|Re: My Collection has Reached the Century Mark|
Message #13 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez (Argentina) on 1 Nov 2009, 7:14 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada
Only to add that the "Fate" company is a local maufacturer of vehicle tires. The name is an acronym for "Fabrica Argentina de Telas Engomadas", which translates to "Argentine Manufacturing Company for Rubberized Fabrics". It was a local startup in the post-WW II era, and is still one of the major tire manufacturers here.
So, what has this to do with calculators? Well, around 1973, Fate started an "electronics division", targeting digital electronics products. The most important was the "CIFRA" computer, programmed in the "CIFRAL" language, and a calculator line. It sported some desktop printing machines (the kind which prints on a paper strip by means of a rotating cylinder and two-colored inked ribbon), the "minicifra", which was a smaller, LED-display based desktop model, and the "microcifra", which were the pocketable models already discussed here.
It's interesting to note that some of the electronics engineers who worked on these projects, later started many electronics iniciatives here. One of them became Secretary of Industry around the mid-1980 period, and promoted electronics manufacturing, albeit with a strong supervision of the national state; a plan that was not successful (in my personal opinion; I may be wrong, and I mean no offense for people with different views).
Other engineers from the Cifra project started their own companies; I had been in contact with some of them and, strangely enough, I bought an HP 91/92/97 carrying case from them around 1984, and also received from them my HP 41 Wand by the same time.
About the Cifra brand, I think some other company bought the rights to the brand and nowadays you can find Cifra products in Buenos Aires, but with no local design nor content; most are just products from China, just rebadged as Cifra.
About selling overseas from here: while I don't know particular cases, in general it's very difficult and expensive, due to customs paperwork, money transfer issues, etc.. Some fear of goods never arriving to the intended destination may also be part of it.