Whenever I paid my hospital bills in China, the clerk pulled out an abacus and tallied it up with lightening speed. I once asked her to teach me how to use it but the language barrier proved to be too much.
I found a video on YouTube on how to use an Abacus. It doesn't cover all operations but does give basic instruction.
This following video is fascinating. It deals with Japanese children who learn to use the abacus. Towards the end of the video you see how the children do away with the abacuses and work things out with imaginary abacuses. Totally fascinating.
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