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Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
09-14-2022, 02:47 PM
Post: #21
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
It is marketing all the way down.
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09-17-2022, 08:37 PM
Post: #22
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?

Good point. A poor article indeed. Perhaps one can see some value in its historical overview and reasons why such a thing as a "Pocket Computer" exists or existed. Generally confuses "Pocket Computer" with pocket(able) computer and hand-held computers. Capitalization refers to a definition. But the author fails to adequately define a "Pocket Computer" (capitalized) which is in fact intentionally written "Pocket Computer" in the introduction, rather the paper characterizes a "pocket computer" as "a battery-powered hand-held computer system. Small in size, lightweight, durable, reliable, and low-cost ($100-200.) It was designed as a complete system with immediate access to its programs, data, and functions." and "[...] engineered as a complete computer system, a mainframe computer in miniature." Right. That's a "hand-held computer". This covers many types of small devices available in the 80s. Later the paper states that "The pocket computer was easier. Its BASIC interpreter is already in read–only memory (ROM), and is ready with a switch from RUN to PROGRAM mode." OK, so that gets closer perhaps what he meant by a "Pocket Computer", but that's under the section "Pocket computers for learning to write a program" implying that BASIC programmables are a subset of pocket computers, hence "pocket computers" (lower case). A "pocket computer" is just any device that is a small affordable hand-held computer system. As opposed to "Pocket Computer" that is BASIC programmable, which was perhaps intended by the author? Still, "pocket computer" leaves too much to the imagination. Are memo writers, data banks, check writers, organizers, programmable calculators, pension calculators, aviation navigators therefore "pocket computers", whereas BASIC programmables are "Pocket Computers"? They were certainly marketed as "Pocket Computers" by certain brands. Clever. Who would have though about that? Smile

- Rob

"I count on old friends" -- HP 71B,Prime|Ti VOY200,Nspire CXII CAS|Casio fx-CG50...|Sharp PC-G850,E500,2500,1500,14xx,13xx,12xx...
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09-17-2022, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2022 09:12 PM by Didier Lachieze.)
Post: #23
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-07-2022 07:15 PM)Jeff_Birt Wrote:  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?

It may be as simple as the divide and multiply keys: ÷ and × on calculators, / and * on pocket computers.
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09-17-2022, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2022 10:25 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #24
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
Hello!

(09-17-2022 09:10 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  It may be as simple as the divide and multiply keys: ÷ and × on calculators, / and * on pocket computers.

This seems to be a good definition. So far I have only found one counter-example, the kind of simple four-banger calculator that can be connected to a computer via USB and be used as numeric keypad. It is definitely (by any means!) no computer but has "*" and "/" keys. I have several of those in my collection, some with cable and some with bluetooth connection, but they all have the "computer" key labeling in common.

Now I need to find some pocket computers that have "x" and "÷" keys but it's too late for that today.

Regards
Max
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09-19-2022, 01:30 PM
Post: #25
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
The HP71 has * and /. The Prime has the x and divide sign.
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09-19-2022, 05:13 PM
Post: #26
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
All pocket computers i have seen has some i/o interface, but not all programmable calculators.
Maybe thats an difference?

But, maybe there was some pocket computers without i/o interface also..
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09-22-2022, 07:06 AM
Post: #27
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-10-2022 06:59 PM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  
Quote:I do think the RPL machines [...] did blur the line between pocket computers and programmable calculators (at least until you had to go back and try to understand how your RPL program works).

I don't think that's possible without lots of written comments/documentation Smile but then again, I've never ever used RPL, just looked at it in shock that anyone would consider using that unholy write-only cryptoprogramming style, which makes Obfuscated C look like Small BASIC in comparison.

There's ample precedent for the design of powerful write-only programming languages. Ever tried to read APL? (If you learn to write it, your mind will be permanently twisted.)

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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09-22-2022, 12:22 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2022 12:23 PM by John Keith.)
Post: #28
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-22-2022 07:06 AM)johnb Wrote:  There's ample precedent for the design of powerful write-only programming languages. Ever tried to read APL? (If you learn to write it, your mind will be permanently twisted.)

There is an apocryphal story about a new computer science student who asked his professor how long it would take to learn LISP. The professor said, "Well, if you don't have any experience with other programming languages, it will probably take you about a week" The student asked, "What if I already know FORTRAN?" The professor replied, "About two weeks".

I was already familiar with LISP and FORTH when the HP-28 came out, so RPL seemed quite natural to me.

Back on topic, my opinion is that it's a pocket computer if it is landscape format and has a QWERTY keyboard.
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09-22-2022, 12:33 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2022 12:35 PM by Dan C.)
Post: #29
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
For me a Pocket Computer is in landscape format, has a alphanumeric keyboard (not necessarily QWERTY) and some I/O interface. Like my Casio FX-702p.
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09-28-2022, 06:21 AM
Post: #30
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-09-2022 01:11 AM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  .
Hi,

(09-07-2022 10:04 PM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  Here is an interesting article that has a brief history of the "Pocket Computer".
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp....er=9040018

Hehe, I'm mentioned by my full name in that article (page 88 in the whole publication, page 2 of the PDF). Smile

If interested, my article mentioned there can be downloaded as a PDF from my site by clicking here.

C.Ret Wrote:On the other hand, the HP-12C is a pocket computer [...] no keys dedicated to SIN COS or TAN.

You should be joking.

The HP-12C has "no keys dedicated to SIN COS or TAN" simply because it's not a Scientific calculator but a Financial calculator, so it has keys dedicated to PV PMT or FV instead. That much should be obvious to anyone.

V.

Where is the like button?
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09-30-2022, 09:02 PM
Post: #31
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
Pocket computers are like pornography.

I don't know how to define the genre.
But I know it when I see it.

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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10-02-2022, 10:47 AM
Post: #32
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
(09-30-2022 09:02 PM)johnb Wrote:  Pocket computers are like pornography.

I don't know how to define the genre.
But I know it when I see it.

My wife says she wishes I'd look at pornography rather than collect calculators. At least she could compete with that.

Tom L
Cui bono?
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10-02-2022, 07:35 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2022 11:13 PM by Matt Agajanian.)
Post: #33
RE: Difference between pocket computer and programmable calculator?
SNIP
(09-08-2022 07:31 AM)C.Ret Wrote:  On the other hand, the HP-12C is a pocket computer as well as the HP-28C/S, no keys dedicated to SIN COS or TAN.
Likewise, the Ti58 and Ti59 are indeed pocket computers; in fact, to use their historical designation, pocket programmable!.

Some clarification, please.

First, in what way is the 12C a computer?

Next,
Having three, 41C, CV, and a 58C, I would consider the 41 family a computer. Since it can interface with a printer, barcode reader, card reader, a cassette storage drive, application modules, and even a TV video interface (HP-82163B), it seems the 41 is more a computer than the 58/59. Because the 58/59 can only interface with a thermal printer, software modules, and the card reader/writer (59), I would consider those a calculator. Next, even though it's an RPN calculator, right out of the box, its capabilities are analogous to a computer. Also, I would consider the 58/59 a calculator since its alphanumeric capability can only be accomplished through the printer wheras the alphanumeric capabilities on a 41 can be achieved not only from the printer, but also the display.
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