Monday, 11 December 2006

Yet Another Clock I'd Like To Own

The Klok Modern is a clock that uses nixie tubes for its digits.

A nixie tube contains a set of filaments, one behind the other, that glow when current is passed through them. At any given instant, only one of the filaments in each tube displays its number. When you have a few of them next to each other, as in this clock, it looks a bit weird, because the various digits displayed are at different depths.

When I was at high school, back during the Mesozoic era, Fort Street had a programmable "calculator", the Canon Canola 167P, whose display was made from nixie tubes.

That Canola probably cost in excess of AUD1000. A year later, I was able to buy a pocket calculator (a Texas Instruments TI 59) that had far more power than the old Canola, for a couple of hundred dollars. An excellent example of Moore's Law at work!

To this day, I still know the values of and e to 16 decimal digits, from having punched them into the 167P more times than I can remember!

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