someone mentioned this ancient and now almost forgotten item and just to inform the younger crowd of how much the world has changed I will tell this little story. back prior to the last ice age (well actually more like 1967) I graduated from high school and went off to the big state university to obtain an education. this was prior to the time when even most business operation had computers. matter of fact computers were almost unknown outside academic institutions... the one on the university I attended was used by NASA for some of the early Mercury Program. where computers did exist they required entire building specially equipped with massive cooling system to keep these beast in operation. at that time the essential mark of geekdom at academic institutions was the slide rule. these were calculator on a stick and each academic specialization had it's own version. if you were really geeky you even had you own special leather case to attach these to your belt and assure you that this invaluable item would not be displace. some slide rules were large and fairly complex. some were sufficiently complex that entire classes were devoted to the proper use of the device. life was so simple in those days... a pocket protector and a slide rule were the only essential badges to define you as geek.