TI's SR-60 and other desktop programmables

Here’s a teardown analysis and backstory of a monster of a programmable scientific, the SR-60 from TI. (via hpmuseum)

I have a soft spot for the desktop programmables - perhaps not so much for Olivetti’s remarkable Programma 101, the first if not the most user-friendly, but for me starting with HP’s 9100A which borrowed from it:

Here’s Tom Osborne, the consultant who designed the prototype of what became the 9100A project:

Later on HP produced a series of desktop machines, notably the 9825 - here’s the teardown and backstory on that.

(Images from OldCalculatorMuseum.com)


Not TI, but the HP-9830A is something special for me - so while the HP-9825 above is a programmable calculator, the 9830 ran BASIC, and it was the first real computer I ever used, back in about 1978.

My school had (a shared) one like the above with printer and also a separate mark-sense card reader (you marked the cards with a pencil rather than punching holes). It was wheeled round the schools in Edinburgh at the time - and I suspect went out of fashion a few months later when the Apple II arrived.

It beat me at “Nim”. I suspect if I’d beaten it the very first time, I may just have walked away, however, here we are some 41 years later… :wink: