The Internet Archive is counting on your love of math with its new calculator emulators

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,790   +180
Staff member
In a nutshell: The Internet Archive has added a new family of emulation to its ever-growing repository of antiquated technology. The Calculator Drawer is a new collection of simple and graphing calculators that have been emulated in MAME, a free and open-source emulator first released in 1997. The assortment of adding machines have an additional clickable graphical layer enabled by the MAME Artwork System so you can interact with them as if they were right in front of you.

Jason Scott with the Internet Archive goes into more detail on how the MAME Artwork System functions and how more than 1,400 systems have used it thus far.

The Calculator Drawer is currently comprised of the following 14 machines:

  • Hewlett-Packard 48G+
  • Hewlett-Packard 48GX
  • Hewlett-Packard 49G
  • Hewlett-Packard 38G
  • Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus
  • Texas Instruments TI-73 Explorer
  • Texas Instruments TI-81
  • Texas Instruments TI-82
  • Texas Instruments TI-85
  • Texas Instruments TI-86
  • Texas Instruments TI-89
  • Texas Instruments TI-92
  • Texas Instruments TI Voyager 200
  • VTech Electronic Number Muncher

Depending on your age, a graphing calculator like one of the above examples from Texas Instruments might have been a requisite for upper-level math classes in middle or high school. If memory serves me correctly, I mostly worked with the TI-82. I never went too deep down the rabbit hole but I do recall other students working out all sorts of neat tricks on their calculators and even figuring out how to load games onto them.

The collection is accompanied by a heap of instruction manuals for those who need a refresher on how to get the most out of them.

For those who crave the real thing, Texas Instruments still markets some of the calculators listed above including the TI-73 Explorer and the TI-84 Plus. Older models like the TI-82 are readily available on third-party marketplaces like eBay for a fraction of what they sold for when brand new.

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Image credit: Aaron Lefler

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Posts: 440   +827
HP-35 user here (red-dot & raised “5” units).
“ 142 Israelis and 154 Arabs are fighting over 69 acres of land for 5 days, who won?
Answer: 71077345


Posts: 1,845   +787
I definitely loaded up some of the TI-8x series calculators and that HP38... gotta go find my old hardcopies and see if they still work.

Dr Roboto

Posts: 80   +171
Believe it or not, my son's high school still required him to by a graphing calculator last year! Seems that high school curriculum is sill in the 90's.