Too Long With No New Calculators!


Casio, HP, Sharp, TI, etc. Same old stuff month after month. Or has it been years? I wonder if anything new is on the horizon.


Both Casio and TI have (relatively) new color graphing calculators with screens that are second to none.


Ask Jörg Wörner for TI's offerings. I think there has been some progress on that front. Only to mention the color Nspire.

I can't speak for Sharp, but Casio has recently introduced the Prizm color graphic calculator.

HP? Think of the HP 20b/30b and the recently updated 12C. This is a basis for many new devices, our wp34s repurposing project being just one possible outcome, a new 15C another.


Just for Texas Instruments:

Worldwide: TI-Nspire CX, TI-Nspire CX CAS, TI-36X Pro (in some countries TI-30X Pro)

France: TI-84, TI College Plus, TI-106 (old calc in new colors)

Regards, Joerg


Was at a conference and played with the new TI-Nspire. Although I am mildly impressed with the advances in technology, there is no way I want a student of mine to have one of those things (talk about impeding progress). I think they cause a person to lose sight of real education due to the eye-candy bling factor. I see them more of a novelty and curiosity and being carnival barked by pseudo-educatiors as an educational necessity. Meh.


Would you want your students to have an HP 50g?


Very rarely. The right tool at the right time. Students often can't tell when technology should be used and when it shouldn't. Too many aren't developing necessary cognitive skills because of the easy and accepted use of the almighty calculator. I'm still old school: $10 scientific calc on in class exams; graphing calc and/or mathematica on take home assignments. I have a few colleagues that think any calculator at anytime to solve any problem is appropriate in today's world. I just can't go that far yet.


I think calculators should used by students as such:

Pre-Alegbra: a simple four-function calculator, if at all

Algebra (I and II), Geometry, Trigonometry: a basic scientific calculator will be (more than) sufficient (TI-30, Casio fx260, any of the Cannon models) - I would not allow graphing calculators on tests

Pre-Calculus: more advanced scientific calculator (Casio fx-115ES, TI-36X Pro, HP 35S); graphing calculator optional (but encouraged)

Calculus and Undergraduate Level Math: graphing calculator

Graduate and PhD. Level: graphing calculator with CAS abilities


Also the 10bII+. That is brand new. Other then the name and look, it shares nothing from the old one.



All of the same primary and secondary key and faceplate nomenclature appears to be in the same places and as Gene says in his Solve (#23) review article the 10bii+ operates the same as the 10bii with the same keystroke sequences. Do you mean there are no internal hardware and display similarities?


Do you mean there are no internal hardware and display similarities?

Similarities - yes, pieces of old code or hardware - no. The new 10bii+ is based on the same architecture as the 20b/30b or the recent 12C: An Atmel AT91SAM7L128 low power ARM core processor with integrated 128KB flash rom, 2 KB battery backed RAM, 4 KB working memory, LCD controller and enough I/O pins to drive a keyboard. In other words: It's just one chip, yet a general purpose one, and a bare LCD without any further integrated circuits.

The software, the visible display layout, and the keys are designed in a way that makes the new device behave in a compatible way to the old one. That's it! In other words: It's a simulator.

The new 12C uses the old firmware in a completely new hardware. HP has implemented an emulation layer that makes it possible to reuse old proven code in a current setup. You can expect the very same results as the original 12C in every respect except execution speed.


The display is the same type of display, but a completely new display (since there are significant indicator changes).

The chip running the code is the Atmel as Marcus said. This required a complete re-write from the ground up because:

1. Not enough space on the old one for new features.

2. Difficult to work on the old codebase (assembly vs C).

3. Doing so allowed reuse of the same math library that has now been used on the 20/30b, 10bII+, 12cp iphone versions, and the calc pad PC software.

4. Didn't have enough speed to do things like inverse T with any hope of enough speed.

5. The 20/30b codebase could be used as a nice starting point.

So basically like you said, the keys that were there didn't change (except very minor ones like changing C SIGMA to C STAT as it was clearer - the position didn't change), and the look/body didn't change. The hope is that the vast majority of 10bII users wouldn't notice a difference other then the calculations now go faster and there are a few more features. :-)

However, in actuality had a lobotomy to put in a new brain and guts. It's a zombie calc! :-)


Edited: 13 May 2011, 9:44 a.m.


Tim, it would be nice to have display and keyboard schematics for all the new calcs so that the devices are open for independent developers. Even without a JTAG connector it should be possible to do useful things.

If you had skins for them which match the windows emulation used for the 20b/30b SDK it would be even more practical to develop software for them.

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