pseydtonne: Behold the Operator, speaking into a 1930s headset with its large mouthpiece. (prompt)
[personal profile] pseydtonne
My father used to have a few slide rules from his youth. His favorite and mine was his Keuffel & Esser 4081. It was in beautiful condition and I loved learning about mathematical relationships from it, even though I had a graphing calculator and solar-powered scientific calculators were down to $20 by the time I was a junior in high school.

He had a couple others, none of which was as smooth or elegant as the K&E. However the K&E had some kind of wood rot when last I looked at it a few years ago. I did not have the time to investigate, so I grabbed the Acu-Math 1311 and took it to the low humidity of Los Angeles.

Today I was looking for information about the meanings of the more obscure scale letters (the Log Log section, for example). I wound up with some old web pages. I'm talking mid-Nineties clutter with heavy table borders. The signal to noise ratio was horrible and the lack of blank space just... where do I put my mouse so it isn't clicking on something? Note that the owner claims to have updated yesterday, so perhaps there is a pack-rat quality that suits the owner (or perhaps it's something about the town in BC that gave us the Gentlemen of Horror). Did I mention the propensity for spinning icons for outdated software and explanations of commands for web browsing?

However that could not prepare for the blast from the past at the bottom of this page: web rings. I had forgotten all about the horrors of "add your site to our pre-Google list!"

By the way, I eventually found what I wanted.

"There's no need to be an asshole,
You're not in Brooklyn anymore."

Date: 2013-09-07 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
The frametastic '90s-style page I'm aware of (though it claims to be of post-2000 origin) is this one:

http://sliderulemuseum.com/

which, like all '90s-style frametastic pages, has the charming quality that it's nontrivial to link to an internal page on it, and if you do, the site navigation breaks. It has every kind of slide rule. My favoritest page of all on it, though, is the exhibit of special-purpose cardboard and plastic slide charts:

http://sliderulemuseum.com/Slidecharts.htm

For a while I had my father's Hemmi/Post chemical engineering rule, which I recall being in pretty good condition except for a crack in the cursor. But I left it with him when I went to college and he has it now. It was a pretty fancy slide rule, but instead of the trigonometry scales that the nicer K&Es had, it had some scales of chemical interest, with stuff like freezing and boiling points of various substances. Dad never went into chemical engineering, but I think he took some relevant classes in college.

Date: 2013-09-07 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pseydtonne.livejournal.com
I can't even get the Slide Rule Museum web site to load. This may have to do with my work VPN, though it never times out or gives me a restricted-site warning. It just... spins...

Date: 2013-09-07 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
Here's a page of slide rule simulators, all of them made from photos of metal Pickett rules:

http://www.antiquark.com/sliderule/sim/

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