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Math Science Technology

TI-84+C-Silver Edition: That C Stands For Color 198

Posted by samzenpus
from the graphing-cool dept.
skade88 writes "Do you remember those large TI-8X line of calculators with a BW display from when you were growing up and learning all about math? Yeah well, you can still get them because TI has yet to update or change their line of TI-8X calculators from their 96x64 display, processors designed in the 1980s with just a few kilobytes of user accessible memory. They still cost in the $100.00 to $150.00 range. That is all about to change now that the TI-8X line of calculators is 22 years old. Their new TI-84+C-Silver edition will come with a 320x240 16-bit color display, 3.5MB of flash ROM, and 21KB of RAM. Ars has a good preview of the device along with speculation on why it took so so so very long for TI to finally bring calculators up to a level of technology that could have been delivered a decade ago."Last month some photos and a few details of the new TI-84+C were leaked.
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TI-84+C-Silver Edition: That C Stands For Color

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  • Ti-84 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sheehaje (240093) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:36AM (#42345003)

    Seen the ti-84 mentioned a lot lately... The only thing I remember was I could program it, and my professor let me for my Calculus 1 class. I still don't know a lot about Calculus, but I know more about programming... Makes me think if calculators are good for learning the subject, or for learning how to program the subject.

    • There was never any requirement that saved programs actually compile, of course, which means the calculator has a nifty spot to keep your crib sheet.

      • At my school, our TI-38 calculators had to be handed in prior to the examination for a factory reset.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Really? [datamath.org]

        • I remember back when students were mainly using TI-82s and I had a TI-85 instead... I figured that the instructors wouldn't be that familiar with the 85, so I wrote a program that mimicked the TI-85 factory reset screen.

          However, the instructors never actually cleared them.

    • by bmo (77928)

      >The only thing I remember was I could program it, and my professor let me for my Calculus 1 class. I still don't know a lot about Calculus, but I know more about programming...

      Actually, you know more about calculus than you think you do. In order to write a program, you must understand what the algorithm does that you're using.

      That is if you wrote the program from scratch instead of simply plugging things in from a cookbook.

      --
      BMO

      • Re:Ti-84 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:13AM (#42346577)

        Actually, you know more about calculus than you think you do. In order to write a program, you must understand what the algorithm does that you're using.

        Unfortunately, the algorithms I used on my TI-81 were more like, "crude text adventure parser" (stereotypical DnD dungeon) "parametric equation of a side view of a boob" (boys will be boys) and in later years when I had a HP-48 I wrote a pretty decent 68hc11 simulator using an array as memory and variables as the registers. Welcome to state machines! The '48 had pretty good hex math capabilities and I never implemented the whole instruction set, but I certainly had the basic load, store, add, branch type stuff and a crude debugger UI that could show contents of registers and memory and single step etc. My microcontroller instuctor was somewhat impressed. Also in high school I did learn a fair amount of trig on my own as I finally got a working 3d cube render-er which was a pretty stereotypical 80s home computer BASIC challenge. Basically you store the 3-d cube as an array of the corners coordinates and then plot them ignoring the Z coord, then execute a transform on all the points (there are several ways to implement this), replot, run the transform, replot, you end up with a little controllable rotating cube. Without double (triple?) buffering the flashing as it redraws is almost unbearable and you have to have a strategy to depend with floating point rounding (like not rotating the existing cube by 1 degree each time, you rotate a unit cube by a continuously varying angle (like 41 degrees X rotation this time, 42 the next etc). Its quite slow on a TI-81 but watchable and interesting from a demo-scene perspective.

        I learned calc in my senior year of HS anyway, but it was much more despite having a graphing calc than because I had a graphing calc.

        So this is what kids do with their "valuable educational math tools" instead of whatever curriculum the PR firm releases. Its more or less the college prep kids equivalent of when the shop kids make bongs in class instead of birdfeeders.

        • by bmo (77928)

          I grew up with a TI-99/4a (world's slowest BASIC interpreter) so my experience is similar to yours I guess, though I didn't get as far as implementing a 6800 simulator in a '48 (I actually learned how to program one by burning UVEPROMs later).

