Valentin Albillo's HP Collection

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Sharp Pocket Computers

Sharp Pictures

Here you'll find a set of pictures I've taken myself featuring SHARP calculators and pocket computers from my own personal collection, together with useful details and my (hopefully interesting) anecdotes and comments on each particular model, including links to relevant materials (Articles, Brochures, Challenges) previously uploaded by me to this very site. Enjoy!



SHARP Picture VA101 - SHARP EL-5101

This elegant model from 1979 is my Sharp EL-5101 in mint condition, a very rare vintage model and one of the jewels in my collection. It is a small, very light, extremely beautiful machine with a sleek metallic body and one of the earliest dot-matrix 16-digit LCD displays, the UV yellow-filter variety, still in perfect working order despite being 40 years old as of 2019.

It has 12-digit precision and full algebraic logic, with 40 programmable steps for formula evaluation. Power is supplied by three SR44 cells, which last for very long under normal use.

SHARP Picture VA104 - SHARP EL-5101

This elegant model from 1979 is my SHARP EL-5101 in mint condition, a very rare vintage model and one of the jewels in my collection.

See the full description and other details in the link above this one.

SHARP Picture VA211 - SHARP PC-1211

This beautiful machine is the SHARP PC-1211, the very first pocket computer ever, the flagship of an extremely successful new class of computing devices which evolved into dozens of models, all very capable, with increasing RAM and expanded capabilities, including BASIC language instead of the usual low-level keystroke programming. They sold extremely well everywhere but most notably in their native Japan and in Europe, particularly in Germany. My very first one was given to me by the CEO of Microsoft, a small Spanish company (!), and though I owned the HP-41C at the time I was extremely pleased with this elegant model and proceeded to very quickly create about 100 programs for it, some of which you can find in the SHARP Programs section in this very site.

This first model has a 24-char. scrollable dot-matrix yellow LCD display (which was eventually replaced by the usual grey one), QWERTY keyboard, I/O connector, and 1424 bytes of RAM shared between BASIC programs and up to 178 variables plus 26 fixed ones (A-Z) for a total of up to 204 "registers", which was more than 3 times what you got with the basic HP-41C, all served by two very low-power 4-bit CMOS CPUs (SC43177 and SC43178 processors at 256 kHz) which ran for several months under typical use.

Comparing it versus my HP-41C was a given and you can read all about it in this article I wrote, which includes a very thorough comparison and extensively describes its many capabilities:

Know Thy Foe: A New Contender, (full description and comparison vs. the HP-41, includes 6 non-trivial programs for the PC-1211 and 2 for the 41C)

SHARP Picture VA212 - SHARP PC-1211 - DSC02506

This beautiful machine is the SHARP PC-1211, the very first pocket computer ever.

See the full description and other details in the link above this one.

SHARP Picture VA221 - TRS-80 PC

This is a close-up of my TRS-80 Pocket Computer, which is identical to the SHARP PC-1211 except for very slight cosmetic changes and the re-branded logo. When subsequent models of the TRS-80 PC line arrived, this one was referred to as TRS-80 PC-1 but it's always the very same machine.

See the full description and other details in the links for the SHARP PC-1211 above this one.

SHARP Picture VA222 - TRS-80 PC leather case

This is a leather-like case for the TRS-80 Pocket Computer (a re-branded SHARP PC-1211) which also fits all models of the SHARP PC-121x Series, i.e.: PC-1210, PC-1211 and PC-1212. It's well made, fits perfectly with enough spare space for a couple of overlays, and keeps the valuable machines well protected, even against accidental table-heigth falls to the floor.

See the full descriptions for the related pockets computers and other details in the links above this one.

SHARP Picture VA223 - SHARP PC-1211 ruined LCD

This is a SHARP PC-1211 pocket computer showing a ruined yellow LCD display. This possible (and very likely) failure is what prompted SHARP to issue a new model, the SHARP PC-1212, which is virtually identical in all respects to the PC-1211 but features a new now-standard grey LCD much less prone to this "LCD bleeding" failure, if at all.

Despite the horrible look, the machine actually works Ok and the alphanumeric characters in the display are quite readable. However, the blackened borders do impair the legibility somewhat and the annunciators are pretty hard to distinguish. It can still be used, though, and as far as I know it's not repairable except by replacing the whole yellow LCD display.

See the SHARP PC-1211 full description and other details in the links above this one.

SHARP Picture VA246 - SHARP PC-1246

This is my Sharp PC-1246, released in 1984 (thus 35 years old as of 2019) and also marketed as Tandy Radio Shack PC-8, a very small (palm-sized, 95 gr.) but very capable pocket (literally!) computer, with a decent version of BASIC, 16-character contrast-adjustable LCD display, 2 Kb of RAM, a CMOS CPU running at 1 Mhz and, as usual for SHARP models, interface to a printer and tape storage.

Compatible with many other SHARP models and pretty inexpensive, it made a good choice to carry at all times for easy, powerful computing on the go, anywhere.

SHARP Picture VA251 - SHARP PC-1250A

This is my SHARP PC-1250A, a very small and lightweight (115 grams) but capable pocket computer programable in BASIC. This really fits in a pocket but nevertheless has 4 Kb RAM, an 8-bit CMOS CPU for low battery consumption, a 24-char dot-matrix LCD display, a good Level 2 BASIC dialect compatible with many other SHARP (and TRS) models and of course an interface to printer, tape storage and other standard SHARP peripherals.

As you can see, this one came fitted within its original SHARP foldable wallet-like case, including a couple of semi-transparent overlays where you can write your own labels, to be placed over the two bottom rows of keys for instant access to your very own custom programs: you simply press [DEF][A], say, to run the program labeled as "A", etc. Further, this particular model was a version especially intended for students and came with some appealing documentation, including a fantastic tutorial, all in a very nice box at an affordable price. Truly awesome !

