I was given my first slide rule, a Concise 28 carrying an airline logo, when I was 10 years old. It was a fascinating gift from an air navigator, a father of a school friend. 42 years later he still provides me with valuable information concerning Astro Navigation from Boeing 707s, periscope bubble sextants, sun compasses and the like.

On joining a technical high school at 15 I was issued with a state of the art Hemmi 259D which I last saw in my parents’ house a few years ago. I still hope to find it packed in a loft box one day.

In 1974, upon seeing an electronic calculator for the first time, I had the same mixed feelings I had years later when I first navigated using a GPS receiver – amazement at the ease, speed and accuracy, combined with the sense that inevitably and irreversibly, the human element is slowly being taken out of the loop.

I do not consider myself a slide rule collector, although I have some 50 different examples. Rather I am an inquisitive enthusiast, keen to re-familiarise myself with slide rules and their efficient and accurate operation.

In the last couple of years I turned my attention to high end rules, trying to understand the tradeoffs their designers had to make and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their different layouts. I suppose it was part of the quest for the ‘perfect’ slide rule, a quest that is probably never going to reach a conclusion.

I see the
UltraLog as an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary step in slide rule design. It has a simple, clear, no frills scale arrangement bringing together what I consider to be the most successful elements of several ‘best of breed’ slide rules. I hope you will enjoy owning and using one soon.

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