          I guess my POV is skewed because the programming tools for math in HS were more primitive and the most advanced TI calcs were versions of the 30 and my most advanced calculator is a HP48 ( the real reason I like it is because I can scroll the stack easier and algebraic

  • by diamondmagic (877411) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:54AM (#42345077) Homepage

    "Educators simply weren’t asking for them until recently... We don’t want to create technology for technology’s sake"

    Translation: "We haven't the slightest clue what the word innovation means or why it's important."

    • by Gamer_2k4 (1030634) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:21AM (#42345171)

      "Educators simply weren’t asking for them until recently... We don’t want to create technology for technology’s sake"

      Translation: "We haven't the slightest clue what the word innovation means or why it's important."

      Innovation is the devil when it comes to this sort of thing. The article made the excellent point that TI calculators are approved for standardized testing due to their readily-known constraints. What's the point of releasing a new model every year when students won't be able to use them on the important things?

      • by diamondmagic (877411) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:31AM (#42345225) Homepage

        Don't get me wrong, I love my TI-89.

        But the very-dark-green-on-dark-green is damned impossible to read in anything except exceptionally well lit rooms, and entering functions isn't even half as quick as it could be. Its whole directory/namespace system is uninspired, and reading input/output from functions is bizarre. There's no easy way to get the argument list of a function without consulting the catalog, which forces you to scroll through all its hundreds of functions or so, and even then it's not very informative (the TI-84 is way better at this even). And so on.

        Yes, you can have innovation. The whole point of innovation is to make people's lives easier in ways they couldn't have otherwise anticipated.

        • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

          You didn't have to scroll through the whole thing, just put in the letter it started with. I think. It has been a while but one of my TIs provided a way to skip to a particular part of the catalogue.

          • by Cwix (1671282)

            The TI-89 is very different then the rest of the 8x series.

            The 89 and its various versions have much more in common with the 9x series (I believe that was just the 92 and 92+)

            I had an 83+ and later an 89. I remember I liked a few things about the 83 that the 89 was lacking in. The catalog was one of them, but for the life of me I cannot remember why.

      • by tibit (1762298)

        Wait a minute, are you talking about grade level and college entry standardized testing in the U.S.? That stuff's like 8th grade mental math, why the heck would you need a calculator for it?

    • Also what is the point most students are carrieing cellphones that are much faster, and has a better display.
      My (old) iPhone is more powerful than the PC's that I used in college with Maple and MatLab on them, we used that software because the calculator just couldn't do it.

      • because you cannot easily prevent a student from cheating with a phone that has outside access to the internet, messaging, etc. The calculators could not talk to each other (without a blatantly obvious cable).

        • by Agripa (139780)

          The calculators could not talk to each other (without a blatantly obvious cable).

          Maybe the TI ones could not. The HP-48 and similar sure could until HP lowered the sensitivity of the IR receiver and that was easy to restore.

          • True, but not many people had those, at least when and where I was in school. I was the oddball with a Casio CFX-9850G.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Translation: "We can still charge a fortune for old technology as long as nobody asks for anything better"

  • Specs, still (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:55AM (#42345079)

    A couple years ago I bought an LG Thrive on a prepaid plan - so undiscounted - for about $150 I believe. The phone was not great, but it had 256 megs of useable RAM, a 320x480 color screen, and a 600MHz processor... not to mention the hardware one expects from any smartphone (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, low-end camera).

    So how can TI get away with charging almost that much today for a single-purpose device that doesn't even compare favorably with a low-end smartphone from two years ago? Does it serve as an espresso machine too, or maybe as an electric razor?

    • Re:Specs, still (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pseudonym (62607) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:08AM (#42345125)

      So how can TI get away with charging almost that much today for a single-purpose device that doesn't even compare favorably with a low-end smartphone from two years ago?

      Because designed to be brought into closed-book examinations can't be Internet-enabled general-purpose computers. And they cost so much because they're single-use devices.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        They cost so much because they're devices that are the only accepted model for school use. If someone made an equivalent and sold it for $50, TI wouldn't drop the price because the equivalent hadn't been certified as acceptable for test-taking.

