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What type of calculator do you use?
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Jul 27, 2008, 04:25 PM
 
I needed a calculator today, and pulled out my old TI-86. It's been a long time since I've used this. Anyone use anything interesting (other than the build-in calculator in OS X).



What do you like about your calculator? What do you hate about it?
     
Laminar
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Jul 27, 2008, 04:50 PM
 
Definitely the TI-89. Couldn't live with anything less. The ability to scroll through previous equations is invaluable. I tried using an 83 for a while but couldn't stand it.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 04:54 PM
 
iPhone 3G.
     
lavar78
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Jul 27, 2008, 05:01 PM
 
Why did you need a calculator?

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sek929
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Jul 27, 2008, 05:07 PM
 
Ti-83, but mostly my cellphone calc.
     
phantomdragonz
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Jul 27, 2008, 05:11 PM
 
ti-83 all the way!

although I have not taken a class above trig (yet...) so we will see...

I have tetris and solitare and many more games on mine too!

-Zach
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by phantomdragonz View Post
ti-83 all the way!

although I have not taken a class above trig (yet...) so we will see...

I have tetris and solitare and many more games on mine too!

-Zach
wait, how old are you? sh*t, hold on, how old were you when you registered?
     
phantomdragonz
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Jul 27, 2008, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by d4nth3m4n View Post
wait, how old are you? sh*t, hold on, how old were you when you registered?
I was 15 when I registered, and I am unfortunately taking college at a slow pace, I am 22 now and dont have much to show for it... this spring I will be diving head first into college and doing calc 1 and 2... among the rest of the degree requirements...

I started using a Ti-83 in middle school...

I have also worked for the same company since I registered, which is why I am so behind in college, getting into middle management is nice for the OK pay, but yah... life is knocking at my door and I am not ready... so I will bascially have to quit my job live at home and go to school... which I am excited for!

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Jul 27, 2008, 05:52 PM
 
This thread needs some HP....

     
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Jul 27, 2008, 06:04 PM
 
HP 15C. Or the slightly mentally challenged calculator app in my RAZR. But I prefer RPN, and that 15C has been chugging along fine for a long, long time.

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Jul 27, 2008, 06:30 PM
 


22 / 7 = 3 remainder 1

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 09:22 PM
 
Tandy PC-6. $125 in 1987 dollars.

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Jul 27, 2008, 09:57 PM
 
I use my fingers.



It gets a bit difficult when I get into the bazillions.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 10:39 PM
 
How come graphing calculators haven't come down in price like other electronics? I remember the TI-83 was priced at $99 back when I was in college (1996). A quick google search shows that it still sells at $89 or more. WTF?

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CharlesS
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Jul 27, 2008, 10:56 PM
 
$99 in 1996 would be $133.50 now. So if they cost $89 now, they have come down in price, by $44.50. That's a full third of the original price.

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Jul 27, 2008, 11:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
$99 in 1996 would be $133.50 now. So if they cost $89 now, they have come down in price, by $44.50. That's a full third of the original price.
Come down 1/3 the price in *12 years*? They are definitely making bank on those thing... I think they are about the same size as in 1996 too.

I use the stanard Windows calculator. Never needed anything more in real life. Match classes yeah, in real life, no.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 11:34 PM
 
This page from "the institute of official cheer" has some very reasonably priced, modern, advance function calculators that look very sleek and modern.

Don't like the American models? Then check out the soviet equals.

http://www.lileks.com/institute/sears1973/18.html
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Jul 27, 2008, 11:54 PM
 
Pretty much anything in front of me. I don't mind the iPhone calculator, but other cellphone calculators are horrible.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:02 AM
 
I use spotlight for simple math, google for conversions, and my iPhone when I'm out and about.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:03 AM
 
I use excel.
     
Dork.
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Stogieman View Post
How come graphing calculators haven't come down in price like other electronics? I remember the TI-83 was priced at $99 back when I was in college (1996). A quick google search shows that it still sells at $89 or more. WTF?
I can think of two reasons:

- The handheld calculator market is closely tied to the education market, which tends to be overpriced (but at least your calculator is not as overpriced as your textbooks.)

- The number of calculators sold in the past few years has probably declined as computers are used for more and more things (even in schools). Volume makes a big difference in pricing for objects like these: the materials used to build an arbitrary widget can cost $50 per widget when you make 1000, but less than $20 per widget when you make 100,000 or 1 million of them.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:26 AM
 
I wonder if TI would even be in business if those damn calculators weren't a requirement for school.
     
SirCastor
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:56 AM
 
Ironically, they're a requirement for school, but also may not be used in tests.

Yeah, My school doesn't allow you to bring anything greater than a TI-86 to class because the 89s and above (or something like that) are programmable and apparently the kids are smart enough now to write programs to do the math for them (or at the very least display the formula).

Economically there are few reasons a price will drop:
1) Competition forces the price to go down
2) Regulation forces the price to go down

The Barriers to entry for the graphing calculator market are probably high, so the competition remains in a bit of a stalemate. There's not enough to be gained by dropping the price, and there's a lot of brand loyalty/ familiarity with TI. There's no reason for the government to regulate calculator sales. So the price remains high.

My 2 cents.
Edit: Oh yes, I own a TI-86

Oh, and Reverse Polish notation is teh Suck.
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:57 AM
 
I have a solar powered Casio from the 90's that works for me. I also have an old LED Sperry/Rand calculator from 1979 that still works. Also a TI-86, 88, an HP something, and others...

My fingers and toes seem to be the most accurate though.
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Jul 28, 2008, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor View Post
Oh, and Reverse Polish notation is teh w1nn4r!
Fixed that for ya.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 11:54 AM
 
RPN both rocks and makes arithmetic easier. You tell the calculator the two values you want to work on, then tell it what to do. It's easy to program, easy to maintain, and easy to check your work with. It's also how cash registers work, by the way. I have not yet found a decent RPN calculator widget, or I'd have banished that silly orange calculator-like-thing from my Dashboard a long time ago. Right now I'm trying (the oddly named) "RPN Calculator Widget" and it shows promise...

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Jul 28, 2008, 11:56 AM
 


TI-83s are for pansies.
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sek929
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:28 PM
 
...or people who were required to buy them for stupid H.S. classes.

Plus, unless you're a math teacher, why the hell would you need any more functions than a Ti-83 has?
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
...or people who were required to buy them for stupid H.S. classes.

Plus, unless you're a math teacher, why the hell would you need any more functions than a Ti-83 has?
Integral and derivative solving, pretty print?
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sek929
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:33 PM
 
I can't think of a single reason I would need to do such calculations.
     
goMac
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I can't think of a single reason I would need to do such calculations.
A calculus class?

Computer programming?
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sek929
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:49 PM
 
Never took calculus, wasn't needed for an art major.

Not a computer programmer, I build houses which uses simple math and geometry.
     
goMac
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Never took calculus, wasn't needed for an art major.

Not a computer programmer, I build houses which uses simple math and geometry.
Calculus becomes more important in programming when you are doing graphics. Because most of Calculus is based on calculations involving time or rates, you probably wouldn't need it for architecture, unless you were designing moving houses.
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sek929
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:54 PM
 
Moving houses eh? Giant metal legs, laser beams, missile pods....

I can see it now...

new on FOX! House Wars!
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
missile pods....
nerd.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor View Post
Yeah, My school doesn't allow you to bring anything greater than a TI-86 to class because the 89s and above (or something like that) are programmable and apparently the kids are smart enough now to write programs to do the math for them (or at the very least display the formula).
All the TI graphing calculators are programmable, even the ancient ones like the TI-82, so I doubt that's the reason. Probably it's some of the built-in functions that the TI-89 has that they don't want you to use.

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Jul 28, 2008, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Definitely the TI-89. Couldn't live with anything less. The ability to scroll through previous equations is invaluable. I tried using an 83 for a while but couldn't stand it.
Ditto.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
HP 15C. Or the slightly mentally challenged calculator app in my RAZR. But I prefer RPN, and that 15C has been chugging along fine for a long, long time.
Used to use the 12c RPN, then the 17b and b2. Nowadays I stick to the 48GX for horsepower, or I use the Texas Instruments' BAIIPlus for financial stuff. The 83 has financial functions and lists, so I would use that as long as I could if I had one.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
And I have a collection:
Casio-CM100 does hex, octal, decimal, binary, and logic
Casio-fx-115D for scientific
MacWarehouse that looks like a 3 inch floppy
All are solar powered.
These days I use a spreadsheet for most calculations or my old Pickett Model 4-T Dual Base Log-Log Vector Hyperbolic Slide Rule
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
TI 84 Plus Silver Edition!!!!!!

Though, you might as well just use a TI-83, because they basically have the same features.
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
All the TI graphing calculators are programmable, even the ancient ones like the TI-82, so I doubt that's the reason. Probably it's some of the built-in functions that the TI-89 has that they don't want you to use.
It's the Calculus functions. In every Calculus related class I've had the 89 is either banned (because it's too powerful) or required (because they design the curriculum to be hard enough you'll need an 89 to help you.)
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Jul 28, 2008, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac View Post
It's the Calculus functions. In every Calculus related class I've had the 89 is either banned (because it's too powerful) or required (because they design the curriculum to be hard enough you'll need an 89 to help you.)
Politely, I will say Hogwash as there ain't no course hard enough to require help!
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Jul 28, 2008, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by SVass View Post
Politely, I will say Hogwash as there ain't no course hard enough to require help!
sam
Well, to be more exact, they change the exams so that the problems are not solvable by the 89, or so that the 89 will put out such a convoluted answer it's obvious you used the calculator.
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Jul 28, 2008, 07:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
I use the stanard Windows calculator. Never needed anything more in real life. Match classes yeah, in real life, no.
Indeed. Unless your job is all about math, a basic pocket calculator (or the calculator program included on your computer or phone) is adequate the vast majority of the time.
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Used to use the 12c RPN, then the 17b and b2. Nowadays I stick to the 48GX for horsepower, or I use the Texas Instruments' BAIIPlus for financial stuff. The 83 has financial functions and lists, so I would use that as long as I could if I had one.

I had a 12c RPN back in high school. It was a great calculator. I was almost sad to give it up when I went to college and my dad gave me a 48SX, which I have to this day.
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Jul 30, 2008, 02:04 AM
 
I use an HP 35s most of the time, which I've found to be a great calculator. I had the 33s before it, but got tired of the funky keyboard and impossibly tiny decimal point.

When I need symbolic capabilities, I use Mathematica. I also have a 49g+, but the keyboard on it is annoying and I find it easier to enter complex problems into Mathematica.

I also use the Mac OS X calculator quite a bit in the "Programmer" mode. I'd like to get an HP 16c to do some of that stuff (having a physical calculator is so much better) but you can't exactly order those on Amazon and I haven't had time to really go hunting around for one.

It's the Calculus functions. In every Calculus related class I've had the 89 is either banned (because it's too powerful) or required (because they design the curriculum to be hard enough you'll need an 89 to help you.)
It's not just the calculus stuff; it's the fact that the 89/92 can evaluate symbolically, and the 86 and lower cannot. You could use an 89 to take a lot of the work out of a college level calculus course, but you'd still have to know something about what's going on. For high school level algebra courses, an 89 (or other calculator with a CAS) is pretty much a magic answer box, much like a basic 4-function calculator is when you're learning arithmetic in elementary school.
     
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Jul 30, 2008, 12:04 PM
 
I always wondered why Reverse Polish Notation didn't offend people.

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Jul 30, 2008, 03:46 PM
 
I use an abacus...
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Jul 30, 2008, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post
I always wondered why Reverse Polish Notation didn't offend people.
Even Poles agree that the mathematician who invented it (Jan Łukasiewicz) had an unpronounceable name? I dunno... (Actually it's not that unpronounceable if you have a little experience with Eastern European names...)

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