The Curta Calculator simulation is a 3D
re-creation of the original portable mechanical
calculator, invented by Curt Herzstark.
Unlike modern electronic calculators, the
Curta was entirely mechanical. It could
add, subtract, multiply and divide, and
unlike other calculators of the day, it
could fit in your pocket.
How to use:
Cick on the link below, keep in mind the
presentation may take a moment to load.
The Curta may seem awkward to use for those
of us used to electronic calculators. If
you need hep, consult the manual section
of the presentation.
If the presentation doesn't start, you
may be experiencing plugin difficulties.
For help check our Tech
Click here to start:
I got the idea for this project after reading
Cliff Stoll's article 'The Curious History
of the First pocket Calculator', in Scientific
American (January 2004). There is something
engaging about mechanical gadgets, with
all of their clockwork whirrs and clicks,
that is absent in our modern electronic
Immediately I wanted a Curta of my own.
Unfortunately, they tend to sell for upwards
of US $2000. Sigh, maybe next week.
Instead I set out to build my own digital
Looking back it seems a strange pursuit
to spend days using my my computer (which
is in many ways an overgrown calculator),
to produce a simulation of a mechanical
calculator. Building a computer model, cooding
the OOP structure to create the input and
output devices, timing animation sequences,
co-ordinating sound effects, preparing documentation...
Now finally after all of that work I can
use my Curta to add, subtract, multiply