1. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I have my Dad's old slide rule... with leather case. I was just a year or two behind the transition, and never got the training. I regret that tremendously. I fully believe that some day, something will happen that will render our computers useless. Maybe war, maybe a massive solar flare, doesn't really matter. Point is, then the geeks that know how to use a slide rule will be the ones everyone turns to.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Nuts! :( My slide rule got lost over the years.

    But, after mastering that new dang-fangled thing the "calculator", I jumped right into "today" with a computer. It was probably mid to late 70's. I popped $3600 for a computer with a C/PM operating system, a daisy wheel printer, and a separate disc drive with two (count them...TWO!) 8 1/2" floppy drives, each holding 64K of memory. :yahoo:

    My, haven't we had a journey...

    Walt
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I can remember when Dad brought the first calculator into our house, it was a TI-64 (I think that is right) ran on a big 9 volt battery and only did basic math functions. Seems like he said it cost $90 at the time.

    Yep have the leather case for the old slide rule also.
     
  5. XLB

    XLB New Member

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    i got to see my great grandpa's slide rule one of the trips to Mo this year, with the leather case.
    he was an electrician in St Louis a long time ago and all my family says he used it alot. my dad has a good idea how to use one, but it looked completely foreign to me.
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    XLB, he wasn't an electrician..... he was an electrical estimator/planner/designer. I remember sitting under the kitchen table when I was really little playing with Grandpa's slide rule very carefully and quietly hoping to not get caught. I did get caught and spent the larger part of a different summer being taught along with my boy cousins how to use the thing.

    Sometimes I miss the simpler times we used to live in.
     
  7. Barry Tolson

    Barry Tolson New Member

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    Very interesting post! Just recently I sat for my amateur radio Technicians license. With the possibility of having to figure some logarithms, I decided to brush up on(actually re-learn!) my slide rule operation from 30+ years ago. I think logs are about the simplest things to do with a slide rule. I was surprised at the attention that my slide rule aroused...and it was my understanding that I was the first to bring one in all the years the test administrator had been giving tests. Calculators are allowed...but where would the fun be in that? I explained to them that the slide rule would never fail me due to dead batteries. I, too, sometimes miss those simpler times.
     
  8. Darkstorm

    Darkstorm New Member

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  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nice link Darkstorm.

    it appears (didn't check the link myself) there are ways to re-educate yourself in the use of slide rules.
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Yes! The links look quite informative. I'm going to dig out Dad's old slide rule and learn something new! Er, I mean "old"!
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Oh Hobies going exponential????
     
  12. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    No, just off on a tangent... :lol: !!