        Of course the whole thing is absurd. Algebraic solvers aside, being able to plug numbers into a calculator is all you'll be doing with one outside of very specific fields. Memorizing formulae is totally unnecessary, although knowing which one to use is important - and

        • For Android, the Xylthe Calculator is pretty neat. Or you can use a copy of the rom from your TI-83+ in Andie Graph. As you said, the physical buttons make a difference, but it's handy to have that sort of thing whenever you want it.
        • Re:Specs, still (Score:4, Insightful)

          by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:04AM (#42346537)

          The best math professor I had in college let us take a page of notes to an exam. He stated that its more important for us to understand the steps to solving a problem rather than memorizing a formula that can be easily looked up. And he was absolutely right because that was the first math class that I received an A+; 96%+ on every exam. And I came out with an excellent understanding of the material. Someone may think "hey, that's cheating!" But think about it for a moment, how is jotting down formulas and some notes on how to apply them cheating? If you don't understand the material how do you know which notes to make or how to apply the formulas? You wouldn't. And you would fail the exam.

          More kids would benefit if teachers stopped with the bull shit rote learning of formulas and instead taught the kids how to use them. Its easy to bomb a test because you forgot its -b +- and not b +- or b^2-4ac and not b^2 + 4ac in the quadratic formula. Or that sine is opposite over hypotenuse and not adjacent over hyp. Basic trig and algebra are what usually scare kids away from math because of stupid shit like that. And its a shame because they form the foundation for advanced fields such as engineering and physics.

          • by nayrbn (2704751)
            I agree the quadratic formula is not that important to memorize for the majority of math students. Completing the square is good enough, at any rate, and that's how you come up with the quadratic formula anyways. However, knowing the difference between sin and cos is more basic and more fundamental. If you can't remember them, then you probably don't understand the unit circle and that x goes with cosine and y with sin, and that is conceptually an important understanding.
            • by tibit (1762298)

              There's nothing conceptually important about the arbitrary choice of absolute phase of cosine and sine. It doesn't affect your understanding at all to know which one goes where, as long as you remember that they are offset in phase by 90 degrees, and that they are linearly independent vectors in a certain vector space. You could always come up with an arbitrary choice, write it up on top of the exam answers, and stick with it throughout -- it'd be perfectly acceptable, to me at least.

          • by tibit (1762298)

            It's a poor math test if merely having an arbitrary amount of notes will significantly affect your grade. In my college years, most professors would limit the amount of notes simply so that there'd be less distraction to other students from the inevitable hapless fool who brings in a foot of books. The amount was still more than enough to cover all the material -- you can fit a lot of stuff on a couple of letter-sized pages. I wrote my cheatsheets in LaTeX and people would ask me to share them after the exa

    • Re:Specs, still (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:20AM (#42345163) Journal

      So how can TI get away with charging almost that much today for a single-purpose device that doesn't even compare favorably with a low-end smartphone from two years ago?

      A. Calculators are built to be abused by students and a ruggedized cell phones is pricey
      B. TI can charge whatever they want because they're a defacto monopoly. The text books are literally written with how-to sections for TI calculators.

      There's the Nspire lineup which has more features and whatnot, but it's still woefully underpowered and underfeatured compared to a smart phone from 5 years ago.

    • Re:Specs, still (Score:5, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:36AM (#42345241) Journal

      So how can TI get away with charging almost that much today for a single-purpose device that doesn't even compare favorably with a low-end smartphone from two years ago?

      Because these calculators are allowed to be used during the test at schools. Their lack of functionality is a benefit. If you bring your phone in, you could use it to find other answers. These devices don't even compare favorably to the Palm Pilot1000 from 1996, although those cost $200 more.

      In the testing centers at a lot of universities, the proctors know how to erase the ti-85 before you enter the testing center. Or they can loan you one to use for the test.

      • by whois (27479)

        So build a full featured smart pad that has the same wipe capability and wipe them before tests. Possibly automatically through the local network the devices are all required to talk to if they're allowed in the classroom. (With the ability to restore from a network save of course, so the student doesn't loose whatever he saved on it)

        Deliberately gimping a product this badly just means the student won't learn valuable skills with it. I've forgotten everything I ever learned about programming TI calculat

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        In the testing centers at a lot of universities, the proctors know how to erase the ti-85 before you enter the testing center. Or they can loan you one to use for the test.

        If you need a calculator at university. You are doing it wrong!

        • It can be really helpful to have a calculator that graphs things instantly for you, to give you a chance to get a feel for different graphs of equations
    • Re:Specs, still (Score:4, Insightful)

      by runeghost (2509522) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:44AM (#42345273)

      RPN. Also, speaking for myself, I far prefer actual buttons to poking at a touchscreen.

