Programmable calculators were first introduced by Texas Instruments in 1977 with the TI-58 and TI-59, the latter of which supported a card reader to load and save programs.
A programmable calculator works like a normal scientific calculator, with various mathematical functions and a small LED or LCD display, but has the ability to store an entire program to be executed later. A program consists of a series of stored keypresses designed to perform functions on the calculator, but this is changed from a simple macro-storage capability to full-fledged programming by the addition of some special operators for program constructs such as labels, branching, and input/output.
More information in TI-59 magnetic card article
- TI-59 / TI-58 (Wikipedia)
- TI-59 "fan page"
- TI manuals and documentation
- Calculator museum entry
- TI-59 Service Manual