History of the first alphanumeric displays

Posted on viernes, julio 09, 2010 by Pedro Wave

I remember my parents bought me in 1974 my first pocket calculator, a Japanese SHARP PC-1801 with square roots and scientific functions with a size of 94x148x36mm / 3.7x5.8x1.4 ", a weight of 350 grams and consumption 1.3 W supplied by 5 AA batteries.

To visualize the results the calculator has, yes it has because I still have it and works!, an 8-digit numeric display, each consisting of a 7-segment display, type LED of 5mm/0.2 red, as seen in the photo of the calculator.

The LED displays consumed much 40 years ago and were replaced by LCD displays with less consume, being curious that although they have nothing to do with the current flat TV screens, LED technology was replaced by the LCD during the first display war, unlike today.

As a 7-segment displays were designed to represent hexadecimal numbers (0-9 and A-F) to represent alphanumeric characters appeared 14-segment displays and arrays of 4x7 and 5x7 LEDs, of which I will not talk in this article because they are more sophisticated and appeared later.

A game known as calculator spelling, with 7-segment displays, was to write numbers and see them putting the calculator upside down to form phrases with the letters of the alphabet, as the number 0 becomes the letter O, 1 to L, 2 to Z, 3 to E, 4 to h, 5 to S, 6 to G, 7 to T, 8 to B and 9 to P, this technique was being used as a slang (Alphabet 1337 - Leet speak) by the elite of programmers, geeks and phone hackers, to avoid censorship in the first chats (BBS) that existed in the Internet-80s. You can find a translator Leet here.

These holidays I plan to design an Excel spreadsheet that can visualize, with a 7-segment displays, any phrase you enter in alphanumeric mode and a clock with hours, minutes and seconds.

The result is an Excel 2010 sheet with macros to get the animation of the clock, refreshed every second, and the shift to the left of the words of the sentence written in cell E27 (yellow). In cell A29 you can write the number of characters you want to shift to the left each time.

Hit the play button to begin to see the numbers and letters with 7-segment display green or red better!

We are with the Red!
The Spanish team in the final World Cup South Africa 2010!

If you like it, you can download the file from the following forum link AyudaExcel:

or from my public disk SkyDrive:

Traducción al español aquí.

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