My first computer — 26 Comments

  1. It was indeed probably used more (as was mine) on the basis that 'puters weren't invented in those days.


    Maybe a good thing?

    • But if there were no computers there would be no Twitter or Facebook…..

      Oh, wait a minute…..

  2. I used my Slide Rule for all my working life.   I've never owned a calculator.

    The other day I was in my DIY shop and bought 10 items at 35 centimes each.   At the cash desk I put 3€50 on the counter.  The young wench counted them, and used her calculator to announce that the sum was 35€.   We had a short 'discussion' about the error of her calculation and express increditude that I could calculate 'difficult' sums, like this, in my head.   She had no knowledge that to multiply by 10, that one only needs to move the decimal point one place.

    She wasn't a blond, either.


    • I never cease to be amazed that children these days cannot do simple math in their heads. Someone told me that in the UK kids can bring calculators into exams. Not sure if this is true but I would not be surprised.

      • The general rule seems to be that anyone under forty is incapable of doing simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.  I am forever confounding young people in shops by adding up the total in my head while they are still pounding the keys of the cash register!

      • They have been allowed to bring scientific calculators into the leaving cert Maths exam since the late 80's, mine was done with a slide rule & Log Tables, we all knew Sin, Cos & Tan off by heart, the only Tan the little fuckers know these days comes from a fucking bottle.

    • Was in a post office once and asked for 10 x 55 cent stamps. Woman used a calculator. She wasn't under 40 neither. It's just pure laziness! People really are getting less resourceful.

  3. If anybody wants a new one; still use mine now and then to keep my hand in                                                                                                                                                                  There is a pdf list posted of the remaining slide rules for sale
    on Faber Castells German website. Go to
    this is the international site. Select Germany in the country list.
    When that site loads, select Service in the header bar under the
    Castell logo. Scroll to bottom and see rechenschieber. Select that.
    When that page loads, go to bottom of page and select english under
    sprache. The slide rule page loads in english. On the second page of
    story of their slide rule development, it has a pdf download of what
    slide rule models are still in stock. The email address is highlighted
    at bottom for your order, and Frau Myrjam Salmen is the sales
    associate, to her attention. You must email or call for prices. If you
    just order, she will send the rule with an invoice with a 15 day
    billing cycle


      • It was copy and paste.

        Mine's better than those cheap plastic ones. It's wood with brass strip to stop expansion/contraction. Something like that anyways.

        • Now that I think of it, my father's one should be around somewhere.  His was wood with an ivory laminate.  The slide was aluminium with a glass inset.  Unfortunately the glass got broken though.

  4. Don't you hate it when you offer the balancing cash to make up the total bill and the "assistant"  declares she can not work out the necessary because she has already entered it into the 'till?  By the way, I still have the World's first mini computer.  It's a pocket slide rule about 5 inches long,  and it still works – after over 60 years. And still in its plastic container.  Big brother occupies pride of place on the office shelf.  Ahhh for the good old days..

    • That's another of my little habits – getting rid of small change.  They can't seem to get a grip on the idea of paying say €10.47 for a €8.47 item and expecting a nice round €2 in change, instead of a load of fiddly little Monopoly coins. 

  5. showed it to the mr. all i got was "well yes!" i do believe he still has the expansion pack though it's not as in good a shape as the original 'puter

    • The expansion packs did tend to wear out quite quickly all right.  I still have quite a few around the place.  They come in handy when I want to retrieve some housekeeping money off Herself.

  6. I have a slide rule in my trousers with an expansion pack, it works great on those female shop assistants that can't add

  7. You have to love the old slide rule.  Even if you're brains not working at full capacity, it'll still function.  Mine glowed in the dark, so I could theoretically do calculations if the power were to go out.  🙂

    • So there you go – not only does it not need mains or batteries, it even produces its own illumination.  Let's see a computer that does that!  😉

  8. Brilliant bit of kit – not dependent on Windows, batteries or external influences. It'll never catch on ………

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