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JGardner
July 13th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Back in the day I had a '59, & a printer/cradle. I often
contemplated that interface, realizing it was a possible
link to the larger world - I was afraid to mess with it,
though - That thing was the best part of a month's pay,
in the Air Force, anyway, and I was having too much fun
programming to risk it...

This guy was braver than I - Harvard! I don't feel so bad :)

http://www.math.harvard.edu/~knill/various/ti59/index.html

Jack

Lou - N2MIY
July 13th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Well, sadly I can't read German and so I can only look at the pictures. It looks like the output interface is done by monitoring the status of certain segments on the display. That make sense and could be taken to an extreme with all the segments available.

The input interface is not so clear to me. The term "flag" suggests one single bit, but how was one bit enough for a "joystick"? Is this connected through the magnetic card reader logic?

Although I am an engineer and HP/RPN calculator user to the core, I still have a 59 and PC-100 cradle in the back of a closet here.

Lou

JGardner
July 13th, 2010, 05:34 PM
I dunno, Lou. I've got shoeboxes full of magnetic pgming cards somewhere (maybe...),
mostly concerned with supercharger/turbocharger design.

Somewhere along the way the PC-100 disappeared, otherwise I'd be tempted to give
it a shot.

best regards, Jack

Ksarul
July 15th, 2010, 03:45 PM
I like it! Both articles were interesting reads. . .I have a (poor) copy of the TI-59 card reader interdace and maintenance procedures around here somewhere.

Crawford
July 15th, 2010, 05:29 PM
Ahh, this brings back memories! I had a TI-59 in a holster on my belt throughout High School. I loved the little mag cards, and the programmability of that thing. I wonder what I did with it!

Vint
August 9th, 2010, 07:07 AM
Remembering the TI programmables -
Back in 1977 I couldn't get enough of Texas Instruments programmable's.
I started with the TI-57, loved the Making Tracks programming book that came with it. I devoured this thing in a month and needed something much more powerful.
I spotted a TI-58 at Cleveland Typewriter (a store in Westlake, OH.) and I believe the guy took my TI-57 in on trade. The TI-58 had so much more going for it. It 'seemed' to have it all. My little programs increased in size but also did my frustration over volatile RAM. I think the guy at Cleveland Typewriter knew that was going to happen because when I bought the TI-58, he told me I could trade that in for a full refund if applied to the new TI-59. Well, I lasted a few months on the TI-58 and then went back for the TI-59 sporting a $299.99 price tag!
Ouch, I'm not even mathematically inclined, I just couldn't get enough of writing those little programs though. And now I could save them on those cutting edge little magnetic card things, Youza! It made no sense to the wife and she thought I was crazy, hovering over that calculator day and night constantly trying to debug my little programs. Then I spotted an ad for the PC100A printer attachment for the TI-59. Once I read it's abilities I knew I had to have one. Down went another $190. and now I'm into this thing for $500. A $500. calculator might be good if I was an engineer or at least a student of engineering - but I'm none of that. I just can't get enough of writing those little programs I'd dream up. Didn't make a lot of sense, even to me, but I couldn't put the thing down. Being able to print my name out on a small piece of aluminized paper just blew me away.
I did finally incorporate my little TI-59/PC100A gadget into use at my work place and it did actually finally 'get me somewhere'.
It's been 33 years since those days and now I'm going back. I've bought a fully working PC100A and a questionable TI58 to attach to it. (They're in the mail.) I'm leery of the TI59 because of the cost to rebuild one to good working condition. Buying one already rebuilt is a bit spendy. So, I'm going with this $33. setup I've purchased in 2 separate auctions on eBay. I'll work from there. Who knows, perhaps I'll get my nostalgia fix with just this setup - but I don't count on it. I doubt anything less than a fully working TI59 to go with this printer is going to 'get it' for me.
Most people spend their money now - I seem to spend my 'extra' money on the past. Can you buy 'the way things were'?
Incidentally I do have a 'just like new' TI57 with all it's goodies in my collection already, or should I say, 'once more' :)
Those of us that lived through those 'cutting edge' times, remember them fondly. We are a dwindling breed and given another 10 years, or maybe 20 - this 'history', although not 'gone', won't have many people left that can say, "I had one back in the day!" The new 'users' won't be men with grizzled old fingers that remember what it was like when their young fingers literally danced over those keys.
Everyone - repeat after me "Decrement and skip on zero!"

JGardner
August 9th, 2010, 01:44 PM
> "Decrement and skip on zero!"

