I never had a Casio SF-7500 but I did have a Casio FX-850P Personal Computer. In fact I still have it some 25 years on and it still works.
Its an amazing device I used for storing names and phone numbers but best of all it came with the Basic language and 10 slots to store programs.
It got most of it's use during the construction of Sizewell B Nuclear Power station in Suffolk England, where I used its trig functions to calculate where I had installed stress measuring instrumentation within the cylindrical wall and dome of the reactor building. A surveyor would give me some measurements from known datum points and from that I could calculate the instruments radius, bearing and height within the building. Oh the memories of crawling around in steel work and concrete.
If it weren't for my smart phone, I would still be carrying this thing around. I don't think I will ever through it away even if it stops working.
@Max:But didn't you hear about the classic problem with the trig functions on Casio FX-850P Personal Computer ...LOL
Not that I recall but my calculations using the Casio were far more accurate than the surveyors, so much so he relied on me to produce the results for him on a few occasions, which I'm quite proud of being Math's isn't my strong point and it was his trade.
Speaking of calculator accuracy, see http://www.rskey.org/~mwsebastian/miscprj/results.htm for the range of accuracies in calculators. I think the trig functions on most of those things were CORDIC.
I actually had that Casio organizer, back in the day. Came with a kind of serial interface to back stuff up on your (DOS) PC. If you have the whole kit, and can get that one running again, a simple examination of the saved file should answer questions on compression techniques.
@Ssidman... "Came with a kind of serial interface to back stuff up on your (DOS) PC"
I saw that in the manual. I have the cable (think a 2.5 mm stereo jack connector) but not the box that went with it, or the software. But it probably just needs a convertor circuit to get the voltages up to RS-232, I might be able to figure that out.
RS-232 voltage conversion should be easy. Most people sort of faked the full levels and got it working anyway. If memory serves, the calculator itself has a built-in mode, where it will start spewing bits out that mini-connector, so you might not need a lot of special softwarre from 1989 to get things going. The manual should have details.
Kind of amazing that 2025 cells have been around that long...
@ssidman: If you have the whole kit, and can get that one running again, a simple examination of the saved file should answer questions on compression techniques.
It depends -- the CASIO might uncompress the data into an ASCII format for upload to the PC, then re-compress it on the download ... as you say, if David can get it working, it will be interesting to take a look at the saved file...
I'm too young to have enjoyed these in the late 80s, but was using their distant relatives by the mid to late 90s before Palm Pilots and WinCE PDA really took off or at least were affordable on my college budget. I remember one boss that had one of those Psion devices...man were they the cat's meow at the time.
My first unit was a Royal DM80Plus Personal Organizer with merely 11K. It was attrocious, data entry being a major pain. I quickly moved to the TI in the subject line. This little beauty had a RS232 docking station for syncing with a PC, thus enabling me to keep CSV files with wiring/network/equipment details for pretty much everyone in the company. Having this at my fingertips when away from my desk, since no one in the computer department but the boss got laptops at the time, was a godsend for fixing problems.
@bwmetz0: This little beauty had a RS232 docking station for syncing with a PC, thus enabling me to keep CSV files with wiring/network/equipment details for pretty much everyone in the company.
It's amazing how fast things have changed -- I remember back in 1998 when I had a small office with a friend wherte we worked in the evenings after our day jobs. We had one 56K modem and a lying cable that we plugged ino the back of whichever machine we wanted to use to upload files to the Internet -- I was blown away when we worked out how to connect the machines together in such a way that either could access the Internet (one at a time) without having to move the modem cable LOL
In the meantime, did you ever own one of these devices (or something similar)?
When my brother passed in 2003, I inherited his Compaq iPaq (similar to this, although I don't think it was colour). I did try to get myself computer calendar literate, but there are two problems. Firstly I hate having something hitched onto my belt or in any of my pockets. Secondly it seemed to need charging every day or two, so I would have to develop some kind of discipline. It never took, nor has anything else. Despite the calendar on Outlook, a mobile phone (dumb, but still with a calendar/ appointment function), an iPad and a Microsoft Surface I still write everything down in a paper day-timer. Notwithstanding my work in this industry, apparently this dog can't change its spots.
I use an HP95 (vintage 1990) pocket MS-DOS PC for writing on camping trips where I don't have access to chargers. The HP95 runs for more than a week from a pair of alkaline AA cells. It stores a standard FAT filesystem image on internal SRAM (C: drive) and on a removeable PCMCIA SRAM card (A: drive). MS-DOS, Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, a simple text editor, and a few other programs are stored in masked ROM. The HP95 and the SRAM card both have coin cells for SRAM backup power.
I copy the files from the SRAM card onto a Linux box when I return home.
Thanks all for the comments and info. I was not sure if anyone would be interested in old stuff like this, but I will try and get this one going and report further.
@Traneus...I remember seriously wanting an HP-95 when they came out. I seem to remember you could get a couple of add-on things for them (maybe a floppy drive??)
I have a couple of other ancient devices.... an old Palm, which apart from bigger Memory does not do much more than this, and an HP Jornada which is more like the HP-95 - it runs a crude windows OS and can be linked to a PC. I guess the main thing in this connected age is that these things either don't connect - they are standalone - or they only have rudimentary commuunications with a PC. If you've used an Ipad or smartphone you'd find them very limiting.
