[OT] Operating Environment Survey

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gcatlast gcatlast
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

The company I used to work for manufactured mass spectrometers and we used PDP 11s with software written in PASCAL to control the instruments and gather and present the data they generated. The biggest pain in the neck was having to use overlays to swap parts of the program code into and out of memory as required. These days, that sort of thing happens quite transparently, and unless you're into writing operating systems, it's not the sort of thing you're likely to come across.
/Gary
       From: Tom Davies <[hidden email]>
 To: Tim---Kracked_P_P---webmaster <[hidden email]>; Gary Collins <[hidden email]>
Cc: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
 Sent: Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 5:19
 Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   
Hi :) 
PDP11s look interesting! 

A short article that claims the default OS was Multics; 
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/PDP-11-Programmed-Data-Processor-11
but that many put Unix on it.  Wikipedia gives a great long list of OSes that ran on or could run on PDP11s;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDP-11#Operating_systems

As you can see in the url below Nuclear Power Plants are apparently still using and plan to continue using PDP11's until 2050 !
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/19/nuke_plants_to_keep_pdp11_until_2050/

Regards from
Tom :) 





On 22 July 2015 at 03:21, Tim---Kracked_P_P---webmaster <[hidden email]> wrote:


My first real computer job was data entry typing punched cards for an IBM system.

Then I started working at several colleges with those "ghastly" PDP/11 systems.  One was the core for a large computer center with large tape units, and one was just a stand alone system with a drive platter and all of those dump terminals.  That "stand alone" PDP/11 system is where I had to write/code/etc. a full general ledger accounting system using COBOL.  Have you even tried to write a data entry system for an accounting system, so people could not type in the wrong info/data - like Feb 29th for a non-leap year or an account number that is not created, or other values that are not within the proper any of the data ranges. That was 3 time the coding size than all of the rest of the system, including the account query/search system and report generating systems.

Yes, I remember those data cassette tape drive computers, before you could afford a dual floppy IBM PC/AT/XT clone.  Then there were those 10 MEG hard drives.

I saw the introduction of the PC based
Hard Drive
CD ROM drive, then burner

Real Graphics above 640 by 480

I saw the introduction of the Bulletin board system that was interconnected so you had a primitive email address - mine was almost 80 characters long.

I saw the start of the WWW part of the Internet, which is what is now "THE Internet", since most of the other parts [terminal based mostly] have either "died" or been converted to use a browser.  Of course there are still parts that run via the terminal which I still use from time to time - mostly local to server communications.

The domain I use for this email address - I own -  was first created in the early '90, when you only had 14.4 dialup for most areas of the US, and has gone from one domain service to another, and my hosting service from one to another, till I finally settled on the one[s] I have been using for many years now.

Yes I have seen the wireless phone go from the "big brick" technology through to the introduction of the smart phone technology.  I now use a LG base model Android phone, since I do not need all of the wow-wee stuff.  I do not need to use it for my every "computer" need, like some are touted.

I have bought 3 Android tablets over the years.  I still use 2 of them.  And no, I do not like the hype of not needing a larger system - laptop or desktop - since a Android, IOSx, or MS OS claims it will do everything you will need.  My desktop I am typing this from is an old 4 core running Linux Mint 16 with 4 hard drives internal, 1 OS and 3 data drives - adding up to 6.25 TB - with 3 external 2 TB drives for backup.  I use to have 4 backup, till an internal 2TB drive failed and I needed my spare to replace it.

I really wonder how you could get a tablet to have 6 TB of data storage.  I also like to see these tablets find printer drivers to run the USB or network printing.  I have enough trouble tryng to find a working Linux [.deb] printer driver for my newer printers, and I have not been able to get any of my android tablets to access any of my colored printers - just a "older" HP laser printer.  I now look for Linux drivers BEFORE I decide to buy the printers.


