That Fail Calc.
That other day, Kiam and I drove over to the city Post Office to collect a much-awaited package arriving half-a-globe away from Canada. We were led by Post Office staff through a maze of mail sorting stations, piles of parcels and whatnot. At the customs inspection, Kiam pryed open our package, revealing three used TI-84 graphical calculators.
One of which, is mine:
Introducing, the TI-84 series of graphical calculators — the world’s most overrated.
It’s fat, ugly, slow, ancient, and expensive.
You see, we were told to get ourselves a graphical calculator since the day we stepped into Swinburne. But getting one could set us back about 600 bucks. And so we persevered throughout two semesters of Math in Foundation using our faithful Casio fx-570MS from the days of SPM.
Everytime we’d find a way to solve different Math problems using the fx-570 (when it is thought that only the TI’s can solve them), we’d pride ourselves at how we manage to save 600 bucks — yet again and again. I must say I’ve discovered a lot about the abilities of the fx-570 more than I’ve ever knew in Form 5. Like I never knew it does matrices!
Of course, we all know it draws boobies rather well:
Unfortunately, even the faithful fx-570 couldn’t hold up anymore in degree-level Math.
We had to get a calculator that draws what the fx-570 couldn’t draw, other than boobies — graphs.
Thanks to Kiam, we managed to get used TI-84 Silver Editions for merely 450 bucks each rather than its original sub-RM700 price. And so we reluctantly joined the rest of the class tapping away on the TI-84.
There’s a reason why I never really liked the idea of getting a graphical calculator such as the TI-83/84 series — the price just doesn’t justify what we’re paying for.
Other than its outrageous pricing, the TI-83/84 series calculators are down right dinosaurs in today’s age. They’re absolutely bulky and inferior to the say, iPhone — the real gadget of today’s age.
Get what I mean? It’s so huge it feels awkward to hold it with a single palm.
I need not remind you of what the iPhone is capable of, albeit being at a (much) smaller size. It’s a cell phone, mp3 player, internet browser, camera, video player, touch-screened, and another 1001 features with its support for Apps — including, yes, graphing.
Heck, imagine graphing apps on the iPhone!
And the TI-83/84? It’s..a.. calculator, and a uh, *fumbles through the TI-84 guidebook*.. one that draws graphs. =\
Heck, it doesn’t even draw graphs well. Thanks to its 15Mhz processor (psst, the one in the iPhone runs at 620Mhz), it draws graphs a painstaking pixel-by-pixel!
In all it’s fat glory.
I haven’t even gone into comparing the technical specs of the two gadgets which would leave you wondering just what the engineers over at Texas Instruments are doing.
Okay I’m aware of the huge price difference between the two (~RM700 for a TI-84 Silver vs. ~RM2500 for the iPhone 3G). I’m aware that it’s cruel to pitch the 2004 TI-84 against the 2007-released iPhone. I’m aware that few gadgets out there do if ever, come close to rivaling the iPhone in its features-to-size ratio.
I just wanted to point out that the TI-83/84 series calculators could either be slimmer given the limited functions it performs. Or, it could have more features given it’s humongousity.
Oh well, I guess that’s enough bashing.
If there’s one thing I like about the TI-84, it’ll be this:
Woots! Block Dude rocks! =D