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Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
09-08-2022, 01:25 PM
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RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-07-2022 07:15 PM)Jeff_Birt Wrote:  I was just reading: https://sharppocketcomputers.com/1980-20...puters.pdf

In Part II, Mr. Saam states, "Pocket computers have a unique character - they were all battery powered, they were engineered as a complete computer system, a mainframe computer in miniature. They differed from “personal computers” and “programmable calculators” which came at the same time."

I agreed and then wondered what really differentiates a pocket computer from a programmable calculator? A QWERTY keyboard? Intended market? What makes a HP-41 a programmable calculator but an HP-71 a pocket computer?

A funny story about this (apocryphal?) is that when HP was producing the HP9100 they realized companies would resist buying equipment called computers through normal office supply channels but had no problem purchasing calculators. This led them to call the 9100 a calculator even though it was expandable with peripherals and could make logical decisions like a computer.

Tom L
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RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator? - toml_12953 - 09-08-2022 01:25 PM



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