Close to a record for a TI calculator! (ebay)


Wow. $400+



Wow. That brings back memories.

I had a job once (1976) programming the SR-60. It was like a really souped-up SR-52 with lots of program steps, alpha prompting and a built-in printer.

It also had the most static-sensitive $700 memory boards in existance. (Guess how we found that out! Several times.)

- Michael


Well, it's a uncommon model from TI and i think that this calculator is agreat collector's item. very rare, more that my belove HP-41CV, but yes a lot more heavy!!!

I think that this model is on of the only TI DESKTOP calculator programmable ever made.

By the way, Hi Luiz, i lost your email, can yo send me a email.



Mhh, maybe it's a bit much, but thanks to the good $ to Euro exchange it's not more than I payed for a good HP desktop. I have most of the bigger HP desktops but also collect TI calcs and I'm not that kind of religious believer in HP calcs. Nevertheless is the SR-60 is an interesting part of calculator history.
Achim (achim-b)


Wish I'd seen that, I would have bid it up even higher. After I get more of the HPs working in simulation, I eventually plan to simulate some TIs as well, and the SR-60 is on my list, but I don't have one from which to dump the ROMs.

I don't watch eBay any more, but I used to have the SR-60 on my notification list. They never showed up during the three or four years I was watching. Sigh.

Anyhow, most of the other models I want to simulate are nearly as common as dirt. It will be relatively easy to dump the ROMs of the SR-52, SR-56, and TI-58/59, and those all use variants of the TMC0501 processor (as does the SR-60). I'd like to simulate the TI-30, Programmer, and Business Analyst, which all use the same chip with different ROM code, but the only way I know of to dump the ROM will be to deencapsulate it and photomicrograph it. I'm told to expect a cost about $300-$500 each to have that done.

Aside from the SR-60, in the rare category I want to simulate the SR-22. I've got one, but I'm not about to decap the ROM chip. There's a ROM listing in the patent, but there are very obvious errors in the listing, and the PLA contents which are also needed are not present. If I ever obtained another SR-22, even a broken one, I might contemplate decapping the chips from that.


I wrote:

Wish I'd seen that, I would have bid it up even higher.

I should perhaps add that the SR-22 and SR-60 are pretty much the only TI models that I would pay significant money for. I'm really not a big fan of TI calculators, but TI was an important part of the scientific calculator market back then, so even though their products mostly sucked (IMNSHO), I sill want to simulate some of them.

Old Sharp and Casio scientific calculators are arguably more interesting to me than old TIs, but getting enough technical information together to simulate one appears to be nearly impossible. I'm not willing to invest nearly as much time and money in that as I have on HPs and TIs.

This "business" of simulating old HPs has proven to be very expensive. I think I've spent about $6000 on it over the last decade. Even if I sell the Windows version of <a href="">Nonpareil</a> I don't expect I'll be able to recoup most of that. But then, when I started the project, it wasn't intended as a money-making operation.


Edited: 7 Apr 2005, 1:38 a.m.


Yeah, Eric & I would be warring for the SR60: it's pretty cool.

Clearly this calc was a piece of 'capital equipment' for folks that couldn't get (enough) time on minicomputer.

IMHO TI calc architectures are kinda funky and not as well thought-out as HP's. HP defined a calc then created a refined CPU architecture around it; TI had a 4bit CPU and somehow got a calc out of it. I do like the SR52 & 56 calcs and enjoyed tinkering with my TI58 in high school.

Nevertheless the TI CPUs had some interesting features, esp the PLAs for instruction configuration and output control.

Wish I knew some more about TI58/59 oddities...

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA USA


Have you seen this?


Thanks for the link! I put my TI-59, printer, and modules to a lot of good use before I had the 41cx, so I have some good memories of it. However upon going to the website, what immediately made me laugh was the phrase near the top, "The best programmable calculator in the world"! Thanks for the humor. Yes, it was good, but I would have had an HP if I had the budget. I originally budgetted $100, and the TI-58c seemed to give the most for the money at that price, so I got it. (Bill Cosby was advertising the 58 and 59 for TI. Remember that?) Not long after, I was in the right place at the right time to trade with a friend my 58C+$100 for his 59 and printer and four modules and some applications books.

Later I took the big step up to the HP-41cx, HPIL+Extended I/O (combined module), Advantage ROM, Zenrom, Thinkjet printer, 82161A tape drive, and several applications books and other books including Vlodek's "Extend Your HP-41".

Later a co-worker _gave_ me his TI-59 saying he never used it and probably never would. He was the kind that would buy on impulse and not think anything of it, and get rid of something just as impulsively. Later I bought a TI-58 and a TI-59 for a couple of bucks each at a yard sale held by a new widdow who didn't know what her late husband's stuff was all about but was just happy to get rid of it. I sold a couple of those for $60 bucks each when times were tough for us. The engineering manager who gave me his 59 apparently didn't think much of it, but the man who bought two units from me at $60 each thought they were the best. I'm sure they're going for more now on eBay, but I don't think it existed yet at that time.

