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Thread: Do you know how to use one??

  1. #1

    Do you know how to use one??

    My daughter came into my office and asked to use a ruler. Sure top drawer of the Credenza. She opens it and picks up a slide rule, looks at it briefly and says what does this measure. Well it doesn't measure anything, it is a calculator. No really what does it do? It is a calculator. I answer. So she says: Here show me how to do 22 x 9. So I show her. Then come all the questions about how it works, and what else it can do. And of course it has been forever since I really used one. She lost interest, or so I thought, and then a couple hours later, I over hear her on the phone, telling a friend about the slide ruler and it multiplies and divides without batteries. .......

  2. #2
    To be honest, I have a couple slide rulers and I never learned to use them. The cheap calculators came out just in time!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
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    26,759
    I was using slide rules until the first HP scientific calculators that used reverse polar notation came out. Due to an advertising mistake I got one for really reduced price.
    Ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    7,306
    Yes, I have several and still use one on occasion. There was a thread recently about slide rules.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    5,994
    I have both, but I don't know where the slide rule is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    242
    I know how to use one.

    Several years ago I was visiting a local private school with my son and his mother to see if we wanted him to go there, probably around 7th grade. The Math teacher had a slide rule on his desk for some reason. I showed him how to use it. Son went elsewhere.
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 01-16-2019 at 10:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    5,826
    Slide rule...isn't that the one where the runner isn't allowed to do a rolling block into second base to break up a double play?

    (I'm old enough to remember when most math classrooms had a huge Pickett slide rule mounted on the wall behind the teacher's desk. Apparently they gave them out free to schools that bought large quantities of the normal-sized ones.)
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    998
    I've been picking up nice ones at estate sales. I only remember how to multiply and divide. Yeah we had one of those giant ones in the chemistry lab in high school.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    5,994
    If I were still working, I would have one. I had a 10" and a 6".
    I would go inside refineries and chemical companies to do field work.
    Maybe I will buy another one just because . . . . .....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Spokane Valley, WA
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    173
    I bumbled through all four years of engineering school using a slide rule. Yep, I’m THAT old! I sincerely believe that, had I had a “modern” scientific calculator, my GPA would have been a full point higher...
    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" - anon

  11. #11
    Never forget that the first moon missions calculations were done on a slide rule. Still have mine.

  12. #12
    In my Junior Year in High School I used one for Chemistry, in my Senior year Physics we had calculators and never picked up a slide rule again.......1975, 1976

  13. #13
    I still have my slide rule. We were issued one at the naval Academy and I used it all 4 years. I switched to a calculator in 1972 but still did sines and cosine, etc on the slide rule it was more convenient than a book of tables. My grandkids didn't believe me when I said you could multiply and divide with it. I used to have a circular one but I don't know what happened to it.

  14. #14
    The HP scientific calculator came out while I was a JR or SR in high school, but no way I could afford one. I made it through a year or two of engineering school using my dad's slide rule. Then TI introduced a more reasonably priced scientific calculator (SR50?) and I made the leap. As I recall, there was quite a bit of controversy at the time about allowing students to use calculators on exams and such. It was seen as a fairness issue because of the cost. But once the TI model came out the concern pretty much evaporated.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Livonia, Michigan
    Posts
    648
    In my desk drawer at work I kept a few things to terrorize the apprentices with, beam power pentodes, force motors from obsolete equipment and other really obtuse things. Of course I had a slide rule in there and insisted that before they would succeed they would have to an expert with one. Well, physical abuse was out so the hazing became mental!

    Still have my first calculator a Casio Fx-10. Still works and the blue fluorescent display is easy to read.

    http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/casio_fx-10.html

    -Tom

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