After Hours

TechRepublic members' first geeky gifts

First Geeky Gift: TI-59 Calculator and PC-100C Printer

Member AnsuGisalas remembers his dad's TI-59 Calculator that could dock to a PC-100C printer, thereby converting it into an adding machine. Quite an interesting concept from the '70s, making a calculator that could be converted into an adding machine. It probably made it cheaper because you only had to purchase the calculator portion once.

Image courtesy DataMath.org

11 comments
Dr. Solar
Dr. Solar

That TI-1200 beats my first calculator, a TI SR-10 that did square roots and scientific notation! Do I get credit for the fact that the SR-10 was actually my second choice, behind the 4-bit mechanical computer kit that you built out of plastic parts and metal rods, and programmed with cardboard cutouts? But my parents felt like they were cheating me since that was so much cheaper than the calculator, so they gave me the calculator. But before that.... Yep, had an Erector set with motor. Added an electric drill for more power to make a small lathe. Yep, had a big chemistry set with acids, alcohol burner, and a centrifuge with real glass tubes that occasionally flew out of their holders.

boucaria
boucaria

Getting the Version of MP and The Holy Grail ( with the Missing 24 Seconds) edition [ since not everyone can have the script ]. Geeky is; Getting 4 or more versions of a fave CD or DVD because they are ALL "significantly" different, but you keep them in their covers ( mostly) however its their covers that have most of the difference :-) And now in the glorious days of downloads, you buy the CD, DVD etc, because one is the regular, one is the iTunes ( with special Bonus), One is the Best Buy special Cover, and one has another special addition AN AUTOGRAPH. Etc

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

http://www.chessvariants.com/xiangqi.html Why was it geeky? Well, chess itself is pretty geeky, isn't it? And I geeked out pretty badly when I got an opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different kind of chess. And indulging my nascent inner language geek in studying the hanzi characters used was certainly fun, too. Still have that game.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Those old Gilbert Erector® sets introduced you directly to the capabilities (and hazards) of an AC motor. Some kid would get zapped or blow a fuse and his parents would tell him, "Well, now you know." Today, it would be lawyers at 10 paces and Meccano would be out of business. The new Erector sets use battery-powered motors.

GSG
GSG moderator

My brother had one complete with various Acids, dangerous chemicals, Bunsen burners, and instructions on how to make things that explode or were otherwise toxic. I still remember the cloud of smoke and the horrific stench that filled the garage one winter day. Mom was not amused. That was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

When I was a Kid they never produced enough power for anything and the batteries lasted all of what seemed like a few Nanoseconds. So in an attempt to build a Better Electro Magnetic I wound my own and instead of using a Battery with DC power I relied on Mains Voltage but I unfortunately didn't make the winding long enough so there was not enough Impedance and I blew a Fuse. My Father went nuts yelling something about the Danger. Great Electro Magnetic while it lasted though. :^0 I also had to scrounge more Mains Wire with a Plug on it for my next attempt at a working AC Electro Magnetic. Back them with the Rubber Insulation there was always leads around as people where replacing them on a all too regular basis. Though I had to be careful and hide them so that the parents didn't find them. They played with them more than me when they found them, and I was the one in trouble. :_| Of course now I would never consider doing that again and would beat the living daylights out of my kids if they where ever silly enough to do something like that. Honest. 0:-) I suppose the fact that I once got paid to play with Mains Powered Electro Magnetics killed the novelty for me. :^0 Col

metaphysician
metaphysician

I received my first chemistry set in 1961. By the mid-60's I was doing things like making chlorine gas in the basement to see if it really was green. 50 years later I'm still earning my living as a chemist, which has morphed to add an IT geek. That chemistry set when I was 8 shaped the rest of my life.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

It's highly toxic. But it smells so bad that all would-be victims have invariably evacuated the premises before it reaches a dangerous concentration. Toxic, but not dangerous.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

I don't have a clue what you mean. :p Good thing that I'm above all that and am [b]"NICE"[/b] or you may suddenly find a Airlock open behind you. :^0 :D :^0 :D :^0 :D. Col 0:-)