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Why are graphing calculators still expensive?

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Posts

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    cram wrote: »
    Heh, I remember programming on my calculator in high school. I made a version of snake, but it ran really slowly. I didn't have a computer cable, so I had to type everything into the macro editor.

    But really, has the software really evolved any in the past 5-10 years? I remember having one of the big brick calculators for an advanced math course, and that a smaller version (TI 89?) came out. I can imagine that programming a symbolic equation solver on those tiny chips must be hard, but software development costs would surely be small over the lifetime of those things.

    The interface on my TI-Nspire resembles the PIM thing that came with Tandy 1000s. The only difference is that it has a thumb-controlled mouse thingy.

  • GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User
    edited May 2009
    TI-82, $5.00, Yard sale.

    Didn't use it once in my entire college career.

    "DURRRRP, THIS IS REQUIRED CALCULATOR, GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW. Oh, but we aren't going to require you to use it, we just want you to buy it from our bookstore. Thanks."

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2009
    dasnoob wrote: »
    One of the teachers here required students to purchase a TI-86 for a college algebra course. A complete waste of money. I always enjoyed taking my dad's HP-48GX to class since it freaked everyone including the teacher out.

    HINT: the HP-48 series of calculators use Reverse Polish Notation the operators follow the operands. So instead of 2 + 2 you would type 2 2 +. Teachers in general are NOT used to seeing this and it freaks them out.
    Holy shit man, my Dad gave me this calculator months ago and I have not been able to figure it out. You are a hero, now I can use my calculator. Thanks a lot!

    533570-1.png
  • HalibutHalibut Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Technically, the price of these calculators has been steadily going down due to inflation.

    Also, I basically taught myself how to program by using the macro-editor of my TI83. So for me, my $90 calculator led me down a rewarding career path. YMMV.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Halibut wrote: »
    Technically, the price of these calculators has been steadily going down due to inflation.

    Also, I basically taught myself how to program by using the macro-editor of my TI83. So for me, my $90 calculator led me down a rewarding career path. YMMV.

    Except that graphing calculators seem to be one of the few markets where electronics are only going down at the rate of inflation. Especially in the digital/computing world. I remember spending like $1200 for a mid- to low-end computer and monitor in 1992 or so. Nowadays a mid- to low-end computer and monitor will run you more like $600-$800. Or less. And be about seventeen thousand times as powerful.

    The idea that what is essentially a small computer only dropping in price at the rate of inflation is absurd.

    EDIT: Alternately compare a $500 computer from 2004 to a $500 computer now. Then do the same for a $150 graphing calculator. See the difference?

  • logic7logic7 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    see... stuff like this is why I was the kid that excelled in math classes later in life.

    I graduated HS in 1990, up to that point, we were taught to do EVERYTHING even related to math without a calculator of any type. They were strictly forbidden in all math classes and in HS Physics.

    I get to college, freshman year I have a Calc class and, as the ONLY student with no calculator in sight, I walk away from it with a solid B... One of the highest for my particular group of students. To this day I still don't own a calculator and when my kids ask me for help with their math classes, I arrive at the answer in my head before showing them how it's done.

    Writing out answers may take forever, but it can't be beat for understanding the mechanics of how it all works.

  • KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    logic7 wrote: »
    see... stuff like this is why I was the kid that excelled in math classes later in life.

    I graduated HS in 1990, up to that point, we were taught to do EVERYTHING even related to math without a calculator of any type. They were strictly forbidden in all math classes and in HS Physics.

    I get to college, freshman year I have a Calc class and, as the ONLY student with no calculator in sight, I walk away from it with a solid B... One of the highest for my particular group of students. To this day I still don't own a calculator and when my kids ask me for help with their math classes, I arrive at the answer in my head before showing them how it's done.

    Writing out answers may take forever, but it can't be beat for understanding the mechanics of how it all works.

    This is how things should be. I became way too dependent on the calculators we were told to use throughout my young schooling, and totally regret it, cause now I have a very hard time working things out in my head. I'm currently trying to practice mental math, many years after I should have become proficient at it.

