18 October 2019

Calculatober Day 18: Astro by Kosmos - The Personal Astrological Computer

I am not a superstitious person and I've never had any interest in astrology, but when I discovered the Astro by Kosmos, I knew I had to get my hands on one. They appear on Ebay from time to time, but often are non-working or very expensive. I managed to get one for around $20, and it turned out to be everything I was hoping it would be.
Astro by Kosmos - The Personal Astrological Computer.
Right out of the box, this is one of the sleekest calculators I've ever laid eyes on. It looks like something a futuristic religious cult would use in an episode of Star Trek. It has a beautiful blue brushed aluminum face plate accentuated by many other shades of blue in the buttons, text, and display. Turning it on, you're greeted with amazing teal fluorescent digits.
In calculator mode, it only features the four basic functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It works just fine, and since this calculator comes from 1979, basic functionality like this wasn't uncommon in handheld calculators. Already I'd recommend it as a beautiful vintage device.
Switching to astro mode is where the more unique bits of this device's functionality are. By entering a birth date [month, day, and last two digits of the year] and pressing B1, the Kosmos will calculate the positions of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars in the sky on that date. This takes a little while, but you can see the digits on the display flicker during the process. When it's done, you can then use this information to find the astrological characteristics a person born on this day is supposed to have.
By entering a second date and pressing B2, you can find out what astrology has to say about two different people and their compatibility with one another. The device gets even further in-depth with this by answering various questions they might have. The picture above from the manual explains it better than I can.
Sadly, I couldn't get inside this device without removing the sticker on the back. I don't want to cause any harm to this calculator given how unique and difficult to find it is.

There are other capabilities, such as daily horoscopes, but I don't particularly care about this stuff. If you're really interested in seeing all if it, I've linked a website that has its manual here.

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