Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
What happens when you divide by zero on a mechanical calculator (youtube.com)
7 points by mpweiher 62 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

My mother, a statistician, used a motorised mechanical calculator at the UK's Royal Aircraft Establishment around 1965.

She used to say if you accidentally divided by zero, it jammed itself and you had to call a repairman...

I once did something like this once on a mechanical Olivetti... only it was a million times a million.

Not even unplugging it would reset the mechanism. We had to open it and find and pull a master release bar, forcing it to end calculation and print a partial answer.

Perpetum Mobile ;)

Captian Kirk would be proud.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact