March 23rd, 2005

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01:42 pm - because posting about world of warcraft wasn't dorky enough
Holy CRAP when did scientific calculators get so freaking awesome?!

I know I'm dating myself here (hold the masturbation jokes, please) but until this past week, I hadn't used a scientific calculator since the late 80's.  And back then, any function (x2, cos x, sin x, etc etc etc) would get instantly applied to whatever number was showing in the calculator display the second you pushed the button - so 3/4 the work of any given moderately complex problem was breaking it into steps with no more than a single function operation at a time, storing the result of that in memory, setting up your next step, recalling the memory at the appropriate point in that operation, storing THAT one... lather, rinse, repeat.

So when I first started using my new ($16!) TI-30x IIS, it confused me a little at first - 'cause I'd find the number I wanted to take SIN of, then hit SIN.  And, y'know, instead of taking the SIN of whatever the result of my last operation was... it would just stick SIN( in the window AFTER that number.  And then I realized... OMFGOMFGOMFGHOLYCRAP.  If I want to find the hypoteneuse of a right triangle with 2cm and 6cm legs, I can just enter in SQR(22+62) and hit = and IT WORKS.  NO INTERMEDIARY STEPS.

I know most of you either take this completely for granted or never use a scientific calculator for anything to begin with and therefore don't know/care what the fuss is about... but holy GOD this is great.  If this calculator had the appropriate orifice(s), I would seriously consider living in sin with it.

(As things stand, I'll probably just stick to math homework.  Which I should go do now.)

Current Mood: dorktastic
Current Music: Bloodhound Gang - No Rest For The Wicked

(11 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: herbaliser
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 11:10 am
we were forced to use the TI-85 my junior year of high school. Now those are bad fucking ass.

From: zornog
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 11:22 am

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 11:31 am
That sucker has considerably more volatile RAM than the computers I was programming back in the day... and VASTLY more if you count the flash ROM. Actually, the flash ROM is about 5 times more storage than the internal floppy drives (and the vast majority of computers, mine included (and mine was fucking leet) had no hard drives then) in those computers.

There aren't any CPU specs available on the bid specs page, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out it's got a faster processor(s), too.

From: mostlyfakinit
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 07:59 pm

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 08:01 pm
When I was a kid we just put "58008" in and turned the calculator upside down, and said "look! it says BOOBS!"

... we're talking like 4th grade here, not high school.

7734 looked like "hell", too.

[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 25th, 2005 - 04:52 pm
I didn't discover that until 6th grade, when we were given some of the schools $80 four function calculators to play with.

One of the activities was to do a string of problems and then turn the calculator over and record on the last line what it said. IF you got it right, it would say something (I cant remember what) and if you got it wrong it was gibberish.

About that time we all started making whatever words we could. I think it was the birth of 13375p34|<.

I think eod owns the domain :-)

[User Picture] From: clme
Date: March 25th, 2005 - 04:56 pm
Oh yeah... the 4 function calculators were 80 bucks because the school bought them direct from TI like ten years earlier and still treated them like they would cost 80 bucks to replace.

My first graphics calculator was the TI-85... Bought it for 90 bucks for college. I still have it, but the batteries all died so I lost my programs. I never used it for anything but basic four function shit outside of class anyway. They kept trying to tell us that we had to buy them in high school, but at $150 bucks a peice then most parents called up the teacher and told them where to shove it. The teacher spent one entire class talking about how we should tell our parents that we'll need these things in college and how they were being unreasonable. He was right about us needing them, but boy did the prices drop by that time.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 11:25 am
this right here is truly insane. but I sort of have a constitutional objection to spending vast amounts of money on a calculator - I hated the graphing calculators that the rich kids had when I was in high school (they were incredibly clumsy and generally disallowed for absolutely any academic purpose whatsoever anyway) and I still have a kind of aesthetic appreciation for "lean" tools... the kids I knew that had graphing calculators generally had them either because 1. their parents were just so freaking rich that junior had to have every possible tewl4skewl and/or 2. to cheat on problems and never learn how to actually solve them.

I may or may not eventually need a $120 calculator... and admittedly, given how vastly the interface of a standard scientific has improved, the graphing ones may not even be all that clumsy anymore... but for right now, I'm really REALLY happy about being able to spend such a trivial amount of money on such an incredibly useful tool. (See this page, which I found on my brief search for an image of my calculator, for a comparable mindset to mine on the topic of low-cost tools.)

From: cpf
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 01:40 pm
PDAs with calculator programs > Scientific calculators

You can pick up a decent Palm Pilot on eBay for a lot less than $120.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 01:45 pm
I hate PDAs. (The digital kind. The affectionate kind, I like.)

From: cpf
Date: March 24th, 2005 - 06:48 am

[User Picture] From: keithmcnally
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 11:43 am
"Holy CRAP when did scientific calculators get so freaking awesome?!"

Now I'm not gonna say that that's the best thing you've ever said, because you've said a whole lot of awesome stuff in your time. But that's definitely the funniest. Shit.

[User Picture] From: jacksonave
Date: March 23rd, 2005 - 03:55 pm
The ( ) buttons are my friends. And I'm only in business cal II.

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