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Color-Screen TI-84 Plus Calculator Leaked 245

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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  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:18PM (#41951091) Homepage

    Have HP done something lately?

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:23PM (#41951133)

      Indeed. I'm clinging on my HP-48s, and I dread the day they'll stop working, because absurdly old tech or not, there's just nothing better on the market right now.

    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@nosPAM.hackish.org> on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:25PM (#41951149)

      HP still offers RPN on a few of their calculators. In the graphing-calculator department, there's the HP 50g [amazon.com], which can switch between RPN and non-RPN modes.

      They have a list of the six RPN calculators they still sell here [hp.com] (bottom of the page).

    • by zubiaur ( 1207636 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:31PM (#41951187)

      Last time I checked the 50g was their top of the line calculator. Well built, powerful enough and with a good, clear, easy to read BW lcd. Software wise... it has not changed much. The 50g uses its "powerful" 200mhz processor to emulate the old 4-8mhz saturn one, the software in gneneral is just a minor evolution from the one found in an older 49g, it runs faster but thats about it. The one gripe I have with the 50g is its battery life, probably related to the fact that it its running everything emulated.

      Do I hope HP will do something about its aging calculator lineup? No.
      Am I happy with the current calculators? Yes.
      Will I be tempted to buy a Casio or a TI? Hell no, once you go RPN you never go back.

      • Really what HP needs to do is bring back the 42s and 32sii and ditch the 35s (or at least redo it from the beginning and not screw up this time, thus making the 35sii). For the successor of the 50g, I want to see the ENTER key put back where it belongs and ditch the emulation. Sheesh, there are people out there doing the engineering for this stuff for free.
        • I want to see the ENTER key put back where it belongs and ditch the emulation.

          This! A thousand times, this!

      • I can't find info on the screen resolution, but it seems HP has done nothing to improve it. Since you have it, how does the screen look like?

        • Its a bit taller (131×80 vs 131×64), contrast is improved and glare reduced. The screen is noticeably better than the one in the 49g.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      on android I use hc-16c and free42. Wolfram alpha if you allow "cloudy" solutions.

      There are a couple hp48 emu but the buttons are too small on anything other than a tablet.

      If anyone can find better math software for an android device, post here?

      Odd how you can get decent software on cruddy hardware, or cruddy software on decent hardware. I'd like something as powerful as a HP48 but not emulated... native. I know octave is available on android but the keyboard situation is icky.

    • hp15c was brought back and then totally sold out.

      you can find the new ones, still, on ebay (still new).

      new cpu, new buttons and plastic but the same basic idea and even though it was $100, I did buy one. and one for a backup.

      I hate touch screens and I loved my old style hp calc. when the 15c came back, I grabbed some to use and keep.

      have not found a need for graphing. once I need more than the 15c, for example, I'll lift my lazy ass up and go find a computer to use (ob disc: I'm not in school and never a

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        I bought the new 15C-LE too, but it's seriously buggy to the point of being unusable for any old programs that depend on the PSE function.
        It could be fixed with a flash upgrade, but this is New HP, not the old one where the top guys had pride in what they did and didn't look for pennies to save, so it won't happen.

        It doesn't support synthetic programming like the original either. And eats batteries if you hold down keys.
        Yes, it's faster, but I'd trade it for a real 15C in a heartbeat.

        My favourite calculato

    • "We're working with Nokia on a 35s [hp.com] with a graphing function that has an inverted-color screen. We're calling it the Lumia X-Ray." -Meg Whitman
    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      I use an HP 48 emulator on my smart phone every day. Sure I miss the button feel, but with vibrate tactile feedback works okay. Maybe HP should just make an android device with nice calculator buttons. Then just make good math apps, along the lines of math cad.

      If course admitting that a graphing calculator is just a general purpose computer these days would probably get them banned by schools and test proctors.

    • by gatzke ( 2977 )

      They did a re-release of the totally awesome HP 15C.

      I have two on my desk, the original version.

      This is the perfect RPN calculation tool.

      http://www.amazon.com/HP-NW250AA-15C-Scientific-Calculator/dp/B005EIG3MW [amazon.com]

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      I have a HP 17b11+ financial calculator. It can be configured to do RPN and works as a scientific calculator as well.
      It's alsp got a clock

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:19PM (#41951093) Homepage

    Will this be a "certified dumb enough for school use during tests" device?

    • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:32PM (#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 AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Excellent key layout.

        A scroll wheel or maybe even a little pad would be nice, for easier editing of equations. Live update of graphs/results as you edit the equation, with a USB interface to dump results to a PC would be handy as well.

        Adding a colour screen is pointless, it is the interface that needs an upgrade.

      • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @04:27PM (#41951541) Homepage

        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.

        Students need teachers/profs who are "dumb enough" not to realize that graphing calculators have enough memory to store an entire crib sheet of formulas that the students were supposed to memorize.

        (Not that I'm speaking from experience here, of course.)

