TI Laugh from the Past


Quote from the TI-58/59 "Personal Programming" manual:

"Storage-- If the calculator is stored unused for several weeks the battery pack will probably need recharging before portable use. THE BATTERY PACK WILL NOT LEAK CORROSIVE MATERIAL; THEREFORE, IT IS SAFE TO STORE THE CALCULATOR WITH THE BATTERY PACK INSTALLED."

Hmmm. Is that so!


Very funny, it's probably because they didn't think the TI-59 will last 2 or 3 decades! :-)


No pun intended; mostly if we think that when computers became available, someone (i don't remember who) said: No more than five of these machines will fit mankind needs forever., or something close to it. If they were powered by rechargeable batteries, this warning would not be added to their five "User's Guide"



TI didn't put anything between the battery pack and the calculator circuit board.

HP put a barrier between then, but TI had nothing.

That always bothered me as one of the dumber TI choices. :-)

That and AOS, perhaps?




You should dismantle the original SR-50 (TI's answer to the HP35) and you'll find that plastic barrier, too.

TI always used one formula to make decisions:


In other words:

Money to survive in the calculator war is optimized by

Greetings, Joerg


I know this is an HP forum, but the history of this stuff affected the whole market.

TI did do some amazing things.... the modules for the TI-59's, the nearly 1000 program steps, and even the ability, figured out by users, to do synthetic programming. I also played yesterday with the speed, and it still blew away the 15C and other quite slow calculators.

I've also been able to resurrect almost all of the 59's I've bought. The SR-52's are so much tougher to get the drive roller right, but I've even gotten that down to a "science".. (using rubber faucet washers, "turning" them on the drive motor with a dremel to the correct diameter.)

Despite the lack of a plastic barrier, the corrosion doesn't seem any worse than the HP's, actually. I suspect that the plastic barriers did little to prevent the corrosive action of the gasses. Sometimes it even seems that the coated copper circuit boards survived better than the solder-traced HP's circuits. (Though the "clean" HP's are still a wonder to look at!!)

STILL, even with the fact that I programmed the 59 all through college (in fact, every program I wrote for class I duplicated on the 59 and it did alphanumerics), I HATE programming it, compared to the elegant HP-67. Sorry, even with years of AOS programming, it doesn't come as naturally to me as RPN.

It's fun to compare, though. And the history is understandable, but sad, why the HP's didn't survive. It's been discussed many times here.

As a collector, it's an amazing history.



Yes, TI did do some fun things.

1) Used Indirect addressing for the first time on the SR-52. (which also had the two hidden memories (STO 98 and 99) on th e SR-52)

2) The TI-58/59 modules could be called at a specified STEP number. This was a great boon to programmers, since they could scour the module listing and find sequences of steps that did what THEY wanted to be used as a subroutine. Note that the HP-41 roms could NOT do this at any time using normal HP techniques. Took synthetic programming to do this.

3) TI users developed a "fast mode" and quite a few entry techniques to speed up program run times.

Without competition, advancements seldom come. Does not bode well for the future.



They can't put anything there because the connection for the PC-100 printer is locate at the same place as the battery contact. I have some TI-58/59 and none are "eaten" by corosion even if the battery pack is very "decompose".

Even with plastic there, gases can do their corrosive job by passing through the side of the plastic "barrier".


the most common problem that i have seen in the 58/59 series is the cheesey spring contacts corroding (probably because of battery juice) and breaking. however; i have never seen a completely dead one.

i would rather use the worst rpn than the best aos but i will admit that the 58/59 was designed a lot better than the spice series. and while i would never take one to work (someone that i know might see me using it); the trig accuracy blows the doors off my 41 too.


Duh. I didn't even think about the printer issue, though I have several, and again, used a 59 all through college.

The HP circuits were oh, so much prettier than the TI's, with their solder-coated traces. They still shine brightly if there's no corrosion. If there IS corrosion, the HP's suffer more damage, even, than the TI's with their ordinary copper circuits-- that are coated with clear sealant.

I still have a pile of TI-59 boards corroded well beyond any repair. It happens. But as I said, I've been able to restore a surprising number of 59's by just replacing the rotten foam under the keys and replacing the drive rollers. Oh, and the broken battery clips. I've had good luck using rectangular pieces from other battery contacts (spring steel).

Unfortunately, the darn things don't easily die..... <grin>. Since I can't afford to buy more HP's lately, I've been restoring some stuff from my junk pile. I got three more TI-59's to work perfectly. (Even their capacitors seem to work O.K...)

It was reality that I couldn't afford the HP at the time. I didn't know that I was contributing to the downfall of civilization as we know it!


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