[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Sharp Pocket Computer

October 14th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Sharp PC-1500A Pocket Computer - 1983"From Sharp Minds Come Sharp Products"

It's no secret that Radio Shack licensed Sharp's pocket computer designs for its own TRS-80 Pocket Computer line of products. But here's one of the originals, circa 1983: the PC-1500A.

[ From Interface Age, November 1983, p.110 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever lost a pocket-sized gadget and regretted it badly? Tell us about it.


See Also: BASIC in your Pocket (RSOTW, 2009)
See Also: Asimov's Pocket Computer (RSOTW, 2011)



7 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Sharp Pocket Computer”

  1. Lodovik Says:

    I had (and still have!) a TRS PC1 (same thing as the Sharp PC-1211) that almost got stolen. I was a student at the time and I'd put all my stuff in a sport bag.

    One day, I had to go to the book store inside the college and the rule was to leave your bags at the entrance, where you could still see them from inside, but barely. I was just a few moments there and when I got out, my bag was open. Fearing the I surely lost my pocket PC, I checked and it was still there! The robber didn't saw it because I had my coat rolled around it as padding to protect it.

    At the time, the Tandy PC1 was the first pocket computer with BASIC and I loved it. If I remember correctly, it had only 1424 steps (bytes) of memory so you sometimes had to be creative to make your programs fit. I remember having done a 6×6 Reversi program that barely played good enough to be fun.

    Some months later, one of my friend bought a PC2 (Sharp PC1500 twin) with the 8K RAM module and the printer that worked like a little plotter. With 12K of available space, it was like the Nirvana of portable programming! On this one, I made a 10×10 vs computer tic-tac-toe game using the printer to draw the grid and then put some "O" and "X" over it (being a small plotter, it was possible to make the paper roll back inside, draw on it and roll out).

  2. Moondog Says:

    I was just thinking about how these compare to the tablets we have today. A few years ago I read that an HVAC guy was still using his to establish a serial connection into his client's climate control systems. It was more convenient than a laptop, and he had trouble finding newer small laptops having serial ports.

  3. british Says:

    I had(still have) a Zeos Pocket PC. I used it in college in 1994/1995 to play Gauntlet II, call BBSes, read/edit text files. Nice comfy keyboard. Only slightly larger than a billfold.

  4. Alexander Says:

    Over the winter, somebody gave me an Atari Portfolio since he heard that I like old computers. It was fun to monkey around with for a bit, but I would be hard pressed to do any real work on it. The OS is very weird, and the keyboard is so different from anything I've used before. At best, I could keep some information written down in it, but that's about it.

    Must have been really cool to have back in the day.

  5. David Says:

    First let me say that I have only just found this site and what a gem! Fantastic to see a retro site that is still being actively managed. Love the idea of these weekly scans.

    This particular scan has actually made me go hunting for a Sharp Pc-1500. Always wanted one ever since they first appeared. Bid a few times one on eBay bu was never brave enough to bid just that little bit higher. Just need one to come up again….

    Keep up the good work! I will be ack regularly.

  6. Matt Says:

    I had a really amazing (at the time) handheld Panasonic Spanish translator that was only about as big as 5 credit cards stacked together (in 1992-1993). I used it as a crutch for a whole year living in Spain and then came back and went to college…where it got stolen out of my dorm room.

  7. Bart Says:

    Wonderful ad, I had and still have the TRS-80 PC-2, the twin brother of this little gem. Used it in high school and no teacher had a clue about the possibilities of this 'big calculator'. When it was EOL I also bought the printer/plotter and the RS232 interface, as well as a memory expansion.
    For those who love these little machines, google on "pockemul" for a very good emulator!

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