**Retro Review: TI-30 (1976)**

One more quick blog posts before I head off into surgery this week.

**Quick Facts**

Model: TI-30

Company: Texas Instruments

Type: Scientific

Years: 1976-1982

Display: 8 digits, 5 digits with 2 digit 10^xx in scientific notation, red LED lights

Batteries: Battery, 9 V

Original Retail Price: $24.95

Logic: AOS (Algebraic)

**History**

The TI-30 is one of the first scientific calculators to cost less than $50.00 retail, making one of the first scientific calculators to be sold to a wide audience.

The TI-30 model name is carried to present day, with the latest incarnation being the TI-30xa with a gray keyboard and wide digit display.

TI-30 from 1976 (left), TI-30Xa from 2015 (right) |

**Features**

The first TI-30 is a simple, basic scientific calculator. It's features include:

* Trigonometric functions and inverse

* Logarithmic functions and inverse

* Powers and Roots

* Parenthesis

* One memory register with sum and exchange commands

* Arithmetic, percent, reciprocal

There is a DRG key where it cycles through Degrees mode, Radians mode (indicator of I), and Gradians mode (indicator of II).

Buyers had an option of purchasing one of three carrying pouches to carry the TI-30. The one I purchased on eBay had a denim carrying pouch and it's really nice!

The display had a few indicators which was pretty advance for its time:

When a calculation is in progress, the right-most digit displays a "twirling eight".

If an error occurs, the word "Error." is spelled out.

If the calculator is left on for a few seconds, it goes into a screen saver mode. The screen saver has a decimal point scrolling across the screen left to right. This is designed to save battery usage.

The TI-30 also had a power adapter, I would imagine that those would be hard to find today.

**Keyboard**

I am very pleased with the keyboard: the keys are well maintained. The keys are easy to press. The LED screen is clear and easy to read. The keys are responsive, don't just try to be a speed typist and everything will be fine. The calculator is nice and lightweight.

The only thing I had a hard time with was trying to attach the 9-V battery and closing the case.

**Verdict**

I'd say yes; if you are a calculator collector, it is worth collecting, even if it is only historic value. It also doesn't cost too much, I paid $17 for mine.

**Routine Goodies**

Absolute Value: | n |

n [ x^2 ] [ √x ]

Sign: sgn(n) = -1 for negative, 1 for positive (does not work for n = 0)

n [ STO ] [ * ] [ x^2 ] [ √x ] [ ÷ ] [ RCL ] [ = ]

Modulus: n mod m with n > m, n > 0, m > 0.

n [ ÷ ] m [ STO ] [ = ] [ - ] (integer part of the result) [ = ] [ * ] [ RCL ] [ = ]

Convert to Scientific Notation:

[ * ] 1 [ EE ] [ = ]

Convert to Floating Numbers:

[ * ] 1 [ INV ] [ EE ] [ = ]

The next blog post will be on March 7, 2020. Take care!

Eddie

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