Kensington Adding Machine Software

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Davos, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Davos macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2006

    I have been using a caculator software product called Kensington Adding Machine (v.1.01) on my Macintosh computers for the last 12 years.

    While the software is compatible with Mac OS 10 via Mac Classic the new Intel based Macs won't support Mac Classic. Hence I will be unable to use Kensington Adding Machine software when I next upgrade.

    The version I'm using is dated 1993 Kensington Microware Limited. No one at Kennsington today even remembers the product.

    I have tried many times over the years to find an alternative software product that does what Kensington Adding Machine does. It adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, has a floating decimal point, it has a paper tape, it saves and prints and it has a small footprint on my desktop and sits in a 2.5" x 3" corner of my 17" Powerbook desktop. It even sounds like an adding machine or calculator when one enters numbers--- reassuring the user that his/her numbers actually got entered.

    Nothing I've found on the internet (including Version Tracker) or in catalogs duplicates the simplicity, inconspicuousness and overall effectiveness of Kensington Adding Machine. As a financial person who works off of three laptop computers, I've found nothing on either platform that does what the Kensington Adding Machine does.

    Is anyone familiar with this product? Is anyone beside me still using it? Is there any product out there comparable to Kensington Adding Machine software (preferably on the Mac platform)? Is there any comparable product for Intel based Macs?

    Someone really ought to resurrect this product and make it compatible for Mac OS 10 and Intel based Macs.

    Look forward to hearing from anyone who can help me out here.

  2. Stubidoo macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2006
    Kensington Adding machine (cont)

    Sorry it took so long to find your post about Adding Machine, one of the best business tools I've ever had.

    Along with a few friends, I too have been hooked on the adding machine app since 1993. I have called Kensington and could not find anyone who knew what I was talking about.

    This app is better than any calculator for people doing simple calculations with the simple adding machine procedures.

    I save calculations and name them, and can open that file and continue where I left off, perfect for following checking accounts, or doing end of the year calcs for taxes, etc.

    Like you I have serched for an adding machine via Version Tracker in OSX for years. Nothing.

    Perhaps there might be a way to reach out to the top dogs at Kensington to suggest that they research their archives. All it might take is someone interested enough to be helpful to find the original and pass on the code for an OSX rewrite.

    I keep an old machine just for this app along with an old Visioneer Paperport. I hope it doesn't die on me.
  3. Davos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2006
    Kensington Adding Machine Software

    I'm glad to hear there are others who are concerned about no OS10 version of Kensington Adding Machine Software. Stubidoo--- your idea is a good one. Let's try and reach someone in Kensington's Executive office who will authorized research in their archive department to unearth the code for the software. Perhaps someone will see its value and upgrade the code for OS 10 on Intel based Macs.

    At the moment all I have is an 800 number for Kensington: 800-235-6708. Also, my only contact was a I'll try and reach her after 1/1/07 for contact information for higher management level people at Kensington.

    Please get your friends to do the same. If we make enough effort we may get their attention. Please keep me posted. My e-mail is I'll do the same if you give me your e-mail address.
    Thanks, Davos
  4. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    You can run OS 9 on intel macs using emulation. Check out a program called Sheep Shaver. Here's an article explaining how to set it up:

    It obviously isn't an ideal solution, but it's certainly easier then keeping a second machine around just to run one program.
  5. Stubidoo macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2006
    Thanks for the tip about Sheep Saver.
    The main reason I keep the old machine is for Visioneer Paperport 3.6, I use the scanner and like the way that software works much better than newer PC versions of paperport. I also like an old contact manager program called Dynodex.
    I had problems using Classic on my PPC, the back and forth from one OS to the other caused the machine to need more utility maintenance, and strange things started to happen. I'm very reluctant to try another software solution, but I'll take a look.
  6. ropenstein macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2008
    I too have been looking for a good adding machine application. I did find one pretty realistic one called SuperbCalc on, but from the original posting, I doubt it has all of the functionality of the Kensington software.

    One note regarding this type of tape calculator or adding machine... It seems there is a trend away from this sort of calculator. The more recent MacBook Pro keyboards have even removed the "num lock" functionality, which allows 10-key entry using the JKLUIO789M=1234567890 keys. I believe the last MBPs to offer numlock were the 2.16/2.33 GHz models.
  7. Davos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2006
    Adding Machine Software

    I just tried SuperbCalc on my MacBook using OS 10.4.11 and a USB keypad. it works, but it has minimal user choices and it takes up too much space on my desktop.

    You might take a look at Econ Calculator Deluxe (go to The version I bought cost $15 for the download. It's better than SuperbCalc, but neither of these products measure up to Kensington Adding Machine Software. I tried to get Mike Brackenridge of Econ Calculator to try and duplicate the Kensington product, but he didn't follow through.

    I'm still using my PowerBook G4 as one of my three laptop computers on my desk, solely so I can use Kensington Adding Machine thru Mac Classic on a non-Intel based Mac Computer.

    As far as the built-in numeric keys superimposed on the designated alpha keys, i never bother with them. i use an an extended external keyboard with the PowerBook G4, i use the USB keypad with the MacBook and my HP Pavillion laptop with Vista has a numeric keypad built-in.

