Techno's Virtual Calculator Collection

The virtual dust will likely never settle upon this page.....

For as long as I can remember, I have had a fascination with electronic calculators. Those with LED displays have always captured my attention to the greatest extent. This page lists the more interesting calculators which I have accumulated over the years.

The light-emitting diode represents the single most rugged and reliable electronic display technology ever devised (not to mention, LEDs just look cool!). Every competing technology (including liquid crystal, vacuum fluorescent, plasma, cathode ray tube, Nixie tube, and incandescent) shares the severe disadvantage of being constructed of extremely fragile glass. Liquid crystal displays have the added disadvantage of extreme temperature sensitivity. Vacuum fluorescent, incandescent, and CRT displays suffer from dependence upon a heater or filament which, just like a common light bulb, can eventually burn out. Many of the technologies suffer from slow response time, shock and vibration sensitivity, and/or the need for a high-voltage power supply. Only LCDs have any significant advantages over LEDs (low power requirement and visibility under bright light).

As is the case with my Computer Museum, these calculators all exist physically and are being maintained by myself. The vast majority of them are functional, though many exhibit signs of age and use (erratic keyboards, corroded battery terminals, etc.).

Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments LED calculators were both quite popular. Overall, the TI units were priced more affordably than those from HP, but were constructed in a cheaper manner. While a typical TI calculator of the era consists primarily of thin plastic and air, a comparable HP unit weighs considerably more and feels much more balanced and refined. I have a particular fondness for Hewlett-Packard LED calculators.

LED Display Calculators

General Instrument EZ3000 - 8 digits, four-function

Hewlett-Packard HP-33C - 10 digits, programmable scientific with constant memory

Hewlett-Packard HP-33E (2) - 10 digits, programmable scientific

Hewlett-Packard HP-34C - 10 digits, programmable scientific with constant memory

Hewlett-Packard HP-38C - 10 digits, programmable financial with constant memory

National Semiconductor 600 - 6 digits, 4-function

National Semiconductor 850A - 8 digits, 4-function

Novus (National Semiconductor) 650 'Mathbox' - 6 digits, 4-function

Rapid Data Rapidman 800 - 8 digits, 4-function

Rockwell 8R - 8 digits, 4-function

Texas Instruments Business Analyst - 8 digits, financial

Texas Instruments SR-10 - 8+2 digits, scientific

Texas Instruments SR-50A - 10+2 digits, scientific

Texas Instruments TI Programmable 59 - 8+2 digits(?), scientific

Texas Instruments TI-1000 - 8 digits, 4-function

Texas Instruments TI-1200 (2) - 8 digits, 4-function

Texas Instruments TI-1500 - 8 digits, 4-function

Texas Instruments TI-30 (2) - 8 digits, scientific

Texas Instruments TI-55 (2) - 8+2 digits, scientific

Vacuum Fluorescent Display Calculators

APF Mark 66r - 8 digits, scientific

APF Mark VI - 8 digits, 4-function

Casio Personal-Mini - 6 digits, 4-function

Radio Shack EC-2001 - 10 digits, 4-function

Sperry-Remington SSR-8 - 8 digits, scientific

Texas Instruments TI-1025 - 8 digits, 4-function

Unisonic 888 Slide Rulette (2) - 8 digits, 4-function

Plasma Display Calculators

Eldorado 8M - 8 digits, 4-function

Royal Digital VIII-K - 8 digits, 4-function

Unisonic 767 - 12 digits(!), 4-function

Cathode Ray Tube Display Calculators

Friden 132 - 4x13 digits, 4-function

The Computer History Association of California has the largest collection of links to other calculator (as well as computer) collections I have ever seen!

Watch this space for more info, pics, etc. :)

Last updated: 8 August 1998

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Authored on Amiga!