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Old 8th January 2018, 11:27 AM   #241
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Funny. Metrification here occurred 1876. Use of older units didn't survive at all. There are no traces of them nowadays and it is unlikely they would be found even in early 20th century. Adoption was quite rapid.

That's why use of outdated units seems so odd for some supposedly First world countries...
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:36 AM   #242
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Search for a free program called convert.exe. It will do just about any conversion most people are likely to encounter in life, including metric/imperial. It even includes a fairly comprehensive list of conversions used in scientific and engineering fields. I use it often at work. And it can be fun to play with.

Examples:

convert stone(s) to pennyweight, carats, or grams.
convert meters to lightyears, parsecs or furlongs.
convert leap years to nanoseconds or fortnights.
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:39 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
I've been doing a lot of SI slagging in this thread, but even for me, calling a thousandth of an inch a "mill" is truly beyond the pale.*


* A "mill" is a millimetre. It's in the name. And can lead to considerable confusion - some folks across the pond probably thought you were actually talking about millimeters. I fear for your safety, my friend ...
It's "mil" NOT "mill".

The mil was advocated for in the 19th century in an attempt to get machinists to decimalize inches and stop using fractions especially 64ths of an inch (I still have on old L.S. Starett machinists scale with 64ths on it).

I hate that units name and try to always say "thou" instead of "mil" when I'm talking about thousandths of an inch, however due to decades of saying mil in the context of PCB traces and plastic film thickness I often slip back to mil.

Last edited by paulhutch; 8th January 2018 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:42 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Or Huns.
They certainly would have used 9mm if they had the opportunity.
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:49 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
I've been doing a lot of SI slagging in this thread, but even for me, calling a thousandth of an inch a "mill" is truly beyond the pale.*


* A "mill" is a millimetre. It's in the name. And can lead to considerable confusion - some folks across the pond probably thought you were actually talking about millimeters. I fear for your safety, my friend ...
I make a point of using "thou" when talking about that unit of distance.

ETA Ninja'd by Paulhutch
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:46 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Search for a free program called convert.exe. It will do just about any conversion most people are likely to encounter in life, including metric/imperial. It even includes a fairly comprehensive list of conversions used in scientific and engineering fields. I use it often at work. And it can be fun to play with.

Examples:

convert stone(s) to pennyweight, carats, or grams.
convert meters to lightyears, parsecs or furlongs.
convert leap years to nanoseconds or fortnights.
My long-time favorite.
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Old 8th January 2018, 03:31 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I make a point of using "thou" when talking about that unit of distance.

ETA Ninja'd by Paulhutch

That was/is always the case in Australia from my observation.
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Old 8th January 2018, 03:35 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
In pounds and ounces, of course. What else?

You seem to be at odds with Craig B on this who is comfortable with dividing the stone into fractions. Down to a 64th of a stone perhaps?
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Old 8th January 2018, 03:49 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
using mills as a length measurement is confusing because there is the mil angular measurement (6400 mils = 360 deg). derived from it's approximation to a milliradian.

That's a new one on me.

360 deg = 2Pi radians = 6.2832 radians = 6283.2 milliradians ? (a very rough approximation)

I think we should never have invented degrees because the radian is the natural unit.
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Old 8th January 2018, 03:58 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
That's a new one on me.

360 deg = 2Pi radians = 6.2832 radians = 6283.2 milliradians ? (a very rough approximation)

I think we should never have invented degrees because the radian is the natural unit.
The degree is sort of a natural unit. About a day's orbit.
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Old 8th January 2018, 05:53 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I remember using "kips" in some structural analysis classes in the early 90's. Obviously, these were kilo pounds, because "tons" was just too muddied at this point.
The term is still used when discussing drawworks weights in the oilfield.
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Old 8th January 2018, 06:20 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
There's one notable exception: PDP-11 machine language. The PDP-11 had 8 registers and 8 addressing modes which were each coded as a sequence of 3 bits, so writing out the value of an instruction in octal neatly gave you one octal digit for the (source or target) register and one octal digit for the addressing mode.
I'll remember that the next time I get a job programming the PDP-11. Any day now.
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Old 8th January 2018, 06:21 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Search for a free program called convert.exe. It will do just about any conversion most people are likely to encounter in life, including metric/imperial.
Not unlike Google.
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Old 8th January 2018, 06:27 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
Not unlike Google.
Quite unlike google
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Old 8th January 2018, 06:36 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Quite unlike google...
...in that it works even when my ISP* doesn't.

*"Internet Service Provider", which is a very funny description for a company that doesn't understand any of those words.
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Old 8th January 2018, 08:40 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
That's a new one on me.

