Author Topic: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73  (Read 264 times)

MillCreek

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The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« on: February 08, 2024, 08:22:25 PM »
Based on the threads over the years, I know we have some people who used and still have their old slide rules.  I certainly do.


https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/walter-shawlee-the-sovereign-of-slide-rules-dies-at-73/
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MillCreek
Snohomish County, WA  USA


Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
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230RN

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2024, 09:00:47 PM »
Great article; had never heard of that site.  I too quit using one when I got my first Casio programmable calculator.

I kind of agree with the remark about calculators inhibiting a numbers sense,  We (BTHS) were trained to guesstimate the approximate magnitude of a result mainly to keep the decimals straight.  I still (in a minor way) use that skill.  It used to be you could always tell a "Techie" on the subway by the slide rule scabbard on his belt.

My main admiration in them was the incredible precison of the printing on them.  The logarithms were no mystery.  As a matter of fact, if presented stepwise, properly, logs are simple.  Not that you need them much any more.

Were it not for the fact that I never wear ties any more, I wouldn't mind having one of those tie clasp slipsticks.  Neato !

Thanks for that article, MillCreek !

Terry, 230RN

     

WLJ

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2024, 09:07:34 PM »
I was born in 64 and by the time I started getting to higher math electronic calculators had pretty much gone main stream and the slide rule had mostly gone the way of the dodo. Seem like it happened almost overnight.
Doesn't mean I couldn't use one since I remember picking one up and learning to a somewhat limited degree how to use it but more as a curiosity than anything else.
I know there's one or two around here somewhere.
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BobR

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2024, 09:40:17 PM »
I had one in high school and then nearly a decade later I was issued a circular slide rule to use while flying. I still have that one somewhere.

bob

WLJ

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2024, 09:48:18 PM »
I had one in high school and then nearly a decade later I was issued a circular slide rule to use while flying. I still have that one somewhere.

bob

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"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us".
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MillCreek

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2024, 10:02:36 PM »
^^^A classic E6-B!
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MillCreek
Snohomish County, WA  USA


Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
You are one lousy risk manager.

Hawkmoon

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2024, 10:11:32 PM »
 still have several slide rules stashed in a closet somewhere. I put them away when calculators became mainstream, thinking that slidrerules don't use batteries. But now pretty much all calculators are solar powered, so chalk up one more wasted argument.
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bedlamite

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2024, 11:34:48 PM »
still have several slide rules stashed in a closet somewhere. I put them away when calculators became mainstream, thinking that slidrerules don't use batteries. But now pretty much all calculators are solar powered, so chalk up one more wasted argument.

Nobody uses calculators anymore, they just ask Siri.
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Bogie

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2024, 11:55:54 PM »
I just asked Alexa to calculate pi.
 
numbers, and... "Whew! I ran out of breath!"
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230RN

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2024, 03:28:42 AM »
"Siri, what is the pi-eth root of e?"

"How many decimals do you want, Darling?"

"Just 4 will do."

"OK, thanks.  It's about 1.3748, Darling."

"Got it, thanks," and I jotted it down in my notes:  1.37483.14159 = 2.7182

:rofl:

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« Last Edit: February 13, 2024, 04:06:49 AM by 230RN »

Nick1911

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2024, 09:37:36 AM »
They were way before my time.  I heard about them, or maybe read about them as a child and the concept intrigued me.  My father had one from his youth and let me play with it.  I never got beyond using the C and D scales.

I still regularly use vernier calipers which remind me of slide rules because they both have scales that slide next to each other.  That's about the only similarity, as their mechanics and use are entirely different.

230RN

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2024, 02:26:42 AM »
I went from vernier to dial calipers, then to electronic.  Because of battery drain while they are "off," I got tired of finding them dead at the most inopportune moments.  Yes, I tried removing the battery between uses: PITA.

Went back to my old mechanicals (plural: metric and "english.")

Both my 4-banger and scientific calculators are solar.  I don't know if they make solar powered calipers.  Seems to me that the sometimes awkward positions for caliper use would be a problem for a solar caliper.

Hawkmoon

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2024, 03:21:29 AM »
I went from vernier to dial calipers, then to electronic.  Because of battery drain while they are "off," I got tired of finding them dead at the most inopportune moments.  Yes, I tried removing the battery between uses: PITA.

Went back to my old mechanicals (plural: metric and "english.")

Same here -- except I don't have any use for a metric dial caliper, so I don't have one. I think I have three "English" dial calipers, and I probably have avernier caliper around here somewhere. Plus a few micrometers.
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230RN

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Re: The sovereign of slide rules dies at age 73
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2024, 04:24:07 AM »
I parted with most of my metalcraft measuring devices including metric and "english" micrometers plus some dial indicators when I finally decided to move into an apartment and got rid of my machine tools.  Got tired of $toring them.  My hands still hunger for "something to make" every once in a while, but I can tolerate that urge.

I think I mentioned that I gave my steam engines to Son2 and he ran one of my engines off the compressed air exhaust from one of his engines.  I got a hell of a kick out of that.  I thought it was the coolest thing. And it reminded my hands of the things they used to make, so they were happy.

Terry, 230RN