View Full Version : Partial to Texas Instruments

April 3rd, 2011, 02:20 PM
It seems I'm slightly partial to Texas Instruments and their line of 'toys' over the years.
I have a beige TI994A with a keyboard from an earlier black and aluminum TI994A. A box of carts, (all different). A pair of controllers. A TI-74 handheld along with it's manuals. A TI CC-40 with it's manual. The TI994A manuals.
A black and aluminum TI994A with speech module and the TI cassette deck for programs. A TI-57 programmable calc, a TI-58 programmable calc, and a TI-59 programmable calc, along with their manuals. A nice TI-30 with it's original manual, (just because I had one back in the 70's.)
The thing that started my interest in computers was the TI-57 programmable calculator. I bought one in 1977 and with it's fine manual "Making Tracks Into Programming" was really engrossed in the programming part of it. It would only hold 50 programming steps, and the memory was volatile and so I soon traded it in on the TI-58 with many more programming steps and with the addition of preprogrammed ROM modules. Alas, it to had volatile memory and I moved on up to the TI-59 programmable with nearly 1K of memory (960 programming steps), the preprogrammed ROM modules too, plus the ability to save and reload your own programs onto little 1"x3" magnetic cards. That set me back $300. back in early 1978 and I soon also purchased the companion PC100A printer for an additional $200. The printer attached gave me quite a full system for programming. The TI-59 was capable of sending alphanumeric key codes to the printer so that you could finally use words along with numbers. That was an awesome feature and along with the ability to save and load programs made the TI-59 an 'almost' computer. For $500. it was as close as I could get until later in 1978 when I finally took the plunge and bought a Radio Shack Model 1 computer.
Well, I've always had fond memories of those days I spent programming and debugging my little TI programs on those calculators and now, 30 some years later I now re-own all three of those programmable calculators. What's nice is that they all function perfectly! My recent purchase of the TI-59 brought me a fine working machine with a card reader that actually reads and writes and - and I find this quite puzzling, is that both my TI-58 and TI-59 original battery packs charged up just fine in the charging bay of the PC100A printer. I believe both of these are original 30 year old battery packs and I can't understand how they can take and hold a charge after all this time. Isn't that 'unheard' of?
Here's a picture of the battery packs and I do not believe these are rebuilds.
Anybody have any opinions on these battery packs? I charged the TI-59 pack for about 6 hours and then used it to power the TI-59 writing a short program then saving it with the card reader. I ran several cards through the card reader on battery power without a hitch. I then let the calculator set for almost a week and the charge was still good and plenty of juice to run the calculator and card reader. Since the TI-59 shows extensive use with the gold lettering worn off and the keys are a tad spongy and sometimes keybounce, AND since the card reader functions fine - it would seem to me that this calculator must have had both a battery rebuild and card reader rubber wheel drive rebuild, but the battery looks original and I don't want to take the TI-59 apart just to check the drive wheel since it's functioning just fine. These are very old calculators so I want to treat them with kid gloves. I'm just very happy to have all three in fine working condition.

April 6th, 2011, 03:48 PM
My current wristwatch is a TI: EZ430-Chronos (http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/EZ430-Chronos). Sadly, I don't have any other TI equipment today.

April 6th, 2011, 04:10 PM
My current wristwatch is a TI: EZ430-Chronos (http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/EZ430-Chronos). Sadly, I don't have any other TI equipment today.

One of my co-workers has one of those... its pretty neat