360 deg = 2Pi radians = 6.2832 radians = 6283.2 milliradians ? (a very rough approximation)

I think we should never have invented degrees because the radian is the natural unit.
That's messy. Make 360=6 radians.
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Old 9th January 2018, 12:45 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
The term is still used when discussing drawworks weights in the oilfield.
Yes but a geophysicist friend told me that reciprocal speed in microseconds per foot are also used in that industry.
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:45 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You seem to be at odds with Craig B on this who is comfortable with dividing the stone into fractions. Down to a 64th of a stone perhaps?
I've never heard of anyone buying potatoes by the stone, but, yes, it wouldn't be unusual to talk about half or quarter of a stone, especially if it was in addition to a whole number of stone. Any finer division and you'd probably switch to pounds and ounces.

In weighing myself, I'd generally go to a quarter stone (although the scale is marked sub-divisions of pounds, between the stone markers).
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:54 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Yes but a geophysicist friend told me that reciprocal speed in microseconds per foot are also used in that industry.
Geophysicists do tend to try a little too hard to look good in front of the floor crew.
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:57 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
I'll remember that the next time I get a job programming the PDP-11. Any day now.
Or PDP-8.

I remember having to bootstrap the PDP-8 by toggling (literally, flipping toggle switches to set the bits in each 12-bit word) in the paper-tape loading program so we could then load our project programs.
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Old 9th January 2018, 02:51 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
I've never heard of anyone buying potatoes by the stone, but, yes, it wouldn't be unusual to talk about half or quarter of a stone, especially if it was in addition to a whole number of stone. Any finer division and you'd probably switch to pounds and ounces.

In weighing myself, I'd generally go to a quarter stone (although the scale is marked sub-divisions of pounds, between the stone markers).
Per wiki:
In England, merchants traditionally sold potatoes in half-stone increments of 7 pounds.
In Scotland too, and the practice was absolutely normal into the fifties, or perhaps later, as I remember from daily experience.

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Old 9th January 2018, 02:59 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Per wiki:
In England, merchants traditionally sold potatoes in half-stone increments of 7 pounds.
In Scotland too, and the practice was absolutely normal into the fifties, or perhaps later, as I remember from daily experience. The shops had weights for the pans of their scales.
Notice here, that a set of these scales is being sold, with weights to a total of a quarter stone, as a typical example of daily use, no doubt.

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Old 9th January 2018, 05:46 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
I've been doing a lot of SI slagging in this thread, but even for me, calling a thousandth of an inch a "mill" is truly beyond the pale.*


* A "mill" is a millimetre. It's in the name. And can lead to considerable confusion - some folks across the pond probably thought you were actually talking about millimeters. I fear for your safety, my friend ...
I do a fair amount of PC board layout, and mills cause me endless grief, especially since I tend to actually say "mils" when referring to millimeters.

It doesn't help that I prefer using the Metric system, but most components have lead spacings essentially based on Imperial units.

I blame America, and to some extent, the UK, for insidiously keeping the Imperial system alive on the micro scale
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Old 9th January 2018, 08:31 AM   #264
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Above one or two stones (except when weighing people), it was normal to switch to hundredweight. A hundredweight is eight stones which is a hundred and twelve pounds. You bought things like sand, cement, or coal by the hundredweight, or half-hundredweight. There are twenty hundredweight in an imperial ton, which makes a ton equal to two thousand two hundred and forty pounds.

I don't think we've mentioned yet the different sorts of ounces. There are twelve troy ounces to the pound - and these are the kind of ounces gold is traditionally weighed in. Again we see the American's preference for large numbers as they often talk of 'three hundred ounces' of gold, rather than 'twenty five pounds.' The grocery store ounce (avoirdupois) there are sixteen to the pound - but what a lot of people don't know is that the two pounds are also different - the avoirdupois pound is about 21.5% heavier than the troy pound - so both the ounces and the pounds are different.

Last edited by ceptimus; 9th January 2018 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 9th January 2018, 09:01 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Above one or two stones (except when weighing people), it was normal to switch to hundredweight. A hundredweight is eight stones which is a hundred and twelve pounds. You bought things like sand, cement, or coal by the hundredweight, or half-hundredweight. There are twenty hundredweight in an imperial ton, which makes a ton equal to two thousand two hundred and forty pounds.

I don't think we've mentioned yet the different sorts of ounces. There are twelve troy ounces to the pound - and these are the kind of ounces gold is traditionally weighed in. Again we see the American's preference for large numbers as they often talk of 'three hundred ounces' of gold, rather than 'twenty five pounds.' The grocery store ounce (avoirdupois) there are sixteen to the pound - but what a lot of people don't know is that the two pounds are also different - the avoirdupois pound is about 21.5% heavier than the troy pound - so both the ounces and the pounds are different.
Here's another source of confusion.

