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www.triusinc.com •Random - TI59 Web Site
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Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:50 am
by Bill_WG
This may seem random, but I was an avid user and follower of the TI59 programmable calculator (w/built-in magnetic card reader) and I just found this site that brought me back to my college years, so I thought I'd share in case there are others that were TI59 users. A piece of history!

http://www.datamath.org/Sci/WEDGE/TI-59.htm

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 3:55 pm
by PLeonat
Not as random as you think :-) Although I was not an enthusiastic user of TI products (I was more of an HP person), I do recall dabbling a bit into the Algebraic notation, what a blasphemy :-), first with a TI-58 and the with a TI-59 (their popularity was declining when I started using them).

What I liked about the Ti-59, was that once I entered my program, I could save it on the cards and did not have to re-enter it next time I wanted to use it. Re-entering a program, even of a few hundred steps, was a tedious task since it all had to be entered by codes :-(

BTW, do you recall ho much memory the TI-59 had? Was it something like 1 Mb? I recall it was not all that much.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Fri May 18, 2018 4:12 pm
by Fedya Rovic
PLeonat wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:55 pm
BTW, do you recall ho much memory the TI-59 had? Was it something like 1 Mb? I recall it was not all that much.

Hi Pleonat, 1 MB ? What are you, nuts? :-) The first IBM PC, a real computer, had 64 K RAM expandable to 640 K.

From the TI-59 history site,

"The TI-59 used a custom TMC 0501 4-bit processor, and the internal memory could be allocated either to program steps or to data registers. The unit of allocation was 10 data registers or 80 program steps. The TI-59 had up to 960 program steps or 100 data registers. When all 100 registers were in use, 160 program steps were still available, because TI used only two decimal digits for register addressing. The TI-59 could use the first ten registers for fast looping (later it was discovered that DSZ could be used on all the registers), incrementing and decrementing. Up to ten flags could be set, reset or tested. It also had a subroutine return stack that supported up to six levels of subroutine calls. Program steps could be addressed in absolute, indirect and label modes, while data registers could have been addressed directly or indirectly. About 175 functions and operations were available."

So based on that I'd say it had 100 4-bit bytes memory (unless I screwed up my calculations).

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:05 pm
by PLeonat
Ah... that makes sense. 1 Mb ? What was I thinking...

I also recall that a lot of people were writing programs and sharing them with other users for a small fee. It was sort-of the first generation of user's groups :-) I remember getting such a program about the learning game of NIM (I think). It was a great program and also introduced me to the concept of expert systems, i.e., systems that learn the more you use them.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:59 pm
by Fedya Rovic
PLeonat wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:05 pm
Ah... that makes sense. 1 Mb ? What was I thinking...

I also recall that a lot of people were writing programs and sharing them with other users for a small fee. It was sort-of the first generation of user's groups :-) I remember getting such a program about the learning game of NIM (I think). It was a great program and also introduced me to the concept of expert systems, i.e., systems that learn the more you use them.
Yes, that was the Programming Exchange, or something (PPX-59). You could find all sorts of programs written by other users, not TI developers. Anything from games to very advanced programs (well, as advanced as the capabilities of the device would allow). You could buy them for $5 (I think) which was to cover the cost of the magnetic cards they'd send you the program on and the shipping and handling.

And, I believe NIM was the game of the 21 sticks that you have to take turns picking up, right? I remember playing that game and trying to fool the device, but after a while it would win all the time :-)

Good old times. BTW, I found a copy of a PPX-59 issue (attached)

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:35 pm
by PLeonat
Fedya Rovic wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:59 pm
And, I believe NIM was the game of the 21 sticks that you have to take turns picking up, right? I remember playing that game and trying to fool the device, but after a while it would win all the time
Yes, it was the game of the 21 sticks. It was sort-of my first introduction to expert systems, systems that learn the more you use them.

I see some of the programs listed in the PPX issue you posted, Hurricane Tracker ? With a TI-59 ? Wow, they used to pack a lot of code in a very small core in those days.

I also saw a call for users to submit programs for the TI-99/4. I remember that computer, I almost bought one. I think it had 4K memory and enough ROM to accommodate a video driver and built-in basic.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 4:19 pm
by ivan2019
I was more of an HP-65 type. The capabilities were similar and it had a magnetic card reader, like the Ti-58. The HP-65 was dubbed "world’s first handheld computer."

hp65.PNG
hp65.PNG (84.43KiB)Viewed 20816 times

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:53 am
by Scotty
Maybe you guys should start a TI-vs-HP was, eh?

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:29 pm
by ivan2019
No need for a war. HP was well known for building a better quality product in those days. TI was a good technology company, but could not compete on quality. One of the reasons they were able to sell at lower prices.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:43 am
by TommyD
I thought some of the posters here may appreciate this. I found an emulator for the TI 59. I believe that it supports all the programming aspects, as well.

Enjoy!

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:09 am
by ivan2019
TommyD wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:43 am
I thought some of the posters here may appreciate this. I found an emulator for the TI 59. I believe that it supports all the programming aspects, as well.

Enjoy!
Do you know if it also supports Printer, Debug and magnetic card simulation? I know there was an emulator that did, but not sure if this is the one.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:51 pm
by TommyD
I don't think so. However, I believe I saw some other emulator on-line that can do that.

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:38 pm
by JimCuren
Does anyone here know if there were any advanced apps for the TI59 documented? And if so, where could I find a copy/PDF?

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:00 am
by TommyD
ivan2019 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:09 am
TommyD wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:43 am
I thought some of the posters here may appreciate this. I found an emulator for the TI 59. I believe that it supports all the programming aspects, as well.

Enjoy!
Do you know if it also supports Printer, Debug and magnetic card simulation? I know there was an emulator that did, but not sure if this is the one.
I think the one you can download here does.

http://www.zanchetta.net/default.aspx?C ... 59Emulator

Re: Random - TI59 Web Site

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:38 pm
by ivan2019
Thank you. This looks awesome. I'll have to spend some time with it, but it looks as if it has everything!