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What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
04-01-2014, 05:25 PM
Post: #21
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-01-2014 08:42 AM)Marcus von Cube Wrote:  The TI-74 has a very powerful BASIC with high accuracy (BCD), subroutines, long variable names, and complete IO. It stems from the CC-40. The BASIC seems to be similar to TI-99 BASIC.

I agree with Marcus about the TI-74. It is a very good BASIC pocket computers. Multiletter-named variables and callable named subroutines are valuable features.

Namir
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04-05-2014, 01:18 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 01:19 PM by robert rozee.)
Post: #22
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
how about an HP-95LX set up to boot straight into a suitable basic interpreter? you get a 40x16 screen that beats anything else, a tonne of memory, and can backup to a removable card. plus a serial port too.

personally, i prefer the 95LX over the 200LX series due to the 95's far more readable screen.


rob :-)
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04-05-2014, 06:42 PM
Post: #23
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-05-2014 01:18 PM)robert rozee Wrote:  how about an HP-95LX set up to boot straight into a suitable basic interpreter? you get a 40x16 screen that beats anything else, a tonne of memory, and can backup to a removable card. plus a serial port too.

personally, i prefer the 95LX over the 200LX series due to the 95's far more readable screen.


rob :-)

The trouble with the 95LX is that it isn't a full 80x25 text display like a standard MS-DOS machine, so you have to deal with hot key combinations to pan the screen. The 100LX and 200LX will present a full screen of text, but it's pretty tiny.
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04-06-2014, 04:20 AM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2014 12:24 PM by Johnny Shek.)
Post: #24
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(03-30-2014 03:31 AM)Namir Wrote:  Hi All,

Want to ask you all to give your opinion for the best (vintage) BASIC pocket Computers, taking into account the following aspects:

1. Amount of basic and upgradable memory.
2. Number of lines in display.
3. Flexible variable names (supporting two or more alpha characters).
4. Support for SUB routines
5. Support for separate user-defined function.

I am listening!

Namiir

In my opinion, the term 'pocket computer' was misused by manufacturers and people for so many years. Most machines described by folks here are not truly 'pocket' because you can't actually put them into your shirt pocket, hip pocket or jacket pocket. They're better described as 'portable computers'.

Therefore, the best BASIC pocket computer is the Sharp PC-1262. Its specifications are as follows:

RAM (total): 10 Kb
RAM available: 9,342 bytes
ROM: 40 Kb
CPU: 8-bit CMOS
Text screen: 2 lines x 24 characters
Graphic screen: No
Sound: Only number of beeps
Size: 135 x 70 x 10 mm
Weight: 115 g. with batteries
Year: 1986
Power: 2 CR-2032 lithium batteries
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04-06-2014, 06:20 AM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2014 06:21 AM by Katie Wasserman.)
Post: #25
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Quote:In my opinion, the term 'pocket computer' was misused by manufacturers and people for so many years. Most machines described by folks here are not truly 'pocket' because you can't actually put them into your shirt pocket, hip pocket or jacket pocket. They're better described as 'portable computers'.

I agree. I bought a Tandy/Radio Shack PC-7 when it was on sale. It's a quirky but very pocketable machine with the BASIC commands and alpha keys on their own membrane flap that folded over the calculator when closed. While it's not a very capable BASIC machine, it's fun to program and a challenge to squeeze useful programs into it's small memory -- but it can be done!

-katie

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04-06-2014, 07:07 AM
Post: #26
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
I almost completely forgot about the Sharp OZ-7000 with the OZ-707 Scientific Computer Card inserted. This is a very capable BASIC with single (10 digit) and double (20 digit) BCD math for all functions, long variable names, multi-dimensional (up to 120, crazily) arrays, graphics (96 x 64), a basic file system (similar in function to the 71b) and serial i/o. It has it's own 32K RAM memory space but could also access the RAM on the host OZ-7000. Overall the BASIC was a lot like GWBASIC in MSDOS with much better math. Also there are non-documented PEEK, POKE and CALL commands that allowed you access the entire machine to call OZ-7000 organizer functions or write your own ones in machine language.


There's a decided lack of information about the OZ-707 card on the internet, I guess it wasn't all that popular. But it's the best pocketable BASIC that I've used.

-katie

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04-06-2014, 07:52 AM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2014 08:05 AM by Johnny Shek.)
Post: #27
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-06-2014 06:20 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I agree. I bought a Tandy/Radio Shack PC-7 when it was on sale. It's a quirky but very pocketable machine with the BASIC commands and alpha keys on their own membrane flap that folded over the calculator when closed. While it's not a very capable BASIC machine, it's fun to program and a challenge to squeeze useful programs into it's small memory -- but it can be done!

