This isn’t your everyday calculator, this is a pocket-sized flight computer! The Pathfinder’s large display is fundamental in determing ETAs and fuel consumption after the user enters vector information, speed and wind and other flight-related conditions. We’ve never heard of ASA, so we presume this company dealt with aeronautical products, rather than calculators. This one appears to have been manufactured in the mid to late ’80s.
Stylish little calculator by Sharp, the EL-8029 looks like a rather wide pen, but opens like a clamshell to display it calculator parts. Sold with a pleather case, but should be worn in the chest pocket, of course. We’re guessing this was sold around 1980 or so, but if anyone got information indicating otherwise, please let us know!
This archaic device is an early attempt and pocket-sized word processing, coupled with calculating ability. It’s the Memowriter by Sharp. At first glance it appears to be an ordinary printing calculator, but this little gizmo, the EL-7001 has the note-taking capability of today’s Palm devices and can even print notes onto paper with its little internal printer. The keyboard is laid out in a familiar style QWERTY style keyboard. This is probably one of the smallest printing word processors ever made.
If we had the ability (or the budget to present one) we have to award Casio in recognition to technological innovation. The PF-8000 is but one of many amazing gadgets churned out by this extraordinary company. This calculator was more of a computer and personal organizer (PDA in contemporary-speak) as it stored names and phone numbers, and could run basic programs! A significant achievement in its own rite, but we haven’t mentioned user input–it’s performed using a touch-sensitive keypad! That’s right, program your next hashing algorithm with the tip of your finger. The PF-8000 was one of many models in Casio’s Super Memory Computer line.
Another member of the Super Memory Computer line, this tiny computer has a calculator shape but far more features. The membrane keypad is on the right, and also serves as a protective case for the processing piece on the left. The user could store messages, telephone numbers, and BASIC programs.
The Sharp PC-1250A was marketed as the Student Computer Kit in 1983. It featured an 8-bit CMOS, 24K of ROM; 4.2K of RAM. Extended BASIC programming, alphanumeric keypad and well-equipped calculator made this a junior high school cheater’s dream way back when.
This TI handheld computer is a bit of a mystery to us. It’s the TI-74 S, aka the Hamburg-Mannheimer. It was sold in Germany, we’re guessing around 1985 or so. This little device has a ten-pin port in the top, and accepts cartridges in the upper right corner. We found this one holding a 256K cart, also labelled with Hamburg-Mannheimer. Its all dark-gray plastic construction is a departure from the status-quo light gray plastic and metal handhelds sold by Casio and Sharp at the time. UPDATE: Several folks emailed us to say that Hamburg-Mannheimer is a German insurance company so we presume actuaries or appraisers used these gadgets to calculate rates.
I want my MTV…in stereo! On our radio show this week, Jay and Paul discuss the rise of cable television in the ’70s and through the ’80s. We recall the early days of Home Box Office, WOR, WTBS and WSBK…dial & push button cable boxes, and the infamous descrambler boxes. We’re fortunate enough to have a commercial from 1983 that aired on local tv stations for MTV, broadcasting in stereo.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This is what gaming giant Atari was marketing in 1986: chintzy, credit card size calculators. They were down, but not totally beaten for in 1989 they re-released their 2600 game system and enjoyed modest success.
This little pocket device has a seemingly endless list of functions: 115 name & telephone number directory; search functions; clock and calendar; credit card number storage; security lock…oh, and it’s a phone dialer. Store a phone number, hold it up to a telephone receiver, push a button and this little gadget will “dial” the number for you by sending the DTMF tones.