New cool gadget: CURTA

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Colinz, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Colinz


    Feb 16, 2001
    Stumbled over this about 18 months ago and just had to have one after reading the background story. I did read about it in a book by William Gibson a few years ago but didn't take notice then. Saved a few bucks and bought it a couple of weeks ago.

    Short story behind its development: A guy in a concentration camp was forced to develop an idea he had for a mechanical calculator. It was going to be a gift for Hitler. Well, Germany lost the war before it was produced and the inventor found an investor in Liechtenstein. So in the end it went into production.

    Any other CURTA owners out there?

    My CURTA:

  2. Stormaway


    Oct 9, 2014
    Interesting. Watched this video:


    That took some serious thought!
  3. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    No USB port? How do you install apps? :confused:

    Can the Curta do this?


    p.s. That Curta is seriously cool. Never heard of it before, and given current values I won't be getting one either.
  4. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    I love William Gibson stuff.
  5. iSaur


    Mar 6, 2006
    The book is Pattern Recognition.

    I remember in the 1960's, every issue of Scientific American had an ad for the Curta. Price IIRC was $125. Way out of my reach. By the early 1970's, of course, the first electronic calculators had killed them dead as the dodo.
  6. mwerner


    Apr 23, 2002
    On another forum, the question came up... What would the world be like had electricity not been mastered?
    I pointed out that we had the entire Industrial Revolution with no electricity, just steam and water-power. And we had mechanical computers.
    These had become pretty advanced by WWII, with various sorts of punch-card and mechanical computing machines used for targeting, bombsights, and industrial production.
    Can't help but wonder how far this technology could be taken?

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