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My Reckonings: Thoughts and Observations

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Website of:

Ron Doerfler

ron "at"

Detail from The Ambassadors

London: National Gallery

Topics of Interest:

(New) There is now a forum installed for sharing comments, questions and suggestions about anything on this site! There are discussion boards devoted to:

(New) My free software application, Plans Unfolding, has been released after much development and testing. Use this sophisticated interface to create a personalized organizer/planner printed on a single sheet of paper and folded into a 16-page pocket-size booklet. A number of page types are supported along with custom page designs created and shared in forum galleries by users such as yourself, and all data is maintained and backed up by the software.

My blog, Dead Reckonings: Lost Art in the Mathematical Sciences attempts to capture in essays my encounters with technically elegant and artistically creative works in the mathematical sciences that have been all but forgotten.

Other areas of this website are described below:

Dead Reckoning: Calculating Without Instruments

This area of the website provides discussions, errata and supplementary materials related to my book on advanced techniques of mental calculation.


This area discusses my long-standing interest in precise, elegant sundial designs.


This area provides an overview and a detailed analysis of the designs and uses of astrolabes and other intriguing ancient analog computers used for astronomical calculations.

Sherlock Holmes

This area concerns my interest in the stories and "The Game" related to Sherlock Holmes.


This area contains various materials and opinions related to music in general and the piano in particular.

Other Interests

This area is for other interests of mine that may end up with their own area of the website eventually.  Current topics include stereo photography, lunchtime sketches, and various questions that I'm hoping others can answer.


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