[vcf-midatlantic] Bowmar Brain, MOS, C=

William Dudley wfdudley at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 13:03:11 EDT 2017

A few years ago, I bought a scientific calculator in a dollar store, for $1.

Bill Dudley

This email is free of malware because I run Linux.

On Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 12:33 PM, Douglas Crawford via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> I had a "Bowmar Brain" calculator in high school that my Dad gave me.
> When calc prices dropped to nothing, it seemed fit for me
> to dissect the Bowmar and see what was inside and it never got put
> back together.  I think I thought I could hook it up and drive
> it like a math coprocessor or something. That never happened.
> I just ran across this paragraph in the MITS Wiki linking Bowmar to
> MOS Technology, and then C=:
> MOS supplied Bowmar calculator ICs... Bowmar imploded,
> I suppose one of the cripplers of MOS... leading to C= buying MOS.
> Bowmar Instrument Corporation introduced the "Bowmar Brain", a
> four-function pocket calculator, in September 1971 and the $179 calculator
> sold over 500,000 copies in the first year. Bowmar then developed the
> "901B" calculator that was priced at $120.[30] In September 1972, Texas
> Instruments (TI) introduced the TI-2500 portable four-function calculator
> that also sold for $120.[31] The 901B and the TI-2500 both used the TI
> TMS0100 family of "calculator-on-a-chip" integrated circuit. TI was now
> directly competing with their IC customers. Other semiconductor companies
> such as National Semiconductor and Rockwell began selling calculators.
> Commodore Business Machines and other office equipment companies also got
> into the market. A frenzied price war started. By early 1974, Ed Roberts
> found he could purchase a calculator in a retail store for less than his
> cost of materials. The larger companies could sell below cost to win market
> share. Bowmar lost $20 million in 1974 and filed for bankruptcy.[32]
> Commodore acquired their IC supplier, MOS Technology. Texas Instruments won
> the price war but their calculator division lost $16 million in 1975.[33]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Instrumentation_and_Telemetry_Systems

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