Anita 811

The Anita 811 was the backbone of the Anita handheld calculator range. The odd semi-circle by the middle switch indicates rounding to two decimal places (compare with the Adler 81 variant which has it marked as 5/4). The operation is a little odd (by modern standards). A sort of reverse polish, but not quite. So substracting two numbers ends up as something like "5+3-" and the equals keys is not used. When multiplying or dividing, it acts more like a modern calculator, and the equals key is used The memory is accumulative when enabled---i.e. all the results after pressing '=' get added to the memory.

This particular calculator has an internal data stamp of 8th Nov 1974. As can be seen from the photo on the right (click to enlarge), the calculator comes in a box with two colour graphics (a kind of ochre and black), with a fake leather wallet, a manual and a handy laminated example card which fits inside the wallet with the calculator.

The manual and example card with this calculator have been scanned in and uploaded onto the manuals page. Switch on the image---it works!

The image on the left (click on it to enlarge) is the cover of a book, "The Pocket Calculator Games Book", first published in the U.S. in 1975. This 1976 U.K. edition shows the Anita 811, in all its glory, emblazened on the front, indicating the dominance that Sumlock Anita had in the U.K. market at that time. Although it is hard to conceive nowadays of having terrific fun with a four function calculator, at this time calculators were only just becoming within the reach of the average wage earner. The cover shows the names of some of the games (in a beautiful 70's space age font), of which there are fifty in total. My favourite, however is 'Cold War'; a game for two players, two calculators(!), a pair of dice and four hundred chips (or a piece of paper to keep score). To quote from the book, the object of the games is "To simulate the way that international affairs are carried out. The players are trying to remain powerful, but not so much that it causes the total destruction of the world." So, all to play for then.

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Last updated 26th June 2004.

© 2003-2004 Simon Southwell. All rights reserved.