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ThinkGeek Slide Rule


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  • Perfect re-creation of the classic slide rule
  • The one and only slide rule currently manufactured!
  • Includes vinyl sleeve and retro styled box
  • Individually hand tooled and printed

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Product Information

Technical Details
Brand NameThinkGeek
Item Weight4.8 ounces
Product Dimensions13.2 x 3.1 x 1.1 inches
  
Additional Information
ASINB003M5B84C
Best Sellers Rank #134,734 in Office Products (See top 100)
Shipping Weight4.8 ounces
Date First AvailableMay 13, 2010
  
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Product Description

Before the advent of the microprocessor geeks lived pretty boring lives. For one thing there was no WOW, and that of course meant people got a lot more done. But on the other hand doing pretty much everything was substantially slower. Want to look up some information? You had the robust Dewey Decimal System and files of card catalogs to wade through. Need to heat up some food? Try 400º for 55 minutes. And video games... don't even get us started. additional image Through this terrible dark technology period the mechanical slide rule was the one gleam of hope that true geeks could cling to. Here was a simple device with one sliding part that could do complex mathematical calculations in moments. Multiplication, division, roots, logarithms, and even trigonometry could be performed with ease. But as technology marched forward with sophisticated computers and graphing pocket calculators the lowly slide rule was forgotten... left unused in attic boxes and yard sales, its contribution to aviation, space exploration, and architecture just a memory. Until now that is. ThinkGeek has re-created the classic student slide rule in a last homage to all that is good and geeky. Now you can own a bit of technological history and do some handy math calculations to boot. The ThinkGeek Slide Rule is a faithful replica of the original rules used during the 50s and 60s. All the standard scales and calculations work just as well as they did fifty years ago with no batteries required. Since no slide rule manufacturing facility exists currently, we were forced to start from scratch. You will find that each ThinkGeek Slide Rule is individually hand tooled and printed and comes complete with a vinyl sleeve in an authentic retro styled box.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

ThinkGeek did a pretty good job here.
Prospero
We fail to understand the power of estimation in an age where people would rather get an answer that is wrong to seven decimal places than get the right one to three.
E. M. Van Court
This is also a pretty basic rule, as it doesn't have CF/DF scales, which means a lot of sliding.
evandy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By evandy on October 22, 2010
Verified Purchase
I ordered this rule as it was the easiest to find... boy, I wish that I had taken the time to find a good used rule.

I have had the rule about a week, and have had to re-calibrate it at least twice, as the fixed scales keep moving with respect to each other. The slide is extremely sticky out of the box, because the gum used to glue the rule lines to the plastic body hasn't been cleaned off, and it took a few days to get enough off that it didn't keep getting lodged in the slide again.

This is also a pretty basic rule, as it doesn't have CF/DF scales, which means a lot of sliding. That's too bad, because there is definitely enough room on the rule for them! On the front, the rule has: K, A, [B, CI, C], D, and L scales. The back has [S ST T1 C] scales on the slide, and a D scale on the bottom. The top has the decimal notations for the standard power-of-2 fractions between 1/64 and 63/64.

All in all, it's not bad for learning, but would be twice as good if it had CF and DF scales.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Prospero on August 10, 2010
Verified Purchase
If you have never at least multiplied on a slide rule, you are not "geek". I'm serious. It's one of the secret rules and it used to be a difficult one to fulfill. Vintage slide rules are difficult to come by and can require a bit of an investment. Seeing a slide rule in modern production is a welcome sight and the price (under 20USD+shipping) at time of writing, is certainly welcome. ThinkGeek did a pretty good job here. The rule does multiplication, division, square roots, cube roots, common logs, and trig functions. It's duplex (functions on both sides), and has a fractional inch to decimal conversion table on the back. The model number is appropriate: 1337. The piece isn't without some minor issues though. So, on with the pro's and cons:

Pros:

- clear and easy to read scales
- many functions
- duplex
- accurate
- works (always a plus)
- appears based on a Pickette 902 (good choice)
- inexpensive
- Nice box!

Cons:

- Made of what appears to be medium density polystyrene (ok, but not as durable as the vintage ones). If you were to use it daily, I think you would be replacing it every 6 months.
- Came with some adhesive in the rail that caused it to bind (isopropyl cleared this up).
- It's BIG! Certainly a desktop model. This isn't an "iRule" you simply keep in your palm, it's a full on server. It's about the same length as a Pickett 902 (~12"), but nearly twice as wide. I think the next version (1337-3R?) could likely narrow by 30% and work fine. It should really be about the same dimensions as a typical 12" ruler
- NO INSTRUCTIONS!! This, I can't believe! There are instructions located all over the web and there are also books.
Read more ›
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P on December 30, 2010
This slide rule is trying very much to look like a vintage Pickett slide rule, and I suspect that is where ThinkGeek spent all their money. Although the box looks nice and the rule--from a distance--looks authentic, the "ThinkGeek" printing on the slider gives it away.
The plastic used was cheap--about like hobby shop styrene--and pieces along the sliders were chipped off. The printed labels containing the markings were glued on slightly crooked, and the adhesive smeared and stuck the slider up. In fact, the entire rule was sticky. I tried googone, windex, etc, but they did not remove the gunk. This makes for a very frustrating user experience.
My advice is: whether you want a discussion piece or a functional tool, spend a little extra money and time and find a used slide rule on Ebay. Get one from a time when they knew how to make quality products.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jeffrey p burdick on June 8, 2011
Verified Purchase
As most, mine came in completely unslideable. Lots of alcohol freed it up.
The labels were cut very crudely, and were fraying off.
The hairline slider got full of gunk and was virtually uncleanable, as it's difficult to get anything between it and the rule.
I went on Ebay and purchased an actual Pickett 140 for $9. With postage it was $17. It's a MUCH better instrument, and even as a novelty was cheaper shipped than ThinkGeek wants for their item alone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justin on October 15, 2010
Verified Purchase
Another reviewer mentioned that his "[stuck] in certain places", but mine won't budge. It actually seems to have been glued in place -- perhaps this sticky substance in the sliding track was at one point a lubricant, but if that were the case, it serves the opposite effect now. To adjust it, I have to take it apart, place the center piece where I want it, and put it back together. I highly recommend trying to track another manufacturer down...which saddens me, because I really like ThinkGeek.

Update: Some hot water and rubbing alcohol got it to the point of usability -- that is, about the condition of the aforementioned reviewer, where it gets stuck at spots, but at least it's usable. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the precision of the manufacturing, however...and for a $30 piece of plastic, it really ought to work out of the box.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Z. Simpson on November 15, 2010
I just received one of these, and, as others have written, it's *extremely* sticky...to the point of being unusable.
Alcohol does nothing to the "goo", but just a small amount of Goo Gone (or, presumably, any other citrus cleaner), applied to the slots and worked around by sliding the slide a few times, got rid of the stickiness completely, with no damage to the markings. Now, the slide rule slides easily and is as accurate as the ones from the good old days. Needs no batteries or anti-virus software. Well worth the money.
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