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Comparison Of Important Tools, On both sides of the Space race
post Feb 19 2006, 05:26 PM
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Here are two nearly identical images. One of these was used by Sergei Korolyev, the other by Wherner von Braun. Can you tell which is which?

Attached Image

Attached Image

And here's a more interesting question -- how many of us here on UMSF have actually *used* a slide rule in their lives? I know I used a slide rule, even in a completely non-engineering field -- I'd use it to do basic scaling functions when doing layout on newspapers and such.

Since both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their own personal slide rules to the Moon, people were obviously using them only 35 or so years ago. So, how many of us have ever used one?

-the other Doug

“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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post Feb 19 2006, 08:42 PM
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My experience pretty much mirrors tty's. I still have my Post Versalog 1460. I used it in high school and for a couple of years in college, but the chemistry department eventually purchased a cabinet-sized calculator (can't recall the brand), and we all went wild for it's ability to display our results to a level of precision that far exceeded that of the input data.

When the handheld calculators came out I eventually bought an HP with RPN. I only use HPs with RPN and wouldn't have it any other way. I am such a fan of RPN that I insisted that my children use HPs with RPN as they grew up. They learned to appreciate it's calculation efficiency and the side benefits. Few if any of their friends ever asked to borrow their calculators, people were less likely to steal them, and if some one did steal one, you at least had the satisfaction of knowing they would probably not know how to use it.

As for your first question Doug, I can't tell which is which.

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Bob Shaw
post Feb 19 2006, 10:00 PM
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I can't tell the slipsticks apart, either!

In the world of fiction, a high proportion of Robert A Heinlein's classic characters would have sooner walked naked across the surface of Luna than be without their trusty slide rules - and who can forget the Kelly Freas Analog cover for Gordon R Dickson's 'Hilifter', featuring a mangy space pirate boarding a fat treasure vessel, trusty slide rule between his teeth...

I *have* regularly used a slide rule (although specialised in form), and even in fairly recent times, and *yes*, they're still very much in use in an area which ought not to be a surprise. I'd wager that *most* astronauts are very familiar with that particular device. I'd be entirely unsurprised to hear that a few of the specialised variety have made it into space, too... ...and perhaps not just for fun!

Let's see who's first to have that smack on the forehead moment - and then I'll post a scan.

Bob Shaw

Remember: Time Flies like the wind - but Fruit Flies like bananas!
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Posts in this topic
- dvandorn   Comparison Of Important Tools   Feb 19 2006, 05:26 PM
- - helvick   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Feb 19 2006, 05:26 PM) ...   Feb 19 2006, 05:56 PM
- - tty   I was born in 1948 and I certainly used a slide ru...   Feb 19 2006, 06:09 PM
- - CosmicRocker   My experience pretty much mirrors tty's. I st...   Feb 19 2006, 08:42 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   I can't tell the slipsticks apart, either...   Feb 19 2006, 10:00 PM
|- - helvick   QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Feb 19 2006, 10:00 PM) ...   Feb 19 2006, 10:17 PM
|- - Bob Shaw   QUOTE (helvick @ Feb 19 2006, 10:17 PM) ...   Feb 19 2006, 11:34 PM
- - jamescanvin   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Feb 20 2006, 04:26 AM) ...   Feb 19 2006, 10:07 PM
- - dvandorn   FYI -- the top one was Korolyev's, the bottom ...   Feb 19 2006, 11:43 PM
- - BruceMoomaw   While we're on the subject of lack of Cybernet...   Feb 20 2006, 01:09 AM
- - Bill Harris   HP with RPN and sliderules, what a nostalgia trip...   Feb 20 2006, 02:59 AM
- - elakdawalla   What's a slide rule? Just kidding, but in ...   Feb 20 2006, 03:20 AM
- - BruceMoomaw   SF writers prove prophetic again! Remember As...   Feb 20 2006, 03:48 AM
- - edstrick   I've still got my slide rule. Though once the...   Feb 20 2006, 06:25 AM
- - tasp   Well, I recall using a slide rule a few times. In...   Feb 20 2006, 02:56 PM
- - tty   I never actually used a key punch, but the first m...   Feb 20 2006, 08:14 PM
- - mchan   I have used slide rules and card punches briefly. ...   Feb 20 2006, 08:31 PM
- - Bob Shaw   It's not just US education that has a problem ...   Feb 20 2006, 10:26 PM

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