The Internet Archive has been archiving websites for nearly three decades. But in recent years the company has moved to provide digital archives of classic computer games and, more recently, Palm Pilot apps.

Now the company’s reaching a bit further back in digital history with the launch of The Calculator Drawer, a collection of classic graphing calculators and similar devices. They’re all interactive, meaning you can program a virtual TI85 or HP48 calculator in your web browser.

The Internet Archive / The Calculator Drawer

The Calculator Drawer is powered by MAME, so you could theoretically run the same software on your computer. But by putting everything in a web browser, the Internet Archive lets geeks of a certain age relive the experience of using a graphing calculator without downloading or installing anything.

One of the cool things about the way The Calculator Drawer works is that it taps into the MAME Artwork System and uses layout files for a number of popular classic calculators so that what you see on the screen is an actual photograph of the calculator you’re emulating.

You can perform actions by clicking or tapping on the buttons in the picture and the output will be displayed on a virtual screen.

The Internet Archive says there are a limited number of layout files for graphing and other calculators at the moment, but as more users upload photos and create their own layouts, more calculators could be added to the drawer.

via The Internet Archive Blog

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One reply on “The Internet Archive’s Calculator Drawer is a web-based emulator for classic calculators”

  1. Very cool, but I prefer my HP emulator on my phone (iHP48). The phone app launches fast and is a hand-held form factor (just like the original calculator).
    The web mame emulation is pretty slow… I played some simple games and it was about 50% normal speed.

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