* Posts by MHE

1 post • joined 7 Jan 2014

Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

MHE

Sharp PC-1201

My first number cruncher was a 1978 Sharp PC-1201, an (as the brochure says, capitals included) "Computer-Like 10-Digit Scientific Calculator with 128-Step Programming". It featured a very readable blue-greenish VFD display and ran on either 2 AA-cells or the included rechargeable battery pack, retaining the 128-step program when turned off (it even included a backup coin cell).

Such was its power that I astonished the guy who had to calculate the mortgage payments for my first house by having the results for the full 30-year period ready when he was still skipping through his "professional" paper tables ! I still have the machine, and the original brochure that was forwarded at my request straight from Sharp/Osaka.

A few years later the PC-1500 blew its predecessors away, especially because it was so well documented (both its hardware and the machine language used "underneath" its very comprehensive Basic).

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019