      • Nothing still does units quite as easily as my TI-89. I take it everywhere and anytime we're with a supplier/customer that insists on non-metric (or even worse a mix of metric/non-metric) I just let the '89 sort it out.

        I use it all the time to verify that I'm doing unit cancellation correction.

    • Dumb enough for primary/secondary school - maybe.
      Dumb enough for college (or professional certification/licensure) - no way.
      In courses from calculus to physics and beyond, scientific calculators without graphical bells and whistles are adequate for use with problems designed to demonstrate understanding of a subject.
      If you really need data visualization use Matlb or Excel.
      If you need to test for Matlab or Excel proficiency, let the students hand-write code on the exam.
      It's just too easy to cheat with techno

      • It's just too easy to cheat with technology to use much of it during testing.

        And yet nobody seems to see the obvious truth that the problem is with the test, and not the technology.

  • Really, Ti (Score:5, Insightful)

    by connor4312 ( 2608277 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:21PM (#41951113)
    Yet, for $100+, they still can't beat the resolution of gift-shop picture slideshow keychains. Obligatory XKCD reference. [xkcd.com]
    • by makomk ( 752139 )

      I suspect part of the reason they're upgrading is because you can't get screens as shit as their old one for a reasonable price anymore. Seriously. The last time I looked, 320x240 colour screens actually appeared to be cheaper.

      • Z80s at 15MHz must be getting harder to get, too. They're already using 150KB of RAM and limiting it to 24k, too. At some point, you might as well upgrade it.

        • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

          Z80s at 15MHz must be getting harder to get, too. They're already using 150KB of RAM and limiting it to 24k, too. At some point, you might as well upgrade it.

          You can still get brand-new 65C02s (now at 14 MHz); a quick shows Mouser has them in stock [mouser.com]. I'd think the Z80 would be similarly available, especially given all of the embedded systems that have used it over the past few decades.

    • Yeah but it sure us nice being able to use it for a whole semester without having to change the batteries. Not to mention that I don't ever recall having to reboot my TI-86 in the middle of an exam. People complain about some of the outdated specs, but these things were reliable and got the job done. I love my android phone but wouldn't trust it to last a 3 hour exam followed by another 3 hour exam.
    • Yeah, frankly I'm surprised people are still using these. It seems like they should be able to make an iPhone/Android app that could do much better. For $100, I'd think they could make something comparable to a cheap Android phone in terms of computing power and capabilities. If they're worried about power consumption, maybe they could switch to a high-quality e-paper display. If they're worried about security, they could make a device that lacked network connectivity.

    • Especially since TI themselves make a wide variety of advanced processor cores with built in touch screen display controllers. I'm guessing its more to do with schools requiring them and thus guaranteeing a market so why spend on R&D?
  • High school (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:21PM (#41951117)

    I seem to recall the major feature of any electronic calculator was the ability to write 80085 and make your classmates giggle.

  • by kenorland ( 2691677 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:31PM (#41951189)

    Except for nostalgia for the hardware itself, I don't see why anybody would buy these. You can get excellent emulators for pretty much any of these calculators on both Android and iPhone. And their interfaces actually work well on phones too. Even the phone hardware is often cheaper than these calculators.

    • I suspect the only people who really use scientific calculators nowadays are students in exams. I don't know what the rules are like elsewhere, but when I did GCSEs and A-Levels, many years ago, exam boards had lists of allowed calculators and mobile phones were banned from exam rooms.

    • Except for nostalgia for the hardware itself, I don't see why anybody would buy these.

      Test taking - calculators do not have WiFi or Cellular radios.

      Keypad - Physical keypads are superior to touch screens.

    • Physical buttons. Not just physical buttons but physical buttons but physical buttons mapped to all the functions one would regularly use on a calculator.

      Every time I try to use an emulator or 'soft' "scientific calculator" I find data entry is much slower.

  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:38PM (#41951237)

    after 30 years! Used, overused and abused. Thrown in the wall, broken, reassembled. Loved.

    Unfortunately my even older Texas Instruments was stolen some thirty years ago.

    Before those, at school we used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TI-59_/_TI-58 [wikipedia.org]

    And before that I got my Citizen. Don't recall what model though.

    Those were the days.

    BTW, is there no web page with images of all these old models? For nostalgia.

  • XKCD (Score:4, Funny)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:38PM (#41951245) Homepage Journal

    Relevant XKCD [xkcd.com]

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

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:44PM (#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

    • TI is also popular because they seem to be the only company actually making higher end calculators. While in school is a major place you want those, there are uses out in the real world too.

      I have a TI nSpire CX that I got because I kept finding myself needing a calculator aside from my computer, and I wanted something that could do more advanced math, should I need or want it, rather than just a basic one. So it sits on my desk for when it is needed.

