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Displays Education Upgrades Technology

Color-Screen TI-84 Plus Calculator Leaked 245

Posted by samzenpus
from the adding-old-school dept.
KermMartian writes "It has been nearly two decades since Texas Instruments released the TI-82 graphing calculator, and as the TI-83, TI-83+, and TI-84+ were created in the intervening years, these 6MHz machines have only become more absurdly retro, complete with 96x64-pixel monochome LCDs and a $120 price tag. However, a student member of a popular graphing calculator hacking site has leaked pictures and details about a new color-screen TI-84+ calculator, verified to be coming soon from Texas Instruments. With the lukewarm reception to TI's Nspire line, it seems to be an attempt to compete with Casio's popular color-screen Prizm calculator. Imagine the graphs (and games!) on this new 320x240 canvas."
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Color-Screen TI-84 Plus Calculator Leaked

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  • Really, Ti (Score:5, Insightful)

    by connor4312 (2608277) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:21PM (#41951113)
    Yet, for $100+, they still can't beat the resolution of gift-shop picture slideshow keychains. Obligatory XKCD reference. [xkcd.com]
  • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:30PM (#41951181) Homepage

    Wouldn't our smartphones be capable of everything of what a calculator can do?

    Yes, and more, like allowing a student to text an answer to another student during a test. Still, it is impressive that they think they can charge so much for a device whose only selling point is that it is too hobbled to cheat with.

  • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:32PM (#41951199) Homepage

    IMHO, graphing calculators are largely an artifact of the past, except in the case of school examinations. Students need a calculator that is "dumb enough" to not write the entire exam for them and not be able to wirelessly share answers between neighbouring students. When a student enters the world outside school, the graphing calculator will be largely useless. If you are an engineer and you need "smart features" when doing a particular problem, you will likely use a proper computer and a dedicated software package tailored to the task. The only reason you might need a small calculator is to do quick calculations.

    Myself, I'm a fan of the old HP 15C. No menus. Excellent key layout. Reverse polish notation. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Perfectly tailored to the task of doing quick calculations.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:36PM (#41951227)

    I think every OS and software platform in existence has a HP48 emulator. Currently I use one on my Android cellphone when I need to calculate something and I don't have the - increasingly rare - real thing with me, but as you say, without the excellent HP keyboard, it's nowhere near as fast to do anything with it.

  • What a joke! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:44PM (#41951271) Journal

    This is 2012. Not 1982 anymore.

    The only reason TI is popular is because they pay off textbook makers and contribute to elections for school board executives. $120 for something with 1/5000th of the computing power of a smart phone? A rip off.

    When I moved to Canada senior year at highschool they were all dumbfounded why I had such a strange device that costed so much. In this day and age wouldn't an Android shit tablet for the same price with a crippled version of Maple be better?

    Call me cynical but I did not understand why 32k of ram more is still a premium for these calculators when I went back to school in 2004. I felt like I was living in 20 years in the past. The profit margins have to be insane

  • Math Prof here... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:48PM (#41951297)

    TI-fail. We've been talking, they haven't been listening. We don't want this (and I'm fairly sure I speak for Faculty and Students alike)

    Don't get me wrong, color and higher resolution would be nice, but I'd much rather they sell the current device for what is more along the lines of what it costs to produce. Probably TI would still do quite well if they sold these beasts for $20....$120 is just ridiculous highway rapery prices.

    Look, we (the faculty) need our students to use these. Are they outdated? Yes....but even though the students would get much more use out of tablets (which cost about the same) the TI83/84 are designed to be hard to program (and easy to reset). That coupled with the fact that they are the most sophisticated computational device that doesn't have WIFI access, we can be confident they give the students a level playing field during an exam of what is pretty much still the accepted amount of technological reliance needed to assist (but not interfere) with instruction of concepts from College Algebra/Calculus/Trig, etc. This is why we continue to use them. However, at the college I teach at, most of these are purchased by students who use them for one semester and then they become a worthless brick to the student. There isn't anything you can do with them besides try to resell them to someone else, and the cost is comparable to the textbook price, ie, significant (and don't get me started about book prices)

    Its been a policy at my college that College Algebra (and above) courses require TI-83/84 calculators. However, as college continues to become more expensive many faculty are piloting alternatives. We're even getting to the point where we're considering letting the students use tablet/smartphone calculator apps (if they want) and just requiring they use a TI-83/84 at exams, which they would be able to check out or rent from the department during exams.

  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:23PM (#41951525) Journal
    for me RPN, LISP and FORTH are the same in that regard: instead of coding, you built the parse tree explicitly the way you wanted it to be, not the way the interpreter/compiler decide to interpret your code. You do not think about operator precedence and evaluation order, you explicitly formulate it the way you want it to be evaluated and event tough it seems like that explicitation should increase the cognitive load its most good programmers that I know found that it decrease it... Now, rightfully, you could ask why... and to that question I have no answer.
  • Re:just emulate it (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:34PM (#41951589)

    If you are graded based on your *answers*, instead of you *understanding the concept*, then your country is DOING EDUCATION WRONG!

    True understanding can't be texted. It can also not be put into a multiple-choice form. EVER.

    But hey, in a sane world, the kids would see understanding concepts and cheating the same way they see it in *games*. Where cheaters are laughed at and socially excluded in competitions, and cheating in single-player games is only there as a little helper to keep you motivated over frustrating parts. (Since keeping on going is key, to learn the frustrating parts later).
    And where kids have fun and show pride in managing to understand and solve problems!
    Imagine that!

    High scores, acquired without cheating... THOSE are the real grades that matter! THAT is how education should be. Then all those artifacts of our fucked-up system... like kids hating school, it being no fun, not motivating, it feeling pointless and useless, and kids only doing it because they have to... would go away in the blink of an eye!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:46PM (#41951655)

    Not everyone is a math savant jerkoff. Go fucking watch wopner.

  • by andywebs (701336) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:56PM (#41951705)
    I call shenanigans. You made this amazing software that solved all your problems on every math exam, but didn't back it up or sell it to other students?
  • by arth1 (260657) on Monday November 12, 2012 @02:10AM (#41954583) Homepage Journal

    I could easily explain why it requires fewer keystrokes, but why exactly it requires less cognitive effort is harder to describe.

    Not really. It's how you would do it without a calculator. If someone told you to do 23 x 27, you would likely write down (or memorize) the two numbers and then do the multiplication. And if someone told you to calculate (4+7)*(11+31), you would first take 4 and 7, add them, then take 11 and 31 and add them, and finally multiply the results.
    Just like in RPN. You get the same intermediate results too.

    In other words, if you know basic arithmetic well enough to do it on pen and paper, you should feel at home using RPN. If you don't, it won't do you any good, and will even prevent you from faking it.

    Also, most non-RPN calculator are still reverse in how they handle single-operand calculations. To get sin(90), you typically enter 90 SIN. The advantage is that when you need to use the result of one calculation, you don't have to store it. If you've already added 42 and 18 to get 60, and need to take cosine of that, it does not make sense to hit "STO 1 COS( RCL 1) =" instead of just "COS".
    So when calculator users are already used to it for single operands, why not use it for two, like RPN does?

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