My HP95 has an infrared output to drive a printer, and a serial port to connect to a modem. I haven't used either of these ports.
Instead of a floppy disk, the HP95 has a PCMCIA slot which takes SRAM cards. These are the original PCMCIA battery-backed SRAM cards, not the later cardbus hard-drive-emulating flash cards. The HP95 works with SRAM cards up to 2 megabytes.
MS-DOS formats the SRAM card as if it was a floppy disk. The first 512 bytes of the SRAM are skipped, and the rest of the SRAM is formatted FAT-12 like a floppy disk.
I built hardware to copy the card SRAM data sequentially into an image file on my Linux box. I mount the image file as a FAT-12 device using the loopback filesystem, and then copy my writings from the mounted image file.
@Traneus...you certainly have yoruself well set up.
I got a PCMCIA slot for a desktop PC. It fits in a 3.5" slot. My plan was to use my work aircard on it to get internet (we get a 5GB allowance and I hardly use any for work). However DSL has got so cheap I got that (also it lets the wife use it when I am at work).
Sometime I must try and get the HP Jornada going too, it's a lot more advanced than the Casio, probably more in line with yours.
Impressive! I did something similar with a PCMCIA SRAM card and my Toshhiba T1000. Acting as a hard disk, I loaded up WordStar, VP Planner spreadsheet, and Procomm for logging in to the work. It had a 10 MHz 8086, and had snappy performance. The battery lasted 2-21/2 hours, too. Finally, I even had a reasonable text to speech program that PWMed the speaker which produced good quality, understandable speech! These days, the splash screen for some apps is bigger than systems of some years ago that did real work. I did play around win an HP95, but only to put VI on it...
My dad bought one of these Casios (sometime early nineties), to store contacts and calendar items. Claimed it was much more efficient than the paper Time Manager he used.
Me and my brothers instantly started mocking him (as you can tell we're liberal eurotrash that have no respect for the elders:-), since we saw that it was extremely cumbersome to use. However he did not back down, so we sat back and waited for what must obviously come.
Lo and behold, within a week, I noticed the Casio on my fathers desk.
with a post-it on it.
The post-it had an appointment scribbled down.
After 15 minutes of disrespectful pointing out how the logical conclusion must be that the thing was impractical and therefore useless, he gave in and went back to the Time Manager.
This article brought back some of my childhood memories. My dad had one of these with a colour LCD. It was so futuristic. I played with it for a while to understand all the functions and helped my dad punch in all the contacts and taught him how to use it. In hindsight, maybe he was just trying to have quality time with me :)
It even had a screen saver like function that showed a cruise ship sailing by with a dolphin in the background. It was the most impressive thing I had seen.
The battery comment also reminded me how I used to carefully follow the instructions when I was changing them for him :)
I had a similar one but not a Casio, some name starting with 'K' (Kaice or something I think). I never got to use it. After all how many phone numbers would a 12 year old need in the 90s ?
Casio didn't abandon this field until recently. Back in the '90s I was an enthusiastic owner and programmer of the Casio PV palm-sized PDA (here my web page about it, never touched since, I guess, ten years or so!) and I remember the excitement when they published the SDK for this NEC-Renesas SoC-based device. It wasn't an ARM CPU yet at that time, but the SoC brand experience (about releasing the SDK) later convinced me to purchase another Renesas-ARM tablet, which I enjoyed hacking the Kernal and Android AOSP as well: here my group. It's a real shame Renesas isn't in the game anymore...
In the late 1980s and early 90s, I worked for Extech. The company sold the Psion Organiser and we were desinging printers and modems for it. Psion later came out with the Series 3 and then 3a. I had a 3a. Psion the hinges off the Casio. It was even programmable through a Basic-like language called OPL.
Psion did a magnificent job designing the cases, though my hinge did break after a few years. I found another one and used that for acuple of years, then bought an HP PDA. I still have it but don't use it. The WiFi was terrible.
I really get a kick out you young-uns talikng about "antiques" that your PARENTS had! In my personal museum I have several items whose vintage brackets the advent of the IBM PC in 1981! These are portable computers of a sort: the older one is an Epson unit with a 4x20 monochrone LCD screen and a digital microcassette drive that is a bit smaller than the Thinkpad 420 I'm using right now. It still works (although its batteries are surely deceased by now, it still should work on external power). I "inherited" it from an old employer; we used these as portable field service computers, with a serial client program to allow connectinfg via RS232 to our products (energy management systems and PABX/Call center systems). I also have a bunch of games for it on microcassettes!
The "new" tech item is also a good conversation piece: a Canon portable laptop PC-AT clone with a BUILT-IN inkjet printer! I bought that one in 1993 (used) for $1900 for the consulting business I was a partner in. It weighs about 15 lb so it was not exactly a joy to "wear" running through FRA for a connecting flight! I haven't fired that one up for a couple of years but I believe it's still functional, although the printer head may be clogged (and the cartridge dried out....). It's in my home office closet next to the Panasonic 1624 printer (with several ribbons!) and my Mustek SCSI interface flat-bed scanner, both in its original box.