1. Re: A other oddity

Damn. None of my ox-goads is 1/4 chain long.

Seems to me that there are three different issues in this:
--metric is easier because units are all multiples of 10, rather than multiples of 16 or 5 1/2 or whatever. they are also related across types (1 cm^2 = 1 ml)
--decimals are easier than fractions
--almost the entire world uses metric, so even if the customary units weren't a PITA by comparison, it makes no sense to avoid going metric.

And anyway, why can't we go back to cubits?

2. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by DanK
it makes no sense to avoid going metric.
Follow the money. A primary argument against going metric used to be the initial cost of making the change such as replacing machinery, training personnel, etc. Now that so much of everything in machinery is displayed digitally, the cost of the change should be minimal.

3. Re: A other oddity

Our bathroom scales measure weight in stones, pounds and tenths (metric division) of pounds. Go figure.

And then there is the fact that we drive on the left.

4. Re: A other oddity

The issue of conversion is a constant thread here and seems to be the greatest point of frustration. As I mentioned in an earlier post, for me and my colleagues the answer was not to use any reference to imperial ever again. Still, there remains the issue, as Issie alluded to, of having a proprioceptive sense of a measure. So for Issie I hope this may help: 1ft = (approx.) 300mm. A pound mass = 450 grams (approx.)

The metric system was made to work a system of integrated metrics. What is amazing to me is to see, as in the UK, things measured in many ways: links, ft., metres etc. It leads to a general sense of confusion and requires unnecessary effort in conversion between the units. NZ switched from Imperial to Metric and that was it. NO use of other measures was permitted and it meant the pain of conversion was very-short lived. As I mentioned I grew up with pounds, shilling and pence (guineas even!) and the whole imperial mish-mash. For me the conversion to a 10-based system was a godsend when we really got into the digital computing age. As several people have commented fractions and spreadsheets do not play well together!

As a total aside, a very short explanation to Issie's post about the Internet. the Internet (which is actually an infrastructure of networking devices) was invented in the 1960's as a project by DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) to connect the military with the universities and other facilities significant to managing the US Nuclear Defence system - called ARPANET. It was designed to be robust as it would have no single point of failure. It was quite primitive from a data sharing point of view: A computer in one location would essentially call up a computer elsewhere to get information that would be readable between machines only with the same software. It developed and expanded but remained the bailiwick of these bodies until the start of the 1990's when a Briton, (Sir) Tim Berners- Lee, an IT professional who was working on the linear accelerator project at Cern, Switzerland wanted to be able to share data between diverse systems running over the Internet. He harnessed Hyper Text Markup Language to create a common platform for sharing data between diverse systems: the result was the World Wide Web, which runs on the infrastructure of the internet's server environment. Access was still limited to a select group of users in academia and government, until during the Clinton era when a decision was made to open it up the WWW as a publically-available service. The rest is history...

The internet is incredibly robust and I have great faith in it. The World Wide Web is another thing entirely...

5. Re: A other oddity

Back in the early 1970s I had an account with Ilford the maker then of mainly Black and white films and photopaper.
Reading the pricelist I saw I could order A4 Ilfospeed paper, itself a new product. Every so often the van turned up at my house to deliver it, but often after quite a delay. When I queried this the Rep investigated, to come back with the news that I was the only person in the UK ordering it, they had introduced it for the european market.

The big advantage, apart from keeping the ratios when cutting in half to A5, is that the 1:1.4 ratio is close to the 1:1.5 ratio of 35mm film. Add at thin white border and it is the ideal size to print keeping all the information of the original image.

6. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by Tronhard
The issue of conversion is a constant thread here and seems to be the greatest point of frustration. As I mentioned in an earlier post, for me and my colleagues the answer was not to use any reference to imperial ever again.

