Every morning, for the past few months, I've needed to use a calculator. The calculator in question is a vintage early-1980s model Sanyo CX 2630 solar powered beast. You can read about its awesome functions at these two extremely nerdy websites: calculator.org and mycalcdb. It has all the functions you'd expect of a calculator, not the least of which is that being solar powered, it hasn't required new batteries since the Red Hot Chili Peppers released Under the Bridge. As an aside, it delights me to no end that there are websites dedicated to the minutiae of vintage calculators. The internet is a haven for anoraks. This particular calculator has issues, though. It adds just fine. Subtracts perfectly. It even handles multiplication and division with aplomb. While I haven't needed to use the function, I have the utmost confidence in its ability to calculate a square root and store the results in its memory. The thing that worries me about this calculator is
THE FREAKING THING IS HAUNTED.
Tucked away in a dark drawer, devoid of fluorescent "solar" power, its twenty year old batteries fail, and it loses its mind. Grasping at the last vestiges of its consciousness, it types a garbled message, leaving it on the screen for me to wonder about the next morning.
I've kept a log. Every time it's left me a message, I've recorded it. The original purpose of this project was simply to see if it was ever the same. Was the message similar, day in and day out? Was it just random crap? (Hint: probably!) Was there a hidden logic?
I'll let you decide. Big gallery to follow, with commentary. Hit the jump.