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TI’s answer to the HP-41C
03-21-2021, 01:52 AM
Post: #1
TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Hi all.

In the one-above competition between HP & TI, IIRC, TI released the 58/59 as the competition to the HP-67. So, along the line, what did TI release to compete with the HP-41 system?

Thanks
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03-21-2021, 02:01 AM
Post: #2
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
(03-21-2021 01:52 AM)Matt Agajanian Wrote:  In the one-above competition between HP & TI, IIRC, TI released the 58/59 as the competition to the HP-67. So, along the line, what did TI release to compete with the HP-41 system?


I may be wrong, but if I recall the facts correctly, absolutely nothing at the time. Else, I would've noticed for sure.

V.

  
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03-21-2021, 02:21 AM
Post: #3
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
TI-88, but it was never released.
http://www.datamath.org/Sci/Slanted/TI-88.htm

Jean-Charles
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03-21-2021, 02:46 AM
Post: #4
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
More information about the TI-88

http://www.rskey.org/ti88

http://datamath.org/Story/Project-X.htm
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03-21-2021, 10:56 PM
Post: #5
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
I'd argue that the TI-99/4 was more what they intended to compete with the 41C. TI believed that personal computers were the better bet, and they wanted in with that market along with Apple, Atari, Commodore, etc. In a way, it seems like they were right, but HP kept their high-end-calculator niche for a long time regardless, and TI ended up back to doing more with calculators than personal computers by the '90s anyway.
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03-21-2021, 11:13 PM
Post: #6
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
It was actually the CC-40 once TI decided to go BASIC rather than keystroke AOS.

Code name was the SR-70 I think.
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03-22-2021, 01:43 AM
Post: #7
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
(03-21-2021 10:56 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I'd argue that the TI-99/4 was more what they intended to compete with the 41C. TI believed that personal computers were the better bet, and they wanted in with that market along with Apple, Atari, Commodore, etc. In a way, it seems like they were right, but HP kept their high-end-calculator niche for a long time regardless, and TI ended up back to doing more with calculators than personal computers by the '90s anyway.

That is very interesting. I would not have thought of the TI-99/4 computer being a possible competitor to the HP-41C. TI made a lot of mistakes in marketing and developing software for the TI-99/4 but their biggest mistake was done years earlier when they made an enemy out of Jack Tramiel.
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03-22-2021, 03:09 AM (This post was last modified: 03-22-2021 03:10 AM by Namir.)
Post: #8
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
TI did laucnh the TI-95 which takes one module and has a printer port. It is keystroke programmable like th TI-59. The TI-95 unit had a twin machine, the TI-74 which is probrammed in BASIC and can take one module and has a printer port. TI also released the CC40 with a solid BASIC implemenation and the ability to insert a module and connect with a printer. The TI 99/4 was the older brother of the CC40 and would be connected to a video screen (and tv, maybe?),

The TI-88 was supposed to be the competitor of the HP-41C line but was never released.
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03-22-2021, 11:11 AM
Post: #9
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
There was a guy, named CB Wilson, who was in charge at TI's consumer electronics division. I believe because of age, he recently had someone auction off most of his TI day stuff. Lots more of his stuff available at atariage.com on the ti99 forum, but this might be of interest:

" Here, we have a nice bit of history. Two memos (slightly different) from Herb Shanzer, manager of the Calculator and Portable Computer Division of TI. September 20, 1982. The formal memo is to Bill Turner, the executive President in charge of the TI Consumer Group (remember, he was fired in 1983 for the Consumer group's poor performance.)

In the memo, Herb announces why the TI-88 is being discontinued. TI lost $3M ($8.2M today) by cancelling the program. They are concerned that the TI-88 would interfere with their long range strategic product, the Advanced Language Calculator. The ALC, which I have plenty of stuff to scan on (including consumer studies of three models which were under consideration) had three tiers - all of which are described in this memo. Ultimately, we wound up with an ALC known as the CC-40, which was one of the three choices.

Anyway, now we're into CC-40 territory with this documentation. I do have a whole binder of something called "TI-88 ALEX" which appears to be unit test/test cases done with the TI-88 calculator. That will be one of the later things I scan since it's so large.

Up next - Some TI Professional peripheral manuals and a document called "SR-70" - a TMS9900 based system - from 1978. "The SR-70 is a small business oriented machine..."

Enjoy today's scans. "
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03-22-2021, 11:55 AM
Post: #10
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
(03-22-2021 11:11 AM)dhe Wrote:  There was a guy, named CB Wilson, who was in charge at TI's consumer electronics division. I believe because of age, he recently had someone auction off most of his TI day stuff. Lots more of his stuff available at atariage.com on the ti99 forum, but this might be of interest....
[snip]

Thanks for posting this. Do you know where these docs are being posted/shared? The TI88 stuff in particuluar is interesting; having only used one for a short period, it's a quite interesting, and the analysis of those test cases would be a great read.