I have gone from punched card data entry to web-based data entry screens.
I have gone from cassette tapes, through to floppies, internal/external hard drives, USB flash drives and SD cards.
I have seen mainframe computers the size of a bedroom, down to a refrigerator.
I have seen the IBM PC come out to the modern 4/6/8/16 core desktops.
I have use "portable" computers that were 30+ pounds down to the ultra thing, ultra light multi-core tablets.

I have "retired" from the "computer field" - as they use to call it - after 3 computer related degrees and many computer related jobs.
Then I had to get "permanently and 100% disabled" working as a substitute teacher by a student who should have been locked up in a mental ward.



On 07/21/2015 07:15 AM, Gary Collins wrote:

            On 07/18/2015 09:25 PM, James E Lang wrote:

The big discussion of Linux over the past 24+ hours has me wondering: What operating environment(s) do other members of this list use at home and at work? What factors influence the choice?


My first home computer was a BBC micro (anyone remember those?) That was back in the days when programming had to be really tight, only had 32Kb (yes, Kb) of RAM; long term storage was all external on cassette tapes, eventually upgraded to floppy disk drive (and the disks really were floppy). I've still got that computer and AFAIK it still works!
My next machine was Acorn Archimedes, followed by RISC PC. It's a great shame that the marketing for those machines was so poor, leading to collapse of the company. The ARM chips had a great architecture and instruction set.
After that, I got my first laptop, a Sony Vaio running windows XP. When I upgraded, which I was forced to do due to a machine failure, I got a laptop running Windows 7 - which is still my current machine. A better Windows, once I'd got used to it, but it had a real downer - couldn't get driver for my flatbed scanner - Canon didn't produce one.
At work, in my first job I used a computer called a PDP 11 (ghastly thing); can't remember what the OS was called.
In my second job I think we started off with some sort of mainframe, the details of which are hazy now. Later we migrated to Sun Spark workstations.
In my last real job, used PCs running windows, I think it was XP at that time.
Now in my office based voluntary work I use PCs with Windows 7. Did have a play with Win 8 on a laptop, but hated it. It might be OK for tablets, I don't know, but it was horrible to use with normal PC input devices.
I have thought about upgrading to Linux but have never got around to it. This is mainly because of familiarity with certain software packages, especially Photoshop. I know there is GIMP for Linux, but it's not a patch - for one thing, it doesn't have the concept of adjustment layers; and that means that all my working files, which tend to be saved as TIFF with layer compression, can't be properly loaded and edited in GIMP.I also make use of a video editor (not free but fairly inexpensive) which can edit MPEG2 files without reencoding unchanged parts of the video, which makes it quite fast and doesn't lose quality. Something like that probably does exist for Linux but I haven't got around to looking, and familiarity is a big part of the story.Another thing is the convenience of plug and play when it comes to hardware - I don't think I've ever had to manually load a driver, everything seems to work "out of the box" and that's a very good thing, saves a lot of time and effort. I'm not sure what Linux is like in that respect, as I've had no experience.
On my phone I have android and I tend to get on reasonably well with that.
I'm not sure what I will do if I ever need to change computer again.
/Gary
   




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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James E. Lang
Linux user since 2002.
No smart phones, no "social" net.
At work we are forced to struggle with Windows 7 and 2008 Server.

Nice topic demonstrating how much desktop computing, "productivity
suites" and mailing lists have become subject to old farts.


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James Knott James Knott
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by gcatlast
On 07/23/2015 04:40 AM, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school

We didn't either.  I had a FORTRAN class in grade 12 and filled in
pencil mark cards, which the teacher took to the board office, to run on
the computer there.


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Gordon Burgess-Parker-4 Gordon Burgess-Parker-4
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by gcatlast


On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school,
neither did we....log tables and slide rule!

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gcatlast gcatlast
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James Knott
Ah. We didn't even have computers on the curriculum..... there weren't many schools that did.
       From: James Knott <[hidden email]>
 To: [hidden email]
 Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:16
 Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   
On 07/23/2015 04:40 AM, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school

We didn't either.  I had a FORTRAN class in grade 12 and filled in
pencil mark cards, which the teacher took to the board office, to run on
the computer there.




