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who remembers this old calculator?
08-31-2014, 07:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: who remembers this old calculator?
(08-31-2014 05:54 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  I've never heard of this calculator, so thank you for introducing it to us. In an issue of "Kiplinger's Personal Finance" from July 1973 I could find a price of $279.00 for the VICTOR MEC/1. Thus I assume the price for the VICTOR MEC/2 was similar.

On most actual 4-bangers you don't have to press the [=] key prior to [M+]. Thus to calculate the total of your example you could just enter:

4 [×] 12 [M+]
2 [×] 9 [M+]
3 [×] 5 [M+]

Would that work with the VICTOR MEC/2 as well?

Two things that I find remarkable are:
  • The position of the [=] key between [÷] [] and [+] [×].
  • Calculating the discount or taxes uses RPN.


PS: Your other videos about the Enigma Mark 4 Replica were interesting as well.

Thanks Thomas.

The MEC/1 was just like the MEC/2, but lacking a memory register, so I imagine the MEC/2 was a bit more expensive. I think I read somewhere that the price dropped rapidly, which was probably typical in those days.

I immediately tried your example out on the MEC/2 (4 [x] 12 [M+]), and memory then contains 12, so you apparently have to press the equals key to get the right value added to memory.

The equals key is interesting in that it is used ONLY for multiplication and division, not for addition and subtraction. But its position between the plus and minus key probably caused confusion among users, at least until they figured out it was used only for multiplication and division.

You could use a constant in multiplication and division, as long as you remembered that the first number in a multiplication problem is the constant, while the second number in a division problem is the constant. I suspect this caused confusion to users as well, and I believe a succeeding product, the MEC/225, included a key for entering a constant (per Katie).

It is interesting that MEC stood for "miniature electronic calculator", given the size of 4 by 8 by 2 inches. Not exactly credit-card size! My original unit eventually died, I think because I didn't heed the warning in the manual to not leave it sitting in the charging cradle unless the cradle is plugged in. Another reason for having good manuals!

Thanks for your comment about the Enigma Mark 4 Replica video, that was the first video I ever did. It is a remarkable little box, and the guy who makes it has now added support for the actual physical plugboard at the front of the machine, so you can set the plug settings either using the physical plugs or (as before), in software. The guy sent me an acrylic unit to test the plugboard update, and it is really beautiful.
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RE: who remembers this old calculator? - Don Shepherd - 08-31-2014 07:04 PM

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