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Casio Unveils New Color Screen Graphing Calculator 313

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-hue dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As reported by hobbyist calculator programmers, Casio has recently unveiled new graphing calculator models, the Casio fx-CG10/20 series, less than a year after Texas Instruments released the TI-Nspire Touchpad. The calculators features a 65536 colors screen (16-bit) with a resolution of 384x216 pixels, 16 MB of Flash memory (10 available for the user) and 140 hours of battery life. The calculators will retail starting at $129.99. Although Casio's new calculator official page have limited information about the calculator programming capabilities and processor speed, could this eventually mark the end of TI's reign in North American schools?"
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Casio Unveils New Color Screen Graphing Calculator

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  • by gspr (602968) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:03PM (#33886858)
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:27PM (#33887226)

      I thought of that too. Maybe XKCD has shamed calculator makers into actually trying. I'm imagining it now.

      "Lets see, time to check the webcomics... ...

      I... I didn't become an engineer for this! Where did the dream of making the worlds best calculator die?!? I thought I was going to change the world of handheld calculators, but then I tried skipping coffee and spending more time with the family... before I knew it we were asking ourselves 'Why fix what's not really that broken and that students have to buy anyway' rather than 'What new features can we cram into it?' I knew I had hit some type of bottom when I actually told schools they should just recycle their old calculators rather than buying new.

      That changes today. By God, I'm putting color on this motherfucker... FOR AMERICA!!!"

    • Get out of Randal's head Casio!
    • by grimJester (890090) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @04:49PM (#33888168)
      The fancy calculator I had when I was a kid (late 80's) was the size of a phone in 2010. Today's calculators have nothing like the processing power of a phone that costs roughly the same, yet they are now the size of ancient mobile phones. I don't get it.
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BassMan449 (1356143) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#33886870)

    I don't understand the need for such fancy calculators for students. I'm sure there are some professionals that might like to have it, but I used a TI-83 through all high school and college and never found something you couldn't make it do that you needed.

    What is the purpose of making these calculators with color screens rather than just making simpler but still advanced graphing calculators cheaper?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:19PM (#33887094) Homepage Journal

      What I don't get is why someone would spend $150 on a calculator when you could get a netbook with a gig of RAM and 180 gigs of drive space with a dual core processor for the price of two of them. Kubuntu comes with a scientific calculator, and it's a free OS you can replace Windows with or install dual-boot.

      I just don't know why anyone would buy a calculator, period.

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

        by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:22PM (#33887148)

        What I don't get is why someone would spend $150 on a calculator when you could get a netbook with a gig of RAM and 180 gigs of drive space with a dual core processor for the price of two of them. Kubuntu comes with a scientific calculator, and it's a free OS you can replace Windows with or install dual-boot.

        I just don't know why anyone would buy a calculator, period.

        They don't allow laptops into most exam rooms. There has always been a lot of places which had restrictions on graphing calculators, and required you to have standard 8(?) function calculators, or they would wipe the internal memory in a few cases.

        It's probably why calculators didn't really improve much over the years, if you improved them, even if it lowered the cost, you would ironically reduce your potential market.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RocketRabbit (830691)

          "They don't allow laptops into most exam rooms."

          This is the problem. An artificial market for underpowered devices has been created, and is supported both by the standard math curricula (TI teams up with publishers to encourage states to purchase books that require a TI calc) and the standardized test manufacturers, while they do not "require" a brand name calculator, do indeed require that children cripple themselves and spend another $150 on a hunk of plastic that has not changed in years.

          Kids should be

          • "An artificial market for underpowered devices has been created..."

            The same could be said for netbooks. For about the same price as most mid-range netbooks, I could build a much better desktop with a much faster CPU, GPU, and much larger hard drive. Why do we need these underpowered PCs that can barely surf the web? For that matter, why do we need mobile devices that run applications? Why does my music player also take pictures and play movies? Why does my phone do more than just allow me to call people? The reason is we've come to expect these devices to improve and add

            • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @10:23PM (#33890132)

              "The same could be said for netbooks."