Trev,

It appears we might have something in common as I, too, spent most of my working life as a Cadastral (land title) Surveyor so you may take it that my earlier comments extolling the virtues of the imperial system of measurement were somewhat tongue in cheek. But it might interest you that here, in Australia, prior to the introduction of the metric system in 1972 title surveys were conducted in feet and decimal of a foot in urban area and chains and links in rural area. Thus all calculations were carried out entirely in a decimal ten system (one chain = 100 links), exactly the same as the metric system. The only issue was converting the decimals of a foot to inches and fractions of an inch for display on a survey plan for issue of title. For this purpose we had a table listing all the decimals of a foot and their inch equivalents but after a period of time most surveyors simply memorised all these conversions and tables were superfluous.

Of more important to me was the introduction of the programmable calculator with all trig functions, which occurred at about the same time. At last we could dispose of those dreaded Shortrede 12 figure log tables.

As to paper sizes, I really like the metric A series particularly because every size has the same aspect ratio - 1:1.414214 (ie square root of 2). I can even remember some of the imperial paper sizes such as foolscap and quarto and who can forget the ever useful Elephant, Double Elephant and Super Royal. Have absolutely no idea how big they were but I reckon Double Elephant would be a piece of paper to contemplate and admire. .

Grant

7. Re: A other oddity

The uk trading standards rules currently are listed below. You might get away with milk, but the revolution might finally come if they tried to take away our pints of beer . I haven't bought or sold much precious metal lately.

Dave

The only products you can sell in imperial measures are:

• draught beer or cider by pint
• milk in returnable containers by pint
• precious metals by troy ounce

You can display an imperial measurement alongside the metric measurement but it can’t stand out more than the metric measurement.

8. Re: A other oddity

Ah, you have put your finger on one of the few disadvantages of the metric system. Beer is often sold in 1/3 liter bottles, which are a bit smaller than the 12-oz bottles we have here, and of course much smaller than the pints you buy in the UK.

Originally Posted by davidedric
The uk trading standards rules currently are listed below. You might get away with milk, but the revolution might finally come if they tried to take away our pints of beer . I haven't bought or sold much precious metal lately.

Dave

The only products you can sell in imperial measures are:

• draught beer or cider by pint
• milk in returnable containers by pint
• precious metals by troy ounce

You can display an imperial measurement alongside the metric measurement but it can’t stand out more than the metric measurement.

9. Re: Paper Sizes

All draft beer I buy in the UK comes in 500ml bottles. Lager often comes in 660ml bottles that is closer to 2/3 liter than a pint. Of course if you are having a drink in a pub, then the only acceptable measure is a pint. Half-pints exist but are frown upon

All children clothes is measured in centimeters, so my 7 year old daughter has no idea what her height in feet and inches is. When asked about a foot, she explains that it is a measure of length but it is much longer than an actual foot. I tend to agree...

10. Re: Paper Sizes

A friend gave me a bottle of wine marked 750 ml that was actually half that large. So much for the accuracy of the metric system.

11. Re: Paper Sizes

Originally Posted by Mike Buckley
A friend gave me a bottle of wine marked 750 ml that was actually half that large. So much for the accuracy of the metric system.
I should have a serious talk with that friend.

George

12. Re: Paper Sizes

Originally Posted by Mike Buckley
A friend gave me a bottle of wine marked 750 ml that was actually half that large. So much for the accuracy of the metric system.
Sorry Mike, it's the accuracy of the label on the bottle, the type of measurement has nothing to do with it.

I remembered in the UK some years back that a garage owner took a case to court to challenge the need to change to litres instead of gallons. As I recall he won on a technical point of law that basically said he was free to sell in whatever unit he could as long as he used legal tender to make the transaction. If that was so, it would lead to a form of measurement anarchy and total confusion for all.

13. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by mastamak
Trev,

It appears we might have something in common as I, too, spent most of my working life as a Cadastral (land title) Surveyor so you may take it that my earlier comments extolling the virtues of the imperial system of measurement were somewhat tongue in cheek. But it might interest you that here, in Australia, prior to the introduction of the metric system in 1972 title surveys were conducted in feet and decimal of a foot in urban area and chains and links in rural area. Thus all calculations were carried out entirely in a decimal ten system (one chain = 100 links), exactly the same as the metric system. The only issue was converting the decimals of a foot to inches and fractions of an inch for display on a survey plan for issue of title. For this purpose we had a table listing all the decimals of a foot and their inch equivalents but after a period of time most surveyors simply memorised all these conversions and tables were superfluous.

Of more important to me was the introduction of the programmable calculator with all trig functions, which occurred at about the same time. At last we could dispose of those dreaded Shortrede 12 figure log tables.

Grant
Ah, I remember those heady days of measuring with a band marked in links. Did you have to use tables to correct for metal expansion due to temperature: we did... Perhaps luckily all legal survey over here was conducted in links and chains so we were spared the conversion to Ft and In. I do remember the days before electronic calculators: using an Odhner mechanical rotary calculator when such as thing as repetitive stress syndrome was not recognized! We also used our 7 figure log tables. I recall when the first electronic calculators were available I paid hundreds of dollars for something one can pick up in a two dollar store today. A new generation of surveyors came along who depended on the calculators, and when their batteries rand out in the field they wanted to go back to the office to get new ones. They were horrified when we tossed the book of logs to them and told them to work on!

As a cadet I had to maintain our survey maps on canvas with pen, ink, and a scalpel to scratch off the old markings. We used double elephant sheets and they were BIG!

14. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by Tronhard
Ah, I remember those heady days of measuring with a band marked in links. Did you have to use tables to correct for metal expansion due to temperature: we did... Perhaps luckily all legal survey over here was conducted in links and chains so we were spared the conversion to Ft and In. I do remember the days before electronic calculators: using an Odhner mechanical rotary calculator when such as thing as repetitive stress syndrome was not recognized! We also used our 7 figure log tables. I recall when the first electronic calculators were available I paid hundreds of dollars for something one can pick up in a two dollar store today. A new generation of surveyors came along who depended on the calculators, and when their batteries rand out in the field they wanted to go back to the office to get new ones. They were horrified when we tossed the book of logs to them and told them to work on!

As a cadet I had to maintain our survey maps on canvas with pen, ink, and a scalpel to scratch off the old markings. We used double elephant sheets and they were BIG!
I never understood how people could calculate with the imperial system. My only problem is to put the decimal point/comma at the right place and counting the zero's.

Another thing is the measurement of alcohol in a beverage. I knew of 3 ways: volume percentage, mass percentage and proof. When I read the article in Wiki I think the volume percentage is common now. The proof is a funny story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_proof.

I also wondered why the naming if big amounts above the million are different in Europe and the US, and probably other countries.
In Europe it's million,milliard,billion,billiard. I just noticed the last one doesn't exist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers.

George

15. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by george013
I never understood how people could calculate with the imperial system. My only problem is to put the decimal point/comma at the right place and counting the zero's.

I also wondered why the naming if big amounts above the million are different in Europe and the US, and probably other countries.
In Europe it's million,milliard,billion,billiard. I just noticed the last one doesn't exist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers.

George
Another reason why I like the metric (System International) system. There are seven SI units overall:
the metre for distance,
the kilogram for mass,
the second for time,
the ampere for electric current,
the kelvin for temperature,
the mole for amount of substance,
the candela for intensity of light.

Every other derived measure increased by a factor of 1,000 more or less than one of these, thus: for units of length, e.g.
1/1000m = 1mm 1/1000mm = nanometre (nm)
1x1000m = 1km

It was originally intended that these 1000-factor units would be the normal units for technology, commercial and industrial use, however the fashion industry baulked at this as they had no intention of saying to a customer that their waistline is 650mm instead of 26in, so they went to the less offensive cm (1/100m).

The use of units not 1/1,000 or x1,000 has become more common with time in the broader community.

16. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by Tronhard
Another reason why I like the metric (System International) system. There are seven SI units overall:
the metre for distance,
the kilogram for mass,
the second for time,
the ampere for electric current,
the kelvin for temperature,
the mole for amount of substance,
the candela for intensity of light.

Every other derived measure increased by a factor of 1,000 more or less than one of these, thus: for units of length, e.g.
1/1000m = 1mm 1/1000mm = nanometre (nm)
1x1000m = 1km

It was originally intended that these 1000-factor units would be the normal units for technology, commercial and industrial use, however the fashion industry baulked at this as they had no intention of saying to a customer that their waistline is 650mm instead of 26in, so they went to the less offensive cm (1/100m).

The use of units not 1/1,000 or x1,000 has become more common with time in the broader community.
I am glad my speedometer is not calibrated in km/ks although I suppose I would get used to it quickly being a driver who ignores road signs...

Would of course be happy with m/s as it is a 1000 times easier to understand......

17. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by Tronhard

It was originally intended that these 1000-factor units would be the normal units for technology, commercial and industrial use, however the fashion industry baulked at this as they had no intention of saying to a customer that their waistline is 650mm instead of 26in, so they went to the less offensive cm (1/100m).

The use of units not 1/1,000 or x1,000 has become more common with time in the broader community.
I have been reluctant to enter this thread (for fear it will never end !) however you've touched a nerve with me here Trev. In my humble but probably troglodytic opinion, the use of the unit "cm" should be banned. Length can be perfectly well handled by metres and mm, cms only cause confusion and complicated measuring tapes. I've tried telling my wife this but she dismisses the idea imediately every time I raise the issue.

Dave

18. Re: A other oddity

Just to keep the reminiscence going

. A new generation of surveyors came along who depended on the calculators, and when their batteries rand out in the field they wanted to go back to the office to get new ones. They were horrified when we tossed the book of logs to them and told them to work on!
I still have my double sided Aristo slide rule. A beautiful and now entirely superseded instrument

Dave

19. Re: A other oddity

Originally Posted by pnodrog
I am glad my speedometer is not calibrated in km/ks although I suppose I would get used to it quickly being a driver who ignores road signs...

Would of course be happy with m/s as it is a 1000 times easier to understand......
My digital speedo can be changed from Km/Hr to Miles/hr by pushing a button on the steering wheel. Not exactly sure what button that is but when I inadvertently push it I find myself barreling down the road, blithely thinking I am obeying the 60km/hr speed limit, and passing everything in sight. Whoa - that's actually 96 km/hr. Fortunately the local constabulary have not spotted me yet. I then have to do a mental conversion to work out how many Km/hr I am travelling until I get a chance to read the manual and figure out where that elusive button is hidden.

And, Dave, I have the double sided Aristo, too. Tried to explain it to my grandson but I think he quickly concluded I was off my game.

Grant

Grant

20. Re: Paper Sizes

Originally Posted by pnodrog
How does Super A3 e.g. 13"(329mm) x 19"(483mm) fit into all this?...

I often cut it in half when I want a 12" x 8" print plus a border. Actually I wish Epson would supply a "Super A4" size as I would find it very useful.
hi Paul,
Sorry for coming in late, but I was feeling left out. I think that 13" x 19" (329 x 483mm) relates to a common (although non-standard) frame size, probably for 18" x 12" (3:2) prints with 1/2" borders. Commercial and digital printers use a size SRA3 = 320 x 450mm (SRA0 = 1280 x 900mm, keep dividing by 2), which allows for grip and bleed before guillotining back to standard A3 (297 x 419.1mm , or 11 11/16" x 16 1/2"). For your 12" x 8", readily available A3 would leave 2 1/4" (57.2mm) left / right, and 1 27/32" (46.9mm) top / bottom. A "super A4", say, 13" x 9", would have less waste, but as a non-standard would probably be more expensive.

Noel

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