Texas Instruments TI-34: Its Number Finally Came Up . . .
In the summer of 1987, the year that it went onto the market, I purchased a Texas Instruments TI-34, the solar powered calculator that you see above, and for the past 24 years, beginning when I was still a young man barely over 29 at Berkeley and continuing until this past week in Seoul, the device served me flawlessly in calculating student grades, among other simple mathematical operations, before finally breaking down and miscalculating simple addition problems only a few days ago.
The end of an era, of sorts -- a quarter-century, anyway -- and kind of sad.
This calculator accompanied me from North America to Europe, Australia, and Asia -- living out its life first in Berkeley (USA), then in Fribourg and Basel (Switzerland), Kiel and Tuebingen (Germany), Armidale (Australia), and Jerusalem (Israel), and finally in Daegu, Masan, Osan, and Seoul (South Korea) -- and it was, without a doubt, the 'smartest' purchase that I ever made, though I gave that economic matter little thought upon buying it other than appreciating the fact that I would never need to shell out money for batteries.
According to the Wikipedia entry on the TI-34, the 1987 version was manufactured for Texas Instruments by Inventec Corporation in Taiwan, so both Texas Instuments and Inventec Corporation deserve a deep bow of respectful appreciation for a product so dependable that it lasted 24 years without erring . . . at least until the AI equivalent of Alzheimer's finally struck it down just days ago.
I wonder if I should bury the old one? Today's Good Friday, but I don't imagine my TI-34 coming back to life on Easter morning.
I will simply have to find a replacement, but it won't be the same.
Sigh . . .