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First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
08-03-2021, 04:32 PM
Post: #1
First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
What was the first handheld calculator to feature "textbook"-style input and output? (Sometimes referred to as pretty print, math input, etc.) The HP 48S/SX is possibly the first, by way of having the equation writer, though this isn't the primary method of calculating - that job more often goes to the stack.

There was the Sharp EL-9200 and EL-9300, which some web sites claim came out in 1995, but I know I had an EL-9200 sometime in 1993 or 1994. This, and all subsequent Sharp graphing calculators use textbook input and output as the primary method of entering calculations on the main calculation screen. (Though you can disable it and use a simple linear entry method if you wish - textbook input was kind of sluggish on the old models, although the keyboard was buffered so you could type ahead.)

I don't think Casio had textbook I/O until the fx-9860G around the mid 2000s, and TI added it to the TI-83 Plus at some point in its firmware update history.

Anything else predating the HP 48 and Sharp EL-9200/9300 that I'm overlooking?
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08-03-2021, 04:49 PM
Post: #2
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-03-2021 04:32 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  What was the first handheld calculator to feature "textbook"-style input and output? (Sometimes referred to as pretty print, math input, etc.) The HP 48S/SX is possibly the first, by way of having the equation writer, though this isn't the primary method of calculating - that job more often goes to the stack.

There was the Sharp EL-9200 and EL-9300, which some web sites claim came out in 1995, but I know I had an EL-9200 sometime in 1993 or 1994. This, and all subsequent Sharp graphing calculators use textbook input and output as the primary method of entering calculations on the main calculation screen. (Though you can disable it and use a simple linear entry method if you wish - textbook input was kind of sluggish on the old models, although the keyboard was buffered so you could type ahead.)

I don't think Casio had textbook I/O until the fx-9860G around the mid 2000s, and TI added it to the TI-83 Plus at some point in its firmware update history.

Anything else predating the HP 48 and Sharp EL-9200/9300 that I'm overlooking?

Hi Dave,

Would the 28C's solver method of entry qualify? It predates the 48 series IIRC.

-B
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08-03-2021, 04:53 PM
Post: #3
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-03-2021 04:49 PM)BillBee Wrote:  Hi Dave,

Would the 28C's solver method of entry qualify? It predates the 48 series IIRC.

-B

Yes, the 28C and 28S have an algebraic solver, but I don't think they have a true "textbook" display, do they? For example, with integrals written how they would appear in a book, fractions with the numerator displayed above the denominator, etc. The 48 has the equation writer for entering expressions in this format, and I believe it will display them on the stack in the same way.
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08-03-2021, 05:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-03-2021 04:53 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  
(08-03-2021 04:49 PM)BillBee Wrote:  Hi Dave,

Would the 28C's solver method of entry qualify? It predates the 48 series IIRC.

-B

Yes, the 28C and 28S have an algebraic solver, but I don't think they have a true "textbook" display, do they? For example, with integrals written how they would appear in a book, fractions with the numerator displayed above the denominator, etc. The 48 has the equation writer for entering expressions in this format, and I believe it will display them on the stack in the same way.

I do believe you are correct - I would call it functional but not "pretty".
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08-04-2021, 09:55 AM
Post: #5
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-03-2021 04:32 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  There was the Sharp EL-9200 and EL-9300, which some web sites claim came out in 1995, but I know I had an EL-9200 sometime in 1993 or 1994.

For what it's worth, the copyright notice in the manual for the EL-9200/9300 (they're both pretty much identical except for RAM size) is dated 1992, which bears out your memories of having one in '93 or '94.

(08-03-2021 04:32 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I don't think Casio had textbook I/O until the fx-9860G around the mid 2000s, and TI added it to the TI-83 Plus at some point in its firmware update history.

The TI-92, released in 1995, also has this if memory serves.

Checks quickly on a TI-92 in the collection....

Yup. Confirmed.

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08-04-2021, 11:34 AM
Post: #6
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-04-2021 09:55 AM)grsbanks Wrote:  The TI-92, released in 1995, also has this if memory serves.

Checks quickly on a TI-92 in the collection....

Yup. Confirmed.

Oh yeah, the TI-92 has textbook output, but not input, which always annoyed me. And you had a single line that would scroll horizontally, unlike the text wrapping that would occur on the 83, 86, etc. Though there was a program similar to the HP 48 equation writer that you could install on the 92 Plus and the 89. I've only tried it out a little but, but it seems pretty good.
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08-04-2021, 12:46 PM
Post: #7
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-04-2021 11:34 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Oh yeah, the TI-92 has textbook output, but not input

You're absolutely right, I didn't fully read the question because, to be honest, textbook format on a calculator brings me out in a rash Smile

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08-04-2021, 01:05 PM
Post: #8
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-04-2021 12:46 PM)grsbanks Wrote:  
(08-04-2021 11:34 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Oh yeah, the TI-92 has textbook output, but not input

You're absolutely right, I didn't fully read the question because, to be honest, textbook format on a calculator brings me out in a rash Smile

Yeah, completely irrespective of anybody's opinions of it, I'm just curious where it showed up first. Smile It seems like that may have been the HP 48, with the Sharp EL-9200/9300 being the first to put it front-and-center. Admittedly, the equation writer on the 48SX was sort of crude - the 48GX improved it quite a bit, and the 49G made a lot more improvements.
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08-04-2021, 04:54 PM
Post: #9
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-03-2021 04:32 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I don't think Casio had textbook I/O until the fx-9860G around the mid 2000s, and TI added it to the TI-83 Plus at some point in its firmware update history.

According to Wikipedia Casio introduced "Visually Perfect Algebraic Method (V.P.A.M.), Natural Display or Natural V.P.A.M. input methods" with model fx-991S and other "S" series scientific calculators in Japan in 1998.These models are some years earlier than the fx-9860G which was introduced in 2005 (also according to Wikipedia).

Best regards

Karl
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08-04-2021, 06:37 PM
Post: #10
RE: First calculator with "textbook" input/output?
(08-04-2021 04:54 PM)Karl-Ludwig Butte Wrote:  According to Wikipedia Casio introduced "Visually Perfect Algebraic Method (V.P.A.M.), Natural Display or Natural V.P.A.M. input methods" with model fx-991S and other "S" series scientific calculators in Japan in 1998.These models are some years earlier than the fx-9860G which was introduced in 2005 (also according to Wikipedia).

Best regards

Karl

The VPAM input on the fx-991S, fx-115S, and lesser-known fx-992S (a very nice calc!) is sort of rudimentary, certainly nothing that could be mistaken for "textbook" display.

Essentially it's a typical infix-algebraic input like on any 7-segment-display calculator, but there's also a small dot-matrix portion near the left of the display that allows for keying - and displaying - one-argument functions such as sin or ln before their arguments. There wasn't even an entry-line where you could go back and review or edit the whole input expression. I believe that capability was introduced on the W series: fx-115W, fx-991W, and so on. These models called it S-VPAM, or Super Visually Perfect Algebraic Method, and used a single line of text for input.

The ES series introduced textbook input and output, branded as Natural Display or Natural-VPAM, though I don't know whether these predate the fx-9860G.
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