@csepp very carefully? presumably engineers and mathematicians could figure it out. as for axtual pruduction, most of these look like standard photolithography printing processes, and perhaps a rivet machine.

@csepp before computers and desk calculators, this is what a room full of “computers” looked like


@zens I was thinking more about that "figure it out" part. Must be a lot of ancient forbidden trigonometry and stuff behind it. 😮

@csepp well, i don’t really know the answer to that, and i really wish i did because i wanna make my own.

the only intuition i can offer is the function must be transformed to turn non-linear relationships into linesr relationships by remapping the input or output density- e.g. you force the function to be linear by changing the distance between marks or renumbering them.

@csepp so the simplest example of this is the standard plain slide rule, that just uses a log scale for the marks, which changes the quadratic relationship between two multiples and a result- into a linear relationship.

@csepp a large number of the computers in the gallery are in fact, just simple multipliers with some semantic task specific labelling.

for more complicated formulae, i imagine the linearisation process would guide the design

@zens In gliders (sailplanes) calculators like this were used for a long time for calculating final glides to the destination airfield. They were replaced by electronic calculators which were part of other instrumentation.

While they were much better, the electronic versions couldn't be used to scrape ice off the canopy or chew nervously while on a marginal final glide (when you don't know you're going to make it all the way to the destination).


@zens PS, I also still have my “crap one” computer from when I did my private pilot's licence quite a few year ago. Slightly simpler version of numbers 617 and 618 in that collection.


Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.