I made an unexpected discovery the other day while purging some old dead storage. I came across a slide rule and a super 8 movie camera. At this point, these items are mostly just curiosities, but I thought I would see if I could remember how to use a slide rule and blog about it in case members would find it interesting.
If you went through engineering after 1972, you probably never needed a slide rule because calculators took over after that.
A decent slide rule jockey could go much faster than a calculator, but that didn't stop us from all wanting a calculator. Using a slide rule requires using quite a bit of brain power to plan operations and keep track of decimal points, and making a mistake in reading the result was very common.
My slide rule skills are pretty rusty and I never got really good at it since calculators became available in my second year of university.
This fairly high end Hemmi Versalog slide rule is made of bamboo with a celluloid surface. It still works perfectly after 50 years, with a very smooth action.
How many of you remember carrying around a little booklet of trig tables, which provided more significant digits than a slide rule could?
It was interesting to dredge up some old memories about my university days and try to recall how to operate a slide rule.
If you have any technology memories from before PCs, feel free to comment below.