Acutely obtuse - or normal?

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by putteesinmyhands, Nov 4, 2010.

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  1. Angles.

    Do you reckon you could still do trig with log tables? Could you do trig with log tables THEN?

    What about with a slide rule? Or a circular slide rule?

    Kids of today don't know how easy they've got it.
  2. kids today carnt even use hexy, get boil generation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. At my school we used trigonometric tables to find the values of trigonometric functions e.g. sin x where 0>x>360 in degrees, radians were used for higher maths, e.g. calculus. Logarithms were used to simplify multiplication, division and exponentiation, of course your school may have had a different system or you may have been at the back of the class pulling your pud. So in answer to the question, no one ever found a value for a trigonometric function in a table of logarithms. We were too poor for slide rules.
  4. The OP is thinking of the green book of tables you would get issued with your O Levels etc which contained Sine,Cosine and Tangent values as well as logarithms.Your slide rule was designed on logarithmic principles and stood alone.I have recently rediscovered my RADIAC circular slide rule (which puzzles the feck out of anyone who notices it on my desk!)
  5. @ oldgadge: We used these:


    Logarithms at the front, trigorithms at the back, universally referred to as "The Log Book".
  6. Ah, takes me back to the joys of Azimuth by Hour Angle of the Sun, Polaris or any other star!...Log books and Star Almanacs / RA surveyor porn! :grin:
  7. I had a 5" slide rule that I used for O level work (but couldn't take it into the exam) and bought a 12" slide rule from a friend after my A levels, thinking that it would come in useful at polytechnic. Both had sin, cos, tan functions, the 12" also had inverse. But by this time, calculators had come down to a reasonable(!) price (£70 in 1977) and they were allowed in exams, so my £20 investment was wasted. Still got it, though, could be worth a fortune in hundreds of years...
  8. @puttees
    I knew what you meant just felt a bit pedantic and looking for a bite.(Used the same book of tables and called it the log book)
  9. I got in a spot of bother with log tables at school...They'd just spent a year trying to edumkate us in their use when I was given an early pocket calculator which the maths teacher disproved of hugely. She dismissed the calculator as a passing fad and banned them form exams because 'you won't always carry a calculator', when I pointed out there was more chance of having one than a log table book her world collapsed, I was in the wrong for using logic.....1970s education, you can't beat it
    • Like Like x 1
  10. But do you remember the first calculators to hit the shops? A lot made mistakes. Word got around about what calculations came out wrong, so you'd have the likes of Dixons filled with hordes of kids tapping away, saying, "Not this one, not this one..." And the Yanks reckon they put a man on the Moon...

    Of course, the log tables weren't much better. Every time the school got a new batch of books, there'd be a class devoted to overwriting the misprints.
  11. I had to borrow a calculator in order to go on the Assistant Unit emplaning officer/Helicopter handlers course at Brize in 1976 because as a student I couldn't afford the £15 to buy one. My pay at the time as a full Cpl was £6 per day.

    My first calculator cost me £20 in 1978.
  12. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Funnily enough just last night I was watching an episode of Colditz (probably recorded Wednesday morning so it went out Tuesday night: we record far too much with Sky+ and have to try and find reruns when three programmes are on at once. Obviously it first went out in the early 70s ...).

    David McCallum (a Wellington pilot) and Christopher Eames (a submariner) spent their exercise break ostensibly playing conkers but in fact recording solar azimuth angles in preparation for an escape where they were to leg it to the French Riviera, nick a boat and sail to Malta.

    Only the one got out cos the Salmon Trouts rumbled it, when he got hauled back he got 90 days' solitary. McCallum (who is perrenially desperate to get home to the wife he married two months before being downed - and father-in-law was trying to pull strings to get him to fly a desk), his escape spirit evidently being crushed, commented, "We'd have been better off spending 90 days getting a full set of solar azimuth angles."
  13. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I've corrected that for you. In my drawer I have a 1950s device like a pocket difference engine, slightly smaller than a can of Coke given me by my scientist father-in-law. I intended donating it (at his behest) to the Hursley Museum where I work, but they closed the museum down.

    I also remember in 1966-7 in South America my Gold Mine Engineer father had a mechanical pocket calculator. Same size as an electronic one, I jest you not. The process was similar to the one my father-in-law wanted to donate. Dial in a number by inserting a pointer like a small crochet needle into a hole (for example for the digit 6, the sixth hole from the bottom) and dragging it to the top (or was it the bottom? I was only 10), then repeating for ascending digits in turn.

    To add another number, repeat the process over the top of the number already dialled in. If there was a carry, the next higher column mechanically added 1. Tbh it was no quicker than simple addition (subtraction was also possible by reversing the process), and when I got a slide rule, this was far, far quicker than my Dad's wierd device.

    But it was log tables etc for my O Level and A level Maths. A long, long time ago.
  14. This gave me nightmares, no wonder I hated my maths teacher, but then I was in love with my English teacher! No one else had a look in.
    Maths teacher = male, English teacher = (voluptous) female. A Geography teacher - the female one - was quite attractive. She would often sit on the corner of her (high) desk and cross and uncross her legs. Was she doing this deliberately or was it all in the imagination of a pubescent male?

    Apologies for derailing the post.
  15. No, no, not at all. ..... so ...... she was crossing and uncrossing her legs .... stockinged legs perhaps? .... long, lean and slender?.... please, carry on .....