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    Re: recommendation for slide rule ?
    From: Peter Hakel
    Date: 2011 Nov 23, 12:53 -0800
    I was too young to use slide rules in school but I do remember being told an amusing story about them.  There was a professor who was so convinced about the practical superiority of the slide rules over logarithmic tables that he used every opportunity to show off his skills.  As the story goes, in the middle of one particularly complicated calculation he murmured to himself: "3 times 4, 3 times 4 … 11.98 !!"

    I hope that nobody takes this as in any way disparaging of the slide rule or their users; I simply relay what I was once told in the hope that NavList users is the right crowd to appreciate the story. :-))  I inherited one once and was amazed by the ingenuity of the device, though I never used it.

    Peter Hakel

    From: Michael Dorl <mdorl@wisc.edu>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 12:41 PM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: recommendation for slide rule ?

    On 11/23/2011 1:57 PM, Patrick Goold wrote:
    > ThinkGeek Sliderules.  New.  $10.  Google it!

    Sounds like a deal if you don't need the missing scales.  Also no mention of materials used.  See comments at


    Being an engineering student in the late 50s I did many calculation with a slide rule.  If you needed more accuracy, you used log tables or if you were really fortunate a Monroe or Merchant calculator.  The surveying course was a real bear because you had to use logs.  One problem with a slide rule is figuring out where the decimal point goes; I was pretty good at doing that by guess and by golly but my room mate had some algorithm that involved the number of digits in the multiplicands and which end of the slide rule the center slider was sticking out of.

    I remember my high school trig class had about a ten foot long slide rule hanging above the chalkboard that the instructor used to teach us how to use the thing.

    And then there were the circular slide rules....


    If anyone wants a Post Versalog, let me know.

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