Slide Rule

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Ed Storer, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. JamieHenry

    JamieHenry Strat-O-Master

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    Yup, and still have two. A straight and a round one. I remember being jealous of the rich kids with calculators. Now you can get one free with a pizza.
     
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  2. JamieHenry

    JamieHenry Strat-O-Master

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    I worked medical lab device R&D for decades. That’s a fairly small pond. I wonder if we ever crossed paths.
     
  3. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Senior Stratmaster

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    We were so poor I used my fingers, if the numbers got to high just took off shoes and used toes..
     
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  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Just young enough that I missed slide rules at college, sorting punch cards for the computer classes, and working in a sea of drafting tables. Had fairly inexpensive calculators available, direct terminal entry for main frame computers running Fortran, and complete CAD systems at my first corporate job.

    Somewhere I have a round, 4-decimal slide rule equivalent to a 12ft slide rule.

    Occasionally I check ebay for a regular linear slide rule just to have around, entertain/annoy the kids, and put in the zombie apocalypse kit.

    .
     
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  5. TepidPilot

    TepidPilot Strat-O-Master

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    I'm sorry; I think you meant to say "slipstick."

    TP
     
  6. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Strat-Talker

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    My dad used to use one all the time.

    I'm probably around the first generation of kids who had pocket calculators at school.

    When I was in my final year of UK highschool (16 in the UK - shorter summer holidays there), around 1981 or 82, a desperate slide rule salesman showed up at the school and offered to give every kid in the top two years a slide rule for free. The head of the maths department sent him away "no thanks, they're all using calculators now".
     
  7. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    My Dad had one and knew how to use it, and showed me how once. But by the time I was in Jr. High and High School, calculators existed and the slide rule was becoming a relic. When I was a kid I used to play around with an abacus, though. I found those a lot more understandable and intuitive than a slide rule. I guess that's when I got interested in Eastern thought... But then, like I said, calculators and then PCs and that stuff was OVER...

    -Ray
     
  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    I see you list your location as MN, are you with Medtronic?
     
  9. JamieHenry

    JamieHenry Strat-O-Master

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    Thank god no! They make mostly simple, tiny, boring products. Cell culture incubators was my specialty. Does that ring a bell? What did you work on? I’m retired now though. Hope you got some sleep. I’ve found as I get older I don’t need as much sleep, and suffer some wakefulness when I try to get too much. If I stay up until midnight, I sleep fine until about five or so, that’s not too early to get up. But if I go to bed at ten, I’m up at three, and that’s no good.
     
  10. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    I'm familiar with the concept but haven't worked on anything like that. I worked on endoscopic tools for minimally-invasive surgery, also pretty boring stuff.
     
  11. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Strat-O-Master

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    Your dad's slide rule looks to be the same model as mine - K&E "Log Log Duplex Decitrig". It's a good one. The case looks pretty beat up. Was your dad a surveyor?
     
  12. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    Mechanical engineer.
     
  13. Rodger

    Rodger New Member!

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    I'll be 67 later this year. Used one all through junior high and high school.

    Years ago, my 3 daughters and I were cleaning the basement. My oldest, who was probably about 12, found my old school slide rule. Her sisters gathered around her as they tried to figure out what it was. Finally, they gave up and asked, "How do you measure stuff with this ruler dad?" I said, "It's not a ruler. It's a calculator."

    "You're funny dad! But really... how do you measure stuff with this?"

    They also didn't believe I watched TV on a black and white TV set.
     
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  14. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Strat-O-Master

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    While cruising Ebay for slide rules, I came across several listings for "slide rulers". I think they were part of an estate sale - nobody that ever really used one would call it a ruler.

    Ask your 12-year old to solve a question about stairs. You have a 11'-2" floor-to floor rise; each riser has to be within 7 to 7-1/2 inches, and they have to be even. How many risers and what height for each?

    The first part of the answer has to be an integer. The second is inches with a fraction (or decimal).

    Do it on your slide rule while she tries to do it on a calculator, computer, or Alexis.

    Put your slide rule down and wait for her answer.

    She won't call it a ruler again, and she might get interested in using one.
     
  15. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    When I went to a "Performance Qualified Flight Engineer" course back in the seventies. mastery of a slide was mandatory for passing. Passing grade in use of slide rule (and of all parts of the course) was 85% below that was wash out time. Of course you could wash out from that school, survival school, water survival, simulator and flight training too. I guess about 6 out of 10 probably passed all the way to fully qualified Flight Engineer.


    By the time I retired in 91, calculators and handheld computers had replaced the slide rule as the AF could not find a source.

    They did have the advantage of never needing batteries.
     
  16. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two Platinum Supporting Member

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    I have one around here someplace. It is behind of piece of glass on which is written, 'IN CASE OF BSOD, BREAK GLASS'.
     
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  17. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Senior Stratmaster

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    Excellent mathematics !

    I tried to explain precision vs accuracy to a doctor once. ... the blank stare was deafening.
     
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  18. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ll buy a coke if anyone can solve

    ∫x^2 dx
     
  19. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    My first on site engineering job was not long after calculators became ubiquitous. I always found it hilarious when one of the engineers would show a dimension on a plate that would be laid out with a machinist’s rule but they would carry the dimension to the 1/10,000 or 1/100,000 of an inch. The closest we could expect was maybe 1/64, and 1/32 or 1/16 was much more expected. But it was funny to see things like 3.333333” +/- 0.25”. I would ask the ones that worked for me how many angstroms off the measurement could be....

    To be fair, when the first CAD only designers appeared, one could instantly tell the difference between them, and folks that had designed with a pencil and paper. The computers allowed things that you could not do with paper and pencil, and mad some drawings unreadable. But we all got past it. Folks learned how to develop readable and buildable dimensions and put in the proper number of significant digits.
     
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  20. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    You mean from 0 to infinity? It is infinity because ∫x^2 dx= ((infinity)^3)/3 - ((0)^3)/3=(infinity)-0 or infinity.
     
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