Scientific American's Slide Rule

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astro_rob's picture
Last seen: 7 years 7 months ago
Joined: Mar 19 2005 - 12:28
Posts: 320
Scientific American's Slide Rule

All, the memories this invoked.
Remember those days of youth, those of us in our forties? Remember algebra and calculus prior to the pocket calculator? Remember slide rules?
Scientific American has a great article by Cliff Stoll (he of "Silicon Snake Oil" and "The Cuckoo's Egg" fame) about them, and you can download a PDF version of the cut-n-fold paper version here.
Trust, nothing but nothing says geek like a slide rule. Now, you too can recreate those wonderful days of yore, and even reenact that great scene from "Apollo 13" where mission control had to calculate another delta V for the crippled spacecraft (though slide rules really wouldn't have been used for that...). Stick it in your white shirt pocket replete with protector.
Okay, it'll look a little too geeky. Still, for those of us who had to suffer these things, thought this would be nice.


Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 16 2005 - 12:05
Posts: 244

Who needs a dinky paper one when you have a real one?


That lives in my desk, its been ages since I used it.

*edit* I forgot, it has a nice leather case too


doug-doug the mighty's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 14 2004 - 17:52
Posts: 1387

not only do I have one that I use once every other blue moon, but it has the leather case

PLUS (courtesy of a professor in college) I have a full copy of a manual on the usage of said rule in the event that I forget the correct way to determine pi or correctly formulate my ln's.

Last seen: 9 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 70
Slide rule...

Still got 'em. Vintage 1970's when I was required to use one for high school physics despite the availability of the scientific calculator. Currently sitting on my desk where my eight year-old nephew tried to figure out what it was a few weeks ago. Together we learned (re-learned!) how to do multiplication and division.

And, tucked away in a box somewhere is a Texas Instruments TI-30 calculator (ca. 1977!) which replace my slide rule for college. I removed the battery while packing for a move long ago, and I really haven't seen the thing in nearly 20 years, but I know it's there.

tony b.

Last seen: 9 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 70
I told my nephew...

...the slide rule was for doing "math un-plugged."

tony b.

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