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gcatlast gcatlast
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by Gordon Burgess-Parker-4
 Yes, I remember those.... (this is getting a bit like "The Three Yorkshire Men!)
      From: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
 To: [hidden email]
 Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:37
 Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   


On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school,
neither did we....log tables and slide rule!



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gcatlast gcatlast
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

Sorry, that should have been "The Four Yorkshiremen" (I must have miscounted :-) )
       From: Gary Collins <[hidden email]>
 To: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>; "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
 Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:45
 Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   
 Yes, I remember those.... (this is getting a bit like "The Three Yorkshire Men!)
 

     From: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
 To: [hidden email]
 Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:37
 Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   


On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school,
neither did we....log tables and slide rule!



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Dan Lewis Dan Lewis
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James E. Lang


-------- Original message --------
From: Gary Collins <[hidden email]>
Date:07/23/2015  7:45 AM  (GMT-05:00)
To: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>,[hidden email]
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey

 Yes, I remember those.... (this is getting a bit like "The Three Yorkshire Men!)
      From: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:37
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
   


On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> We didn't have computers at all at school,
neither did we....log tables and slide rule!

    Cheap (a few dollars) or expensive ( bamboo, $50 plus)? A few scales or many? In high school, I had a cheap one; in service, I used a circular slide rule.
    There was also a Chemistry and Physics Handbook published every few years with many tables in it including Integral equations. All the tables used in math was also published separately. One table contained multiples of pi to 20 decimal places. (Very useful for high school trig classes! )

Dan




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Graham P Davis Graham P Davis
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by gcatlast
On Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:45:08 +0000 (UTC)
Gary Collins <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  Yes, I remember those.... (this is getting a bit like "The Three
> Yorkshire Men!) From: Gordon Burgess-Parker <[hidden email]>
>  To: [hidden email]
>  Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 12:37
>  Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] [OT] Operating Environment Survey
>    
>
>
> On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> > We didn't have computers at all at school,
> neither did we....log tables and slide rule!
>

We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.

To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.


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OS: Linux: openSUSE 13.2 (64-bit); KDE 4.14.9; Kernel: 4.1.3




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James Knott James Knott
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

On 07/25/2015 09:35 AM, Graham P Davis wrote:
> We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
> were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.
>
> To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.

Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)

We used them in physics and electricity & electronics classes.


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Harvey Nimmo Harvey Nimmo
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

On Sat, 2015-07-25 at 14:54 -0400, James Knott wrote:

> On 07/25/2015 09:35 AM, Graham P Davis wrote:
> > We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
> > were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.
> >
> > To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.
>
> Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)
>
> We used them in physics and electricity & electronics classes.
>
>
Yes, that was shortly after they finally ditched the abacus


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Felmon Davis Felmon Davis
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

On Sat, 25 Jul 2015, Harvey Nimmo wrote:

> On Sat, 2015-07-25 at 14:54 -0400, James Knott wrote:
>> On 07/25/2015 09:35 AM, Graham P Davis wrote:
>> > We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
>> > were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.
>> >
>> > To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.
>>
>> Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)
>>
>> We used them in physics and electricity & electronics classes.
>>
>>
> Yes, that was shortly after they finally ditched the abacus

and thus ends this excursus into archaic calculation devices.

(though I do wonder when people learned to use fingers or digits to
count...<g>.)

f.

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A stitch in time saves nine.

