Well, Sena ordered a new Sharp calculator and we just got it. It’s a Sharp EL-M335. It has a bigger, easier to see display and larger keys than the vintage Sharp ELSI MATE EL-505. We stuck with the Sharp brand because it’s durable and reliable.
I’ve mentioned the old Sharp EL-505 in previous posts, mainly to highlight the idea that vintage doesn’t necessarily mean useless. It served well for over 30 years believe it or not, and we didn’t change the two double AA batteries for more than a decade. You can call me a liar or demented, but it’s the truth.
I’ll probably use the new one to do things like total up our Scrabble game scores to find out how badly I lose each time we play and to spell words on it. It’ll be used for other tasks.
And an added plus—the words I spell on the new calculator are larger and easier to read than on the old one.
I remember buying the old one shortly before we moved to Ames, Iowa so I could start college at Iowa State University. I got the Sharp ELSI MATE EL-505 because it had special scientific functions on it because I was planning to study engineering.
I quickly found out I didn’t have the head for the mathematics necessary to get through an engineering program. So, I ended up using it for things like—scoring Scrabble games and spelling words.
The Sharp EL-M335 actually uses a solar cell and a backup Alkaline manganese battery. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that unless I used a magnifying glass to see the operation manual’s tiny print. It’s a good thing the display uses bigger characters.
However, replacing the battery in the new calculator will require using a very tiny screwdriver to remove 6 very tiny screws. It’s a good thing we have a very tiny Kobalt screwdriver set with Phillips and flat head bits that you can store in the handle.
So, there you have it. We have a brand new, modern Sharp calculator. And it looks sharp. But we don’t plan to throw away our vintage calculator. It’s been good to us.