First programmable electronic desktop calculator of the world. Transistor based, delay line memory, magnetic card reader.
The Programma 203, built by Olivetti SPa (Turin, Itlay) is usually considered being the first programmable desktop calculator in history. Internal logic is based on transistors. The internal cache memory holds 10000 bits and is of the "wire delay line" type (bits are represented by a torsional impulse traveling along a nickel wire loop). The storage medium is a large magnetic strip. The right part holds the calculator, the left part is a modified Teknek3 electric typewriter driving by relays commanded by the calculator. Olivetti always was famous for its exceptional design. The very special layout of the Programma203 is the work of architect Mario Bellini, a long-time top designer of Olivetti. After more than 40 years, the beautiful industrial design is still remarkable, and is far away from the usual run-of-the-mill design found in modern equipment.
This machine was in use at the CEE (Communautées Européennes) in Luxembourg, and was bought in the 1980's when the equipment was laid off.