In North America, hundredweight is used in the cattle industry to trade, value, and describe livestock. In this case, it's 100 pounds.
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Old 9th January 2018, 09:25 AM   #266
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Not really metric or imperial, but when announcing the time "half nine" means 8:30 to Dutch (and therefore Afrikanns) people but 9:30 to Brits (and therefore British South Africans). This could cause problems when scheduling meetings, but luckily the two groups don't talk to each other very often.

It's more correct in England to say, "half past nine" but the version without "past" would be interpreted by everyone here as just a shorthand way of saying the full version. I don't know if the phrase is used in North America, and if so what its meaning is.
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Old 9th January 2018, 11:01 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
I don't think we've mentioned yet the different sorts of ounces. There are twelve troy ounces to the pound - and these are the kind of ounces gold is traditionally weighed in.
And those are Troy pounds, which are not the same as avoirdupois pounds! According to convert.exe 1 troy pound is 0.8228571 lb avdp. Or 0.05877551 stone.

To twist an old riddle, which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold? Well, it's the feathers.
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Old 9th January 2018, 11:54 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Notice here, that a set of these scales is being sold, with weights to a total of a quarter stone, as a typical example of daily use, no doubt.

They must be very popular. I see that they're sold out.
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Old 9th January 2018, 11:58 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Not really metric or imperial, but when announcing the time "half nine" means 8:30 to Dutch (and therefore Afrikanns) people but 9:30 to Brits (and therefore British South Africans). This could cause problems when scheduling meetings, but luckily the two groups don't talk to each other very often.

It's more correct in England to say, "half past nine" but the version without "past" would be interpreted by everyone here as just a shorthand way of saying the full version. I don't know if the phrase is used in North America,

We say "9:30."

Quote:
and if so what its meaning is.

It means "9:30."
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:30 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
That's messy. Make 360=6 radians.

You can't make the radian what you like. It is a natural unit determined by the ratio of the radius to the arc. 360 degrees equals 2Pi radians or 6.28318 ....
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:38 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
That's messy. Make 360=6 radians.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You can't make the radian what you like. It is a natural unit determined by the ratio of the radius to the arc. 360 degrees equals 2Pi radians or 6.28318 ....
Or just use gradians, which were introduced by revolutionary France along with the rest of the Metric system.
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:46 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
We say "9:30."

It means "9:30."
Well sometimes I and others I know say, "half past nine" instead of "nine thirty" but never "half nine". The other common fractional times I use and hear are "quarter past nine" instead of "nine fifteen" and "quarter of ten" instead of "nine forty-five".
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Old 9th January 2018, 01:48 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You can't make the radian what you like. It is a natural unit determined by the ratio of the radius to the arc. 360 degrees equals 2Pi radians or 6.28318 ....
Yes, but you can alter the degree so that one degree equals a sixtieth of a radian. Makes the degree a bit awkward so that they don't fit around circles properly - but you can't have everything.
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Old 9th January 2018, 02:38 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
That's messy. Make 360=6 radians.
Sarcasm?
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Old 9th January 2018, 02:39 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Yes, but you can alter the degree so that one degree equals a sixtieth of a radian. Makes the degree a bit awkward so that they don't fit around circles properly - but you can't have everything.
If it doesn't fit all around the circle it's useless.

ETA:
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You can't make the radian what you like. It is a natural unit determined by the ratio of the radius to the arc. 360 degrees equals 2Pi radians or 6.28318 ....
I know, let's change pi!

Last edited by Minoosh; 9th January 2018 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 9th January 2018, 02:48 PM   #276
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Old 9th January 2018, 02:49 PM   #277
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I was sad in the UK when I realized shillings and sixpence were obsolete. And what about guineas?
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Old 9th January 2018, 03:00 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I was sad in the UK when I realized shillings and sixpence were obsolete. And what about guineas?
The coins went, as currency, long before decimalisation, but the amount is still in use in some circles, at livestock auctions for example. I believe the buyer pays the price in guineas, with the seller getting the price in pounds and the auctioneer getting the difference as their fee.
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Old 9th January 2018, 03:24 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
The coins went, as currency, long before decimalisation, but the amount is still in use in some circles, at livestock auctions for example. I believe the buyer pays the price in guineas, with the seller getting the price in pounds and the auctioneer getting the difference as their fee.
Yes 21 shillings, the seller gets 1 pound, the auctioneer gets 1 shilling.
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Old 9th January 2018, 03:53 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Yes 21 shillings, the seller gets 1 pound, the auctioneer gets 1 shilling.
Reminds me of a joke where an impoverished lawyer in London passed away. His fellows started a collection to cover the funeral costs. When they approached a local judge with a request for a shilling, he replied, "Only a shilling to bury a lawyer? Here's a guinea--go bury twenty more!"
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