Strange Brew by John Deering for March 28, 2020


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    Concretionist  10 months ago

    I think I still have a pretty good bamboo one. Maybe. In the top left dresser drawer??

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    Kind&Kinder  10 months ago

    Just when I finally learned how to use one, HP handed me a calculator. My heirs can marvel at the ingenuity of that antique…if they can figure it out!

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    SHIVA  10 months ago

    I have one stored away somewhere too.

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    Farside99  10 months ago

    Finally got rid of mine. Never did get good at that log-log scale.

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    Zykoic  10 months ago

    In college I paid a hefty $27.50 for Pickett. Justified that by thinking I will use it throughout my engineering career. First year after graduation the company bought me an HP-35. Still have the Pickett in case there is another Carrington Event.

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    Pickled Pete  10 months ago

    Only boomers know .

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    derdave969  10 months ago

    Go to: and see what those rules go for today!

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    dflak  10 months ago

    Napier’s bones. The slide rule works on the principle of adding and subtracting logarithms: something I learned how to do in the 6th or 7th grade. They had big tables where you had to look up the results and do a thing called “interpolation” to come up with the answer.

    The only trick with the tables and slide rule is that you have to remember to “carry” or “borrow” the exponent. In other words what power of 10 are you working with? The answer could be 2.5 or 2,500,000. Depending on how good your eyesight was (and the size of the slide rule) the answer could be 2.499.

    Yes, I still have two slide rules: the “big one” that I used for serious work and a small plastic one (about 6 inches long) that sat in my shirt pocket next to the pocket protector. You never could tell when you’d have to do an on-the-spot calculation.

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    Homer J  10 months ago

    Actually I just recently tossed mine out

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    drycurt  10 months ago

    When I was in high school, there were inter-school slide rule competitions. I didn’t join because they wouldn’t let me use my round one – the slide is never on the wrong side, saving seconds in timed competition.

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    joefearsnothing  10 months ago

    In those days, you could spot an engineer a mile away by the presence of a pocket protector and a slide rule in it! ;o}

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    Gameguy49 Premium Member 10 months ago

    Slide rules all slid from sight.

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    Zebrastripes  10 months ago

    I have one amongst the collection of rulers I’ve acquired through the years….

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    Robert Hammond Premium Member 10 months ago

    Must be old man Pickett in the box.

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    PO' DAWG Premium Member 10 months ago

    Oh yeah, I know an old Chinese guy with an abacus that’ll kick your ass.

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    ferddo  10 months ago

    If the economy goes so sour that there is no power for calculators, he might be sitting pretty… but then again, the type of people who know how to use slide rules are also considered “enemies” by this administration…

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    thelost wizard  10 months ago


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    Smudge Premium Member 10 months ago

    i resisted moving from my beloved slide rule to calculators for the longest time. I maintained that slide rule give you the whole landscape of how numbers and operations (multiplying, dividing) behave. So, for designing or analyzing, you can do ‘sensitivity studies’ in your brain while just looking at it. Calculators could never do that.

    Of course, the advent of Lotus 123 and later EXCEL changed that quickly. So, my beloved slide rule had to bow out gracefully. Now they (i do own several) are all in my desk drawer. They are keeping company to my T-square, graphic pens, and many of the old drafting / engineering tools.


    Please be safe.

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    WCraft Premium Member 10 months ago

    Well, there is always that chance of a massive EMT hitting the earth. Just bide your time…

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