    I'm still looking for someone who will duplicate the Kensington Adding Machine Software so it will run on the Intel-based Mac OS 10 platform duplicating it's simplicity, versatility, and inconspicuous elegance.

    if anyone can help with this problem, please let me know. if you have access to Mac Classic I'll send you the Kensington Adding Machine Software.
  8. superbcalc macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Being the author of SuperbCalc I would like to note that you can reduce the calculator and/or tape size by reducing the font size in the configuration dialog.

    I'm particularly interested in what functionality is missing in SuperbCalc, so I can improve it a little.

  9. Davos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2006
    Response to the author of SuperbCalc

    If you are really interested in "what functionality is missing" in SuperbCalc I'd like to invite you to try out the product I've been using for more than 15 years: Kensington Adding Machine Software.

    I can sent it to you as an e-mail attachment, but there is one catch. It does not work on Intel-based Macs. Here's the requirement: you have to drag the attachment to your desktop(which I would send in an e-mail) and open it in Mac Classic, using Mac OS 10 on a non-intel based Mac. Also, it will work with older Mac operating systems. Also, I recommend using it with the ten key on an extended keyboard or on a separate numeric keypad (USB) for fast and smooth input.

    I have tried many times over the years to find an alternative software product that does what Kensington Adding Machine does. It adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, has a floating decimal point, it has a “paper tape,” it saves and prints and it sits inconspicuously in a 2.5" x 3" corner of my 17" PowerBook G4 (although I can stretch out its window footprint to a larger size, when needed). It even sounds like an adding machine or calculator when one enters numbers--- reassuring the user that his/her numbers actually got entered.

    Nothing I've found on the Internet, including Version Tracker, or in catalogs duplicates the simplicity, inconspicuousness and overall effectiveness of Kensington Adding Machine.

    As for SuperbCalc, it has some nice features, but it just takes up too much room on my 15" MacBook or on my 17" PowerBook. SuperbCalc takes up a 6"x2" footprint plus the paper tape. I reduced the font size, but that's as small as I could make its footprint. Am I missing something?

    Please let me know how I can send you the Kensington product, which hasn't been available for more than a dozen years. Kensington has gone in a different direction and has no interest in the product. I work off of three laptops on my desk: a 6 yr old PowerBook, a 2 yr old MacBook and a 1 yr old HP Pavilion using Vista. My 6 yr old PowerBook is still my #1 used computer because I can't give up the capability of the Kensington Adding Machine Software.

    Hopefully you will see a profit opportunity here and take advantage of my offer to e-mail you the software so you can test it out and see the advantages for yourself.

  10. superbcalc macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    I'm sorry, but I'm not able to test the original software since I don't have a Mac to test it with. Maybe if you post some screenshot on a page I can see them.

    As for the size: have you tried to change the Look&Feel? Maybe you can stretch it further. In a future version I can implement a "mini mode" that hides the on-screen keyboard, to resize it to the minimum possible (that can even be only the tape).
    The tape is extensible by design: I hate having to enlarge it to see the whole numbers when I have plenty of screen available above it. I can add a "freeze tape size" feature if you think it's useful.

    I don't know Mac keyboards, so I don't know if it can be used easily with external numeric keypad.

    Are there other features you need?

  11. superbcalc macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    I am pleased to announce that a new version of SuperbCalc has been released, incorporating most of your suggestions.

    You can find it at the SuperbCalc home page:

    I appreciated your suggestions and I plan to introduce more of them in future versions of the product.

    Let me know if you have other questions or suggestions.

  12. AppleSince82 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2010
    Better than Kensington ?

    I am SO pleased to find this thread ! Similarly, I have used an app from 1993 named 10Key Tape, and have been astonished that nothing comparable existed for Intel OS X. (Thank you Roberto; I look forward to trying SuperbCalc !) 10Key Tape (on my still-used 1993 PowerBook 165) simply opens a window for the tape; there's NO on-screen GUI for the keys, and all options are selected in the menus. It was supplied by Sophisticated Circuits in Bothell, Washington as accompanying software to their ADB-connected 10-key keypad called PowerPad, because PowerBooks didn't (and don't) have the "ten keys" (NumLock and its difficulties aside). The app was written by Tom Hussey and Amar Singh; you inspired me to contact Tom about an update.
    The tape is editable and PRINTABLE (and savable), and the Number Format menu allows Fixed Decimals from 0 (Integer) to 3, Floating Decimal, and Currency. I frequently switch from "Currency" for accounting work to "Floating" for other math applications.
    Not that this provides a direct answer, but Roberto gets a few more user insights, and Tom Hussey may be moved to manifest a resurrection ! ;)
  13. infinitybbc macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2011
    10keyTape was the BEST adding machine application i have EVER used, and it was back in the OS 9 days! i am personally bewildered by the fact that Apple has YET to add editing to it's "tape" feature on their Calculator, as well as using what i thought was true RPN (Reverse Polish Notation).

    perhaps it's called something different, but on 10keyTape and ANY old adding machine, one enters the number THEN enters the function (like add or subtract).

    i just found an iPhone app called "Adding Tape II" ( ) but the "edit" feature seems to only allow you to delete a number, not edit the number and give an immediate TOTAL update.

    what is wrong with these calculator developers... doesn't anyone know how an adding machine is supposed to work???

    very frustrated for sure! :confused:

Share This Page