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Sold: Vintage Rice Cookers: National Rice-O-Mat SR-18E in Chrome, Hitachi Chime Omatic RD-4053

For sale: The Hitachi on Ebay.

For sale: The National on Ebay.

Showa Retro home appliances. These are two classics, the single-button National, which is probably from the 1960s, and the switch-and-button RD-4053 that must have been in production into the 1990s.

Following on the heels of the successful Toshiba ER series rice cookers, Matshushita, under the National brand, produced a similar rice cooker that required only a single inner pot.

The National rice cookers would become hugely successful around the world, and are still produced under the Panasonic brand. This style is still available outside the US, in some parts of Asia. (The Panasonic brand started as “National Panasonic”, and then just Panasonic. The company eventually changed its name to Panasonic.)

Meanwhile, the Toshiba design would be exported to Taiwan and produced by Tatung (Datung), and its successors are still in production today.

Hitachi’s innovation was obvious: there’s an on-off switch, so the cooker can be kept warm.

The switch enables you to keep the appliance plugged in. By this time, all rice cookers had a stay-warm mode, to keep the rice hot, so the bacteria would not grow. In Japanese households, the rice cooker was, basically, always on, because rice was eaten with every meal. There was no need for an “off” state.

In the US, the power switch allowed you to shut the cooker off, wash it out, and then keep it on the counter for the next use, which might be more than one day in the future.

The Chime-Omatic did exceedingly well in Cajun country.

The National cooker is unusual in that it sports a chrome finish. The iconic rice cooker came in white. Some were painted in an ivory or creme color. I never saw chrome until I bought this cooker.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_cooker

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Probabilities, and California Lottery Decco Playing Cards

The market suddenly got flooded with these California Lottery Decco playing cards. So I’m keeping mine out for a while. If you want one, I will mail it to you for $8.

As of Jan 21, there are 13 sellers.

These are US Playing Card cards, so feel like Bicycle cards.

They have 1980s style graphics on the back, with the iconic California Lottery logo.

The Decco game was pretty simple. You pick 4 cards, and if you match the day’s Decco game,  you get $5,000.  If you match 1,  you get a free play.

So this is a “4/52” game, where you pick 4 from 52 cards.

Owlcation has a good article about calculating lotto probabilities.

The formula is 52! / ( 4! ( 52 – 4 )! ) = 270725.

So the odds of winning are 1 in 270,725.

The odds of matching 1 are 4 in 52, or 1 in 13.

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How to Remove the Sticky Glue From a Security Warranty Sticker

If you’re buying used electronics, you might find one of these stickers on your device.  If you remove it, you lose  your right to return it, so don’t remove it until the return or warranty period is over.

When you peel it, it leaves behind little silver bits, and a lot of sticky, gummy glue. The best cleaner to remove the adhesive is Goo Gone.  I’ll explain why, after the jump.

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