    • by Iskender (1040286)

      So how can TI get away with charging almost that much today for a single-purpose device that doesn't even compare favorably with a low-end smartphone from two years ago? Does it serve as an espresso machine too, or maybe as an electric razor?

      The TI doesn't need to and shouldn't get into a feature or spec sheet race. It's a mobile calculator and that's what it should do well. It compares very favourably with a smartphone if we actually consider what it's for.

      I haven't had a serious use for my TI since upper secondary school, yet I still prefer it to any option. In more than a decade of owning it I've changed the batteries something like twice. Some smartphones on the other hand need charging twice a week even for standby.

      I still have the interfa

  • Approved lists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ableal (1502763) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:13AM (#42345135)

    You have to consider what it means for a calculator to be on approved lists for school systems all over the world.

    You do not mess with that lightly.

    • Re:Approved lists (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Radak (126696) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:46AM (#42345523) Journal

      This is exactly right. The reason the TI-8x line has been around unchanged for so long is because school systems find it sufficient, but not too much, and teachers know exactly how to reset its memory. If you let kids start using whatever software they want on their smartphones, cheating would become much more widespread than it is now. When I was in high school, I used a HP 48S (still do from time to time) and I could have cheated my pants off with that if I wanted to, as the teachers didn't have a clue about it. (I didn't, but easily could have--more important to have things like Ant in my RAM!)

      • by Firehed (942385)

        Is using Google really cheating? That's exactly what you're going to do outside of a school if you don't know how to come up with the answer.

        It's important that students understand fundamentals but to be honest anything beyond basic algebra is going to be useless for most people. Even as a software engineer, I use "advanced" math... never. For people wanting to go into careers that require that kind of stuff, they should take those classes or pick it up during an internship.

        Then again, that applies to basic

        • Re:Approved lists (Score:5, Insightful)

          by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @04:57AM (#42345739)

          For people wanting to go into careers that require that kind of stuff, they should take those classes or pick it up during an internship.

          They have those already. It's called a PhD. Every other degree exists to give you a basic grounding of all principles involved. I like your ideal but the reality is that the modern form of a career means you change jobs and specialties every 5 minutes. If you asked me a year ago if I were doing functional safety I would have said "Fucntional what?" If you asked me 3 years ago if I was going to work in the oil and gas industry I would have said no I much prefer micro electronics. And if you asked me in university if I ever thought I'd use an integral in my job, I'd have said hell no.

          That's the problem. You don't know what you don't know, and how do you know that in 5 years from now you won't get a lucrative job offer working for some software company that develops simulation software suddenly making advanced maths a core skill of yours?

          If we really got to pick our subjects in a way that made them only relevant for the jobs we were planning to get we'd find ourselves entrapped in one job. Kind of like our grandparents where career meant working for the same company in the same role for 20 years.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:25AM (#42345189)
    These days it's kind of hard to wrap your head around just how little 21 Kilobytes of RAM is. You laptop or desktop has about 8 GB RAM, which is 400,000 times 21 KB. Put another way, 8GB RAM costs $40; at that rate, the RAM for 10 of these calculators would cost 1 cent.
    • take a trip to arduino land where you get 16k or 32k for program space (in bytes).

      turns out I was able to get about 10k lines of C (mixed c++) inside an arduino 328 32k flash chip.

      but when you run out, its a hard-stop and you KNOW it. oh boy, do you know it. virtual memory? what's that.

    • by chthon (580889)

      My ZX-Spectrum in 1984, with its 48 kB RAM was more powerful than this thing, and I had a resolution of 256x192 pixels.

      • by ratbag (65209)

        The following assumes you were making a serious point - a self-inflicted "whooosh!" if you weren't.

        Power, in this context, is relative. The power of the electronic calculator is obviously portability combined with immediacy. The resolution of which you speak so proudly came with a form factor that was inappropriate for putting in your pocket (unless you've got seriously baggy cargo pants on with room for a small CRT, a power supply, and a tape player or perhaps a microdrive).

