QUESTION: I wish there was some way I could take the numbers from my desk calculator and send them directly into my computer. Have you heard of anything that would do this?
ANSWER: Key Tronic Corp. has the Abacus keypad. Abacus even looks like a typical numeric keypad in that it offers most of the same functionality. These include directional arrow keys, Home, PgUp and PgDn keys. But it also sports a standard eight-digit calculator display, and it works without the computer turned on.
As far as calculators go, Abacus is pretty straightforward. It's a four-function calculator (add, subtract, multiply and divide) with a standard calculator memory feature. However, if the computer is turned on and you use Abacus as a calculator, simply press the "send" button and you will transmit the numerical data at any time from the Abacus directly to the computer.
The numbers are sent to the current position of the computer's cursor just as if you had typed the numbers on the keyboard.
The Apple Macintosh version of Abacus sells for $149, and the IBM PC-compatible model sells for $129.
Key Tronic Corp. (509) 928-8000 (Craig Crossman is the host of a weekly radio show, Computer America, heard nationwide. Send questions in care of Business Monday, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33132. Please include your phone number.)