This Compucorp 344 is one out of an extensive range of compact high-end machines for scientific and statistical applications. The series contains several of the first handheld battery powered and programmable machines. They are all based on the same basic design with major functionality achieved with micro code stored in ROM.
The 344 Statistician is one of them. It contains 10 registers for temporary storage and two independent program memories each with 80 positions. Each key stroke takes one position.
Programming is limited to storing and replaying sequences of key presses. A sequence may be paused during execution to allow entry of figures. The manual supplement does mention a trick to create a loop and a way to end it. When the machine is turned off the contents of program memory and registers are lost.
Programming is hindered by a keyboard with somewhat unreliable contacts, easily producing double digits. I found reviews dated Nov 1973 and May 1974 mentioning this very problem. When it happens there is no way to recover from it; you’ll have to restart entering your program. In my calculator I had to clean the contacts after which it seems to work well.
The User’s Handbook and the Supplementary Operating Instructions together form the operator’s manual, explaining the device using examples. Although these manuals are rather short, the descriptive nature can make it a little difficult to find the information you need.
The 344 was delivered with rechargeable D-size NiCAD cells. It can also be operated from alkaline batteries or directly from the AC adapter.
Already in 1974 an advert in Science magazine shows a discount of about 45% on the original price. (See assets page)
For extensive historical information regarding Compucorp have a look in: oldcalculatormuseum.com. Don’t miss the link to the AP News Report recording of March 19 1974. It gives a perfect historical view on the importance of calculator development in the 70’s.
The assets page contains a link to the manual, to a manual supplement and to a service manual for the 300-series.
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1974 (The manual which came with the machine has been manually dated Jan 1975)
Basic calculations, statistical calculations, programmable (2 x 80 steps)
1972 (The Nov 1972 issue of a Dutch geodetic magazine mentions the arrival of the 324G)
1977? (Büromaschinenlexicon still mentions it in 1977)
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