My name is John and I'm a Calcaholic . . .

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John Lind

Aug 6, 2019, 6:37:12 PM8/6/19
Thought my first posting should be an introduction. I've had hand-held scientific calculators since 1975 when I finally scraped enough money together to replace a 10" Dual Base Loglog Decitrig slide rule with it. Couldn't afford the TI SR-50 or 51 going for $170 (~$810 in 2019 dollars), not to mention the HP 45 that was going for $395 (~$1900 in 2019 dollars). Found a nondescript no-name at Sears (maybe K-Mart) for just over $100. I was a dirt poor college student working my way through plus a meager scholarship. (No Daddy Morebucks subsidizing it).

Spin forward a few years after being commissioned in the US Army in 1976 and being able to slowly save some money along with paying down the student loans. Bought a TI-58 in 1979. Still have it, and it still works, although its second battery pack is approaching end of life. The first one is long dead, but I kept it and will have it rebuilt with replaceable cells. If anyone thought a TI-82 was slow by today's standards, the TI-58 could cogitate and meditate for a while with complex problems before presenting a solution (complex math, matix stuff, etc.). The LED display ran the battery pack down much faster than the LCD displays that followed. Also acquired five program module ROMs s for it, including the math, science and electrical engineering packages. Served my quite well for nearly 20 years, along with some smaller (and newer) shirt pocket scientific calculators.

Spin forward to 1995 and I need more horsepower for statistical analyses.and other advanced math in some professional development classes. Bought a TI-85 along with the Graph-Link and gray RS-232 cable with the Graph-Link software. Was still using Windows 3.1 on an Intel 80386 PC, and it all played very nicely. That was good until about 2000 and the price of a TI-86 was too good to pass by. The TI-85 became the "brief case" calculator and the TI-86 was either at home or locked up at work.

Since then I've also acquired a TI-89 Titanium, an HP-50g, and an HP Prime G2 (rev. D). About to acquire a Nspire CX ii CAS in a couple of weeks, and may get an HP 42 if I can find one in excellent condition at a good price. Used an HP 41 for a while in the military, but it was Uncle Sam's and couldn't keep it. They're all tools in a toolbox. The software isn't interchangeable among them. Just recently I finally got the TI-85 communicating with TiLP in 64-bit Win7 using the silver USB cable. Had been using the ancient gray cable with RS-232c to USB adapter. Worked but it was cumbersome and slow by comparison. There is a learning curve to also using the same silver USB cable with the TI-86 and TI-Connect (the TI-89 Titanium has a mini-USB port).

Got ROM dumps from the 85, 86 and 89 now and will be installing emulator for them to enable more extensive programming than the simple stuff I'd done previously by hand on the calculator itself.

Two notes about TI-85 connectivity using the Silver USB cable and getting a ROM dump using TiLP 2.0:
  1. One must very firmly push the I/O plug all the way into the TI-58's I/O port to ensure it's completely seated. It's set back a tad and the Silver USB cable's plug is a snug fit in the case hole surrounding the jack. No need to wiggle it, a firm push at the end is all that's needed. I thought the port jack had gone erratic.
  2. One must put the TI-58 into Link-->Receive mode when using TiLP to initiate a ROM dump. Not needed for a TI-86 or TI-89 Titanium. This one had me scratching my head for a while with the error messages that resulted from the calculator not responding.
Best Wishes,
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