    Steam: Zephyrall || XBL: Zephyrall || PS3: Zephyrall_KN || Battle.Net: Zephyrall#398
  • citizen059citizen059 on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeamRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yeah, I was one of those kids who did everything in his head back in the day. Been so long I'm not sure I could do it now, mind you, but back then my beloved TI-82 served as a secret gaming machine.

    I had a couple of really nice games that I downloaded, printed out, and then manually programmed into the thing. Those were the days.

    Everyone should own a gaming calculator at some point in their lives.

  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    citizen059 wrote: »
    Yeah, I was one of those kids who did everything in his head back in the day. Been so long I'm not sure I could do it now, mind you, but back then my beloved TI-82 served as a secret gaming machine.

    I had a couple of really nice games that I downloaded, printed out, and then manually programmed into the thing. Those were the days.

    Everyone should own a gaming calculator at some point in their lives.

    f yeah drug wars

    sig.jpgsmugriders.gif
  • psychotixpsychotix __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2009
    Boutros wrote: »
    This thread has made me want to get an HP 48GX to replace mine that got stolen years ago. I doubt I truly *need* it, but that thing was so awesome. I was so good at columns, my high score was way better than anyone else with an HP in high school. And Babal was pretty much the best game ever. Also I sometimes used it to do math, when I wasn't playing songs my friend programed using the variable frequency beep function.

    I've still got my 48gx, still confuses the hell out of people.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There's no way in hell I'm graphing anything more complex than a simple quadratic equation by hand. It's still good to know how though. :)

  • logic7logic7 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I used to plot frequency response curves for subwoofer enclosures by hand. Wasn't all that hard to do, just very time consuming.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The time is the issue. :D

    I guess the upside of doing it by hand is that you have an easily-accessible record if you need to backtrack.

  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Phoenix was probably my favorite shooting game until I discovered bullet hells and whatnot.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    logic7 wrote: »
    see... stuff like this is why I was the kid that excelled in math classes later in life.

    I graduated HS in 1990, up to that point, we were taught to do EVERYTHING even related to math without a calculator of any type. They were strictly forbidden in all math classes and in HS Physics.

    I get to college, freshman year I have a Calc class and, as the ONLY student with no calculator in sight, I walk away from it with a solid B... One of the highest for my particular group of students. To this day I still don't own a calculator and when my kids ask me for help with their math classes, I arrive at the answer in my head before showing them how it's done.

    Writing out answers may take forever, but it can't be beat for understanding the mechanics of how it all works.

    Well then to be perfectly frank you aren't teaching them the right stuff.

    Calculators aren't supposed to be used to do the problem, they are there to speed it up.

    Back in high school I did a test that was set in 1970 it took me 15 minutes because I did not need to fuck around with long division and logarithmic tables. A good course built around a graphics calculator should be more involved with the concepts as punching out numbers now means nothing.

  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yea, once you get into calculus, having a calculator doesn't really make things easier, just less tedious*. Especially for Linear Algebra.

    *in my high school calculus class, you could use any calculator you wanted, but you had to show every step of of your work. So a graphing calculator can check your answer, but if you didn't set up the problem properly, you could get the right answer and still recieve no credit for the question.

    Steam & GT
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  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Halibut wrote: »
    Technically, the price of these calculators has been steadily going down due to inflation.

    Also, I basically taught myself how to program by using the macro-editor of my TI83. So for me, my $90 calculator led me down a rewarding career path. YMMV.

    Same here. Also, at the time I bought it, it didn't seem that overpriced. I mean, we had just gotten color gameboys. Just having a calculator I could type whole formulas in and store more than one number in memory was an absolute godsend. Nowadays, though, you'd think they'd at least bump up the screen resolution/contrast, and add some memory. All that stuff would have substantially improved the experience of working with my TI-83+, and I just used it for high school math classes.

  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    How it's worked in college for me is...
    I don't get to use calculators for most of my math classes (and I'm an applied math major, so I have taken lots of math)
    But I do use calculators in things like, say, microeconomics or financial economics and maybe a few science classes where math isn't so much the focus and you're only using the calculators on tests to aid with number computations

    | Steam & XBL: Shazkar | 3DS: 3110-5421-3843 |
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