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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692

    Jan 25, 2006, 05:49 PM
    Slide rule
    Not saying my age, but when I went to college there were no computers, maybe one large main frame with two or three terminals but nothing for any course work except for beginning computer. ( and it was not even there the first couple of years)

    So in our classes we used a "slide rule"

    Do they still use slide rules or are they a thing of the past.

    ** also we did all our work on a actual drafting table not on a computer system, ( since there were not computers to use) do they still teach drafting manually or is it all electrically now
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
    Uber Member

    Jan 25, 2006, 05:55 PM
    They are so much a thing of the past. They went out when those fancy calculators came in that did all the cosines and tangents, you could even program them with formulas. I too took my first computer course off a mainframe (HP3000 maybe) and did use punchcards too at one time.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 25, 2006, 05:58 PM
    My son, daughter, and her husband are all 3 in engineering related fields. I don't think any of them own a slide rule or know how to use one.

    Doubt they ever sat down and used a log table where greater precision was required.

    One advantage of the earlier clunky calculators was that they were harder to lose in a pile of papers.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692

    Jan 25, 2006, 06:12 PM
    Thank you very much,

    Well I guess I should dig my old slide rule out and frame it.
    DrJ's Avatar
    DrJ Posts: 1,328, Reputation: 339
    Ultra Member

    Jan 25, 2006, 06:15 PM
    Slide rule:

    An offensive player may, while running to any base, slide into that base to avoid collision and avoid running outside the base line.

    Is that what you're talking about? Lol :D
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,314, Reputation: 10854

    Jan 25, 2006, 06:26 PM
    Slide rule... no batteries needed
    Good one doc! made me look through a lot of old junk but here it is my old slide rule that my father gave me in 1966,hey it still works!I also have two Texas instument calculators,by the way when I first started in the steel mill we used punch cards to load our programs into the computor,Im sensitive so don't call me old.:cool: :eek:
    eeseely's Avatar
    eeseely Posts: 100, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member

    Apr 14, 2007, 04:14 PM
    I'm a retired Penn State Electrical Engineer (Class of 1956) who definitely knows about slide rules and how they are used. I still have my old slide rule somewhere, but with Excel and Calculator, etc. there is no need to break it out.

    It was quite commonplace to see engineering students with their slide rules in a case connected to their belt.

    In about 1972 I bought a TI Calculator and later on HP and some others brought out more advanced calculators that had some functions already programmed.

    Here's some humor... we were told our freshman year the difference between doctors and engineers is that doctors bury the mistakes, while engineers erase them

    Happy calculating!
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,132, Reputation: 1307

    Apr 25, 2007, 02:41 PM
    When I first took chemistry in high school we probably spent a week of class time learning how to work a slide rule. This was in '72. Calculators were just becoming popular, but the teachers wouldn't allow you to bring them into class for use on exams. I really think using slide rules and having to handle the exponents in your head really helped instill a sense of how numbers work. My kids have used graphing calculators in their chem and physics classes - these are great tools but the kids seem to have little true understanding of the essence behind the equation they stick into it. On the other hand, now that the chem teacher no longer has to burn up a week teaching kids how to use the slide rule, perhaps there is more chemistry being taught.

    I still have an old circular slide rule that I keep in my car so I can calculate gas mileage when I fill up at the pump. My kids think I'm a dork!
    eeseely's Avatar
    eeseely Posts: 100, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member

    Apr 26, 2007, 05:48 AM
    Thanks for your response.

    I agree it is important to understand the step-by-step process.

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