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Keith Bates Keith Bates
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

On 26/07/15 05:58, Felmon Davis wrote:

> On Sat, 25 Jul 2015, Harvey Nimmo wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 2015-07-25 at 14:54 -0400, James Knott wrote:
>>> On 07/25/2015 09:35 AM, Graham P Davis wrote:
>>> > We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
>>> > were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens
>>> weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.
>>> >
>>> > To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962
>>> aged 18.
>>>
>>> Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)
>>>
>>> We used them in physics and electricity & electronics classes.
>>>
>>>
>> Yes, that was shortly after they finally ditched the abacus
>
> and thus ends this excursus into archaic calculation devices.
>
> (though I do wonder when people learned to use fingers or digits to
> count...<g>.)
>
> f.
>
This seems to be degenerating into the the Four Yorkshiremen -luxury!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

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Ph 02 67924890

Jesus is the Way
the Truth and the Life


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Valter Mura Valter Mura
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz


Il 19/07/2015 17:12, Charles-H. Schulz ha scritto:

> Hello everyone,
>
> James Knott <[hidden email]> @ 2015-07-19 03:43 CEST:
>
>> On 07/18/2015 09:25 PM, James E Lang wrote:
>>> The big discussion of Linux over the past 24+ hours has me wondering: What operating environment(s) do other members of this list use at home and at work? What factors influence the choice?
>>>
>> Personal:
>> All computers run openSUSE 13.1
>> ThinkPad E520 came with Windows 7 and can dual boot
>> Run Windows 10 in VirtualBox
>> Google Nexus 5 phone and Nexus 7 tablet
>>
>> Work: (I didn't choose either of these.)
>> ThinkPad X131e running Windows 8.1
>> iPhone 6
>>
>>
>> I like Linux, ThinkPads and Android.
> If anybody's interested in broadening the audience of this survey, we can
> create an actual online survey and attract several hundreds/thousands
> Libreoffice users. It's always good to collect this kind of information.  Just let me/us know.

+1

Go ahead, Charles :)

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Open Source is better!
LibreOffice: www.libreoffice.org
KDE: www.kde.org
Kubuntu: www.kubuntu.org


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anne-ology anne-ology
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James E. Lang
       yes, we had to actually know the various formulas to use when;
           and be able to calculate accurately.

       BTW - we could only use pencils in our classes;
           except for essay papers which could either be printed with a
fountain pen or typed without errors.



From: Graham P Davis <[hidden email]>
Date: Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 8:35 AM
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey
To: [hidden email]


On Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:45:08 +0000 (UTC)
Gary Collins <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> On 23/07/15 09:40, Gary Collins wrote:
> > We didn't have computers at all at school,
> neither did we....log tables and slide rule!
>



We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't
allowed either, only fountain pens.

To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.


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OS: Linux: openSUSE 13.2 (64-bit); KDE 4.14.9; Kernel: 4.1.3

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tonybsa tonybsa
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Re: Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James Knott

On 26/07/2015, at 5:54, James Knott <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)
Yep, they were still using slide rules when I joined the Royal Navy in 1959 (No that is not a mistake!)

The first computers I wrote about, as a technical author in 1969, was the "Energy Management Analogue Computer"  (EMAC) and the "Crosswind Control Computer" for the USAF -- C5A Galaxy aircraft. Followed by computers for "Concorde" with the "English-French Consortium".

Analogue computers (which people dispute were computers) did not use any software, so if you wished to change a parameter you probably needed to replace a couple of resistors and capacitors, change the input to a feedback loop, etc.
These computers had the equivalent of "For" and "While" loops, maths functions, such as X + Y (through AND gates). Most operations, including the mechanical read-out updates were done by "triggering" a transistor -- hence we got the 0 or 1 output.

Been working with software since -- still creating databases using LibreOffice Base connected to MySQL servers, creating WEB sites using HTML5, etc.

Not sure when this "retirement" thing is supposed to take place ;-)

By the way I am a Pom, but have been living in New Zealand for the past 43 years. Yea there do seem to be a lot of "old farts" on this list ;-)

Tony Bray
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MacBook Pro 15 inch Mid 2009
Mac OS X  10.9.5.
LibreOffice 4.4.3, Coda 2 and a whole lot more.
Also runs Ubuntu 14.04 desktop using Parallels

Acer 15 inch laptop, 4 GB RAM
Ubuntu 14.04 desktop,
LibreOffice 4.3.? , BlueFish, MySQL server,  MySQL workbench.
Mainly used as backup to HP server and for testing.

