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Electronic calculators and imperial units

by Bill Gibbon published Sep 20, 2010 10:06 PM, last modified Apr 05, 2011 11:05 PM
An early encounter with electronic calculators in quantity surveying

My first encounter with 'devices' was when a colleague in the Local Government office in which we both worked, in 1969, persuaded the purchasing clerk to buy an electronic calculator. It cost the equivalent of 6 months of my salary.

We were Quantity Surveyors, still working with yards, feet and inches as well as pounds, shillings and pence so to be honest it didn't help us much until we'd carefully produced a table of decimal equivalences (£1/15/6 = £1.775). I know that a couple of contractors that we worked with went bust during the time - I've always had a niggling belief that our calculations didn't quite work out as they should...

So this lesson was 'find the right solution for your problem, rather than the other way round...'

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