Edited: 7 Apr 2005, 5:13 p.m.


(Bill Cosby was advertising the 58 and 59 for TI. Remember that?)

I don't quite remember Bill Cosby hawking TI, but do remember his commercials for Ford, Coca-Cola, and Jello about that time (late '70s, early '80s). The era was between his "Mod Squad" and "Cosby" TV shows.

I also remember the SR-51-II from Texas Instruments. I assume that it was the predecessor of the TI-59.

-- KS


Pictures of most of these can be found at my website and you can see the functions for yourself. :-)

In rough order, you had the:

SR-10 (Basic slide rule - square root, 1/x, x^2)
SR-11 (slimmer keys than the SR-10)
SR-16 (Added logs, 10^x and y^x and memory)
SR-50 and SR-51 (added trigs, hyperbolics and lots more!)
SR-52 then SR-56
(SR52 had 224 unmerged steps, card reader, indirect addressing of 22 memories...SR-56 had 100 unmerged steps, no card reader, 10 memories)
SR-16-II (same functionality as the SR-16 but different case)
SR-50A and SR-51A (same functionality as the SR-50 and SR-51 but different case)
SR-51-II (update of the SR-51 line)
TI-57, 58, and 59
(TI-57 had 49 fully merged steps, 58 had up to 480 steps or 60 memories and the first plug-in rom (5000 steps), but no card reader - turn it off and poof goes your program...the TI-59 added the card reader and more steps/memories).


I believe Cosby was plugging educational products from TI. There was a calculator wizard that had arithmatic drills that I had way back when.

I still have a Children's Discovery System from TI. The system is a mini-computer geared towards education of math, music, and words.


I'd give good money for a TI88 - about ten times rarer than an HP95C...


Was the TI-88 actually produced? I recall seeing a brochure for it while in college but never saw any for sale in the bookstore.





Apparently there is one model in existence (see links above). No other exists to my knowledge, but there were probably a few made as prototypes (I think less than 5).

On the other hand, I know no one who (publicly) has an HP95C...

Also, I'm sure many of you have unique items.


I know that Maurice Swinnen, who was the editor of TI PPC Notes, and Richard Nelson, who was the editor of the PPC Calculator Journal, received prototype TI-88's. I suspect that additional units were provided to other editors at periodicals such as EDN and Computer Shopper. I believe that Maurice sold his unit to Dave Leising. I do not know the provenance of Viktor's unit.

I also do not know if the delivered units were fully operational. The reason that I raise that question is that in early 1983 I received a prototype TI CC-40 for evaluation. The accompanying literature described the HexBus peripheral interface in detail, but when the first peripheral became available I found that it would not run with my CC-40. When I opened my CC-40 I found that there were no wires connected to the interface connectors! I traded my prototype in for a production unit and the peripheral worked properly.


IMO, did not stink.

Remember and compare the two offerings from HP and TI from 1977 to 1979.

HP 67/97
224 merged steps
with 26 memories.

960 semi-merged steps or 100 memories.
With 30 memories, you had about 700 steps.

IMO, 700 TI-59 steps > 224 HP67 steps from a brute force standpoint.

I would like to note that I do not enjoy programming in algebraic / AOS at all, and I do know that RPN is MUCH more efficient at programming, but...

For 2 years, there were many types of problems that the HP67/97 just could not do.

Sorting 60 full-precision numbers :-)
A full backgammon game
and others.

Competition is always good for the consumer.

TI vs. HP gave everyone more goodies and better ones.

Today, the competition between HP and TI isn't as fierce (TI almost seems to even ignore HP) and Casio has some group of devotees too.

Still, better products for us all with competition.

So, don't pooh-pooh the TI-59 too much. If the Card Reader quality had been much better, if it had continuous memory, if programming in algebraic really wasn't as "tough", then...things might have been different. :-)

Personally, I think the TI-59 is one reason we got the HP41!



So, don't pooh-pooh the TI-59 too much. If the Card Reader quality had been much better, if it had continuous memory, if programming in algebraic really wasn't as "tough", then...things might have been different. :-)

Sure. And if my grandmother had had wheels, she'd have been a carriage.

TI had the lead on memory size for a very short time. If HP hadn't had the HP-41C already in development, they probably would have introduced enhanced versions of the HP-67 and HP-97 with more memory; that wouldn't have been that hard for them to do, and there are some hints that rudiments of support for more program memory exist in the ROMs. Possibly they didn't finalize the decision on the amount of RAM to put into the 67/97 until late in the development cycle.