--Bob Prosperi
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03-22-2021, 03:35 PM
Post: #11
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Hi,
Either Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/312771...nt-4661902

or Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/313064...nt-4667988
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03-22-2021, 05:41 PM
Post: #12
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Speaking of the 99/4; how did it operate without the ESC and CTRL keys?
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03-22-2021, 10:38 PM (This post was last modified: 03-22-2021 10:39 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #13
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Hello!

(03-22-2021 05:41 PM)Matt Agajanian Wrote:  Speaking of the 99/4; how did it operate without the ESC and CTRL keys?

About ESC I don't know (my MacBook Pro here has one but I can't remember what it is there for, all I know is that I never pressed it...) but on the Ti99/4, CTRL is the shift key. Since it has no lowercase characters, the shift key invokes the usual CTRL functions as well, e.g. "shift-C" to stop the execution.
But anyway, it must have been the crappiest home computer of it's time with no CPU registers but (slow) RAM instead.

Regards
Max
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03-22-2021, 10:41 PM
Post: #14
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
(03-22-2021 03:35 PM)dhe Wrote:  Hi,
Either Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/312771...nt-4661902

or Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/313064...nt-4667988

Many thanks!! Never have been there, it would have taken much time to locate, so I appreciate the time you saved me (and a ton of quieter folks...).

--Bob Prosperi
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03-22-2021, 11:35 PM
Post: #15
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Very interesting, from "1981-1982-ALC-Planning-TI88-Replacement.pdf"

Market Impact
The impact of implementing a general purpose portable computer should be large. This strategy will impact four separate market areas: TI-59 owners, HP-41 owners, computer users and naive individuals. The direction of the market is clear, and with HP's announcement of its HP-75C BASIC language computer, it has been reaffirmed. The future of the market is high level language computing. This market movement eliminates RPN/AOS arguments and provides a new proving ground for product performance between TI and HP. By eliminating keystroke product from the line entirely, TI sets a concrete commitment to portable computing, eliminating confusion in the market and resultant lost sales. It will give potential TI-88 owners a clearer choice and assure them of long-term support that would not have been evident in a two product line approach. The end result should be an ability to recapture in excess of 80% of TI-88 sales with the portable computer (in fact, with the clearer direction capture rate could exceed 100%). In addition, playing off the HP-75C and its high price point ($995) we should be able to capture HP-41 potentials. That is, the confusion the HP-75C brings to the HP product line, combined with the TI commitment to portable computers, will pull a great deal of potential HP-41 sales to the TI portable product. Last, the additional flexibility and growth potential of multiple language machines opens the market up to a base of computer literate individuals and third party programmers that was left totally untapped by the programmable calculators.


That they thought the CC-40 was a credible replacement of the HP-75C I can understand but that it was a credible replacement of the TI-58/TI-59/TI-88/HP-41 is beyond me.
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03-22-2021, 11:45 PM
Post: #16
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
(03-22-2021 11:11 AM)dhe Wrote:  There was a guy, named CB Wilson, who was in charge at TI's consumer electronics division. I believe because of age, he recently had someone auction off most of his TI day stuff. Lots more of his stuff available at atariage.com on the ti99 forum, but this might be of interest:

" Here, we have a nice bit of history. Two memos (slightly different) from Herb Shanzer, manager of the Calculator and Portable Computer Division of TI. September 20, 1982. The formal memo is to Bill Turner, the executive President in charge of the TI Consumer Group (remember, he was fired in 1983 for the Consumer group's poor performance.)

In the memo, Herb announces why the TI-88 is being discontinued. TI lost $3M ($8.2M today) by cancelling the program. They are concerned that the TI-88 would interfere with their long range strategic product, the Advanced Language Calculator. The ALC, which I have plenty of stuff to scan on (including consumer studies of three models which were under consideration) had three tiers - all of which are described in this memo. Ultimately, we wound up with an ALC known as the CC-40, which was one of the three choices.

Anyway, now we're into CC-40 territory with this documentation. I do have a whole binder of something called "TI-88 ALEX" which appears to be unit test/test cases done with the TI-88 calculator. That will be one of the later things I scan since it's so large.

Up next - Some TI Professional peripheral manuals and a document called "SR-70" - a TMS9900 based system - from 1978. "The SR-70 is a small business oriented machine..."

Enjoy today's scans. "

And with this memo, we finally have the real reason the TI-88 project was canceled. In a nutshell they believed that keystroke programmable calculators were a declining market and would largely be replaced by handheld computers programmable in BASIC, FORTRAN and especially Pascal. While they did produce the Compact Computer 40 or CC-40 hand held computer in 1983, they did not release any mass storage for it and it was discontinued after 1 year when TI abandoned the home computer market entirely. TI later released the TI-74 BASICALC in 1986.
Fascinating history!

1982 TI-88 Program Discontinuation Memo

This history is also summarized nicely on Joerg Woerner's Project X page.
http://datamath.org/Story/Project-X.htm

P.S. While TI never really had a true competitive model for the HP-41C series, they did have some follow-up models that competed with other HP models.

