This annoyed us for ages – we felt quite stupid for not working it out – but to be fair, the solution isn’t exactly blindingly obvious.

Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to use the tradition symbols for multiplication and division on the built in calculator on the Windows 7 OS.

So how do you do it? First fire up the app (click the Start button, type ‘calculator’ in the search box, and in the list of results, click calculator), and in the default view, you’ll find the multiplication sign being represented by what looks like an asterisk “*”, and division being the forward slash “/”.

Quite why they couldn’t just use the symbols that everyone is familiar with is anyone’s guess, but at least we can finally use the thing. Huzzah!

**More power**

The calculator in Windows 7 is actually quite a sophisticated beast: go to this page and you can find out how it can be used in Scientific, Programmer and Statistics modes, how you can convert values from one unit of measurement to another, calculate dates and calculate fuel economy, lease, or mortgage payments.