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Author Topic: Slide rule old
Aditu
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Icon 1 posted July 25, 2011 13:12      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My daughter and I watched Apollo 13. At one point everyone at mission control is whipping out their slide rules to check some figures. My daughter asked "What are they doing?" So I told her and she asked if I could do that. I told her I wasn't sure I still could but that I had. She looked at me like I was from Mars.

So show of hands, could you still use one if you ever have?

Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 25, 2011 14:55      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I still have one somewhere, but I have no idea where, haven't used one in anger in 30 years.

I've even used one of these...

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No, it's not a joke, it's a "high precision" slide rule, the bigger the rule, the more digits of accuracy you can get.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted July 26, 2011 03:22      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A slide what... ?

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted July 26, 2011 05:25      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Isn't the "slide rule" where if there's a play at home plate the runner has to slide?

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Ugh!

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted July 26, 2011 16:15      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used a slide rule in chemistry and physics in high school. That was the years calculators first came out. They were flakey enough so we always brought a slide rule as backup.

IMO, they taught an important lesson - that you can't make up precision. If you measure two things and have 1.3 and 1.6, and you multiply them, the correct answer is 2.1 not 2.08, You only had 2 digits of precision in the measurement - you can't have 3 for the answer. High school teachers seem to get this basic fact wrong now.

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted July 27, 2011 01:57      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Calculators were just coming on the scene when I was in high school and were unbelievably expensive. (Also they were all Polish reverse entry.) So I did slide rules a bit. I don't know if I could use it now though.
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MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted July 27, 2011 05:23      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had a science teacher in high school who had an old HP calculator that used reverse polish notation. If you forgot to bring your calculator to a test, he'd let you use his, but he wouldn't tell you how to use it.

He also had a giant slide rule mounted on the wall... and a Tesla coil-based cauterizer... and a photograph of every automobile he'd ever owned, all of them Fords... and he used to shoot milk jugs across the room... and... he was a weird guy.

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get rich and you still die"


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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted July 27, 2011 09:08      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do know how to use a slide rule, though I was never taught in school. ( I asked my parents) I have a round one and the traditinoal. I also prefer reverse polish notation, use an hP calculator daily in the lab , but can use any type of caculator.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 27, 2011 11:36      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So...I found the Wikipedia page too much to quickly absorb.

However, I must admit this appear to have some utility to it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgCozVUsrF4

I'm still not sure that I really buy into it, but it strikes me as moderately handy. [Smile]

Edit/PS: This page helped me figure it out a lot better, especially since I was able to borrow someone's slide rule. (That site links to a virtual slide rule...) I can kinda sorta make sense of it for small numbers, but otherwise, I'm all thumbs.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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