They’re like buses. You don’t see one for ages, then two come along at once. Hot on the heels of the very lovely Sinclair Enterprise LED calculator comes this much more staid Texet 880 Executive.
Like the Sinclair, it was in production between 1977 and 1978. It’s a sod to open as the two halves of the case are held together with plastic lugs which easily break (not going to bother ripping mine apart). I can tell you what’s inside without resorting to violence: single Texas Instruments TMS0972NL CPU. The red LED display is an eight-digit bubble affair.
The calculator measures 74.2mm x 135mm (l) x 22.2mm (d). It weighs 86g without the battery in, which is a 9v PP3 type. The battery housing has two metal slide clips to access battery power, rather than the more usual press-stud affair as seen on the Sinclair.
There’s an adaptor hole at the top of the casing, although there’s nothing on the casing to say what input it takes. 4.5v (centre positive) is the general consensus. Black and silvery-grey casing with thin brushed metallic fascia panel (the protective plastic film is still intact on my model). The red lens glass is very slightly chamfered toward the top of the panel. The display angle is completely rubbish, and as with most LED products of the 70s, you pretty-much have to press the thing to your face or hide under a coat in order to read the display!
The keyboard is a little odd in that it has three (count ’em) cancel buttons, marked [CE], [C] and [CA]. Don’t panic – the [CS] key is the Clear Sign function, not another cancel!
Texet calculators were manufactured in Hong Kong. The keypad is fairly stiff and you really have to give the buttons a bit of welly in order to get the numbers to appear. The display flashes as you enter numbers into the unit. A lot of 880’s suffered with something called the “pseudo fixed decimal bug” – if you type in ‘1 + 1.00 = ‘ you will get ‘2.00’ on the display. Very pleased to say mine doesn’t suffer this bug, and displays ‘2.’ as you’d expect.
No box or case or manuals with this one, but the guy on the boot fair stall did chuck in a new PP3 for me, and the whole lot cost me £3.00. Fairly pleased with that.