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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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  • by diamondmagic (877411) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @12:54AM (#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."

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

    by Pseudonym (62607) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:08AM (#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.

  • Approved lists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ableal (1502763) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:13AM (#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:Specs, still (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:20AM (#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.

  • by Gamer_2k4 (1030634) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:21AM (#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 @01:31AM (#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.

  • Re:Specs, still (Score:4, Insightful)

    by runeghost (2509522) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @01:44AM (#42345273)

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

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:17AM (#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 ;-)

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

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @03:57AM (#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.

  • Re:Specs, still (Score:4, Insightful)

    by saihung (19097) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:25AM (#42346347)

    Amen. My HP 48GX made the TI look like a toy.

  • Re:Specs, still (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:04AM (#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.

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