Murder by Management

The wrath of the weather beavers has returned. Horrible storms, which I missed or decayed faster than predicted. But no constitutional, so I am discontent even if it is not winter.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, sent me link [Link] to this cartoon:

which rather illustrates a geek (nerd?) paradigm I was unsure still existed. 

As I have previously described in my youth we didn’t have calculators, we had slide rules. The day of the calculator did not dawn until, I believe, 1971 when Hewlett Packard (a very nice nerd hardware company until ruined by the likes of Carly Fiorina!) introduced the worlds first nerd calculator that would fit in pocket, the HP-35. 

Of course this calculator was not something that a teenage geek (nerd) would carry since its price was about two months of graduate student teaching assistant (TA) pay. So one could only buy such a thing in summer when one could live in a tent and scrounge food instead of buying food and paying rent. But cheaper calculators were to be introduced and today most geek calculators have prices o($100). 

The phenomena was the same. The idea was that guys who carried maths crunchers, whether slide rules or calculators, couldn’t get dates because no self-respecting high schule/college girl (sic) would date them. This was more fable than fact. The actuality is that most geeks (nerds) were impractical in their expectations and too insecure and fearful of rejection to even ask. 

What I had wondered was if girls (sic) were more assertive these days. Evidently not or this cartoon would not work. What I do know is that the wonders of the Reverse Polish Notation calculator have ebbed enormously. Part of this is due to the industry and conniving of Texas Instruments who have set themselves to be the calculator company of high schule students and Hewlett Packard has been destroyed by false managers. Yes, they still make a few calculators but they are as urine useless as their computers. This is a matter for Kaddish. The emperor is dead and all we have is chaos.

On the other hand, I had wondered if the era of the smart (sic) cellular telephone had done in the geek (nerd) calculator. I have several HP emulators on my cellular telephone and they do well enough for on-the-fly crunching. And when I need to really crunch I can haul out my HP-35. And weep at the glory that was once Hewlett Packard.