              No, it couldn't, they're not an artificial market. You could build a desktop for the money, sure, a crappy one. And then I wouldn't be able to take it in the car with me to play music, or throw it into a bag with my stuff when I go away for a weekend, or 101 other things that I like it to do.

              Nothing like the artificial market that specifically calls for a limited device due to a fairly arbitrary set of rules.

          • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Gazoogleheimer (1466831) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @04:20PM (#33887852) Homepage
            Underpowered also means runs on a quartet of AAA's for months...
          • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @04:28PM (#33887926)
            Kids should be able to use the internet, their neighbors, laptops, cell phones, Wikipedia, etc. to solve problems. The memorization part will come later. In the real world, no one sits down to their job and has to have all these dates memorized.

            Its really a waste of time to have kids memorize useless information. Education should be teaching kids skills primarily, then having kids take classes which interest them and relate to their chosen career field and have them take those classes.

            Lets face it, its nice to know when the reign of King George III started, but unless that is your field of expertise, you should simply know the skills needed to Google the question.

            Our education system was made for a world without a huge search-able database of data. To look up even a basic fact would take a few minutes, not just a few seconds.
            • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @04:54PM (#33888222)

              I do think that education could use refocusing now that we live in a world where you cell phone instantly provides you with any answer you want, but throwing out -all- memorization would be overdoing it. You need a framework of knowledge before you start googling specific answers, and I think we benefit as a society when we have some common sense of history, science, literature, etc. I think many of us here can probably agree that if more Americans knew how often and how badly theocracies have failed, how bloody the crusades were, and how pointlessly violent religion and politics mixed in Europe, that our country might be better off today, and we'd have fewer people calling for mixing politics and religion.

              • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @05:14PM (#33888424)
                Make a game out of it and they'll clamor to learn all about it.

                I learned 10x more from Civilization (and the research I did on my own making historically accurate start maps) than I learned from all of the history classes I took K-college. Probably logged more hours on it too.
                • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

                  by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:58PM (#33889464) Journal

                  I learned 10x more from Civilization (and the research I did on my own making historically accurate start maps) than I learned from all of the history classes I took K-college. Probably logged more hours on it too.

                  Same here. What really surprises me is all the lies they teach in school. None of the textbooks I had indicated that Genghis Khan became the ruler of the world, developed space technology, and colonized Alpha Centauri.

              • I think we benefit as a society when we have some common sense of history

                Then why don't U.S. schools teach the history of neighboring countries? A Michigan resident is more likely to learn about Texas than Ontario, even though Ontario is much closer.

                literature

                Who decides what literature gets onto the required reading list? For example, a lot of people appear to consider The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald to be overrated, yet it gets on the required reading list and not Gadsby: Champion of Youth by Ernest Vincent Wright. Six tragedies by William Shakespeare get on, along with none of

          • An artificial market for underpowered devices has been created

            Not really artificial. Worried about cheating, I'd guess. It wouldn't be too difficult with a laptop to hook up through a cell phone modem in your final and simply transmit the problems to a grad student friend.

            You *want* an underpowered device. It guarantees that it's the student coming up with the answers. And for my two cents, even this Casio is overpowered for the task. First thing I thought when I saw those graphic overlay graphs

      • by MmmmAqua (613624)
        Just try to talk a test proctor into letting you use your netbook instead of an approved graphing calculator.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        How many teachers would let you take that netbook into a test?

        Calculators were always allowed in my classes (this was years ago: about the time of the TI-85 and it amazed me that I could bring such a thing with me...) I'm assuming calculators are still allowable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SirWhoopass (108232)

          I think most teachers allowed graphing calculators because they had no idea how to program the things, and assumed their students did not either.

          I'd probably have gotten better grades in school if I'd put as much effort into studying as I did in learning how to program my TI-85 into a reference library.

