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Texas Instruments My Little Computer

Date of introduction:  1989 Display technology:  LED
New price:  $25.46 (1992)
 Activity Packs: $9.95
Display size:  16 single LED
Size:  10.2" x 8.0" x 5.0"    
Weight:  21 ounces Serial No:  
Batteries:  2*AA  Date of manufacture:  year 1992
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  COP444
Memories:      
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manuals:   (US: 3.2M Bytes)
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This educational toy for toddlers trains combination skills. You can insert one of the twelve different picture cards and start the game or play one of the four Children's songs. One out of the 4 LED spots on the leftmost column will glow and the child must point with the arrow keys to the corresponding answer.

MyLittleComputer_PCB.jpg (42166 Byte)The technical part of this product is straight forward. A small microcomputer from National Semiconductors, often found in cheap toys like the Quiz-Kid or the wonderful Monkey See, controls both the LED's and the keyboard. A similar microcontroller was used in the later Magic Sorter.

The four songs stored in the My Little Computer are accessed with the four arrow keys:

[UP] Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
[DOWN] Frre Jacques
[LEFT] Oh, My Darling Clementine
[RIGHT] Fr Elise

Each activity was designed with a specific early learning skill in mind. The activities span a range for children ages 2 to 6. The activities are listed below in order of increasing challenge:

Number Title Activity Early Learning Skill
1 Follow Me Repeat the pattern My Little Computer gives you Sequencing and memory
2 Follow Me Repeat the pattern My Little Computer gives you Sequencing and memory
3 Dinosaur Twins Match identical dinosaurs Visual discrimination
4 Shapes & Colors Match colors and shapes Color and shape recognition
5 Shoe pairs Match similar pairs of shoes Visual discrimination
6 Animal Faces & Tails Match animal fronts and backs Advanced visual discrimination
7 Shape Count Match identical quantities of objects Counting and visual discrimination
8 Color Hunt Match colors Color recognition
9 People & Their Tools Associate people's occupations with their tools Socialization skills
10 Dress-Up Maze Matching clothing and objects with body parts Socialization skills
11 Toy Triplets Match similar types of toys Categorization
12 Start-to-Finish Sequence events in order of occurrence Sequencing
13 Make-an-Animal Match animals heads, middles, and tails Advanced visual discrimination
14 What Comes next? Sequence activities in order of occurrence Sequencing
15 Number Match Match a number with a group of objects Number recognition and counting
16 First Letter Match Match beginning letter sounds Letter recognition
17 Animal Hide & Seek Match parts of animals Advanced visual discrimination
18 First Letter Choice Identify beginning letter sounds Letter recognition
19 People & Their Hats Associate attire with occupation Socialization skills
20 Number Hunt Match a number with a group of objects Number recognition and counting
21 First Letter Maze Identify beginning letter sounds Letter recognition
22 Telling Time Tell and match time in both digital and analog representation Telling time
23 First...Second...Third Sequence pictures in time order Sequencing
24 Spell-a-Word Spell three-letter words Spelling

Texas Instruments offered two additional activity packs "Activity Pack 1" and "Activity Pack 2". Each activity pack contains 12 colorful activity cards with 24 varied and exciting activities. The cards are designed with increasing levels of difficulty so that the challenge grows along with the child.

Activity Pack 1:

Number Title Activity Early Learning Skill
1 Outer Space Match    
2 Color Match    
3 Bunnies, Bears, Bees & Bats    
4 Toys & Shadows    
5 Animal Go-Togethers    
6 Animal Mothers & Babies    
7 Up in the Clouds with Color    
8 Things That Work Alike    
9 People & Their Tools 2    
10 Animals & Their Homes    
11 Fish in a Bowl    
12 People & Their Vehicles    
13 Make-an-Animal 2    
14 First...Second...Third    
15 Three of a Kind    
16 What Comes Next?    
17 Creatures & Patterns in Space    
18 First Letter Choice    
19 First Letter Zoo    
20 Number Choice    
21 Hidden Traffic    
22 Dollars & Cents    
23 Start-to-Finish    
24 Spell-a-Word    

Activity Pack 2:

Number Title Activity Early Learning Skill
1 Monster Match    
2 Crayons & Colors    
3 Fruit Salad Match    
4 Changing Weather    
5 Shapes & Things    
6 Things in the Garden    
7 Let's Make Music Together    
8 Boats & Banners    
9 Start-to-Finish    
10 What Comes Next?    
11 Things That Go Together    
12 What Do Animals Eat?    
13 Big Number Match    
14 More Big Number Match    
15 Hiding in the Grass    
16 How Much Is It?    
17 What Do Animals Make?    
18 First Letter Hunt    
19 First Letter Choice    
20 Time & Event    
21 Things That Are Alike    
22 Spall-a-Word    
23 Fix-it-Shop    
24 Word Spell    

In Germany an identical toy was sold as Little Computer.

The My Little Computer is featured in the Texas Instruments Incorporated leaflet Follow the Learning Path dated 1991.

If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.