching for something like:

image

... where we'd normally get taken to a site in the results, which has a wizard of its own to do the calculation. Often times, the reason I want to convert something is because I'm already doing a calculation and I just need to know the ratios involved...

Which is why I love the little innovation that Live Search introduced:

image

Right at the top of the results list, there you have it - dead right this is useful :)

Comments
  • Actually, someone pointed out that Google has a calculator where if you type "inch to cm" it will show up with the answer. The fact that I didn't discover that but I did happen upon the Windows Live search version, just proves that Live Search must be easier to use ;-)

    On a subnote, though - both allow you to put numbers in there too... so in Live Search if you enter "6 ft m" it will tell you that 6 feet = 1.8288 metres ...

  • I looked at both searches, and they both offer that. Including actual unit converting. And while I did recognize Live Search as probably the first to offer that, Google does more unit calculations.

    Like gallons to ounces.

    Chains to micrometers.

    Other not so obvious units like that. Of course, I could go to a unit converter site, but the search engine itself is quite handy. I'll still use Live Search for most of my searches, but Live Search really needs to offer and beat all these Google Web search features and do more if they want to get users to adopt Live:

    http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html#calculator

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