New Laptop

My youngest son will soon be back to school. He is required to have a laptop for his studies and although we are a Mac household, I was a bit concerned about spending a lot of money on a machine for school, particularly for a thirteen year old boy.

So he is now the proud owner of a 15-inch Dell Inspiron running Windows 7 Home Premium edition. The machine seems to be well made and I’m sure that it will serve him well.

However, it did make me think about how much life has changed. When I went into Grade 8, I needed to bring a slide ruler, not a laptop. As my son may never have seen one, this is what it looks like:

6 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    Hi, Richard, This brings back some old memories. My Dad gave me his a while ago and he continues even at age 83 to be an absolute master at it.

    I could never figure it out myself! An interesting site here shows some basic operations: Glad to have Excel, for sure.

    http://www.hpmuseum.org/srinst.htm

    What a classic tool evidencing our past.

    Rob

    Reply
  2. Allen Woolfrey
    Allen Woolfrey says:

    I really liked slide rules. I had a circular slide rule that I could operate one-handed, and kept it in my shirt pocket. Once a geek…

    Reply
  3. Mike P
    Mike P says:

    As part of a convocation gift from my parents, I received my dad’s old high school slide rule— it’s pretty amazing how all those non-linear operations can be represented as sums of distances on the right scales. I keep having to look up which ones are which, but at the very least, I know there’s multiplication, exponents, logarithms, and even trigonometry.

    I can’t help feeling that if I’d learned trig that way instead of using a digital calculator, I might have understood the actual relationships a lot sooner.

    Reply

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