Ask any Police Constable who has been on the beat for a while and he/she will attest to the truth that the stuff that gets stolen tends to be the more popular items such as iPhones, Samsung Galaxy 8 and the Casio MS-8 calculators. What?
Well, in my house it doesn’t seem to matter how many I buy my light fingered family, if quizzed would crumble and admit that they too had borrowed – yes that it’s there, there in your handbag…. one of my favourites, a design classic and iconic piece of desk hardware – the Casio MS-8 calculator.
The cleanliness of its simple lines, its above average sized display and built in power source with a simple solar cell makes the Casio MS-8 just very good at doing its job. Also, on newer models before it switches off, to save the solar cell’s charge the word “CASIO” is displayed on its screen just in case you may have forgotten who delivered you such a masterful display of calculation.
My parents, despairing at my obvious inabilities with simple maths homework, allowed me in 1975 to be one of the first kids on the block to enjoy the crunchy key technology and fluorescent eight digit display of the Sinclair Oxford 200. It was designed by electronics genius Sir Clive Sinclair, known in the UK as the man who invented the pocket calculator and his fine work certainly saw me cruise certain tricky maths tests.
It amuses me, forty years on, to see the contents of my old school pencil case’s on display at international design museums – but it was truly innovative.
The paucity of calculators on sale at any major supermarket chain confirms my suspicions that the available calculator apps on iPhones and Galaxies are, for many, the extent necessary of their need for to calculate. Whilst I am very fond of my iPhone and many of its amazing functions are breathtaking its calculator is rubbish and irritates me – despite a recent update that appears to have done little more than change its colours and fonts!
Whilst my son has mastered the heights of a scientific calculator. His came with a manual the depth of “War and Peace” printed in several European languages but its complexity is daunting for the simplest percentage or fractional calculation.
There is a childish trick that I always perform on a box-fresh Casio MS-8 calculator; my dear Dad was an oil man who worked in for many years in senior capacities at Shell. At some point in 1975, he showed me that by computing the sum “14215469 x 5” the result being “71077345” when the calculator is inverted it reads “SHELLOlL” – go on try it I know you want to…..
Here, get your very own Casio MS-8 calculator by clicking the following AMAZON link Casio MS-80VERII 8 Digit Currency Desk Calculator
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Images courtesy of Casio/Nigel Tout at vintagecalculators.com