Kosmos astro

Date of introduction:  1979 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:   Display size:  8
Size:  4.7" x 2.9" x 1.09"
 120 x 74 x 25 mm3
Weight:  3.7 ounces, 106 grams Serial No:  002324
Batteries:  2*AA  Date of manufacture:  Taiwan
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  mth 07 year 1979
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  TMS1470NL/MP1133
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Astro by Kosmos International, Inc. is the World's first hand-held astrological computer. Astro provides information based not only on the Sun like daily newspaper horoscopes but on the positions of three additional planets which have a major influence on the life: Mercury, Venus and Mars:

Sun symbolizes motivation, identity and goals
Mercury is the thinking function. It indicates the manner in which person communicates thoughts and perceptions
Venus rules emotions and indicates a person's social values - who and what he likes and how he likes it
Mars is action, defining drive and initiative

The key features of the Astro include:

Natal Horoscope  Astro gives the Zodiac positions of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars on the date of birth for any person. With this information you can have instant insight into any individual's personality.
Astrological Compatibility  Astro compares the personality traits of any two people for an indication of compatibility. Green lights appear when traits are similar. Yellow lights appear when traits are different or in conflict.
Daily Horoscopes  Astro computes the astrological conditions for any day - between date of birth and December 31, 1999 - and compares them with your astrological makeup. If conditions are  agreeable to your personality, a green light will appear. Yellow lights indicate a difference between prevailing influences and your personal needs. 

The Astro was the most advanced product in Kosmos' product line of Kosmos 1, Kosmos 2, Mini-BIO, BIO-Clock and this Astro. Even Radio Shack (a Tandy corporation company), a large US based store chain selling electronic products and parts, distributed the Astro in a slightly different design.

Indeed a very interesting product but one question immediately arises for the Datamath Calculator Museum: Is there any relation to Texas Instruments?

Dismantling this astrological computer manufactured in July 1979 in Taiwan by an unidentified OEM reveals a very well engineered design centered around a Texas Instruments 4-bit single-chip microcomputer.

Texas Instruments invented the microcomputer and introduced in the year 1974 with the TMS1000 the first commercial product. The TMS1001 was the first LSI MOS chip of the TMS1000 family used in the Texas Instruments SR-16 calculator. The chip contains a microcomputer complete with a program ROM having 1,024 eight-bit words; a temporary storage RAM; input (from keypad); output (to control keypad scan and LED display); and an oscillator (clock). Within the next month a lot of variants of the TMS1000 appeared, including display driver, higher memory capacity and more input/output connections.

This Astro astrological computer is basically an application program "MP1133" running on a TMS1470 microcontroller! The ROM capacity was raised from 1k (TMS1000) words to 4k words, the RAM amount was doubled to 128*4 bits.

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© Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.