        The Spectrum's handling of maths

        • by chthon (580889)

          I think both. After I read the rest of the thread, I also became aware that the thing can even be more likened to a ZX Spectrum because of the Z80, and then my nickel fell also on the resolution and the color range, 320x256x16 means a memory of 160 k bytes of RAM. With its 21 k of working memory, that means 4 times the memory of the Speccy.

          Yes, you are right.

  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdar g a u d . n et> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:27AM (#42345197) Homepage
    I mean, I build embedded systems and we have problems _finding_ components so archaic. Where do they find them, I wonder.
  • When you have a lock on the market what reason is to innovate?
    • That's not quite it: the market doesn't want them to innovate. The reason these simple calculators are so widely used in classes (despite their cost) is that they are simple calculators. On my school they didn't like the TI83. It could be programmed and they didn't like that. We were legally required to use it during our exams so they couldn't refuse it to us, but they would have if they could.
      The lower levels of education, which weren't required to use a TI83 (or equivalent) weren't allowed to use them.
      • by thaylin (555395)
        These are thing I can understand not being allowed to innovate, but a larger screen, touch controls, color, are all innovations they could have done years before now, without allowing for the items you mention.
        • Touch controls are overrated, and I'd rather read a greyscale LCD that's easy on the eyes and lasts all year on AAAs than a backlit colour screen that burns through the nonreplaceable rechargable battery in a matter of hours.
          • by thaylin (555395)
            Thanks you, I love my TI NSpire because of its touch controls, drop down menus and larger screen. I would rather have a color screen that lets me see the different curves more clearly.
  • by gnu-sucks (561404)
    "That is all about to change now" Really? "320x240 16-bit color display, 3.5MB of flash ROM, and 21KB of RAM" I think my Mac SE had better specs than that. I think a gameboy might. This is not impressive, and I'm sure it will still cost too much. $100-$150? Not likely. TI will sell a lot of these, I'm sure, but overall their success has nothing to do with the technical specifications of their device. It has to do with clever marketing. Note to students: Buy the minimum calculator that the teacher require
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:17AM (#42345411)

    Back in my day we didn't have this fancy TI-84 stuff. We had our RPN HP calculators and we liked them just fine.

    Oh, and get off my lawn ;-)

    • Back in my day we didn't have this fancy TI-84 stuff. We had our RPN HP calculators and we liked them just fine.

      Oh, and get off my lawn ;-)

      What you do you mean "back in my day"? RPN was and still is the best way to do handheld calculations.

      When I was in university, I explained RPN to some classmates one day and was met with the incredulity I was used to, so I proposed a race. Without the participants looking, one student was to write a hugely complex, multiply tested function on the blackboard and then we'd both turn around and start feeding it to our calculators (some fancy TI job for him, HP 49G+ for me). I had the answer before my oppone

      • by Radak (126696)

        ...multiply tested function...

        Er, damn. Multiply nested.

      • by ratbag (65209)

        Absolutely. I recently treated myself to a brand-new HP50g after a couple of years of using 48 series emulators on my Mac and iOS devices. Makes maths fun again and it's inspired me to re-learn a lot of the calculus that I've forgotten since Uni. Back in the day ('87 was when I stopped learning maths the first time) I had a Casio 7000G. Rambling now, but RPN FTW!

    • 'round my parts, an HP calculator was the High School graduation gift of choice for academically excellent kids.

      I got a HP 34C for being accepted at MIT and Princeton.

      Rich dumb kids got cars instead of calculators. Oh, well.

  • I guess you can get away with charging $150 for something worth about $35. Same as having to buy a college text book for $235 that's worth about $40. For $135 you can get a 3DS or a cheap android from a pre-paid carrier with a 800-1000mhz cpu and 8GB ram. 3.5MB flash rom ? A 4GB micro sd costs about 6$ now ?
  • One thing TFA touches on but doesn't answer is what battery life is like. Those old Z80 monochome beasts could easily last for a whole semester on a single set of batteries; in terms of hours of runtime that works out to dozens and dozens of hours (the similar Gameboy got 30+ hours, and that's with it working at full tilt every second it's turned on!).

