Calculator Round Up

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Excellent story and calculator round up at the Electronics Design blog

I suspect I was part of the first generation to have been brought up with “pocket” calculators (“pocket” to distinguish them from desktop mechanical calculators the size of a bread bin). I vaguely remember seeing them in my dad’s electronics magazines, sometime around 1979. One Christmas around then, my dad was bought one which has a fluorescent blue/green display which really looked super high-tech, and is still a really pleasing design. Although it was only a classic four-function machine (add, subtract, multiply, divide) I really coveted it, but it was couple of years before I got my own calc. 

6 thoughts on “Calculator Round Up

  1. I remember my headmaster/maths teacher bringing one in when they first came out, it was amazing as 10 year old kid to see one. I begged parents for one and mt Dad, being a sailor was able to get one from the far east. What was even better was what happened when you put it next to the radio and it picked up the low frequency clock cycles. As it was an early model there were flaws, dividing by zero put it into a loop which clocked part of the display and produced the most wonderful sounds on the radio. That was my first introduction to circuit bending and hacking :)

  2. I graduated high school in 1977, and the final couple of years of high school all the math geeks started getting calculators, which they proudly wore in holsters on their belts, like guns.  I was always terrible at math, and wanted one badly, but they were well over a hundred bucks for the simple four function one as described in the article.  My brother, two years younger, was one of those geeks, and I remember him getting one for Christmas sometime in that era. So the mid to late 70s was the era of the switch from slide rules (I never really knew anybody who used one) to calculators.  By 1979 (the date in the article) it was clear that calculators were here to stay.

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