The Legacy of Dr Bauer

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Owen Smith

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True , but then most things are! I could only really use a slide rule if I knew the answer - otherwise it always seemed to fall off the end! Loved using Log Tables though.
I found log tables a lot easier than a slide rule too. I wasn't officially taught slide rule, dad showed me. We used log tables at school, they kept changing their minds whether we could use calculators in the 1980s. Dumb thing was, if calculators were allowed the exam questions said to assume Pi was 3, but if calculators were not allowed it was 3.14.
 

Soundfield

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I found log tables a lot easier than a slide rule too. I wasn't officially taught slide rule, dad showed me. We used log tables at school, they kept changing their minds whether we could use calculators in the 1980s. Dumb thing was, if calculators were allowed the exam questions said to assume Pi was 3, but if calculators were not allowed it was 3.14.
When I was in the Sixth Form in the mid seventies, the slide rule was still taught and we were all issued with one. There weren't many calculators about (I was one of the few who had one I think) but they weren't even allowed in class. I think I'd struggle to do A Level Maths and Physics these days without a calculator (particularly as we were told to use 22/7). My mental arithmetic soon went into decline when we did get to use them in college! Their invention, like the internet, has been a very mixed blessing.
 
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MidiMagic

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When I was in high school, there were no calculators except the slide rule. These were required in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Math, and Electronics.

My slide rule cost $15 and I still have it. I used it until 2012 to demonstrate the use of logarithms to students when I was tutoring.

I also know how to use a counting board and used that for addition and subtraction of large numbers. You may have one. The game of checkers came from the counting board (which at one time was found in every business).

It has the following functions: Multiply, divide, square cube, square root, cube root, 1/x, log10, 10^x, sine, tangent, arcsine and arctangent. Using procedures we learned, I can also get any power of any number, the other trig functions, natural log and antilog, and complex numbers.

In 1972, HP came out with the HP35 at $395 a pop. There is no way I could afford that.

In 1976, I bought a TI-56 for use in my college classes for $80.

In the Foundations of Computing class, I made a chart of the 5 different kinds of pocket calculators available at that time and the properties of each:

1. Always = key: Required the use of the = key after each calculation.
2. Arithmetic: Did calculations in the order entered.
3. Algebra hierarchy: times and divide were agebraic. += and-= were RPN
4. Algebraic Operating: Allowed entering the formula as written*
5. Reverse Polish: Enter both values and then press the operation key. No equal key.

* The monadic (1 value) functions still required the function key after the value.
In the 1980s, they made the Visual Operating calculator that used text for the exact formula.

I have been buying what are essentially the same Algebraic Operating Casio calculators ever since. There is one next to this computer, one in my bedroom, one in my briefcase, and one in my car.

I also started using Excel for calculations as soon as I got my hands on it. All of the graphs in my web pages were done with Excel.

I wrote programs for calculating extremely large numbers (e.g. the number of permutations of a Rubik's Cube or the number of posisible finishing orders of the Indianapolis 500).

And when I first heard of the Scheiber system, I tried to guess what it was. My first guess was to use complex numbers, and I got SQ before Bauer devised it. I rejected it as not allowing ambience recording. My third guess really was the Scheiber system. I did these with that slide rule.
 
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Sal1950

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I can remember the first calculator I ever saw, it was back around 1966 or 67. Some dude stopped by the shop I was working at and was showing it to my boss. IIRC it only did the most basic of calculations and sold for something like $700. It was truly amazing to me at the time.
 

kfbkfb

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I have a cardboard circular "slide" rule, I learned how to use it just before I bought my HP-45.

I also have a programmable HP-67 [w/card writer+reader], in 1978, HP accepted one program I wrote into the HP program library for the HP-67.

In the mid-1980s, I convinced an Engineering department manager to buy everyone (7 people) HP-11C calculators after I bought one for myself, which was then relegated to checkbook balancing.

IMHO, [phone] apps & [PC etc.] emulators are the way to go for HP/RPN calculators, internal calculation errors can be easily corrected, unlike the hardware HP calculators.

Anyone know what type of calculator Ben Bauer used? :)


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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The Algebra hierarchy type of calculator was also called Adding Machine notation.

I can remember the first calculator I ever saw, it was back around 1966 or 67. Some dude stopped by the shop I was working at and was showing it to my boss. IIRC it only did the most basic of calculations and sold for something like $700. It was truly amazing to me at the time.

It had to be 1970 or later. TI developed the first handheld calculator in 1967, but it didn't make it to market until 1970, when it cost $700.

I have a cardboard circular "slide" rule, I learned how to use it just before I bought my HP-45.

Anyone know what type of calculator Ben Bauer used? :)

Kirk Bayne

I had a cardboard circular slide rule too. But the center rivet failed from use.

