Old Calculator Museum Advertising & Documentation Archive
Advertisement for Mathatronics Mathatron Version I Expansion Unit, May, 1966
This advertisement shows an original Mathatronics Mathatron 8-48 Version I
calculator, (the Version I calculator used rotary switches to select operating
mode and pre-programmed advanced mathematical functions, while the
Version II Mathatron
calculators had individual keyboard keys for these functions) with the
"Add Under" exapansion unit (housed in wheeled "table" that the calculator
is sitting on) which provides ten times the number of learn-mode program
steps; eighteen read-only pre-programmed sequences; and six times the number
of numeric memory registers, along with enhanced peripheral connectivity
features. The expanded memory of the desk expansion unit was implemented
using magnetostrictive delay line technology, because the quantity of memory
involved was too expensive to implement with magnetic core memory. The Mathatron
calculator itself used core memory, but the amount of memory involved was
such that it was cost-effective for the calculator (and was also a lot faster
than delay line memory).
This expansion unit made the Mathatron calculator, which was already
quite advanced for its time, into what one could practically call a small
personal computer. With the addition of the expansion unit,
the expanded 8-48 calculator
was capable of fairly
advanced calculating capabilities, available only on much more expensive
computer systems at the time. While the Mathatron wasn't nearly as fast
as computers of the time, it was very simple to
use and program, and allowed operators to perform complex mathematical
operations with little training.
The expansion unit connects to the Mathatron
calculator via a large connector on the bottom panel of the calculator.
The calculator is bolted to the table, and the electronics providing the
additional functions are housed in the spine of the table. Locking casters
on the expansion unit make it much easier to move around the 80+ pound
Mathatron calculator. As the text of the advertisement
indicates, various controls
and status indicators for the expansion unit are located on the right side
of the calculator.
This advertisement is an original Mathatronics ad, produced
prior to Barry Wright Corp. acquiring Mathatronics.