Lifesaver tools: Rule converter

Hi again! It’s been a long time. I know… and there’s lot of things to share and get to speed. But that can wait for now. Today I would like to talk about a tool which I classify as a lifesaver: something which really takes a lot of meaningless worries and headaches from your daily work. I plan to write about some of these tools; it’s just too selfish to sit on this knowledge which could be really useful to a lot of folks.

Recently, some super-expensive obligational law textbook went on sale. The fact that it was available in Paraguay was no small miracle; and then, that it was heavily discounted (even more than affordable: it was a steal, to be honest!) added to the wonder. I made an effort and purchased it, and suddenly I got a precious, usually very expensive book, which would be destined to serious use. A book cover should be used on it.

Well, easier said than done. The book’s hardcover height is 22.5 cm. Armed with that knowledge, scouted Amazon and promptly found some suitable covers. But the sizes listed were in fractional inches, as in 9 3/8″. I can surmise that an inch equals 2.54 cm, but what about the various decimal centimer sizes? How can I turn 0.8582677 inches into a fractional value?

I know it can be done, and I could do it with some thinking. But that would be too cumbersome. Amazon sellers can now reach global audiences but they can’t be bothered to supply measurements in SI units. Too bad, but I really needed the cover. So I was about to calculate the fractional equivalent of 0.8582677 inches, but I decided to google things a little bit, and found a gem.

This tool, with the straightforward title of “MM or CM to Fractions of Inches” (see screenshot above) does the job admirably. There’s a box where one can input a measure and the site would convert it for you; or you can measure values in an online ruler (resizable to your screen’s DPI value) or even look up values in a table. A really great tool for dealing with difficult measurement problems. Now, something like 8 7/16″ won’t be so arcane. By using the site, I learned that 22.5 cm equals 8 7/8″ and I was able to see which cover size would be adequate for my book. Recommended!

1 Comment

  1. Well, I never needed anything that extravagant. I always used the “units” CLI utility in Linux to supply metric units in my blog posts, for example. Still, the tool you found is pretty cool for visualizing the scale of things.

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