Calculator Tricks From the Old Days

calculator games coverThe Pocket Calculator Game Book
Schlossberg and Brockman

This book is how to have fun with your calculator. You can play spelling games, combine it with cards, and do assorted tricks. Those of us of a certain age remember when you could type in numbers and spell something. My husband, reeled off his favorite numbers on the calculator without so much as a hesitation: 5318008 and 773440. Evidently this was the king of jokes for your basic junior high school math class. Hubs assures me that most guys over 50 will probably know the numbers as well.

The calculator was such a big deal when I was in high school. They were expensive and pretty limited in what they could do. By the time I was in college these scientific calculators were virtually required and people began to retire those slide rules.  Any of you old timers out there still remember how to work a slide rule?



back cover

calculator introduction

calculator solitaire

fast eddie


  1. I have my grandfather’s slide rule. I did have to learn how to use one in some class, so I could probably figure it out again.

  2. Very British with “Sinclair Oxford” on the cover, I think my grand father had an HP similar to it and my grand mother sewed a naugahide holster for it!!

  3. Yep, used my dad’s ivory and walnut K&E slide rule in high school physics although fabulously expensive TI and HP programmable scientific calculators were coming into use (remember magnetic strips for program storage?).

  4. The Atari 2600 wouldn’t be released until a year later, people had to keep themselves entertained somehow until then.

  5. I remember amusing myself for a few seconds occasionally by spelling words upside down on a calculator as a kid. I can’t believe they published an entire book about it.

  6. Long before calculators my dad would say, “7734 upside down!” Very funny to us at age 7 or so.

  7. My high school freshman science teacher announced to us the first day of class that we were the first class that he would NOT teach how to use a slide rule since we all had calculators now. He then pointed out his own slide rule which he had mounted in a small display case, with description on the wall of his classroom!

  8. Most modern programming language, such as Python, includes built-in language support for fractions. If you or your child can code, you can create your own fraction calculator in minutes.

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