Pretty funny, Vint :)

I pulled my '59 out of the closet the other day - First, I was surprised by how heavy
it is. Have'nt had it in hand for ten years, at least - Non-op due to a broken battery
spring connection, which looks easy enough to fix... And the battery cells have white
stuff around the positive terminals - I'd removed & stored it separately, so no grief...

Yes! The joy of programming - Not that I'm much good at it, but it is fascinating.

What stands out in memory is the Programming manual that came with the calculator.
An awesome piece of computer technical writing, for once!

My copy was perused till it finally fell apart. I've looked for it on the net, with no
luck...

I've still got all the paraphenalia - Keyboard overlay, mag card wallet, the guide
that fits in the case, a "Marine Navigation" plug-in library, Diagnostic Card, Mag
Reader cleaning cards, and a cleaning card for the PC-100A, which I no longer
have.

I used it till I got my TI-74, 25 years ago, then don't think I ever used it again.
I should probably do something about that.

best regards, Jack

Vint
August 9th, 2010, 03:28 PM
JGardner -
What stands out in memory is the Programming manual that came with the calculator.
An awesome piece of computer technical writing, for once!
My copy was perused till it finally fell apart. I've looked for it on the net, with no
luck...

Here are the TI Manuals> http://www.rskey.org/tidocs.htm
Even though I'd downloaded that excellent TI-59 Programming manual, I still wanted 'the real thing' - which I snatched off eBay a while back for $.99!

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4250

Then I'd sit here with my book and the awesome TI59 Emulator on my PC screen and play around :)

You know they also have a TI59 Emulator for the Pocket PC!
I now have the 'power' of the TI59 in the palm of my hand, using it on my Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC. So after 33 years I can stick the TI59 in my shirt pocket again. This thing will even save and load your programs for you :)

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4251

What'll they think of next?!

JGardner
August 9th, 2010, 05:41 PM
> Here are the TI Manuals> http://www.rskey.org/tidocs.htm

Great! Thanks...

I'm outa excuses - Time to fix her :)

Jack

JGardner
August 10th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Vint -

Which 59 emulator do you have (for PC)?

Jack

Vint
August 10th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Lookie there, the Internet is just like volatile RAM - here one minute, gone the next. I went looking for the page for downloading the TI59 emulator for you and now I find the program has been incorporated into a suite of programs that are no longer free. Couple years ago, the TI59 EMU was in the free version.
So I did some further fishing and finally found the 'good' TI59 EMU which is complete with PC100A printer. It looks like this -

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4274

and 'is' still free just go here http://www.ti59.com/links.htm
Nice of Gemtree to release the EMU by itself free :)

Under TI-59 links - the last two are the emulators for the TI-59.

For the PC - it's the 2nd from the bottom (of the TI-59 links)

TI-59 emulator, by Gemtree Software. Or just download the file

Just click on the word file, on that page, to get the PC version of the TI-59 Emulator.

If you'd also like another TI-59 EMU (which I just found myself) go here -

http://www.zanchetta.net/

click on top of page menu item 'calculatrices'

It's in Portuguese, I think, but what the hey, easy enough to figure out the downloads.
I downloaded the Windows one and the Pocket PC one.

The windows one, although lacking a printer has a nice debugger and a beautiful looking emulator. You can save and load your programs too.
Try them out :)

JGardner
August 10th, 2010, 08:15 PM
Much obliged, Vint.

Jack

Vint
August 12th, 2010, 06:27 PM
I didn't know it'd be like this!
Yesterday the PC100A that I bought off eBay for $30. arrived. It was in awesomely good shape. Nice and clean and non-yellowed :)
Today the TI58 that I bought off eBay for $3.25 arrived. I didn't hold out much hope for the TI58 but when I latched it to the PC100A and fired them up, it suddenly became 1977 once more, actually about early 1978. My fingers once again began to dance over the keys and I even printed out my name.
Let me tell you what it's like - - it's almost a little numbing, almost surreal - and it feels good. I spent so many countless hours back then with a setup like this. (I had the TI59 back then, but the TI58 will do just fine for now.) It's not just the printer and it's not just the calculator - it's what they can do together and how I used to make them sing. If it was confined to just numbers, (although I love numbers), it'd be one thing - but with this printer you have access to alphanumerics!