The 67/97 cardreader worked quite well, and it was not too hard to write program overlays to solve larger problems. That wasn't feasible for all problems, but it was sometimes helpful.

Edited: 8 Apr 2005, 5:34 p.m.


Guess it depends on what "short time" means.

The first programmable was introduced in 1974. The TI-59 was introduced in 1977. The HP41C in 1979.

In the 5 years there, the TI was ahead for 2 years. That's 40% of the total lifetime of programmables up to that point.

AND, during that time, they had the solid state software plug-in modules that gave it quite a bit of power too.


P.S. What converted me (finally) to the HP world was the alpha capability of the HP41C. I was a (gasp) TI guy before that. :-)


Not worry Gene, I was a TI person too. It only took me years (I won't say how many) before I gave RPN the chance and now prefer it over ALG.


The advantage of the TI-59 over the HP-67 wasn't just the larger memory.

The ability to interface to an external printer was a tremendous advantage, because you could use the calculator as a handheld device and then connect it to the printer to print the results.

Also the fact that you could buy the calculator and then the printer made the purchase of a complete system much easier.

Moreover, that printer was FAST! It is a line printer (similar to that used in the 9845, but much narrower) unlike the printers used on the 97 and the HP-41 which move the printhead to and fro.

Finally, the TI-59 was cheaper than the HP-67. Of course it was of inferior quality as well, the card reader was lousy, the keyboard cheap and the display had fewer digits than the 67.

Having said that, I bought a TI-59 a few weeks ago, and it can read cards that I got from another seller. Quite impressive for a 25+ year card reader.

Compared to the 41, the TI-59 loses in all respects, but the comparison is not fair. During the 70s the evolution in calculators was staggering, so the two year difference between the 59 and the 41 places them in different generations.

I remember buying a TI-58 initially and then upgrading to a TI-59 almost immediately because I wanted the card reader.

Shortly afterwards I bought the PC100C print cradle, but then the TI-59 started having problems (keyboard initially, and then with the card reader), so I sold it and bought an HP-19C. When the HP-41C came out I upgraded to that one selling the HP-19C.

In the mid-eighties I bought an HP67 second hand (the external charger had a break in the cord and could not charge the battery or power the calculator, so the owner was getting rid of the whole calculator).

I had to wait till 2000 (and eBay) till I was able to reunite myself with an HP-19C and an HP-34C, and now a TI-59 with PC100C cradle.

These are all very useful calculators, each with their advantages and disadvantages, but the most versatile of all of them is my HP-41C, that has been with me for 25+ years.



Hi, Vassilis Prevelakis!

Since you are a collector how about coming to Finland?

Sunday is just for you (and alike)

V-P = Veli-Pekka


I used a number of TI-59's for several years before encountering card reader problems. I may have been living in a non-typical world because I had obtained my TI-59 through the TI Productivity Program where I worked. It was rumored, but never proven to my knowledge, that TI delivered design-centered devices to the Productivity Programs to ensure that the participating individuals could read each other cards.

Many of the TI-59 card reader problems were really battery pack problems. It turned out that the TI-59 would run properly in every respect but card reading and writing if one of the three cells in the battery pack was shorted. So, as the TI-59's became older and the cells in the battery packs startd to short, as NiCad cells will do, the users would see card reader problems. I helped many users solve their card reader problems by shocking their battery pack to restore all three cells to workiing condition.

There were other problems with the card readers that could not be cleared with the head and roller cleaning cards and there is little doubt in my mind that the HP-67 reader was a better device.

I preferred AOS over RPN for the simple reason that AOS was a higher order language which made translation of my library of older BASIC programs much easier.


Interesting. I used my TI-59 for years though, and never had any card reader problem at all while I was using it. I got the tape drive for my 41 (and also used it with the 71 later) and never did get the card readers for those. I have 96KB of RAM in the card reader port of my 71. (CMT had 160KB available, but I got all I could afford at the time.) Without experience, I'd have to think that the 71's and 75's hand-pulled card reader was much better because there was little of anything mechanical to go wrong. OTOH, I pulled out my TI-59 after not using it for more than 15 years, and the rubber wheel had turned to mush. I've seen this happen to belts in tape recorders, but the HP tape drive had no rubber parts AFAIK-- just direct drive, with not even a pinch roller.


I have purchased several used TI-59's that had developed the squishy roller problem. In some of them the rollers had turned gummy. I have also purchased several used TI-59's which do not have the roller problems and which read my 25 year old magnetic cards flawlessly. I have no idea why some rollers go bad and others survive.

One possible source of gummy rollers might be use of the third party cleaning card (CCL something, as I remember) which carried some solvent through the card mechanism. I managed to get some card readers to work by using the cleaning card, but in one instance the use of the cleaning card in a reader which had worked part of the time turned the rollers to gum.

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