Thursday, January 31, 2013

The TI-59

The TI-59 was Texas Instrument's successor to the SR-52 and answer to the HP-67. It came out in 1977, just after I bought my SR-52, of course. It quadrupled the number of program steps and added ROM program modules. It still did not have constant memory so that every time you turned it off, you lost  your program. Thus it still featured a magnetic card reader. The cards were not compatible with the SR-52. 
The TI-59 was TI's top of the line calculator until it was discontinued in 1983, although it became less relevant in 1979 when the TI-58C was introduced which had constant memory and cost much less. In 1983 both were replaced by the TI-66.
I never had one of these back in the day since I had already committed to the SR-52. Currently, these calculators are not as desirable as the old HP's and they can be found cheap on eBay. This one is the product of two eBay purchases used to produce one fully working example. 

The PC-100A printer cradle and charger was introduced with the SR-52. It was larger and clunkier than the HP-97 combined package, but it had the advantage that you didn't have to buy two expensive calculators to have both a desktop and a portable programmable calculator. 
This example was not working when I bought it on eBay, but I was able to repair the printer. I also swapped out some parts from another non-working one to produce one that is both clean and working. The paper it uses is a non-standard size but I was able to find new blank rolls from a guy in Romania (also on eBay).
I accumulated a few accessories including a case, blank program cards, Master ROM pac and also the Leisure ROM pac.

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