Atkelar (atkelar) wrote,

Computer nostalgia

Well, I've been bit by the nostalgia bug again...

While rummaging through some of my older stuff, I came across my Sharp PC 1403 pocket computer. I managed to buy that piece of history back in the stores when it was just getting "out of production". Must have been in the mid 90s, cause I already had the money to buy it on the spot. During my last school years in the late 80s and early 90s, I didn't have the money for it and just learned of its existance.

I bought it on an impulse and practically never really used it... 'cause tiny keyboard, pretty crappy display and very, very basic BASIC language. But I finally HAD it at my disposal!

Fast forward to Christmas 2016, when I had an adventuer with my Maglight (Might do an individual post about that) and decided to check on all battery powered devices to make sure that none had leaky batteries. Sure enough, some had (a tiny RC car where I forgot to take them out for example) - but these two 3V cells in the 1403 were still going strong even though I never replaced them... wow. But the display was getting a bit dim, so: new ones it shall get.

While replacing the batteries, I remembered one of the engineers in the company I was working for: he had a similar pocket computer plugged into a "docking station" thing on his desk and I was a bit envious about it back then. It had a built in printer and tape deck! How amazing is that?! So, I looked into the manual of the 1403 and found out that a printer/tape adapter by the name of CE-126P goes with it. I didn't expect to find any, but a quick look on ebay turned out positive. New-old-stock even! And "only" 50$ for "buy it now". Well... sorry for the other guy watching it, but: YOINK! MINE!

So, I now have a working, portable, battery powered thermal printer for my 1403H. Wicket! Not to mention: the included tape adapter. I think I threw out my tape based dictation thingy some time ago... *sigh* I don't want to record to digital audio, that's a break in style! Now I need to find one fo these old school recorders too... I've seen some around still. Hmmm...

...also, I got the idea of building a "virtual CE-126P" by means of a little WiFi enabled microcontroller. Send off the printed data to a web portal and save/load from there!

I don't think there'll be much of a market for that but hey... maybe there's still a bit of a 1403 community to make it worth the effort?
Tags: hardware, nostalgic, old

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