Internet Archive’s calculator emulators offer a nostalgic trip back to high school math class


Do you ever have the urge to go back to a simpler time when teachers said you wouldn’t have a calculator in your pocket? Now you can travel back to the golden age of calculators thanks to the Internet Archive. In a recently launched collection dubbed the Calculator Drawer, you can access a series of 14 calculator emulators.

Some of the available calculators may look familiar depending on your age and the era you attended school. The Calculator Drawer features models including the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus and TI85. HP’s 48GX is also available alongside the Electronic Number Muncher — all of your favourites. When you select a model, you’ll be able to hit each button and select each task as if they are sitting in Grade 12 algebra again.

Credit: The Internet Archive

The Calculator Drawer was made in part by MAME Team. This dedicated team utilizes the MAME Artwork System, an open-source framework, that helps recreate classic arcade games. This system, alongside Internet Archive, helps integrate actual images of classic calculators into each emulator. MAME Artwork System replaces vector-based drawings with an actual image to render an emulated device. In some instances, these emulators even offer sound.

The end result is an emulator where users need to click individual buttons to input numbers as if they’re using an actual calculator. While many “online” emulators mimic a calculator interface and lean on the user’s ability to input numbers on the keyboard, this emulator does much more. More advanced functions won’t work simply by typing numbers in. Therefore, the entire experience is better served by using a mouse and physically clicking each button.

A welcome added bonus is that The Internet Archive includes a digital version of most original calculator manuals. Even if you’re out of high school or college, it’s a neat addition in case you want to brush up on all that these calculators ancient have to offer.

Image credit: The Internet Archive

Source: The Internet Archive Via: The Verge



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