February 25, 2006

Oughtred Society Dedicated to the Preservation of Slide Rules

A page one article in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal is called Who's Going to Want Grandma's Hoard Of Antique Gnomes? It's about what happens to the artifacts that a collector accumulates during his life once he is no longer able to look after them.

One section of the article that may interest some Rensselaer alumni talked about Tom Wyman and his slide rule collection:

In Palo Alto, Calif., Tom Wyman, 78, has about 900 antique slide rules. Mr. Wyman belongs to the 430-member Oughtred Society, named for William Oughtred, who in the 1620s invented an early form of the slide rule. The group hosts lectures to entice youngsters to embrace slide-rule collecting. But Mr. Wyman says such "missionary work" is a hard sell. "It's quite a challenge to give a talk that keeps everybody awake -- both the 80-year-old collectors and the 12-year-olds in the audience."

I did a Google search and found that The Oughtred Society has an extensive website and has had East Coast meetings in East Windsor, NJ regularly. The most recent meeting in our area was in 2004.

If you have a collection of slide rules from your pre-calculator days, maybe you too would be interested in meeting fellow fans of "historical calculating instruments." [ Registration required to read most articles in The Wall Street Journal ]

February 4, 2006

Delaware Valley Chapter Reactivating Itself

I received an email the other day announcing that the Delaware Valley Chapter of the RAA is being reactivated. Martin Kosto '99 is now chapter president. Check out their webpage on AlumServ for more information on an appearance by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts on March 16.

For more info you can email Martin at kostom [at]

October 23, 2003

RCNJ Phonathon 2003 Raises $31,740

SKNandy writes, "On September 23, the RCNJ held its annual phonathon to raise money for the Rensselaer Annual Fund. This year's event had nine alumni volunteer callers. These callers raised $31,740."

"A special round of thanks go out to Mark Samitt '84, chair of the RCNJ phonathon, for recruiting volunteer callers!"

June 17, 2003

Times Union Renovates Its Web Site

The Albany Times Union has redesigned its web site. According to a letter to readers from the "interactive media editor":

The most obvious change is that has gotten wider. The site has grown by more than 25 percent, from 600 to 760 pixels across the screen. The new format incorporates better display areas for photos and stories; it also enables us to offer space for advertisers' messages in more flexible sizes.

It's hard to imagine that this is the only change that was implemented. However, any functional changes that took place were not obvious at first glance.

The Times Union is the only daily newspaper in the Capital District with a full featured web site. As such, often links to it.

October 26, 2001

ECAC Cancels Regular Season Broadcast Package

As reported on, the ECAC has cancelled its eleven game package of televised regular season games. The conference semifinals and finals from Lake Placid will still be broadcast.

The broadcasts cost the ECAC about $20,000 each to produce. In uncertain economic times, it will broadly be viewed as a cost-cutting measure.

I was truly looking forward to catching an extra game or two via this method. Looks like I'll just take another road trip instead.

September 15, 2001

RPI's Response to the Terrorist Disasters

Jackie Baker wrote, "We have heard from alumni letting us know that they were OK, or simply inquiring about alumni friends who worked in lower Manhattan or the Pentagon."

"The Office of Alumni Relations has set up a discussion board to pass on information and to allow alumni to communicate with each other and share thoughts regarding this horrific event."

"Please go to the special page Rensselaer has set up at and click on the 'discussion board' link for access. New users should just hit the 'New Users' button and fill out the basic registration information. After submitting this information, you should shortly receive your password and ID. Please read the Introductory Message when you access the discussion board."

September 14, 2001

In Memory of Those Who Were Lost in the Attacks of September 11

President Bush has declared today a national day of prayer and rememberance. Therefore, we pause to remember our fellow citizens who have died, and we pray that God will give strength to those engaged in the rescue and recovery efforts. May He have mercy on us all.

June 19, 2001

Performance Problems at ISP May be Making RCNJ Slow

CTDATA, the company that operates on behalf of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey, is reporting that its ISP is currently under a denial of service attack. This is resulting in slow response to a number of Web Sites managed by CTDATA. This story on provides a bit more detail, and will be updated as the situation warrants.

