for the bored...

List of Calculators

At least one of each general pocketable class, 1975..2000, plus a few mechanicals.

Partial list of the electronic ones:

  1. Sinclair Scientific [1974] (gone) The first.
  2. Sinclair Cambridge [1974] (gone) A kit!
  3. HP-25 [1975] (two of them, one a much later gift, both failed, both gone).
  4. LCD 4-function + timer + clock [1976] (gone) First LCD.
  5. CBM 4-function LED [1976] (gone) A classic LED calculator.
  6. Sinclair Cambridge Programmable [1977] (still going, except key legends wearing off!) 36 program steps, and very clever keyboard logic .
  7. Texas TI-Programmer [1978] (gone) First I ever saw with hex.
  8. Texas TI-10 [1979] (gone) My first LCD scientific.
  9. Sharp EL-827 [1982] Silly, plays tunes on the buttons (lost).
  10. Tandy PC-4 Basic language pocket computer [1984] Still going.
  11. Casio fold-out 4-function solar [1984] (gone) First cheap solar that I saw.
  12. American Express 4-function CC-sized solar [1984] Neat.
  13. Texas TI-5020 [1984] Huge buttons, solar, += -= keys, good for money.
  14. Casio fx-115 [1985] Basic solar scientific.
  15. Sharp EL-504 [1986] (gone) Simple programmable, felt robust, failed electrically.
  16. Crystal Cal 8136 [1986] (gone) Cheap, with see-through keyboard.
  17. Casio fx-7000G [1988] First graphical, good but heavily moded.
  18. Tandy 65-9002A Alarm Calendar [1991] Hmm (failed).
  19. Casio fx-115d [1991] Dual power, does complex but only on 4-functions, neat SI symbols for engineering multiples.
  20. Texas TI-68 [1994] Cheap, but does complex properly on all functions, first I had that would answer sqrt(-1) correctly (failed).
  21. Texas TI-85 [1994] Superb machine, if a little messy, PC-link, and no modes (lost in Buncefield explosion).
  22. Sharp EL-9300 [1995] Another 32k graphical, but not a patch on the TI-85, heavily moded, no PC-link.
  23. Casio AZ-45F [1996] A cheapie, notable for its special multi-segment display for fractions, and its ability to convert decimals back to fractions (display failed).
  24. Casio CFX-9850G [1997] Another 32k graphical, with color display, not as nice as the TI-85, but cute.
  25. Texas TI-30S [1999] Excellent, tiny scientific for less than 5GBP. Solar powered only, algebraic precedence on operators plus brackets and simple stats. I've got two.
  26. Texas TI-36X [1999] Solar scientific, cheap, but nasty. No formula display or recall, and lots of keys labelled in blue which I can't read (lost).
  27. Casio fx-85WA [2000] Dual-power cheapish workhorse, but no hex conversion. Possibly around the cheapest with expression recall and edit.
  28. Texas TI-86 [2000] Just as good as the TI-85, but with four times the RAM and a much clearer display, and only 15GBP in a clearance sale. Will do factorial of non-integers.
  29. Hewlett Packard hp49g+ [2003] Amazing graphical. It does things like simplifying algebraic expressions and symbolic integration. Just like the HP-25, it can work in RPN (lost in Buncefield explosion, replaced 2006).
  30. Casio fx-85ES [2005] Same old basic Casio, now with multiple line recall and prettier all dot matrix display.
  31. Various "Texet" really cheap scientifics that I buy, keep in pockets, and lose.
My favourite of all time is the HP-25, see my PC simulation of this on my free software page.

Best now is the TI-85. The unofficial PC interface for this calculator is at this site.

The Casio colour graphical comes close, it's just a pity about the dull display, the quirky data organisation, and the limited range of complex number functions. It also has a slight case of the mode disease.

I now have five graphicals, which have many similarities but also are in their own ways quite different. Some time I'm going to write a note about the differences, though I admit it's not a subject of general interest!

See also.

1998-10-25 .. 2009-01-16