It's actually an OEM version of Casio's FX-5200P. To be frank, this is a mediocre machine. In general, Casio's products don't impress me.
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04-06-2014, 06:13 PM
Post: #28
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-06-2014 07:07 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I almost completely forgot about the Sharp OZ-7000 with the OZ-707 Scientific Computer Card inserted. This is a very capable BASIC ...

It's nice to hear folks still remember (and liked!) the OZ-707 Basic card. I worked at Sharp in Product Planning in the 90's and MANY weeks of my (and many other folks in Japan) time went into making sure this product was solid quality, useful and competitive. The 707 was the "Retail" version of the card, with scientific calculator labels under the clear programmable touchpad panels, but there were also 32K, 64K and 128K versions of the card for VARs and OEMs to create custom apps with labels under the touchpad (to leverage the Sharp Pocket Computer VARs using the "traditional Pocket Computer" machines like the 1280, etc.) There were some very large companies (Insurance, Pharma, Finance, others) with large fleets of these cards deployed on Wizards, many of which lasted well past the emeregence of the Zaurus, Palm machines, etc.

Joe Horn, whom I knew from PPC days in SoCal, was the most active and productive beta-tester (I know, it's a shock...) did extensive perfomance testing and I believe showed that at the time that it was the fastest BASIC machine available in a "Pocket Computer" -ish size and form factor.

If I recall correctly, it was also Joe that developed an interesting serial comm program that provided means to exchange data files with another Wizard via the RS-232 port. While not fully Kermit or XModem, it worked and was used extensively by companies to upload data collected in the field.

He also broke "Private" (a means to hide PIM data in the Wizard) I beleive within hours of receiving the beta unit. While obviously not publicized, it was very handy internally...

I still have an OZ-707 manual somewhere... But unlikely to scan it and post online as I'm not sure how many users are still playing with this thing. Any of you out there?

Have not thougt about the OZ-707 in a long time Katie. Thanks for the short but fond trip down memory lane!

--Bob Prosperi
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04-06-2014, 08:26 PM
Post: #29
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
The Casio Fx-850P has a User Defined Function, a good BASIC implementation with Long Var names, Arrays Definitions, Subroutine support, a built-in Databank (MEMO) .
It has also a Scientific Library.
Originaly had 8Kb memory expandable with 16Kb or 32Kb memory cards. For my 850 I bought a RAM Chip of 32Kb and I have solder it to the main board (8Kb removed) and together with a 32Kb card , I have 64Kb free memory.
It has a 2 Line display but you can scroll 8 lines.
It is quite Slim, robust with all metal case and a PVC Slide cover.
One of its best things is the very low power consume. 2x CR2032 and a 1xCR1220 Backup Batery. I can not recall that very well , but with heavy usage, every day the CR2032 lasted at least 6 months.
I have also the PC interface , FA-6.
Unfornatly the Contrast Adjust knob was broken some years ago and Casio did not supply it any longer so that I had to change it with a normal potentiometer but it is not any longer easy to adjust contrast.
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04-07-2014, 12:19 AM
Post: #30
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Quote:I still have an OZ-707 manual somewhere... But unlikely to scan it and post online as I'm not sure how many users are still playing with this thing. Any of you out there?

Bob,

I still have the OZ-707 and the manual and incredibly after 25 years the backup battery has still managed to keep the RAM intact so I still have all my programs. It is fast, about the same speed as the original IBM PC. In 1989 (I think) that was quite something for computer powered by 2 CR2032 cells. Your job at Sharp must have been a lot of fun!

-katie

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04-07-2014, 01:25 AM
Post: #31
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-06-2014 07:07 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I almost completely forgot about the Sharp OZ-7000 with the OZ-707 Scientific Computer Card inserted. This is a very capable BASIC with single (10 digit) and double (20 digit) BCD math for all functions, long variable names, multi-dimensional (up to 120, crazily) arrays, graphics (96 x 64), a basic file system (similar in function to the 71b) and serial i/o. It has it's own 32K RAM memory space but could also access the RAM on the host OZ-7000. Overall the BASIC was a lot like GWBASIC in MSDOS with much better math. Also there are non-documented PEEK, POKE and CALL commands that allowed you access the entire machine to call OZ-7000 organizer functions or write your own ones in machine language.


There's a decided lack of information about the OZ-707 card on the internet, I guess it wasn't all that popular. But it's the best pocketable BASIC that I've used.

I have one of these cards in my OZ-8000S. I've managed to figure out a little of the functionality, but if anybody knows where to download a manual for it, I'd love to give it a read and see what it can do.
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04-07-2014, 08:24 AM
Post: #32
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-07-2014 01:25 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I have one of these cards in my OZ-8000S. I've managed to figure out a little of the functionality, but if anybody knows where to download a manual for it, I'd love to give it a read and see what it can do.

