Soulver - a sort of playground developed about 10 years ago

Let's face it, Playgrounds are an amazing thing and it had indeed made development easier, faster and more productive. Here's a quick recap into a software that was created about 10 years ago. The amazing thing about this is not just that it was made in 2004 but made by very young developers. The inspiration for this was to solve their math problems.

Soulver is available for both the Mac and iOS and is compatible with Yosemite. You can assign values to variables by simply using text like
  users = 5
  license = 100
  totalcost = license * users

  discount = totalcost - 5% of totalcost

and you can see the results in the sidebar, just like you see with playgrounds.

It is interesting to see how these two Zac and Nick thought of a wonderful concept a decade ago and implemented it wonderfully.

In Closing - rant

This article is written to acknowledge this amazing software concept that was developed a decade ago. The article stemmed from a few conversations that I had in the past couple of weeks with a couple of people that are involved in Research, Startups and software related fields. One of the recurring theme that emerged was that they were all looking for the WOW! That next big thing. The next big thing has been changing and last year it was the next instagram and now it is the next Über. Just like a scene from the Life of Bryan, "everybody is an individual". VC's are funding more than ever but most of the apps that get the funding are more of less similar in look, feel and functionality. It's like the Movie industry, one starts off with a movie on Zombies, all other studios want to make their own version of a Zombie movie, and the idea of a different type might not cut it.

In that sense, those that have made their mark and developed something that was revolutionary cannot go unacknowledged. While the new generation thinks milk come from cartons (not cows) and music from online or iTunes store, the role of CD's and Music cassettes and the Walkman, Boombox cannot be forgotten. All of us want the latest tablets, laptops and watches, we cannot forget those that made the 8-bit computers, the 16-bit and thereby shaped a generation of gaming. The cost of gaming was not cheap either, consoles still cost approximately £200 (ZX Spectrum) and £400 (Commodore 64) and the games were definitely not as cheap as they are today. It is just that while we can marvel at the advancements we enjoy today, it would not hurt to recognize the amazing things done when it would not have been as easy as it is today.

Either way you look at it, the underlying point is that Soulver is amazing and I would personally recommend it as one of the apps you MUST have on your device. The one thing missing in a calculator is the ability to have variables or change the formulas (though Texas Instruments has some Lua powered calculators and other calculators have multiple memory locations). Whatever it be you cannot beat the ability to simply write text like a story and have it calculate. The example (taken from the Soulver site at shows a comparison between bank interest rates.

Try the trial version for your Mac from their website at


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