Eventually, We All Run Out Of Fingers And Toes

Sonny, I remember when you had to add and subtract and multiply. And they made you do it right there in front of the questioner, in your young empty head. Occasionally they'd take pity on you and allow a pencil and paper. The real wild and crazy guys that could work a slide rule would always get A's, not girls. And then they came.

Calculators. Oh man, indoor plumbing has nothing on them. I remember paying close to a week's pay for a calculator that would do sine and cosine and tangent calculations and a few other things I've forgotten and never needed again. Now they give you stuff with ten thousand times the computing power with your Happy Meal.

Vintage Technology keeps an on-line museum of these bad boys, and it's wonderful reading for the nostalgic, and the young and curious as well. Aww, man, I had a Texas Instruments TI-30:

Power: 9.0V DC, 1 x PP3 size battery. Also accepts adapter/charger through a right side socket in the middle. Case: Two-piece matt black plastic case with gold brushed metal keyboard surround. Red plastic display filter is sloped inwards and highlighted with a gold painted escutcheon. The keys are labelled in blue or black and sectioned with two shades of gold paint. Classic bow shaped Texas. Display: 8 digit red LED display with bubble lens - ninth used for minus sign and decimal point. Features: 17 scientific functions and two digit exponent. Pi and flexible memory system. Front key to toggle on/off. Age: 1980 Manufacturer: Made by Texas Instruments Incorporated. Made in the USA. Serial No. 0485324 Comments: Lovely to watch complex calculations light up the first digit segments. Robust logic and nice clicking keys. Other version were available with different keyboard surround colours.

It's like looking at baby pictures of old friends. Click on each one and you can drill down through all the models and specs. A real timewaster, so make sure you're at work. Research, boss, research.

Vintage Calculators

 

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