Wed 27 Oct, 2004 06:52 am
"Slide Rule Still Rules
By Michelle Delio | 02:00 AM Sep. 08, 2004 PT
It was the only technological tool widely and continuously used for over three centuries. For math and science geeks it was a badge of honor, nestled neatly into a plastic pocket protector along with a handful of stubby pencils.
And then, one dark day in 1972, with the advent of the pocket calculator, the slide rule went the way of the abacus. Why fiddle around with the arcane log scales and indexes required to use a slide rule when an inexpensive calculator required nothing more of its owner than the ability to push a few buttons?
But while a bright yellow plastic Pickett slide rule may no longer peek out of every engineer's shirt pocket, these pre-silicon marvels haven't disappeared. There are web pages, international organizations and entire businesses devoted to the collection and care of slide rules.
Now, a new exhibit at Purdue University is drawing (small) crowds of people curious to see celebrity slide rules. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Jerry Ross, along with about 200 other Purdue University alumni, have contributed their personal slide rules to the exhibit at their alma mater.
"For centuries anyone who built anything of any magnitude would have had to use a slide rule," said James Alleman, a professor of civil engineering who began collecting the slide rules from Purdue alumni 15 years ago. "The slide rule ruled."
The exhibit, on the first floor of the university's Potter Engineering Center, features slide rules made of metal, wood, bamboo, paper and plastic, ranging in length from a few inches to 7 feet, neatly arranged in a series of panels that carefully document the history of the computational devices..........."
Full story: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,64846,00.html?tw=rss.GAD
lovely... i cringe with the memory of not getting it. When i was in school i remeber those days and the slide ruler came up. I remember I just didn't get itand abondoned it. Hope my next look at proves to be the trill that has inspired so many other intelligent minds.
I liked them - can't recall how to use them now.
hmm i still have a slide rule somewhere and i was shown how to use it once but we had calculaters by then so i forgot not long afterwards...
im sure there will be instructions somewhere on the net