Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sharp Compet 364P-III Calculator

I was rooting around in the loft the other day and came across this item:
Sharp Compet 364P-III CalculatorI'm hoping someone out there is interested in this thing, having looked on t'internet for information about it, I think it might be quite a rarity.

It's a Sharp Compet 364P-III programmable calculator. I'm not sure how old it is, but I think I acquired it in the mid 80's, and it had been unused for a few years prior to that, so I'm guessing mid to late 70's, maybe.

When I got it, it worked, I think. Now, it looks like it might work, but just starts counting upwards from 0 whenever you press the keys. Somewhere I have the instruction booklet. I'm assuming it shouldn't do that, but who knows!?
It is a very heavy bit of kit, solidly built, and in pretty good condition. The display is made up of 16 valves with the numbers arranged inside them, quite a piece of work on their own. And they all light up. I'm guessing these are the most important and hardest to replace components, so whatever it is that's wrong with it may be easily fixed by someone in the know.

When I first got my hands on it I did program it a little bit, but at the same time I got my hands on my first ever PC (then known as a 'micro') so this thing didn't get much of a look-in after that. You compose the program, save it on a magnetic card fed into the machine through a slot on the left. Above the slot is a printer, not sure if that works or not, it appears to use a special roll of silvered paper, no sign of ink or a ribbon.

If you do know anything about this old thing please let me know, and if anybody is interested in acquiring it from me, maybe drop me an email. I don't think it would be a good idea either physically or financially to think about posting it though!

For more pictures of the machine, click here to go to Flickr.

1 comment:

Neville Dempsey said...

I taught myself to code in c.1978 when I even coded a program (on the schools Sharp-Compet-384P Computer) to play Noughts and Crosses. The computer would think eight moves ahead to defeat unwary classmates... I esp loved the flashing keyboard lights that followed the code as it (recursively) worked out its next move. The computer could store programs on credit card sized magnetic cards, a massive 512(?) "steps".