SHARP Picture VA254 - SHARP PC-1250A

This is a SHARP PC-1250A, a very small pocket computer programable in BASIC.

See the full description and other details in the link above this one.

SHARP Picture VA260 - SHARP PC-1260

This is my SHARP PC-1260, a very small and lightweight but capable pocket computer released in 1984 and programable in a good BASIC dialect, very similar to the PC-1251 but 33% faster and with a 2-line x 24-char. LCD display, which enormously enhances usability. Again, it perfectly fits in a pocket but nevertheless has 4 Kb RAM, an 8-bit CMOS CPU for low battery consumption, it's compatible with many other SHARP/TRS models and, as usual, interfaces to all standard SHARP peripherals, including the essential mass storage and printer.

This model and its siblings PC-1261 and PC-1262 are about the best you can have in terms of utmost portability (being so small and light) and capabilities, with such a large display (48 char. in all), advanced BASIC, lots of RAM for the kind of uses you'll typically put it through, and good I/O functionality, all in your pocket. About the only caveat is that the keys are perhaps a little too small but one can eventually manage. A must !

SHARP Picture VA261 - SHARP PC-1260

This is my SHARP PC-1260, a very small and lightweight but capable pocket computer programable in BASIC.

See the full description and other details in the link above this one.

SHARP Picture VA355 - SHARP PC-1350

This is one of my SHARP PC-1350, a truly excellent pocket computer released in 1984.

The PC-1350 is almost a twin of the somewhat more capable PC-1360 and thus it boasts the same awesome 4-line x 24-char graphic display (150x32) which makes very light work of entering and editing programs, as demonstrated by the version of my Othello program which I wrote for it and which you can see running in this picture. The game is easy to play directly in the virtual board without needing either a printer or a physical board.

Besides the large display, it has one slot for removable, battery-powered RAM cards (2 Kb to 32 Kb each), a very good Level 2 BASIC with 2-dimensional arrays, graphics statements and functions, I/O to the usual peripherals, including floppy drives, and lots more. This is one of only two physical calculators I still use day to day.

SHARP Picture VA356 - SHARP PC-1350

This is one of my SHARP PC-1350, a truly excellent pocket computer released in 1984. You can see it running a version of my Othello program that I wrote specifically for it.

See the full description and other details in the link above this one.

SHARP Picture VA357 - SHARP PC-1350

This is one of my SHARP PC-1350, a truly excellent pocket computer released in 1984. In its big display you can see running a version of my Othello program which I wrote specifically for it, while the Samsung tablet nearby shows a screenful of the fully commented source code for the Othello program, two amazing instances of state-of-the-art technology separated by no less than 34 years !.

See the full description and other details in the links above.

SHARP Picture VA360 - SHARP PC-1360

This is one of my SHARP PC-1360, a customized version (it even has a serial number at the top) which came with a 16 Kb RAM card plugged in, which obviously held the customized program itself, plus a printed manual detailing how to use it. Regrettably, the manual is in German so I could make neither heads nor tails about the customized program's purpose, nor could I get a hint by looking at the printed labels in the keyboard, it can be anything from agricultural mixes to anti-aircraft computations.

The PC-1360 itself, regardless of customization, is a wonderful pocket computer. It's thin, lightweight, and has an incredibly useful 4-line x 24-char graphic display (150x32) which makes entering and editing programs a breeze. Same for manual calculations, the well-known HP Match number example (originally tailored to show RPN's power) fits in the screen whole, without needing any scroll whatsoever so you get perfect feedback on whether you're keying it in correctly or not. As for the graphics, I wrote a version of my Othello program for it and its twin, the HP-1350, which plays perfectly without needing either a printer or a physical board, the virtual one drawn on the large display is perfect to play.

In addition to the large display, it has 2 slots for removable, battery-powered RAM cards (2 Kb to 32 Kb each), a very good level 2 BASIC, I/O to the usual peripherals, including floppy drives, and many more. Matter of fact, this (or its twin, the PC-1350) is one of only two physical calculators I still use day to day.

SHARP Picture VA475 - SHARP PC-1475

This model, released ca. 1987, is my SHARP PC-1475, a beautiful and powerful pocket computer capable of working with double-precision values (20-digit to the user, 24-digit internally).

It's a very capable machine, with an 8-bit CPU running at 768 Khz, 2-line x 24-character LCD display, RAM extensible via 1 or 2 RAM cards (up to 32 Kb each, with their own battery so they retain their contents when unplugged) and the usual peripherals for SHARP models (printer, plotter, tape, floppy, RS-232).

It can be programmed in a suitable extended version of BASIC (with double-precision constants, variables, arithmetic and functions) but can also be comfortably used as a scientific calculator, having the usual matrix operations (inverse, determinant, systems of equations, etc.) built in and statistics as well.

SHARP Picture VA580 - SHARP PC-1500 (as TRS-80 PC-2)

This TRS-80 PC-2 is simply a rebadged SHARP PC-1500, released in 1981-1985 and an extremely popular pocket computer. See the description and details in the link above.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE

These articles, programs, pictures, their descriptions and other materials created by me are (c) Valentin Albillo, and can be used freely for non-profit purposes as long as (1) the contents aren't modified in any way and (2) the copyright is acknowledged.

In plain words, you can download them and use them for non-profit purposes but do not include them in any media and/or site for which you're asking money, do not tamper with their contents and do not say or imply that you created them or that you don't know who created them, you must always give due credit to the copyright holder (that's me).