Casio AL-8 Electronic Calculator

Date of introduction:  October 1975 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:   Display size:  8
Size:  5.5" x 3.2" x 0.95"
 140 x 82 x 24 mm3
Weight:  4.9 ounces, 140 grams Serial No:  1175283
Batteries:  2*AA Date of manufacture:  mth 11 year 1975
AC-Adapter:  AD-2S Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  8  Integrated circuits:  NEC uPD573C
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Casio Computer Co., Ltd introduced its first handheld calculator, the Casio Mini, already in 1972. The Casio AL-8 and its sibling AL-10 sold in 1975/76 were the first hand-held calculators operating and displaying fractions.

At first glance you won’t notice a dedicated [a b/c] key known from e.g. the Texas Instruments Galaxy 10 introduced in 1988 or the current TI-30 Xa. Instead you’ll locate a [P] key for six pre-programmed functions accessible through a larger slider switch called "Function Mode Selector":

SQR [P] extracts the square root
GT [P] recalls the total accumulated by the [=] key
rem [P] obtains the reminder while the [=] key gives the integer answer in a division
a b/c performs fraction calculations and converts the answer to the decimal scale
hms [P] performs time or angle calculations and converts decimal answers to the sexagesimal scale
SD [P] retrieves the standard deviation in statistical calculations

Dismantling this Casio AL-8 manufactured in November 1975 reveals a clean design centered around a NEC uPD573C single-chip calculator circuit.

The Casio AL-8 was soon replaced with the AL-8S sporting a dedicated [a b/c] key for the fractions and the capability to add and subtract dates.

Read more about the TI-30Xa Solar School Edition for Virginia with the missing [a b/c] key.


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© Joerg Woerner, May 15, 2011. No reprints without written permission.