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Old 25th June 2012, 01:06 PM   #41
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It's not a question of having inferior intellectual capabilities to perform such a calculation with, but the unit's ease of use. With Inches and feet you are using a power of ten (thou) a power of two for your fractions, and a power of 12 for feet. I've used hexadecimal before in computer programming, at least it uses a consistent power.


Also; why should anyone under 40 be considered mathematically illiterate, do you suddenly become a mathematical genius on your 40th birthday?
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Old 25th June 2012, 01:24 PM   #42
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education system, bro.

(some folks mix imperial and metric cocktails in their skull, all day, every day)
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Old 25th June 2012, 02:31 PM   #43
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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All nice, but I had big issues when I designed a PCB with 1/20" raster spacing, and tried to insert integrated circuits with 1/8 cm raster spacing... (1.27 mm vs. 1.25 mm)
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Old 25th June 2012, 02:36 PM   #44
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Should have picked 49 mil.
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Old 25th June 2012, 03:22 PM   #45
7N7 is offline 7N7  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacco vermeulen View Post
education system, bro.

(some folks mix imperial and metric cocktails in their skull, all day, every day)
I was working for some years on English cars in France; the French I came across could not understand the nut and bolt sizes.

Then we got onto Whitworth (the best thread ever actually); they were amazed when I told them that a 1/4" Whitworth spanner measures 0.525" between the flats, or, to make it easy, 13.5mm!

I regularly came across geezered nuts and bolts on English cars in France.

Paul
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Old 25th June 2012, 06:21 PM   #46
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I was not referring to mental capability, but mental agility due to (lack of) practice. Actually, the divide might start at 50 not 40. I noticed many years ago that people more than a few years younger than me routinely reach for a calculator to do sums which my generation would do in their head. This is because of the changeover from slide rules to calculators in secondary school, which in the UK was late 60s/early 70s. Schools quickly stopped teaching mental arithmetic, although I believe they may have restarted again. So an issue of education, not basic ability.
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Old 25th June 2012, 06:38 PM   #47
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Lately one overhere remembered what to put in his (school obligatory) programmable calculator for the outcome of a homework sum, chance of drawing the same card a minimum number of times in a row from several of a stack of six.

The master programmer didn't know why it was so, but he could punch it, only final exam year to go before university.
(gmafb, at least he comprehended it's not going to be tech-u )
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Old 25th June 2012, 10:09 PM   #48
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I don't think that there is a lack of mental arithmetic out there. I've just finished sixth form and A level maths, where one module (C1) focuses solely on working things out without a calculator.

Believe me, I can work out the values for a passive eq network on paper, (FFRR the other day for some early LPs), but calculators are just simply far easier and nowadays ubiquitous. I do routinely work things out roughly in my head when building stuff, e.g. resistor values, power ratings etc...
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Old 26th June 2012, 08:57 AM   #49
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I'm pleased that mental arithmetic has made a comeback. Less pleased that it is in its own module, but that seems to be the way of modern exams. Hopefully in the UK we will soon be able to improve our exams back to something like their old standards, but I'm not holding my breath. To say any more would stray too far into politics and get the mods nervous so I won't.
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Old 26th June 2012, 09:01 AM   #50
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The problem it seems is universal.

I have just received, after a month's wait a consignment of 8 Russian valves which were sold under the following description: 6N1P = 6AQ5 = EL90.

This is not true. I have in front of me 8 valves 6N1P, with nine-pin bases, utterly useless.

If they can't count what hope is there for mental arithmetic?

Paul
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