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Compute Distance Between To Cities with WorldTime and Solver
Compute Distance Between To Cities with WorldTime and Solve

Finding the distance between two places on the globe is called a "great circle computation." Such computations are easy to do with the HP Palmtop. HP Calc's Solver function will do all the math and you can use a couple of System Macros to fetch the data for the Solver equation from WorldTime. Here's how to set this up on your Palmtop.

1. Start by defining a macro. Press CTRL+MORE and pick an empty macro field and press Enter. In the Description field, type in the word CITY#1 and press Enter. In the Contents field type the following macro. (To enter any key other than a letter or number key press the F6 key before pressing the key.)

{Enter}{Alt+D}{Copy}{Calc}{Paste}{F3}{WorldTime}{Tab}{Copy}{F 9}n{Calc}{Paste} {F5}{WorldTime}

Be sure to type the above macro as a continuous string of characters and let the macro editor perform any wrap around. In other words, don't press the Enter key to end a line.

2. Create a second macro and name it City#2. Type the following code into the contents field.

{Enter}{Alt+D}{Copy}{Calc}{Paste}{F4}{WorldTime}{Tab}{Copy}{F 9}n{Calc}{Paste}{F6}{F2}

3. Open HP Calc by pressing the blue key and start the Solver function by pressing CTRL+S. Pick an empty line in the Solver Catalog screen and press the F6 key to start the Solver Editor. Type the following equation.

Distance=69.0466*ACOS(SIN(LT1)*SIN(LT2)+COS(LT1)*COS(LT2)*COS (LG1-LG2))

This equation will calculate distances in miles. If you want kilometers, then change the 69.0466 to 111.1197.

4. Now that the equations are entered, start HP Calc, go to the Solver, and pull up the calc mode with the above equation. Make sure the calc is set to degrees mode

(Menu-Options-Calculator Modes...).

5. Go to the WorldTime application by pressing CTRL-Calc, find the start city (city 1). If you're using speed locate to find the city be sure to press Enter when you've found the city. Then hit Fn+F7. The macro will grab the latitude and longitude and enter it into the calc equation variables and bring you back to WorldTime. Find the destination city (city 2) and press Fn+F8. The macro will store these coordinates and calculate the distance between the two. For example, when the start city is Des Moines, IA, USA and the destination city is Chicago, IL, the distance is 311.0282 miles.

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