Mystery calculator - not a calculator?



#24

Hi There,

I recently followed the interesting discussions about the "Mystery Calculator" and working 17 years in the Barcode Scanner market (and knowing most western calculators) I have my own ideas....

I doubt that we are talking about a calculator, to me the little thing looks more like a portable data terminal. Just google e.g. for the Telxon PTC-710 and you find a lot of images like these:

What do you think about the similarities?

db, they may have an ENT key - but no RPN. Sorry!

Regards,
Joerg


#25

The Johnson Space Center photo archive implies that it's a calculator here. The text description says:

Quote:
STS-45 Payload Specialist Dirk D. Frimout (left) and Mission Specialist (MS) C. Michael Foale (shirtless) conduct Detailed Supplementary Objective (DSO) 621, Inflight Use of Florinef to Improve Orthostatic Intolerance After Flight, on the middeck of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104. The purpose of DSO 621 is to evaluate the efficacy of the drug on postflight orthostatic tolerance using heart rate, blood pressure, stroke volume and other cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress. A penlight flashlight freefloats above Frimout's shoulder. The crewmembers are in front of the port side galley with a calculator, food containers, and DSO 621 supplies velcroed to it [emphasis added]. Behind Foale are a camcorder and the forward middeck lockers.

I sent an email to the curator asking if there's a higher resolution scan of the picture available.


#26

It might just be a matter of a generic description of the pic by someone not knowing what they're looking at.

#27

Thanks for your insight. It makes sense.

Particularly puzzling to me was the fact that there were only 4 button columns on the bottom of the "calculator" when so many calculators have 5 columns.

The fact that there didn't seem to be arithmetic buttons (+ - * /) was also bizarre.

I think you've nailed it.

#28

So after a lot of research, it seems only these calculator models ever went into space:

HP-35
HP-65
HP-41
HP-48
Elektronik Mk-52

#29

I also found this blurb here about Telxon:

Telxon was started in Texas in 1969 as Electronic Laboratories, Inc. by engineers who developed data recording devices for NASA and the FAA, the company was a pioneer in the mobile information systems industry.

#30

After a little sluthing, I tracked down a guy at Nasa who is going to get me a high-resolution scan of the photo. I'll post it when I receive it in about a week.


#31

David, Thanks!

And our friends in UK start to make a bet ;-))

Joerg


#32

Wow. Talk about team work...

#33

I have received a high-res copy of the image from Nasa, but I'm not sure how to post it here. Looks like I need to put the image on a website somewhere and then provide a link to it. Can anyone help out?

Thanks,
Dave


#34

Just cut out the part of interest and post that. And, while you are asking NASA for things, ask them what it is.

Edited: 1 Oct 2009, 4:35 p.m.


#35

Quote:
And, while you are asking NASA for things, ask them what it is.


But where's the fun in that??! :)

Dave

#36

I should be able to post the photo - send me an email at sancerre @ gmail . com (no spaces).

--Sancerre


#37

Waiting in anticipation!


#38

I emailed the photo to Sancerre so he should post them soon.

It looks to me like an Intermec 9444 or 9445 bar card scanner.



#39

I would put real money on that last one.

#40

Hi,

Here are the two images that Dave sent. I have intentionally left the images at their original resolution, so you'll have to scroll for the first one.

--Sancerre


#41

Quote:
Hi,

Here are the two images that Dave sent. I have intentionally left the images at their original resolution, so you'll have to scroll for the first one.

--Sancerre


Case closed.

#42

Joerg;
It has no "=" sign either. What good to us is a data collector that only collects data?


#43

Quote:
What good to us is a data collector that only collects data?

Joerg's picture of the PTC-710 shows keyboard functions such as FIND, INSERT, SEND, DISP (display?), etc. Do you really not see any use for such a device?

#44

Quote:
Do you really not see any use for such a device?


Yep. I do. For a one function robot, or a gas meter reader. I have had to use things like that and then recall the recorded data to hand input into my 41 or 48 so I could use it. No fun there. I would prefer to use a data collector that also calculates, such as the Precision Surveying Solutions unit based on the hp50g that Tim Wessman and John Evers have demonstrated to us at the HHCs.


So, yes; I see a use for such a device. I just don't like the premise.


#45

Isn't it a miniaturized word processor?


#46

I have never used one of these but i'd guess that the INSERT, CLEAR & ERASE hot keys are to interact with things analogous to "descriptor" and "note" fields that could be appended to each record (point, reading, whatever). DELETE might erase the entire shot (reading, whatever). FIND could find and recall a reading (group of entries) by things like point number or a word in the descriptor. God only knows what a reading consists of for them, monitoring scientific experiments in near earth orbit. For me doing surveying it could be Point Number, Northing, Easting, Elevation, Descriptor and maybe a Note. In the warehouse environment that this is made for it could be widget #, shelf #, date, quantity, and a note on condition. Or not.

I just wish that that was a real enter key, but then i'd have to collect it.


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