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/On 26/07/2015 14:50, Erik Jan wrote://
/To tell you the truth: I still use my slide rule, very easy and useful for calculations that need only to be about 95% accurate with the correct order of magnitude. I even once corrected errors in an Excel spreadsheet with the help of my log tables in 7 decimals from the year 1867. The author promised a "Louis d'Or" for each error in the tables! /

In my life at work, (from 60s to early 70s), in Laboratories I used Slide Rules all the time!! I had the 'Standard' type as well as a Circular one but eventually got a Tubular Slide Rule. It was aprox 3 to 4 cm in Diameter and closed up was about 10cm Tall (long), but because of its spiral design was the equivalent to a Standard 55" Slide Rule so very much more accurate.

In fact I still have two of these - the Standard one and the Tubular one!! (The Circular one has gone missing over the years.)

In one job I had in Bulawayo, (Rhodesia), in the late 60s I had to go down to the factory floor in the late afternoon to look after the production so used to keep all my calculation work for this period. The Production Manager's Desk was elevated over the Production Floor and the African Workers thought that it was a kind of "Calculating Microphone" I was using that I spoke the calculations into and it gave me the answers!! The floor was very noisy so that could only see me working the Slide Rule and then writing down the answers!!!

Only later on did we get the first 'Facit", hand operated "Calculating Machine' - you had to work out the position of the decimal point yourself, it just gave you a string of numbers!! Later we got electric ones!!! I believe the mechanics of the original Facit Calculators was developed somewhere in Scandinavia and working it all out drove the Inventor crazy. Having opened one up at one time I can understand why!!

Great times!!! I also remember later desperately trying to buy a "Four Function" Hand Calculator in Sanction Plagued Rhodesia for a ridicules price!! But later got a friend in America to get the first of several 'Texas Instruments' Calculators, (could never get the hang of Reverse Polish Notation as used by HP!!), and sending it to me!!!

Hard now to believe all these steps in development isn't it!!!! And let's not forget about Visi Calc!!!!!!

Pretoria RSA

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