Sunday, January 4, 2015

It All Adds Up!

While cleaning out my office desk this evening, I found that I had seven...

Yes, seven... calculators.

That's a lot of computing power!

I guess you could say I have a thing for old calculators. They're just so keen and handy. Sure, our smart phones these days have calculators on them... but where's the fun in that?

In all actuality, I seem to possess different types of calculators for different roles.
  • taxes and business
  • graphing
  • ease of use
  • portability
All that being said, here are the seven calculators I currently own.

  1. Texas Instruments BA II Plus - A handy little battery-powered unit deemed the 'Advanced Business Analyst'. It's great for any tax or business related needs. It dates from 1991.
  2. Texas Instruments TI-30X SOLAR - An all around useful scientific calculator; I like that it has a solar cell. Doesn't really work well in my office at night because there isn't enough light. One of the few calculators to be produced in Italy for Texas Instruments. The model series was introduced in 1993; this particular unit was produced in 1995.
  3. Texas Instruments TI-30XA - This is the battery powered cousin to the TI-30X SOLAR. A fantastic scientific model that is great at any time. Because it's a modern release, the unit feels lighter than I typically care for. First released in 1996. This model is one of those famously affected by the Texas Instruments Logarithm Bug, which causes it to produce slightly inaccurate results when computing ln(1+x), wherein 'x' would be a small number. It also corrupts the y˟ function.
  4. Texas Instruments TI-1795 - This is my go to desk calculator when I need to type a fair amount of numbers. Has a solar cell, so doesn't work too great at night. The nice wide layout makes it easy for my big fingers to strike the keys. This particular model from 1988 is a rare housing revision to the original and wasn't produced for very long. Just as the changes were made, the model was updated to the TI-1795+ and discontinued. 
  5. Casio SL-300VC - This is my current favorite palm unit. It has the support of both battery and solar cell power, which means I can use it consistently at any time of the day or night. The big keys, even though the unit is relatively small, make it easy to use. It was produced in 2004 and is still being manufactured (though in a slightly newer housing with multiple color options). It's a common unit used by grade school math students.
  6. Texas Instruments TI-7100 - When I need something small and portable, this is the unit I grab. Great for putting in my breast pocket or a travel bag. It works off a solar cell, so I can't use it in dark spaces. This model was manufactured in 1990 and has an interesting little history. It was part of the then-current "MADE IN THE USA" campaign used by Texas Instruments. It was sold explicitly at Wal-Mart and other discount retail stores. Though, if you read the fine print on the back of the housing, you can see where it says "Made in the USA with Foreign and Domestic Components". Way to try and pull a fast one!
  7. Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus - My big whopper of a graphing calculator, the TI-83 Plus is essentially a little computer. This unit was produced in 1999 and features a then-massive 512K Byte Flash-ROM capacity and 32K Byte RAM. It is by far one of the highest sold graphing calculators in the world!
A great deal of this information comes from the Datamath Calculator Museum. They're my go-to source for calculator model information and operate a very extensive archive. Stop by and check them out!

Twenty bucks says Crystal is going to tell me I have too many calculators upon reading this article. ;-)

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