Look at it like this; If you walked out of your house today and there sitting in your driveway was the 1st car you ever owned/drove - and you slid behind the wheel, (for me that would be an old 53 Studebaker Commander), and you could drive that car once more. Well, that's kind of what it's like to re-own and fire up this TI machine! It doesn't have to be a car - it could be your first girlfriend, or your first skydive, or your first ----------- fill in the blank. The thing is . . . how it would feel to you now.
It seems to take so little to amuse me anymore :)

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4282

Agent Orange
August 12th, 2010, 07:23 PM
I didn't know it'd be like this!
Yesterday the PC100A that I bought off eBay for $30. arrived. It was in awesomely good shape. Nice and clean and non-yellowed :)
Today the TI58 that I bought off eBay for $3.25 arrived. I didn't hold out much hope for the TI58 but when I latched it to the PC100A and fired them up, it suddenly became 1977 once more, actually about early 1978. My fingers once again began to dance over the keys and I even printed out my name.
Let me tell you what it's like - - it's almost a little numbing, almost surreal - and it feels good. I spent so many countless hours back then with a setup like this. (I had the TI59 back then, but the TI58 will do just fine for now.) It's not just the printer and it's not just the calculator - it's what they can do together and how I used to make them sing. If it was confined to just numbers, (although I love numbers), it'd be one thing - but with this printer you have access to alphanumerics!Look at it like this; If you walked out of your house today and there sitting in your driveway was the 1st car you ever owned/drove - and you slid behind the wheel, (for me that would be an old 53 Studebaker Commander), and you could drive that car once more. Well, that's kind of what it's like to re-own and fire up this TI machine! It doesn't have to be a car - it could be your first girlfriend, or your first skydive, or your first ----------- fill in the blank. The thing is . . . how it would feel to you now.
It seems to take so little to amuse me anymore :)

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4282Nice find Vint. Word of caution - don't lose the key!

Vint
August 13th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Yep, very aware of the 'key' issue :)
I've seen a lot of the printers for sale without the key, with and without the calc attached. The key not only locks the calc to the unit, but it has a key operated sliding mechanism that works against the springy action attach point - so unless one wants to duct tape the thing down, you're in a heap of trouble attaching the calc. If the calc is already attached - with no key, it ain'ta comin' off either, so if you wish to carry your calc around, it now has an anchor!
Back in the day though, that's the way I hauled my around :)
I put the whole thing in a brown paper bag and off to work I went. To think they paid me to play with this thing . . . I used it for inventory control.

It came with (2) keys, like the original - so I've put one away for safe keeping.

JGardner
August 13th, 2010, 11:10 AM
Nice, Vint! ... <turning green...>

Jack

Lou - N2MIY
August 13th, 2010, 04:29 PM
I am curious if all PC100s use the same key. I dug mine out and the keys have this code stamped on it: HC155.

Are we lucky enough to have all these use the same key (like the famous DEC XX2247 key)?

Lou

Vint
August 13th, 2010, 05:42 PM
I am curious if all PC100s use the same key. I dug mine out and the keys have this code stamped on it: HC155.

Are we lucky enough to have all these use the same key (like the famous DEC XX2247 key)?

Lou

Looks like NOT. My key says 102AM AP2. But just on the off chance the number 'doesn't' designate a different key - here is a picture showing the cuts for the tumblers. See if your key matches this one.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4286

Then again, maybe all PC100A may be the same and all PC100C keys may be the same but different from PC100A keys :)
One must try to cover all the bases. So the key mystery remains unsolved.

pboat
February 12th, 2011, 01:07 PM
My first T- 59 was purchased for a horse race program that had over 700 entries. Once I turned it off I then had to re enter or use the card to restore. I was never able to get the card to restore so I just gave up. A few years later I purchased a PC 4 pocket and went gradually from there to a PC6 and then 8. I now have two 1262 Sharps that I use with programs I have written in Basic and they work O.K.. I have never been able to find a way to transpose the original T-59 program to basic for my hand helds. Is there a way? Also, I left a thread on this site about a used 1262 I purchased on E-Bay. It is new but programs in Japanese. Do you know who I might contact to see if this can be altered to English? Thanks.

saundby
February 17th, 2011, 09:16 AM
I've still got a spare lockswitch with keys salted away in a parts drawer "just in case". Now I need to get a PC-100A to go with it. ;)

On the 1262, to my knowledge they had either English ROMs or Japanese ROMs, there isn't a soft selection to go from one lanugage to the other. It'd take a hardware mod.

Rick Ethridge
February 21st, 2011, 10:16 PM
I still have an operating TI59.