Mendeleev: A Molecular Weight Calculator For Palm Devices
© 2000 by Robert Zehner
Last Updated: January 29, 2000
Mendeleev is a molecular weight calculator for Palm devices. I wrote this program
because (1) I'm a chemist, so I thought it would be a useful thing to have. (2) I wanted to
learn how to program for the Palm, and this seemed like an easy enough example. Thus, this is a pretty
straightforward application, without a lot of bells and whistles. I have ideas for more functions that I'd like to add in the future, when I have
time. Until then, if you have comments, questions, bug reports or suggestions, please e-mail me
and I'll try and get back to you as soon as possible.
Mendeleev is freeware -- no strings attached. Well, maybe one. If you like it, and you want to show your
appreciation, send me a cool postcard with your name and e-mail address. I'll add you to the list of
registered users, and I'll be sure to notify you when updates are available. Feel free to give this program
away to anyone who might want a copy. If you redistribute this program, please include a copy of this
manual, or a link to http://www.pobox.com/~zehner/palm/mendeleev.html.
If you would like to include Mendeleev in any commercial package, let me know first.
Send postcards to:
E Ink Corporation
733 Concord Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Mendeleev requires a handheld device running Palm OS 2.0 or greater, and occupies 7K of memory. If you have
a Palm OS 1.0 device, and would like to use this program, please contact me. Currently, I have only tested
this program under Palm OS 3.0 and 3.3, so if you find any bugs on other platforms, let me know.
The only file you need to place on your Palm is mendeleev.prc. Depending on which version of the HotSync
Manager you are using, you can accomplish this by either running the Palm Install Tool from the Start Menu, or
you can start the install tool automatically by double-clicking on the .prc file. Then HotSync to install the
Start Mendeleev from the Applications menu. You will see two lines. On the Formula: line, enter a chemical
formula. A valid formula consists of a list of elemental symbols, each optionally followed by a coefficient. Capitalization matters !!!
In addition, groups of symbols can be contained within parentheses, in which case the following coefficient
applies to everything within the parentheses. Don't include any spaces or other characters. Some examples:
Next, press the 'Calculate' button. The molecular weight will be printed on the M.W. line. If you made a
mistake in the formula, an error box will appear, and the weight will not be displayed. Fix the mistake
and try again.
- You may ask, "Why do I have to use both capital and lower-case letters in writing my formulas?" To answer that,
consider the formula 'hos'. Does this mean HOs, or is it HoS, or maybe HOS? Without capitalization, it's
hard to tell.
- The molecular weight is always returned to four decimal places. However, the number of significant
figures in the answer may be greater or less, depending on the standard error in the masses of the elements.
The result is truncated, not rounded.
- The atomic symbols and masses used in this program were obtained from the WebElements online periodic table,
http://www.webelements.com, which derives from the 1995 IUPAC
standard. In addition, I have included a few "macros" which I have found useful:
- 'Tms' = trimethylsilyl = (CH3)3Si
- 'Tips' = triisopropylsilyl = ((CH3)2CH)3Si
- 'Ace' = acetate = COCH3
- 'Ph' = phenyl = C6H4
- Use global variables to save the state of the formula and molecular weight when program exits
- Allow user to specify mathematical precision of answers
- Implement significant figures to automatically adjust precision of the result
- Allow user-defined macros in formulas
- Calculate weight percentages for C,H,N elemental analysis
This software is harmful or fatal if swallowed. Concentration and inhalation of vapors may cause coma, death
or a nasty rash. While every attempt has been made to make this a quality, bug-free piece of software, the
author provides no guarantee of the correct operation of this software or the correctness of its results, nor
will he be liable for any damages resulting from the use of this program, including but not limited to the
loss of data. Hey, you get what you pay for, right?
Mendeleev is an independent product of the author. It is in no way supported, endorsed or owned by E Ink Corporation,
even though I happen to work for them.