HP 15 laptop as server
Ubuntu 14.04 server, Apache2, PHP 5.5, MySQL server, MySQL workbench, Firefox, Chrome







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Erik Jan Erik Jan
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James Knott
James Knott schreef op 25-07-15 om 20:54:

> On 07/25/2015 09:35 AM, Graham P Davis wrote:
>> We only had log tables; standard slide rules weren't allowed as they
>> were too inaccurate. Drifting a bit more OT, ball-point pens weren't allowed either, only fountain pens.
>>
>> To put this in some sort of perspective, I left school in 1962 aged 18.
>
> Did they have slide rules way back then?  ;-)
>
> We used them in physics and electricity & electronics classes.
>
>

To tell you the truth: I still use my slide rule, very easy and useful
for calculations that need only to be about 95% accurate with the
correct order of magnitude. I even once corrected errors in an Excel
spreadsheet with the help of my log tables in 7 decimals from the year
1867. The author promised a "Louis d'Or" for each error in the tables!

Greetings,

Erik.


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Ian Whitfield Ian Whitfield
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey



/On 26/07/2015 14:50, Erik Jan wrote://
/
> /To tell you the truth: I still use my slide rule, very easy and
> useful for calculations that need only to be about 95% accurate with
> the correct order of magnitude. I even once corrected errors in an
> Excel spreadsheet with the help of my log tables in 7 decimals from
> the year 1867. The author promised a "Louis d'Or" for each error in
> the tables! /

In my life at work, (from 60s to early 70s), in Laboratories I used
Slide Rules all the time!! I had the 'Standard' type as well as a
Circular one but eventually got a Tubular Slide Rule. It was aprox 3 to
4 cm in Diameter and closed up was about 10cm Tall (long), but because
of its spiral design was the equivalent to a Standard 55" Slide Rule so
very much more accurate.

In fact I still have two of these - the Standard one and the Tubular
one!! (The Circular one has gone missing over the years.)

In one job I had in Bulawayo, (Rhodesia), in the late 60s I had to go
down to the factory floor in the late afternoon to look after the
production so used to keep all my calculation work for this period. The
Production Manager's Desk was elevated over the Production Floor and the
African Workers thought that it was a kind of "Calculating Microphone" I
was using that I spoke the calculations into and it gave me the
answers!! The floor was very noisy so that could only see me working the
Slide Rule and then writing down the answers!!!

Only later on did we get the first 'Facit", hand operated "Calculating
Machine' - you had to work out the position of the decimal point
yourself, it just gave you a string of numbers!! Later we got electric
ones!!! I believe the mechanics of the original Facit Calculators was
developed somewhere in Scandinavia and working it all out drove the
Inventor crazy. Having opened one up at one time I can understand why!!

Great times!!! I also remember later desperately trying to buy a "Four
Function" Hand Calculator in Sanction Plagued Rhodesia for a ridicules
price!! But later got a friend in America to get the first of several
'Texas Instruments' Calculators, (could never get the hang of Reverse
Polish Notation as used by HP!!), and sending it to me!!!

Hard now to believe all these steps in development isn't it!!!! And
let's not forget about Visi Calc!!!!!!

IanW
Pretoria RSA

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Adam Tauno Williams Adam Tauno Williams
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Re: [OT] Operating Environment Survey

In reply to this post by James E. Lang
On Sat, 2015-07-18 at 18:25 -0700, James E Lang wrote:
> The big discussion of Linux over the past 24+ hours has me wondering: What operating environment(s) do other members of this list use at home and at work? What factors influence the choice?
> To set the tone, here are my answers:

openSUSE LINUX, three laptops.  Both for work and 'home'.

I do a lot of work in LO, data grinding in calc, diagramming in Draw,
and maintain several large technical documents [600+ pages] in writer.

It works *great*.  It is not perfect; cross-reference support still need
to be improved.  But it works very well.


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