View Poll Results: Would you use the calculator software described below?

Voters
13. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yup.

    9 69.23%
  • Nope.

    4 30.77%
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1.    #1  
    I'm a college student, and I see a trend. Virtually every high school and college student in the nation is required to buy a calculator--generally a TI-83, TI-86, or TI-89, depending on the level of the class (and the competence of the instructor). I personally use a TI-92, which offers a full QWERTY and overpowered math functions.

    The price of Visor PDAs is dropping steadily--soon a student could concievably buy a Visor and the (about to be proposed) graphing calculator module/software and get a reasonably full-featured computer and calculator for around the price of a TI-89 or 92.

    So, here's the module I'm proposing.
    --Powerful calculator with algebraic or RPN equation entry
    --Graffiti interface with optional on-screen buttons or menus
    --Symbol manipulation (for manipulating -equations- and variables, rather than numbers)
    --Fast, powerful graphing, with zoom and trace features
    --Extensive array of units (which are manipulated right in the equations, thanks to symbol manipulation)
    --Powerful statistics functions
    --Open plug-in architecture for adding functions (say, differential equations, or engineering-specific stuff)
    --Emulation of "feel" of popular calculators, so when a teacher walks a student through doing something on a TI-83, they can follow along on their Visor
    --POSSIBLY interpretation of programs from other calculators (though this may hit copyright issues)
    --Communication with other calculators via serial port, including swapping and conversion of variable formats.
    (The data interchange formats and protocols for both TI and HP calcs are well-known...you could slap a Graph-Link cable onto the end of your serial cradle or cable, for example, and talk to TIs.)

    The software might be distributed in a Springboard module with a connector for TI-calculator comm cables (as they're the most common these days). The software itself would be very cheap, the Springboard would be very reasonable (almost certainly under $50). Assuming I don't run up against TI's lawyers.

    Thoughts?
  2. #2  
    Sounds like a cool project. If I was still in school I'd love a product like this. For inspiration, check out

    Easy Calc (graphing calc) www.penguin.cz/~ondrap

    and

    MathPad (equation solver) www.radiks.net/~rhuebner/index.html

    Happing coding!
    --
    ThirdMan
  3. #3  
    Before you go too far, have you checked out this Graphing calculator Springboard:
    Power One Graphing Calculator

    Springboard Board details

    My son has one and it has met all of his needs.
    Richard Grogan
    Email: <A HREF="mailto:rgrogan@azstarnet.com?subject=VisorCentral">rgrogan@azstarnet.com</A>
    Homepage: <A HREF="http://www.azstarnet.com/~rgrogan/official.htm">http://www.azstarnet.com/~rgrogan/official.htm</A>
  4. #4  
    Personally, the last calculator I bought and the only one I have ever needed to use in the past 13 years or so was my trusty HP 28S. Even when all my friends were upgrading to the HP 48G/GX/49 or the big clunky TI models, I resisted (partly because I was too poor to get a new calculator) becuase my 28S did everything I needed. It's numeric and symbolic capabilities helped get me through numerous math and physics classes.

    That said, if there was something that would emulate the 28S or the 48/49 series, I would definitely consider it. In the meantime, I've been using RPNCalc as my calculator replacement. Fairly nice and flexible. Now all I need to do is figure out the bytecode scripting language and maybe I can make it even more useful.
    -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
    Version: 3.12
    GS d-(+) s: a C++ UX++++V++S++ P+>+++ L>+++ E+>++ W++ N++(+++) o? K? w !O !M V-- PS PE Y+ PGP++ t++ 5++ X++ R+ tv++ b++(+++) DI++++ D+ G++ e+++>++++ h--- r+++ y?
    -----END GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
  5.    #5  
    As for the PowerOne module, it's a totally numeric system, while this would be symbolic. The difference arises when you say things like "solve x^2+3y+z=16 for y" and actually get "y=-(x^2+z-16)/3". All through high school and college, it was infinitely helpful to me to be able to ask my '92 things like "what's the integral of cos(x)?" and have it return "sin(x)+c". (Basically, it let me derive most of the calc and trig identities, without having to resort to tables or cheat sheets.)

    So that's really the -main- feature I'm going for here, which the powerOne doesn't do. (The powerOne seems on-par with the TI-82, from what I can tell.)

    As for the HP-29 and successors, their RPN notation is one of the most elegant I've ever encountered. They're one of the calculators I had in mind when I said "emulation of the feel of other calculators." *grin*
  6. #6  
    What TI gotta do, is make software that has the same interface as a TI-83+ and others, and has all the same funcitons, and can even run the same programs. I would pay $50 for that one!
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  7.    #7  
    I've tried to talk to TI about software. They're still convinced they're a hardware company. They consider us writing third-party apps for the calculators as some sort of freeloading, so they restrict us and rearrange entry points every ROM version.

    What I would do with the calculator is leave the plug-in interface open, which could (among other things) allow a TI-83 interface emulation plug-in. (This is a -software- plugin I'm talking about. :-)

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