The TI-66 Programmable released in 1983 was often considered the successor of the legendary TI-58 and TI-59 calculators. It had a landscape format and with its function set competed with the HP-11C. It had over twice the memory of the HP-11C and had an option to connect to a printer.

The TI-95 Procalc introduced in 1986 was probably the closest in features to the HP-41C series, although that is a stretch. It was a powerful keystroke programmable model that was expandable via cartridges. For peripherals it had an optional thermal printer and a cassette interface for mass storage.
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03-23-2021, 12:06 AM
Post: #17
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
.
Hi, Sylvain:

(03-22-2021 11:35 PM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  Very interesting, from "1981-1982-ALC-Planning-TI88-Replacement.pdf"
[...]
That they thought the CC-40 was a credible replacement of the HP-75C I can understand but that it was a credible replacement of the TI-58/TI-59/TI-88/HP-41 is beyond me.


Same here. I was very active at the time, I used (and evaluated) the HP-75C for our commercial purposes (unfit) but as a keen user of HP calcs (HP-41C included) I would never buy or desire an HP-75C. It being a "replacement" for my HP-41C never crossed my mind.

On the other hand, as soon as the HP-71B was released and I could lay my hands on a pre-release model, that was another story, I wanted one ASAP (and I got it, for free !). The HP-71B could have been a true replacement for the HP-41C except for two reasons: still very expensive and die-hard RPN fanatics were unlikely to switch.

I also liked very much the newly introduced "pocket computers", starting with the SHARP PC-1211, which I also got (again for free !) and it was indeed a true replacement for the HP-41C and TI's keystroke programming models, and much better in a lot of important aspects. Subsequent SHARP models could run rings around contemporary HP and TI models in terms of performance, ease of programming and capabilities, while being more affordable.

Regards.
V.

  
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03-23-2021, 01:30 AM
Post: #18
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Hello Valentin,
(03-23-2021 12:06 AM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  The HP-71B could have been a true replacement for the HP-41C except for two reasons: still very expensive and die-hard RPN fanatics were unlikely to switch.
Let me add a third reason and an important one IMHO, is the vertical vs horizontal format.
Field peoples, like surveyors, prefer using vertical format than horizontal format device, because it is simply more easier to use for them.
That was the main reason the HP-41 (the HP-48 later on) was very popular for these peoples and not the HP-71B, even though the 71B was more powerful on every front.
The same statement can also be made for all the others HHC horizontal format BASIC machines, super great indoor or on a fixed support but not easy to manipulate with one hand.
Sylvain
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03-23-2021, 01:34 AM
Post: #19
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
Two other issues with the TI-88...

1) There was a chip problem with the "divide by 3" routine. That's what the load of documents say in an internal memo. I have no idea what that problem was, but it would have cost six months to fix and a ton of money.

2) The keyboard used for the TI-88 is the same one used for the original TI-55-II. That machine made it into production and the keyboard was so bad, TI replaced those models for the TI-55-III for years.

I do find it humorous that HP's introduction of the HP-75C, which was a rather unsuccessful product but that was not obvious at the time, was taken as confirmation by TI that they should not introduce a keystroke programmable but go the way the world was with BASIC.

Go figure. :-)
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03-23-2021, 01:42 PM
Post: #20
RE: TI’s answer to the HP-41C
So the official documents suggest I wasn't too far off the mark. Smile While the TI-99/4 may not have been introduced specifically to compete with the 41C, it was clearly indicative of the overall direction that TI was going as their strategy to compete in the market that the 41C occupied, culminating in the CC-40.


(03-23-2021 12:06 AM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  I also liked very much the newly introduced "pocket computers", starting with the SHARP PC-1211, which I also got (again for free !) and it was indeed a true replacement for the HP-41C and TI's keystroke programming models, and much better in a lot of important aspects. Subsequent SHARP models could run rings around contemporary HP and TI models in terms of performance, ease of programming and capabilities, while being more affordable.

Interesting perspective! I wholeheartedly agree that a symbolic language like BASIC is vastly easier to program than keystroke "languages" like on the 41C or TI-59. But the keystroke programmables often make it easier to use programs as part of a calculator-like workflow, so I somewhat begrudgingly write such programs to benefit from the resulting ease of use. Your example of nested looping is exactly the sort of thing that I would much rather prototype on a BASIC handheld so I can spend my time debugging the algorithm rather than the loop setup itself. Wink If HP had made something with 100% identical functionality and UI to the 42S, but with a BASIC-like language, I'd be in heaven.

I actually have a PC-1211 that's in nearly pristine condition (remarkably - these are notorious for LCD rot). I should really try to track down a cassette interface and spend a little time with it and the enormous applications book. While not nearly as powerful as the 71B, I must say that the Sharp is certainly a heck of a lot simpler to use!


(03-22-2021 10:41 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(03-22-2021 03:35 PM)dhe Wrote:  Hi,
Either Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/312771...nt-4661902

or Here:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/313064...nt-4667988

Many thanks!! Never have been there, it would have taken much time to locate, so I appreciate the time you saved me (and a ton of quieter folks...).

Come on Bob, you know you want to get into Atari stuff too...
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