Datasheet legend
Ab/c: Fractions calculation
AC: Alternating current BaseN: Number base calculations Card: Magnetic card storage Cmem: Continuous memory Cond: Conditional execution Const: Scientific constants Cplx: Complex number arithmetic DC: Direct current Eqlib: Equation library Exp: Exponential/logarithmic functions Fin: Financial functions Grph: Graphing capability Hyp: Hyperbolic functions Ind: Indirect addressing Intg: Numerical integration Jump: Unconditional jump (GOTO) Lbl: Program labels LCD: Liquid Crystal Display LED: LightEmitting Diode Liion: Lithiumion rechargeable battery Lreg: Linear regression (2variable statistics) mA: Milliamperes of current Mtrx: Matrix support NiCd: NickelCadmium rechargeable battery NiMH: Nickelmetalhydrite rechargeable battery Prnt: Printer RTC: Realtime clock Sdev: Standard deviation (1variable statistics) Solv: Equation solver Subr: Subroutine call capability Symb: Symbolic computing Tape: Magnetic tape storage Trig: Trigonometric functions Units: Unit conversions VAC: Volts AC VDC: Volts DC 


Programmable or not, the TI30 deserves special mention in any selfrespecting calculator collection.
No, it's not a particularly unique machine. It has no special capabilities. It is not especially wellbuilt either (although the number of still functioning models nearly 25 years after they were made does indicate a robust construction) and it has a rotten keyboard. It is a scientific calculator, but it has no special claim of fame: it has no extra functionality beyond basic logarithmic and trigonometric functions, not even singlevariable statistics.
What makes the TI30 so special is its price. The model number was an indication of the suggested retail price: $30 for a brand spanking new multifunction scientific calculator (or even less; for instance, I received correspondence from a gentleman who purchased his TI30 in Omaha, NE, for only $19.95, paying an additional $9.97 for the wall adapter.)
This may not mean much today, when department stores are filled with cheap scientific calculators from China sold for $5 or less. But remember, the TI30 was introduced in the late 1970s, at a time when scientific calculators were typically sold for several hundred dollars each.
The significance of this low price cannot be underestimated. It was the TI30 that turned the scientific calculator from an expensive engineering instrument into an everyday tool for highschool students. So much so, in fact, that I remember very well how the TI30 began to spread even behind the Iron Curtain; by the time I was finishing high school in Hungary, several of my classmates had TI30 calculators in their backpacks.
As a matter of fact, the business impact of the TI30 probably lasts to this very day. It was with the TI30 that Texas Instruments established a firm foothold in the educational calculator market, and they have been able to maintain an edge to this day. TI's line of graphing calculators, for instance, reigns supreme in high schools and colleges throughout North America and elsewhere.
TI has not forgotten what it owes to the TI30 either. The original TI30 has long been discontinued, but the model number lives on; there have been several variants of the TI30 in the last 25 years, all of them popular educational models.