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ClausB

Did you start out on a TI programmable calculator?

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My first computer was a TI SR-56 in 1976.

 

Did any of you have one before your TI-99?

 

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TI-59. Loved the Solid State Memory Module. Like a tiny cartridge. Held something like an astounding 5,000 program steps. Loved the then oh so popular cut-away illustration showing the chip inside the epoxy carrier DIP inside the plastic module case.

 

Today in that same physical space you can stack several 256GB microSD cards, or more!

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My first programmable device was also a TI-59, augmented by the PC 100C thermal printer.

Spent many hours doing a lot of software on that one.

I've sold the printer, but still have the calculator.

Edited by apersson850
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My highschool had a TI59 with printer next to a CBM Pet circa 1980 as well as a minicomputer with 8 terminals (you needed to be enrolled in one of the programming courses to access those). While I did play with the TI59 a bit, not surprisingly I found the PET more accessible and fun :) The following year my parents bought me a TI 99/4A and the rest is history...

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15 hours ago, ClausB said:

No TI?

I did not start out with a TI calculator.  My first experience(s) at programming was as a kid standing up in front of the TRS-80 Model I kiosk at the local Radio Shack store.  Years later I became the Computer Marketing Manager of the same store.  I left in 1986, before the companies downward spiral began.  

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HP-41.

Best calculator ever.

b08adca410ab1ef60a3e8ca01836824e.jpg


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I did a fair amount of TI-59 programming for work back in the day. Still have the unit and print cradle but have lost the key.  Didn't try out a TI99 until many years later.

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In school we had the TI-30 Galaxy (not programmable). For me as one of the rare TI-99 users among those Commodore fans, this felt really good. 🙂 Later, I had the TI-52 with Complex number support. I also got the TI-66 and wrote two or three programs on it, but I found it rather cumbersome.

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Yes, the keystroke programming was cumbersome but it gave me a mindset which made it easy to learn assembly language later.

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When I was young I had the TI-57. It was nice to start "programming" with only 50 program steps :)

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:30 PM, jwild said:

HP-41.

Best calculator ever.

Burn the heretic!

 

 

 

By the time I was old enough to do anything of note, I was pretty familiar with the 4a. I skipped the calculator era entirely, I'm afraid.

 

16 hours ago, digdugnate said:

my dad had a TI-59- i started on the 99/4.  :)

Ditto, except 4a. Dad said he had a 4, but it left when he upgraded to the a.

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4 hours ago, Tursi said:

I've never even seen a TI programmable calculator operate in real life. ;)

 

both times I went to college, back in 90-29 for ASEE and just recently in 2012-14 for ASCS

admittedly outside of school? rarely, as I ended up using a computers calculator (switched to scientific mode)

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I still like physical calculators better than using a computer. For the simpler tasks. Not for large programs.

But I use my HP 32 SII, HP 15C and HP 16C quite often. On my phone, I use a simulated HP 48S.

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My first programmable device was an MK14 sold by the Science of Cambridge of the United Kingdom a firm owned by Sir Clive Sinclair. Bought this one from a class mate in 1978 or so. These boards were also used at school for learning programming in assembly the hard way. We had to look up the hex code for every instruction in a book and calculate the jumps our self. The monitor program of this device was even a subject for an exam. The processor is a National Semiconductor SC/MP INS8060 (SC/MP or "scamp" means Simple Costeffective Micro Processor) and the device had 256 bytes of RAM whch could be expanded to a whoping 640 bytes. My board only has 128 bytes of RAM left because one memory chip is kaputt. Also an IO chip is added which gave the possibility to save and load your tiny programs on a cassette tape. Changed my MK14 a bit with a large display (ariginal had a calculator kind of display) and a better keyboard.

 

Fred

MK14 display.jpg

MK14 board.jpg

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On 12/3/2019 at 4:29 AM, mizapf said:

In school we had the TI-30 Galaxy (not programmable). For me as one of the rare TI-99 users among those Commodore fans, this felt really good. 🙂 Later, I had the TI-52 with Complex number support. I also got the TI-66 and wrote two or three programs on it, but I found it rather cumbersome.

 

The TI-30 Galaxy, in the wide case with hinged cover, was my most loved calculator, ever. In 9th grade, I carved out a calculator-sized hole for it in my Trapper Keeper. I was still using the thing on college exams, with my crib sheet in the case. There's still a piece of paper in there with Euler's formula exp(ix)  = cos(x) + i sin(x).

 

I never had the later version that did hexadecimal.

 

 

 

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My first programming experience was on a Sinclair ZX81 a friend had lent me while he was on vacation. Atari 800 came next. For ‚mobile programming‘ I appropriated my dad‘s HP-15 to supplant my 9V battery eating TI-30 (red display) but never got into looping and branching, just some simple keystroke programming. Today I have a lot of HP‘s which certainly exceeds my mathematical capabilities and needs but I just like them. Have a TI-92 somewhere as well but never tried to program it.


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The TI-81 was my 2nd programming experience at home, when I was 21 years old. Because of that, I bought a computer and became a (late) geek.

My first experience was running a few CALL SPRITES, CALL CHARS and CALL HCHAR on the TI-99 when I was 8 years old.

Between the two experiences, only some VisualBasic and PLC programming at technical school.

 

TI-81_Calculator_on_Graph_Screen.jpg

Edited by lucien2
TI-81, not TI-89
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