    So what's the impact on battery life by using a color screen? A Z80 + RAM uses so little power these days that surely the bulk of the unit's power supply is g

    • Plus, I consider a greyscale reflective LCD to be much easier on the eyes over a long time than a backlit colour screen. A decent resolution one would be a nice (and long overdue) upgrade, though. Maybe something like the one on the Sony PEG-SL10 [wikipedia.org] from 10 years ago?
  • There is simply no justification for such low resolution screen. I know the argument about TI calculators being on approved list - but a higher screen resoltion won't make them "un-approved". Fuck, in this day an age such a low resolution screen is probably exactly as expensive as a 800x480.

    I can't shake off the impression that TI are just being dicks because they can.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I can't shake off the impression that TI are just being dicks because they can.

      It's called a public corporation. As long as the money keeps coming in at a pace they're happy with, they don't change behavior, no matter what that behavior might be. Sometimes it produces simply a shitty calculator, as in this case. Sometimes people die in great numbers, e.g. Union Carbide in Bhopal. Sometimes the repercussions last for decades, e.g. BP in the Gulf.

  • +10 for writing your own summary and not just copy-pasting from the article.
    -100 for using "Yeah well"
  • by Zero_DgZ (1047348) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:23AM (#42346339)

    I remember back when the TI-83 "boom" was happening in public schools around here and math textbooks were starting to show up with content in them tailored to TI-83 calculators. Suddenly, it was required that students have "a graphing calculator" for math courses, on pain of automatic failure. I'm not sure how this happened but I imagine it involved large sums of money changing hands: Somehow, every single published textbook was chock full of key-by-key instructions on how to solve problems that applied ONLY to TI-8x series calculators, and none other. Never were the concepts behind the button presses explained, it was just a matter of "press this button, then this button, then enter your value, then press this button..." So, while the schools were not able to admit that what you really needed was a TI-83 calculator and none other without exception, that's really what this new policy meant. In the early days, most primary school teachers didn't have much experience working with these "newfangled" calculators and were not able to offer assistance or background explanation about any of these button-pressing procedures, so the lucky ducklings with non-TI calculators (like me!) were basically shit outta luck. I had, and still have, a Casio CFX-8950GB Plus, which was at the time and still is superior to the TI-83 line in every possible way. It also has a color screen, but owing to the times it can only do four colors. Even still.

    However the heck this twisted situation came about, it meant that TI wound up with a near-monopoly on the graphing calculator market, considering the lion's share of that market is mandatory primary education, most of it in public schools (this is in the USA, mind you). So, they've been able to churn out basically the same calculator pretty much without change or improvement and charge the same price for it at retail. I'll bet you a nickel it's a shitton cheaper for TI to manufacture a TI-83 now, with it's tiny simple processor and chunky low-rez monochrome screen than it was back in the early '90's. I'll bet the damn thing prints money for them.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the market (and the world) innovates, improves, and moves on. This move to stick a 320x240 screen and a "whopping" 21k of RAM would be a bold and exciting one if it happened 15 years ago. Somehow, I picture today's students failing to get excited about a machine that's considerably less capable than a low-end current smartphone. Hell, I have a first- or second-generaton PocketPC PDA that's more powerful than that.

    I predict that this machine will cost just as much if not more than the old calculators, the old style calculators will stay on the market as a "budget" option for poor kids but their price will not drop much or at all (especially if the zooty color model costs considerably more than the current price point), and nobody who isn't forced to buy one as the particular calculator for a particular math course will care; From a functional standpoint, as opposed to your specific "press this button" classroom requirements, better tools are already available elsewhere and will continue to be.

  • In my years in secondary school and later on at university the usage of any TI calculator was strongly discouraged, the reason being that it could not even calculate the sine of pi properly. Instead of plain 0, it gave a (infinitessimally) minute number instead...

  • We did math the old fashioned way, with a "scientific" calculator, and did the graphs by hand using colored pencils. But I guess nothing of importance was created before the invention of the graphing calculator.

  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:45AM (#42346817) Journal
  • This is school, they have to do everything ass-backwards.

    It's just like closed book tests. They don't test if you can do the work they test how good you are at cramming.

  • I was dragged into a Best Buy for Xmas shopping, and I happened to see the TI calc section. Interestingly, they had several of the older model calcs that have been out of production for years available new in the box.

    I couldn't help but chuckle seeing the same $160 price tag on both a TI-89 Titanium and a Nspire CAS color. I love my TI-89Ti, but there's a big difference in the hardware it and the new shiny, yet no price difference...

    Monopoly indeed.

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