I'll work on that.

-katie

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04-07-2014, 05:49 PM
Post: #33
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-07-2014 08:24 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  
(04-07-2014 01:25 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I have one of these cards in my OZ-8000S. I've managed to figure out a little of the functionality, but if anybody knows where to download a manual for it, I'd love to give it a read and see what it can do.

I'll work on that.

Assuming I can find my copy (it should be there, but we all know about things that should be...) I'm happy to send/loan it to someone to scan. Do you have a copy available Katie?

If I remember right, the OZ-707, although released for the OZ-7000 series machines, worked without significant issue in the OZ-8000 family as well. I seem to recall there was some tiny weird little thing related to the larger screen, but can't coax those brain cells any further. I can check things on an OZ-8600 though if needed.

--Bob Prosperi
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04-07-2014, 06:12 PM
Post: #34
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-07-2014 05:49 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(04-07-2014 08:24 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I'll work on that.

Assuming I can find my copy (it should be there, but we all know about things that should be...) I'm happy to send/loan it to someone to scan. Do you have a copy available Katie?

If I remember right, the OZ-707, although released for the OZ-7000 series machines, worked without significant issue in the OZ-8000 family as well. I seem to recall there was some tiny weird little thing related to the larger screen, but can't coax those brain cells any further. I can check things on an OZ-8600 though if needed.

Yeah, the card appears to work fine in my OZ-8000S (I say 'appears' because I don't know enough about the card to really test it thoroughly), but only uses the left third of the screen because of the apparently higher resolution. No idea if it works in the OZ-9000 (touch screen) family, and I don't know if the low-level system access capabilities still work correctly/in the same fashion.
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04-07-2014, 08:23 PM
Post: #35
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Don't forget the Psion Organiser II and later the Psion Organizer LZ-64. These came with OPL (Organiser Programming Language) that as far as I remember can understand Basic commands. The execution of programmes was quick, compared to the "snailish" Casio PB-100 I had in the mid 80's. When I bought the PB-100 I didn't know about the Basic-like capabilities of the Psion. If I did I would clearly have spent the extra money on a Psion in stead but unfortunately the sales guy in the local shop were more hooked on telling me about the pre-PDA-functions of the Psion. Any how - today I have found a couple of Psions and I sometimes put in a 9V-battery (this was bulky, but easy to find everywhere and fairy cheap) and spends a night writing little Basic-like programmes for it.

Cheers!
Johnny
Denmark
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04-07-2014, 11:55 PM
Post: #36
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Quote:Assuming I can find my copy (it should be there, but we all know about things that should be...) I'm happy to send/loan it to someone to scan. Do you have a copy available Katie?

Bob,

Thanks for your offer. I've got the manual and have already started to scan it. I'll post a link here once I've added it to my webstite -- should be pretty soon.......

-katie

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04-08-2014, 01:44 AM
Post: #37
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Here's a link to the OZ-707 manual hot off the scanner!

-katie

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04-08-2014, 02:53 AM
Post: #38
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-06-2014 06:13 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  [Joe] also broke "Private" (a means to hide PIM data in the Wizard) I beleive within hours of receiving the beta unit. While obviously not publicized, it was very handy internally...

Although that wasn't the OZ-707, it was the OZ-770 (only 64K of RAM), almost identical to the OZ-707 except for having only 64K of RAM, and an IQ-775 (64K of EPROM and 32K of RAM) in which you had put the BASIC language. That's the one that I used to write a little program which, when run, simply displayed the user's password. Smile They all still work in the Wizard.

[Image: OZ-770-tn.jpg]

X<> c
-Joe-
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04-08-2014, 09:05 AM
Post: #39
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
Hello everybody,

Does anybody know wether OZ-707 card would work in a Sharp IQ-8900?

It comes as a surprise to me that Sharp organisers can be reconfigured as scientific calculators. Sharp pocket computers are rare around here (Spain) and organisers are easier to find and cheaper as well, so it could be interesting to add one to my collection.

Because of comercial availability, Casio machines were much more popular in Spain than Sharp. In my case, I used a FX850P during my last years in college.

I've been reading this forum for quite a long time, but never registered myshelf, basically because I have very little to say. Although I am kind of a scientist, I know little about programming or advanced mathematics.
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04-08-2014, 11:06 AM
Post: #40
RE: What is the best BASIC Pocket Computer
(04-08-2014 01:44 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  Here's a link to the OZ-707 manual hot off the scanner!

Dang, that was quick! Thanks!
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