      I've found nothing that is near as good overall. While th

  • Either bring out a calculator that is essentially a programmable scientific computer with a PROPER programming language, (not some hobbled joke that would have embarrassed an 8 bit home computer) and a PROPER display , or just call it a day , accept smartphones can do everything a graphic calc can do except better and just stick to producing cheap school calculators that can do logs, trig and notalot else. TI sort of tried with the TI-92 about 10 years ago but the display was a joke and it was dog slow. Oh

    • Older (meaning non-Nspire) can be programmed in C and assembly, the others can be jailbroken to allow it. Hardly counts as a hobbled joke, especially considering they usually are essentially 8-bit computers (TI-83/84 have Z80 processors, TI-92/Voyage 200 have Motorola 68ks).
      Displays could use improvements, but there's not too much to gain from moving beyond what the Nspire CXs have.

      I have to disagree about the TI-92 being slow. It is compared to something modern (An Nspire makes it feel like it was the slow

  • Well, I say using: it sees very little real use any more, sadly. I still carry it in my backpack though.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11, 2012 @03:48PM (#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.

    • For $120 a pop you can get a cheap tablet today and they are only going to get cheaper. I predict $25 and $50 cheap versions to be as cheap as they will get. On this hardware you will be able to run android, windows 8, or anything else designed for a touch interface.

      Software the equivalent of mathlab or autocad.

      For tests you can give out tablets that will have permitted apps already installed and the device hardened to being modified. Same approved apps students use on their own personal devices. Simple to

    • Not so long ago I went thru algebra at a pretty advanced level, and we never needed a calculator. Solution to equation we could draw ourselves. So why do you even need a calculator in algebra ? That is the worst palce to have it make for lazy student. You need a calculator in classes like physic, or chemistry, but algebra you shoudl not have to.
      • You can't do calculations using Avogadro's number in your head? Wow you definitely don't belong in chemistry. ;-)
  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Sunday November 11, 2012 @04:01PM (#41951367) Homepage
    a student member of a popular graphing calculator hacking site

    yeah, that my kind of crowd!
  • I would like a calculator to be just a calculator and nothing else.

    One of the things that I like about my TI83+ is that when I power it on, it's there, ready to use instantly.
    I also have the TI-nspire with the 84+ keypad plugin, and it's a joke. If I don't use it for a few days, the system has to RE-LOAD and it's like booting windows on a calculator, very annoying. And the touch-pad is a joke too. You have to fiddle with it for minutes in order to have the arrow appear.

    TI - find back to your roots, let a ca

  • by Gripp ( 1969738 )
    Going forward when I see a youtube comment asking if the video was recorded by a calculator I'll know it's a serious question.
  • sigh. we've been having no end of trouble with the graphics fluid coming out if the plug is not properly sealed.

    and now the 84 is leaking? damn. the last ECO must not have held.

    I never liked the color idea, anyway. I see a red font and I want to paint it black.

  • OK I officially dont get it.
    What is the attraction of a graphing calculator these days?
    I mean couldnt you just get a smartphone app that does the same thing but better? Doesn't the average smartphone have a much more powerful cpu and much better graphics?

    • No seriously, I'd be interested. I'm not a student, so I have no restrictions on what calculator I can use for whatever I like. I have an nSpire because I find nothing else comes close.

      Can you find me an Android (since that's what my phone runs) calculator app that is easy to use, can do exact and approximate solving, has a CAS setup (meaning can solve algebraic and linear equations), and has at least reasonable graphing? Because I haven't been able to.

      And please don't go and point to the Matlab app. Everyo

  • I have really loved the nspire CX CAS for my engineering classes. It looks like this new ti-84 is just going to use the same screen which the nspire CX uses which is just a cellphone screen.

    It can solve simultaneous non-linear system of equations along with ODEs, integrals, differentials etc. The most I have given it so far is a set of about 40 equations and it still handles it just fine.

    Our professors have started giving us more realistic problems and they are expecting more realistic solutions and things

  • from my cold dead hands. Almost 40 years old, and it still works great.

  • Since i posted this article, we discovered many things: - The TI-84+CSE will have a z80 processor, same as the TI-82, TI-83, and TI-83+/84+ - It will have an Nspire-esque rechargeable battery - It will have a TI-84+/SE-compatible OS, so the same math books and lessons will work with it.
  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Sunday November 11, 2012 @09:06PM (#41953111)

    ...I took my Comp Sci students on a tour of TI's DMOS6 fab in Richardson, TX last year. (Rather fascinating, BTW, largest completely automated fab in the world at the time, since replaced by a bigger TI fab!). At any rate, our tour guide (an engineering type) told us TI got out of the calculator business years ago. The only thing a TI calculator shares with TI the company is the name stamped on the case and a couple TI chips inside. They are designed and built by non-TI companies.

  • I think the best comparison for these calculators is this: http://xkcd.com/768/ [xkcd.com]

    Or one could instead grab any android phone, install an app with a Python interpreter and have something to match the matlabs and mathematicas of the desktop (for only the cost of the hardware, not having to fork thousands of $$ in software license).

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson