For your jaunt down memory lane today, I present another calculator from my collection: the Casio ML-81.
On the one hand it’s a four-banger with memory, but on the other it plays music! Click the picture to expand it, take a look at the keys really carefully and you’ll see that they are marked Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, etc. When the little slider switch top right is in the treble clef position, the calculator will ding every time you press on of the number keys. Not only that, but if you do a calculation, it’ll play the answer to you. Now admittedly the notes are entirely artificial, electronic, and ting-y, but they’re there.
Not only that, but it has clock functionality as well. So there’s the current date and time (you can see when I took the photo, for example) which chimes on the hour every hour, stopwatch and timer functions, and there are two alarms. And, when in the awesome treble clef position, the alarms will play a little melody when they expire. Alarm 1 plays the beginning of Frühlingslied by Mendelssohn and alarm 2 plays Traumerei by Schumann. (The timer plays a tune when it reaches zero: Schubert’s Moments Musicaux No. 3.) All pieces are twenty four seconds long.
So, why do I have this calculator? Apart from it being an entirely awesome piece of consumer electronics, that is? To be honest I bought one back in the mid-80s just for the fun of it. It was cheap enough that it was just a spontaneous purchase: I saw, wanted, bought it. Probably in some electronics shop on Tottenham Court Road, if truth be told. I even used it as my wake-up alarm instead of a boring old clock for a while. And then my flat was burgled one day and they took it along with my hi-fi, CDs, and other stuff. Then, about five years ago, maybe more, I spotted one in an auction on eBay (NOS - New Old Stock, as they say) and bought it for $50. That’s the one you see here. I keep it out on my bookshelves (in its cover) and it still merrily chimes the hour.
(There were a whole bunch of different Casio calculators from the 80s that have clocks and tunes, some of which I own. I’ll do another post showing some of them.)
UPDATE (18-Sep-2017): I changed the batteries just now and I needed to set the date on the calculator. After looking online (it was easier than trying to find the manual) and finding a couple of ... inaccuracies, shall we say, especially with regard to the support for dates in the 2000s, I decided to describe the process here so I can find it next time.
Chimes - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
(from The Chimes)