The other LectroTest

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Tags: lectrotest, history, humor

About five years ago, I created a QuickCheck-inspired testing system for Perl called LectroTest. I also created a mascot for the system, the lovable LectroTest Robot:

Now, I learn that the Robot has some competition from the pages of history. In an earlier era, you see, there was another LectroTest, the LECTROTEST model J-4866A, apparently some kind of gadget for testing fuel efficiency:

Original photo by Jesse Niemand. A small portion is reproduced above as a fair use under copyright law.

Compared to today’s luxurious, fully automated LectroTest, the old model J-4866A was a back-breaker. It required you to manually adjust – yes! using your fleshy human digits! – a “fill-run-test” selector and, as if that weren’t bad enough, perform old-style, non-computerized calculations in your head:

Capacity between marks on glass 1/10 gallon. Read speedometer and multiply distance covered by 10 for actual miles per gallon.

Thank goodness that the days have passed when we had to move decimal points all by ourselves.