T/Maker Five   Email: roizen@ix.netcom.com


This product has its roots in one I wrote in 1979. I have always had a passion for what you might call
math for regular people--much more useful than a calculator, much easier than a spreadsheet.

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Roizen       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T/Maker

Links for later:  The Download Page      Tutorial Videos      Example Tables
Features videos mixed in with the text below.

T/Maker is a java desktop application for Mac and Windows computers. There is a "no strings attached" offer. If at some
point, you want to make a $5 contribution, I would accept it.  As a
stand alone application, it makes no connection to the
internet when used. All your data is kept on your machine. If you take the video link
below, you will be looking at the only
general purpose calculating program that does not rely on
algebraic formulae or even cell names in most cases.

If you have a touch screen (Windows 10) you might call this thing  "couch potato math."  It is amazing what you can do
with one finger on a touch screen. Videos for that will be coming shortly. There is a lot more power here than most users
will ever use. But the idea is to keep regular stuff easy.

Please take this under 3 minute tour now to get the picture or rather "painting."   Video 1

My goal is not to raise the bar of what a spreadsheet can do or to replace the traditional approach where it is needed.
My goal is to provide a handy math tool that is easy to learn, hard to forget, and faster to use with complete confidence.
You will be surprised at all the tasks it can accomplish. It's worth firing up for even a few
calculations with just a few numbers.
And, if you enjoy it,  I hope you will let others know that this crazy idea can be your "go to" math buddy for the rest of your life.
I have used this approach in various versions for 40 years to accomplish all my bookkeeping and calculation needs.

The Traditional Way: Every calculated cell holds a formula written in algebraic notation. To reference values, the row and column intersection is used as the name of the value in the cell. You cannot see the values calculated and the formulae at the same time. Shortcuts usually exist to repeat, adjust, and enter a formula across a number of similar cells.

The T/Maker Way: There are separate cells for data and calculation trails. Trails are  written as an ordered series of operators. Values can be referenced in a number of ways including simply placing an operator in the cell adjacent to them. Trails can be reused by clicking a special cursor on another cell where the trail is to be restarted with step 1. Also, trails can calculate a number of values, not just one.

Pretty simple, right? You have to agree it was easy to understand. And I have to agree that not all problems can be
solved with plus and equal signs only . "But wait," as they say on infomercials, "there is even more!"

We will get there in a moment, but I want to say a few serious words about learning math with T/Maker. Students who
know arithmetic can build their problem solving skills along with an introduction to data analysis, statistics, logic,
and  graphics years before the 7th or 8th grade. They can learn T/Maker one syntax feature at a time. All this will help
close the thinking gap between apples and oranges arithmetic and algebra. That's a leap that comes out of nowhere
and many have difficulty accomplishing it.  Building confidence and getting comfortable using math to solve problems
is a T/Maker specialty. It's also what math educators say about getting better at math--USE IT !

The image below shows elements you may use when building calculation trails.
There are a few notations here that are particular
to T/Maker's approach and fit well with it. But much is just the application of basic arithmetic with operators, constants, memories,
and functions you could do with a hand calculator. However,  that would be incredibly more laborious, and you would have no record
of what you specified..

Video 2: The syntax is on the table

Memories, I should point out, introduce the notion of names or letters representing values (algebra) under the easiest to understand
circumstances. You pick the name and you put the value in it. Memories also provide incredible economies in specifications.
Here are 48 values calculated by one simple trail. This is practical math taken to a whole new level.

Video 3: Memories are made for this

The Combo Cursor is a cursor that performs a variety of calculations as it proceeds in a trail and stores the results in memories
where they can be easily fetched. Among the values are the minimum, the maximum, the mean, and the median. These
are some elementary members of what you might call statistics and data analysis. There's a standard deviation too and an
example table of calculating a correlation coefficient. The  video also includes changing some formats, a sort, and making
a stacked bar chart. It's all easy.

Video 4: A multi-tasking cursor

One of the very nice things about T/Maker is that it

can clone rows incorporating all elements of a model
row. Many tables have a block or blocks of rows that
are identical in terms of the calculations and other
elements they require. This feature is great for building
a table over time.

Video 5: Another row for the road

As a programmer, I know that no syntax or language is complete without a tool to debug the work
you have done. Here's is one for T/Maker's unusual way of writing calculations. It's a way to find
mistakes or just review how things work and fit together.

Video 6: A walkabout on trails

I want to nip in the bud the notion that T/Maker might be only a toy suitable
for youngsters by showing (without a lot of explanation) a table that runs a
simulation of the optimal strategy for playing roulette. That strategy works from
the amount you want to risk and what your want to win. It bets on single numbers
with increasing bets until you go broke or hit one number. At your first win, you
have achieved your goal. It also allows me to make some meaningful contrasts
between trails (T/Maker) and formulae (spreadsheets).

Video 7: Yes, I can!

Before getting back to more meat on how you contsruct and use trails, I did want you to see that you can import
and export data to other cell based programs or even pick data up from web pages in some cases. This might
hopefully encourage you to try T/Maker since you can start with data you already have or transfer data from
T/Maker to another program if so inclined.

Video 8: Well, Hello Data!

You have already seen the Lite Assistor for trails, this video explains its big brother.

Note that the math functions are there to tackle geometry, trigonometry,  exponentials,  logarithms, and there is a random number
generator for simulations.  Mortage payments,
present value, and growth rates are also built in with an easy to use approach.

Video 9: Big Brother

I wanted to show you one other assistor that is handy if a logical test is needed to direct calculations that should
only be done under certain conditions. It's called a WHEN clause. In the video you will see how to construct one
and another usage which can be handy for finding data entry errors or just counting instances of various values
in a column of a table.

Video 10: When WHEN

I would not say entering and editing data is much different from other cell based programs. But you will
see a nifty way to get to locations in your table or make use of abbreviations.

Video 11: A little gift for terrible typists

While the charts and graphs are not on a par with well-established spreadsheets, you can use them to get insights into your data
and a student can learn what type of chart best illustrates a certain point.

You can easily print your tables. Here is the print box for that. It tells you how many pages wide and pages long it
will be. You can reset the parameters that affect the size and recalculate. If you are just interested in keeping historical
paper records, you can save paper and ink this way. You can  also make some nice forms, not that I want to contribute
to the number of forms in the world though I would like more space to actually write the address! Here's a (scanned)
invoice printed with some lines and a typo.


T/Maker is easy to learn and hard to forget. The tools you will need for various tasks are at the top of the screen, so you won't
have to search for them in pop-up or drop down boxes. The interface is consistent across all  functions/screens.  You will find it
worth firing up for even just a few numbers and calculations.  When you don't
need a spreadsheet designed for economists or
hedge fund managers, do it the easy, obvious, and fun way with T/Maker.

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