Update on 06/20: Although it is not clear that the situation has been completely resolved, the ISP has dramatically improved network response time since 7:00 pm Eastern Time last night. Any additional news on this subject will be posted in this article on

March 6, 2001

RPI Playoff Game To Be Shown On DirecTV

I am told by a member of the USCHO message boards that NESN will be showing Game 2 of the ECAC first round playoff game between the Engineers and the Dartmouth Big Green.

The game can be seen on NESN (DirecTV 623) at 7PM on Saturday, March 10. A rebroadcast will be shown on Empire (DirecTV 626) at noon on Monday, March 12.

September 19, 2000

Former RPI Goalie Plays in Pittsburgh-NJ Preseason Game

jpcloninger96 writes, "Former RPI goaltender Joel Laing played in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night, in a pre-season game between the Penguins and the New Jersey Devils {at Wilkes-Barre, PA}. New Jersey won 5-4."

"Joel let in three goals before being replaced in the middle of the second period. Had it not been for a porous Pittsburgh defense, he most definitely would have had a better night."

Continue reading "Former RPI Goalie Plays in Pittsburgh-NJ Preseason Game" »

September 8, 2000

U.S. News Rates RPI in Top 50 Universities

Update: Click here for information about RPI's performance in the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings.

According to a recent Rensselaer Press Release, U.S. News and World Report ranked Rensselaer among the nation's top 50 universities. The rankings appear in the September 11 issue, and in an associated publication called "America's Best Colleges".

Continue reading "U.S. News Rates RPI in Top 50 Universities" »

September 7, 2000

Young America's Foundation Exposes 12 "Absurd" College Courses

The Washington Times is reporting about a forthcoming report on the "most ridiculous college courses" produced by Young America's Foundation. The article reveals the so-called Dirty Dozen: the twelve courses from colleges across America that they consider the most egregious wastes of time and money.

One aspect of the report worth investigating is how many of the courses deemed absurd by the study are found at RPI and technological universities like it? Parents with college-bound children need to think carefully about issues like this. Won't your money be better spent by sending your son or daughter to Rensselaer?

Continue reading "Young America's Foundation Exposes 12 "Absurd" College Courses" »

September 6, 2000

Annual NJ Phonathon Set for Sept 18 at Langan Engineering

Dave Aiello wrote, "The Annual New Jersey Phonathon will take place at Langan Engineering in Elmwood Park on Monday, September 18 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Join Sandeep Nandy and me, and help us to beat our goal of $65,000."

"With your help, and Henry Scheuer's amazing skills on the telephone, we can make it."

September 5, 2000

RCNJ Rolls Out Major Web Site Upgrade

Dave Aiello wrote, "On behalf of the management committee of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we have successfully relaunched our Web Site. The New RCNJ Web Site reprensents a revolutionary change in the way we will communicate with our members and the rest of the Rensselaer community."

"We launched in 1997. Many of you know that it was the first Web Site operated by a Rensselaer regional alumni chapter. For the past three years, it has been a very simple Web Site with relatively few pages, maintained by one member of our organization."

"The new Web Site architecture eliminates nearly all of the shortcomings of our previous efforts. We can now easily support contributions from many club members. The new Web Site allows users to register and request that headlines from recently posted stories be sent to them by e-mail. The database behind the Web Site provides state-of-the-art categorization and search capabilities."

Continue reading "RCNJ Rolls Out Major Web Site Upgrade" »

Why Are Some Stories Dated Prior to September 2000?

Although the RCNJ Web Site was relaunched at the beginning of September 2000, we are reposting historical content from so that it will not disappear forever. These articles will carry their original posting dates, not the dates when they were copied on to the new Web Site.

We will begin the historical preservation project with stories from the Year 2000. We plan to post as much of the original content of this Web Site as possible, including any and all available stories from 1999, 1998, and 1997, the year this Web Site began.