The
Sinclair Scientific, launched in August
1975, was a highly unusual calculator. It displays
only in scientific notation  5 digit mantissa,
2 digit exponent. Because of the way its processor
(a custom chip from Texas Instruments) is designed,
it relies on reverse Polish
notation. This unusual method of mathematical
problem solving meant that, for instance, to add
2 and 4, one had to enter 2, then 4, then the
+ symbol. There was no = key.
The Scientific
Programmable was an advanced version launched
in 1977, again using reverse Polish notation.
It could handle programs of up to 24 steps and
cost £29.95.
The Scientific Programmable
Mark 2 was powered either by a 9V battery
or a mains adaptor and cost £17.22. It came
with twelve sample programs, with another 294
contained in an additional fourvolume library
which could be bought for £4.95. Each volume
was dedicated to a different application: finance
and statistics, mathematics, physics and engineering,
and electronics.
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