slide rules and RPN calculators

Greeniegirl2 at Greeniegirl2 at
Thu Dec 23 19:49:16 EST 2004

In a message dated 12/21/2004 4:14:46 PM Central Standard Time, 
apm at writes:
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.
So I guess you never had a graphing calculator that also had games on it? 
Doesnt really make sense to put those on there because the makers must know kids 
will be doing that instead of graphing something or whatever. I havent taken 
Algebra II yet so I dont have one but they do come in handy when you are bored 
in a free period or something and you have access to a friend's.
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