Mechanical calculators have the BEST divide-by-zero errors

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/15/melon-melon-melon.html

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#2

To infinity and beyond!

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#3

download

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#4

googles

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#5

That’s my new theme song.

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#6

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#7

That’s what my brain did on November 8th , 2016.

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#8

explanation plus slow motion of a proper division

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#9

Wait until we get quantum computers.

planet-collapse

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#10

One of my first jobs, while still in college in the mid-Seventies, was checking contractor estimate totals. We had desktop calculators - forget the brand and model - which were laid out like early electric typewriters. The readout was even on a moving “platen” which slid back and forth. All the parts were very heavy and robust, including the moving part. During some operations the movement of the slide would actually cause the table the machine was on to rock. Don’t remember if any of us tried dividing by zero, but we would sometimes perform long operations - including division - just to listen to the thing whirr for several minutes before suddenly running the platen back and forth to set the answer in the readout.

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#11

That’s me calculating a tip.

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#12

The sound on the slowed down version of Pi is epic; like Robot-Busby Berkley.

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#13

image

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#14

And thus Skynet was born.

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#15

The gizmo in the video divides by adding. It might take forever to get to infinity, but nothing’s going to explode.

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#16

As a lover of mechanical calculators and machinery in general, I find this sofascinating. Someone I once knew had a handheld Curta calculator that he let me play with for awhile. I felt like 5 with a new set of legos. I never did try to devide by zero though…

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#17

Mechanical calculators and adding machines are awesome. I’m impressed with the craft and ingenuity. I’ve been thinking of getting one for kicks.

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#18

Reminds me of my old, Casio Mini handheld calculator. It’s been many years, and I don’t recall the exact sequence, but hitting certain keys caused the Mini to display a continuous count-up. Such weirdness from my very first calculator.

1 Like

#19

Sure, it ran at just 1 MHz… but just look at it!

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#20

+++Divide by cucumber error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++

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