07/08/2002: First edition of page. >>>

sharp pc-1403:

Sharp PC-1403.

quick facts

Overview Photograph
Sharp PC-1403 keyboard closeup
Model or Part # PC-1403
My unit's vintage Serial #87160865
CPU Hitachi SC61860 (8-bit CMOS)
Memory 8K SRAM (6863 bytes available), 72K ROM
Operating System BASIC and a very powerful scientific calculator mode.
Ports Single proprietary port for RS-232 communications (requires level shifter), printer, and tape interface.
Video/audio output Internal custom 24 characters x 1 line LCD (5x7 matrix) with several enunciators. Internal piezo beeper, fixed frequency.
Available peripherals CE-126P and CE-129P thermal printers, CE-124 tape interface, CF-140F floppy drive, CE-152 tape recorder.

I acquired my PC-1403 as part of a general hankering for pocket computers that I owned when I was in high school. Back then I had two such machines that I remember clearly; a Sharp PC-1248 (similar in technology to this machine, but with a futuristic black rubber styling and a smaller LCD) and a comparatively high-end PC-2500 with integral graphical LCD and four-color plotter printer.

The PC-1403 straddles the boundary between a high-end programmable calculator and a fully-fledged computer. The main thing that separates it from contemporaneous 8-bit personal computers is obviously screen size. The BASIC dialect is fairly standard, but has some behavioral oddities related to the small screen; for example, it's not possible to have an INPUT statement with a prompt that's set at runtime; code like this:


will fail with a syntax error at the semicolon after P. So it can be hard to write user-friendly programs on this beast. (The PC-1248's dialect, by the way, is much closer to standard). Apart from these issues, the BASIC seems to have the same general flavor as the Microsoft BASIC used by Radio Shack, et al; maybe it is in fact MS BASIC.


There exist a couple of emulators that claim to be able to emulate the PC-1403 but I have had operational problems with both of them. I'm still investigating this. and all original content herein is © Copyright 2001 by Lewin A.R.W. Edwards. "" is a trademark protected under U.S. and international law. Infringement or attempted dilution of the intellectual property rights held by Lewin A.R.W. Edwards will be prosecuted to the fullest possible extent.