ASA CX-1 Flight Computer Calculator

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.

Sharp Memowriter

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.

Casio Touch-Screen Calculator

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.

West German Texas Instruments TI-74S

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.

MTV Stereo Broadcasts

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.

Tele-Art Directory Dialer Calculator DD120

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.