slide rules and RPN calculators

Allison Marles apm at
Tue Dec 21 17:18:23 EST 2004

On Sun, Dec 19, 2004 at 10:32:57AM -0600, Margaret Ball wrote:
> Otter wrote
> >Oh, my goodness.  How times change.
> >
> >Now when _I_ was in school -- even when I was at university -- there
> >was no such thing as a personal computer.  We didn't even have
> >hand-held calculators, if you can imagine; we used slide rules. 
> Maybe that, rather than chronological age, should be the distinguishing 
> mark of a Crone: can you recognize a slide rule?

Ack ... I'm a crone at 24.  I own and know how to use a slide rule. :)
But then again, I'm a math geek (I have a B.Math in Comp.Sci) and I
learned how to use one that my Grandfather (a Civil Engineer) gave to
my Mum when she graduated University and which she passed on to me when
I graduated. So maybe that doesn't count ?

> The first handheld calculator I ever met cost roughly $700 (probably 
> equivalent to $1400 today!), and it was made by HP, and it used Reverse 
> Polish notation. Anybody remember Reverse Polish?

One of my friends at school had an RPN calculator which he preferred
to use.

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