Chasing a circular slide rule…

As a technologist, I know that there were some things that shaped my love of and use of technology. The first, was the presentation of a circular slide rule by my father to me, around my 15th birthday. I loved that slide rule. It was more than simply a slide-rule-in-the-round. It had a periodic table of the elements on one side. It had a sheet with mathematical formulae on the inside. I used it an almost every day. It, that circular slide rule and the Swiss Army Knife I got in Ireland were my constant companions.

From those two items came the next tool for me in the technology space. The Apple IIc computer. I went from the IIc to the IIgs. My ex-wife told me, right before we ended our marriage that in fact “the computer thing would never amount to anything.” I guess in the end people can be wrong. My ex-wife certainly was. My love of those original computers moved me towards the Macintosh computers. I had a Macintosh SE, SE/30. Macintosh IIc, Quadra 700 and then a PowerBook. The PowerBook (color) was mine for about three days and then became my current wife’s computer. (I tried to convince she wanted one, she said no, saw me using it a few times and decided she had to have one). My current wife has always supported me; it is why she is current and won’t be an ex.

Macs were left behind when I joined Microsoft. I was a PC guy from then onward. When I left Microsoft, I got a new Macintosh MacBook. But that is not a story relevant to the evolution now discussed. The reality for me being now, I still seek that circular slide rule. I measure the devices I have against the perfect memory of that slide rule. I realize it is perfect because it is no more. The evolution however of computers is what drives me now. I look towards devices as tools. Each performs a specific function. My iPad is my portable communication device. My iPhone is my connected always with me device. My laptop represents the tool I use to build IP at work and to build and consider IP at home. All of this technology simply a tool. From understanding what is under the surface of the water, to take pictures from above, technology is a tool. It is something I use, happily because of a circular slide rule.


What do you think?


Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  1. What resonated with me was your current wife’s support in your passion. Nothing feels better than sharing your enthusiasm with a loved one. I have to yank my wife’s arm to love certain tech (of course, it’s just a figure of speech), but the only thing she really got into was the iPad and the iPhone. And would you look at that, she breezed thru the iPhone 4s, 6s+ and now, the 7+. I always love watching her play Bejeweled on it. I mean, gawd, she has still one of the better phones to date and still she likes to play a decade-old casual games.

    In closing, I love how you write your article. It doesn’t show your passion for tech, but also your eagerness to share it with your loved one (I remembered you posted about drones on The Bloggers Masterclass).

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