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Noisy calculators

by Peter Maher published Apr 24, 2008 11:20 PM, last modified Apr 05, 2011 11:05 PM
Hundreds of students using mechanical calculators in an examination makes a distracting noise
Brunsviga calculator

For part of my part-time degree course (1970-75) I did a module, I think called “mathematical method” which involved doing complex computation using one of those handle driven machines.  It was fun practising and whirring the handle round at a rate of knots; however, at formal exam time I found myself in a huge hall with literally hundreds of fellow maths students, all whirring their handles so fast the the accumulated noise was deafening.  I just went into hysterics and am still surprised that I ever passed.

Lesson learnt:

[ Perhaps a lesson to be learnt here is that technology's side-effects can be distracting? Richard Millwood, editor]

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