Bauer probably had a computer at his disposal. They probably had quite a few at CBS/Columbia. I was using computers in high school. But after I graduated, I had only the slide rule. Quad came along to me two months after graduation.

There were also desk calculators available before 1970. They were about the size of the Apple 2e but with dedicated buttons (no QWERTY keyboard) a display sticking up from the top. I got to use a scientific one one in 1969.
 

Soundfield

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Of course if you didn’t want to faff around with slide rules you could always have built your own calculator. In 1972 Practical Electronics magazine in the UK serialised a design for the “Digi-Cal High Speed Calculator”. This was frankly a wildly over ambitious project based entirely on TTL and diode programme arrays. It was published from July 1972 to May 1973 and took up a large part of the magazine each month. It was widely ridiculed as being beyond the capabilities of most home constructors and for its huge cost. The magazine quoted an anticipated cost, buying the components in bulk, of £110 – some £1270 today! In the time it took to publish all the articles things had moved rapidly on with MSI calculator chips becoming available, so you could have bought a handheld calculator for around £30! That was still quite a whack in 1973, but if you’d forked out over £110 for the Digi-Cal and were still trying to get it to work I reckon you’d have been pretty pissed off. But I suspect that no-one other than the author was mad enough to make one. But if you want to try (!) the entire series of articles is available here....

PE DIGI-CAL
 

DuncanS

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Of course if you didn’t want to faff around with slide rules you could always have built your own calculator. In 1972 Practical Electronics magazine in the UK serialised a design for the “Digi-Cal High Speed Calculator”. This was frankly a wildly over ambitious project based entirely on TTL and diode programme arrays. It was published from July 1972 to May 1973 and took up a large part of the magazine each month. It was widely ridiculed as being beyond the capabilities of most home constructors and for its huge cost. The magazine quoted an anticipated cost, buying the components in bulk, of £110 – some £1270 today! In the time it took to publish all the articles things had moved rapidly on with MSI calculator chips becoming available, so you could have bought a handheld calculator for around £30! That was still quite a whack in 1973, but if you’d forked out over £110 for the Digi-Cal and were still trying to get it to work I reckon you’d have been pretty pissed off. But I suspect that no-one other than the author was mad enough to make one. But if you want to try (!) the entire series of articles is available here....

PE DIGI-CAL
I think there was a really 'simple' one circa 1969-70 before that with Nixie tubes. Everything used TTL logic so it probably heated the room up nicely! I got interested in Electronics in 1969 (I was 12) and avidly bought and read PE every month up until I went to Uni to study it, by which time I'd gone more to reading Wireless World along with ETI & Elektor. I have all my WW as I took them with me, but my PE/ETI/Elektor etc. were thrown out by my parents as they thought I didn't want to keep them :(, which wasn't the case, now I'd really like them but for historic reasons!
 
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par4ken

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I think there was a really 'simple' one circa 1969-70 before that with Nixie tubes. Everything used TTL logic so it probably heated the room up nicely! I got interested in Electronics in 1969 (I was 12) and avidly bought and read PE every month up until I went to Uni to study it, by which time I'd gone more to reading Wireless World along with ETI & Elektor. I have all my WW as I took them with me, but my PE/ETI/Elektor etc. were thrown out by my parents as they thought I didn't want to keep them :(, which wasn't the case, now I'd really like them but for historic reasons!
Search this site, you can find downloads of most of the old electronic, hobbyist and audio magazines! RADIO and BROADCAST HISTORY library with thousands of books and magazines
 

DuncanS

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Search this site, you can find downloads of most of the old electronic, hobbyist and audio magazines! RADIO and BROADCAST HISTORY library with thousands of books and magazines
Thanks, really comprehensive! Brought back memories of going to the local market and buying old electronic boards and de-soldering the components to make something else, and burning my grandfather's hand when he insisted on helping and I slipped with the soldering iron!

I even found the articles I wrote for Electronics World UK / Wireless World on SMPS (for the curious & foolhardy it was in March & April 1994!)
 

Sal1950

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It had to be 1970 or later. TI developed the first handheld calculator in 1967, but it didn't make it to market until 1970, when it cost $700.
Nope, it was definetly much earlier than that. By 1970 I had already enlisted in the Army and was winning hearts and minds in Viet Nam. ;)
 

MidiMagic

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Nope, it was definetly much earlier than that. By 1970 I had already enlisted in the Army and was winning hearts and minds in Viet Nam. ;)

There were desktop calculators earlier than 1970 (I used one), but these sites say that the first pocket calculator sold commercially was in 1970.



From the latter, this text:

"The first commercially produced portable calculators appeared in Japan in 1970."
 
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furui_suterioo

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Just received an SQ tie clip from Japan
20211014_153331.jpg
 
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