Ultimate digital caliper for modelers.

Well yes they do when materials are sold in terms of "gauges" and I'm in the hardware shop (away from references) and faced with packages marked only in those terms.

As a scratch-builder I need to make a lot of conversions, sometimes, as in the example I've given, in situations where I don't have conversion tables or calculators handy.

Aircraft navigation has always been in imperial measurements. As I think I've already stated that most of my prototype data is imperial, original plans etc not having updated themselves during our conversion to metric thirty years ago. But I'm prepared to live with that. The problems are with dimensions of materials available to me and in particular having at least five different measuring systems involved.

Regards, Greg.P.

Reply to
Greg Procter
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No that misses the point - no one is facile in the use of roman numerals. The Romans did some great things, but not in mathematics. They did not have the notion of zero for example.

And some things are just more convenient, even if they are mathematically equivalent.

I see you are using Microsoft Outlook Express. It would be much less convenient if you had to control your computer through commands that would amount to a long string of binary numbers. Mathematically this is equivalent - in terms of being fit for human use they are not. It is not by accident that user interfaces play such an important role. See the recent success of the iPhone, iPod or even windowed user interfaces on computers.

Converting units is not done by many people - there is an argument that this is precisely because it is difficult. So why make it more difficult?

I would think the British have switched with a good reason.

To sum it up: Mathematically equivalent ways of doing things may be very different in how easy it is for human beings to do them, ie the fit between the task, the notion used for it and the way the human brain works is key.

Marc

Reply to
Marc Heusser

but only part switched over all the distances and speeds for road traffic is still in good old miles and we still quote MPG for fuel consumption and a pint of beer is still a pint, boats still travel in Knots,tyre pressures still in PSI and probably a lot more that refuse to go away so us Brits have not gone totally metric, and being 45 I tend to measure in both systems as old habits die hard

Reply to
funfly3

Actually, historically, the English (or Imperial, if you prefer

Reply to
Boris Beizer

The times that I have had to scale stuff, I generally converted all the fractions to decimal, and worked entirely in decimal inches or decimal millimeters.

I would make a long list of actual measurments, work out a scaling factor, then multiply the measurement by the factor to arrive at an end result.

I suppose a guy could work out a spreadsheet program that could be linked with an SPC capable caliper, but that seems a different hobby, all told.

Cheers Trevor Jones

Reply to
Trevor Jones

I tend to do my most productive modelling well away from the computer!

Scale conversions on a sheet of paper using a calculator or slide rule, with description, proto imperial dimension, prototype metric and then scale metric, scale inch and scale fraction, with only the columns I'm likely to use completed.

Reply to
Greg Procter

Greg Procter spake thus:

Whoa. Stop right there. You're the first to mention this tool: why haven't others thought of it? Well, of course, I know why: it's considered totally obsolete.

But what an elegant solution: learn to use a slide rule. Fast, simple, and plenty close enough. (I still have a couple around here from school daze long ago.)

Reply to
David Nebenzahl

David Nebenzahl wrote in news:45bba377$0$17954 $ snipped-for-privacy@news.adtechcomputers.com:

Not by ME!!!

I've several - different types - and use them often since, unlike calculators, they operate on RATIOS.

Whether rescaling a drawing, determining range or anticipated fuel requirements based upon fuel usage/distance travelled, or navigational problems [drift], a slipstick works far better than a glorified adding machine.

Reply to
Eregon

Slide rule? Obsolete? Well, as I'm working in just one scale (at any given moment) I set the conversion scale just once and read off any decimal figure quickly. I can even set prototype inches to scale millimeters and save hundreds of key presses required of the modern calculator!

Regards, Greg.P.

Reply to
Greg Procter

Hey, I mentioned 'em. Two in fact. I called them slipsticks - what's your engineering slang for them?

Reply to
Wolf

Some vendors supply plastic "slip sticks" that are used to calculate a varity of things, weight of a chunk of metal, number of cement blocks in wall, yards of concrete in a floor. You enter the dimensions and they read directly in the units you are looking for. I have a bunch of them I have collected over the years and they are a lot faster to use than any computer.

John

Reply to
john

Wolf spake thus:

Since I'm guessing that's a Canuck term, I missed that.

Never got far enough into engineering to learn the nerd slang for slide rule. Any 'Merkin terms?

Reply to
David Nebenzahl

I'd never heard it here in New Zealand.

Regards, Greg.P.

Reply to
Greg Procter

I think I first saw the term in a Robert Heinlein novel, long before I got to the point in school of actually using one. Just about that time, the pocket calculator came out.

A few relevant links

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Val

Reply to
Val

I've often thought of placing my old slide rule in a small wood frame with a glass cover and a little hammer on a chain, near the computer - "In case of power failure, ..."

Reply to
Steve Caple

According to David Nebenzahl :

[ ... ]

I grew up calling them that same term -- and I grew up in South Texas. It *is* an American term (at least), and probably in several other English-speaking cultures as well.

As a matter of fact, the (supposed) MIT football cheer (from at least as far back as the late 1950s) went:

E to the X dU dX E to the X dX Secant, Tangent, Cosine, Sine 3.14159 Square Root of the Integral of dUV Slipstick Sliderule MIT

(The minor fact that MIT never had had a football team does not negate the cheer. :-)

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

Nope -- *that* is what you do with an Abacus (Chinese) or Soroban (Japanese). I have one of each. Those are also digital computers. (You can even see the bits. :-)

The slipstick is an analog computer. :-)

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

DoN. Nichols spake thus:

No, but they had ... wait for it ... veering back on-topic (oh, no!): a hell of a model railroad club!

Reply to
David Nebenzahl

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