Sunday, May 22, 2005

Count on me...

Whenever I follow a link from a search result and get 404'ed I am struck by how transitory information is on the Internet - here to day and gone tomorrow. It is ironic that much of the information from the Information Age is inaccessible while writing from thousands of years ago is still being read and studied today. However, I was equally surprised when a web page that I created more than five years ago, and had more or less forgotten about myself, still seems to be getting hits.

A calculatorI created the Calculator Words page because of something I did for my wife. She was giving wee, cheap calculators to her SU group as a Christmas present and wanted something to, "make it more fun!", so I came up with the calculator words sheet. I was vaguely annoyed though that I couldn't remember the story we used to tell while doing a calculation that ended up with the answer spelling "ShELL" or possibly "ShELL.OIL" when you turned the calculator upside down. That was why I didn't just create a fun sheet for my wife, but wrote the web page as well. I hoped that somebody else out there on the Internet played the same daft games with their calculator but had a better memory than me. I did have a few people write to me with suggestions for words, some just emailed to say thank you, and somebody asked about a year later if I was doing another fun sheet for that Christmas (I didn't!), but nobody came up with the story I was looking for.

I still don't have that story, but out of the blue the other day, somebody sent me a different story! Brilliant! Unfortunately, the story carries a Parental Guidance certificate and I couldn't possibly repeat it here... OK, all I'll tell you is that it involves Dolly Parton and the answer on the calculator at the end of the story is 55378008! Invent your own schoolboy story if you must.

Since the Internet in general failed me, I thought I'd try the blogsphere. Anyone out there have any idea what I'm talking about? Of course modern calculators are much more sophisticated - my daughter showed me how she could enter her Math's teachers name and didn't even have to turn the calculator upside down. However, maybe somebody has retained the old craft skills.

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