Here's a little question for you all. What year did you see the first Electronic Calculator come on the market?. What year did you first buy one and what brand was it?. We were never allowed to have the new fangled adding machines at school when they first came out. In hindsight that was really a blessing in disguise, we learned to add with our heads. Look what happens when a supermarket loses power these days!.
Hmm, good question. The first one I ever saw was at a company I worked for back in the mid 60's. This was a huge 2 piece unit not unlike our PC/monitor/keyboard setup. The "processor" sat on the floor with a numerical keypad and neon (nixie tube)display "terminal" attached by a multiconductor cable. This was only an electronic adding machine and replaced the mechanical clunkers in use back then. It would only add, subtract, multiply and divide.
My father brought home a Brother (I forget the actual model number) in the early 1970s. I can't remember the brand or model of the first one I owned, thanks to my parents, but I can picture it even now. It was the typical LED-display calculator of the time, four functions plus constant. I remember the nice large square keys compared to some other models, with red and orange for the C and K keys.
Like many others, it was probably sold under several different brand names. I think I was about 8 or 9 at the time, so that would place it to 1974/75. Then my parents bought me a Texas Instrument Programmable TI-57 for Christmas in 1977.
Despite that, and perhaps aided by having a mother who was a math teacher, I still learned to do mental arithmetic in my head, and unlike many of today's kids, don't end up using a calcultor to add 2 and 2!
I vaguely remember some type of game that we used to play on a TI Calculator. I don't remember specifics, but after entering some specific info into the Calculator the object of the game was to slow the speed of a falling object (or a spacecraft?) to keep it from crashing.
BTW, I used my Dads' sliderule before a calculator. The words 'Log Log Duplex Decitrig' hold no meaning for me but are burned into my memory.
The "Bomar Brain" cica 1975. This was a 4 function calculator and as I recall sold for about $80 to $100. I believe there was one available with a square root function but that was much more expensive.
Re: Calculators?#38983 06/08/0403:18 AM06/08/0403:18 AM
I was at colorado School of Mines in the early 70's. Because of our reputation as a school, we got one of the first allocations of the new HP35 scientific calculator. I blew my savings and bought one - $150 back then, I think - and I felt as though I had died and gone to heaven when I used it on the first test. We had been trained to use all those funny extra scales on the slide rule and never left home without a book of tables. The HP was all that and more.
Re: Calculators?#38984 06/08/0405:22 AM06/08/0405:22 AM
I remember having a TI in the mid-70's when I went back to college. One of my class mates asked what the (AC adapter)jack on the side was used for, we told him it was for an earphone so you could get the answers during a test and the instructor wouldn't know.
Re: Calculators?#38985 06/08/0408:01 AM06/08/0408:01 AM
I still have an old slide rule that was my father's tucked away in a cupboard, complete with a guide book. Learning to use one really isn't that difficult, and I learned how to do basic multiplication and division on one when I was a kid. (The HP museum site linked above has a section on slide rules for anyone interested.)
By the way, it's interesting to look at some old science-fiction books and movies of the 1950s where they depict the navigator carrying around a slide rule to perform hisr navigational computations. My, how some things don't turn out as people thought they would.