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"I started writing in the 1930's when I was eighteen years old. And deep inside me I'm still eighteen and it's still 1938."
- Isaac Asimov

Beeper  
  A handheld radar set, used to find items that have drifted off.  

A beeper is a tiny radar set, not much bigger than a hand torch, which is used to locate objects that have drifted away from the station. It's got a range of a few miles on anything as large as a space suit and could pick up a ship a lot farther away. You wave it around in space, and when its beam hits anything you hear a series of "beeps." The closer you get to the reflecting object, the faster the beeps come, and with a little practice you can judge distances pretty accurately.
From Islands in the Sky, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Not known in 1952
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