      • What I don't get is why someone would spend $150 on a calculator when you could get a netbook with a gig of RAM and 180 gigs of drive space with a dual core processor for the price of two of them. Kubuntu comes with a scientific calculator, and it's a free OS you can replace Windows with or install dual-boot.

        I just don't know why anyone would buy a calculator, period.

        Because in high school they still won't let you use a netbook on tests.

      • Buttons (Score:4, Interesting)

        by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @04:10PM (#33887736) Homepage

        One answer that maybe nobody else will come up with: Easy UI.

        I just find it a lot faster and easier to punch up some calculations on a device that has a whole mess of purpose-built buttons on the front of it, rather than trying to do the same with a standard keyboard that was never intended for scientific calculation. You can write up programs and key them to buttons, too.

        Disclaimer: I use an HP 50g. Your experience with a TI or Casio calculator may vary. RPN, baby.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Applekid (993327)

      What is the purpose of making these calculators with color screens rather than just making simpler but still advanced graphing calculators cheaper?

      Fractals, putting multiple dataplots on the same graph for easier comparisons, and those two without thinking very hard.

      I do agree 100% that existing graphing calculators are absolutely overpriced for the hardware. Even a humble TI-84 costs about $100 for a mere Z80 @ 15 MHz with 48 KB memory and 2 MB flash.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I found a TI-93 at Goodwill for a couple bucks. I still had my link software from back in the day. I laughed when I realized the TI-92 had a faster processor than the Mac Classic I hooked it up to for file transfer.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      The TI-83 IS one of those fancy calculators.
      It may be the least expensive of the fancy ones, but it's still a lot more fancy than most students need.

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      I always wanted a color screen on my calc, if only to do multi color graphing. I loved playing with 3D graphs and variable sliders on computer apps (the Mac OS 9 graphing calculator was the only Mac app I envied), and it would have been neat (and educational!) to do that kind of thing on a calculator as well. Alas, I may not live to see the day, at the rate things are going (insert ob xkcd ref).

      Had a TI-83 in HS, got an HP48GX for engineering school. Never touched one again after going professional :P A

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      What is the purpose of making these calculators with color screens rather than just making simpler but still advanced graphing calculators cheaper?

      The same thing happened with B/W cellphones: "you build it, they will come" attacts purchasers. It also pays the aging engineers' bills and increases eyeball share because of perceived "innovation," even if you prefered the old tech.

      Today's public using color phones is paying good cash for standard features that open the door to, say, viewing pr0n pics. Won't be long because the same is applied to the Casio natively or via some hack.

      Featuritis comes at a price: never-improving prices and never-improving bat

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stregano (1285764)
      I remember playing Zelda on my graphing calculator in math class (it is easy to get away with playing games on a graphics calculator). I bet the game they release for this thing (even the homebrews) will be awesome.
    • by melikamp (631205)

      IMHO, there is no need. I taught math in a university for several years now, and I am convinced that calculators should be phased out. There is just no point: their only justified use in while testing. And since many students are expected to bring a general purpose networked computer to class (a smartphone), we could as well start conducting tests in Faraday cages: first classrooms, and later individual students. And once everyone is in a cage, there is just no point anymore not to allow a modern OS, with a

    • I don't get it. We have traded battery life from Nokia and Ericson cell phones pulling a week on a single charge to iPhone barely doing a day.

      I wouldn't say I understand, but I can see dudes showing of his shiny iPhone to compensate for other body parts, good, charge that iPhone every night.

      These calculators on the other hand are meant for technical individuals; engineers, architects and the like. I personally would not buy this, it seems it has a display (I can only guess) that will kill the battery in a d

    • by wramsdel (463149)

      In my experience it's the other way around. I used a calculator *way* more in school (electrical engineering) than I ever have in industry in the last ten years. Why? Well, mostly because the math's much easier now...I don't routinely deal with complex or matrix math, which means a laptop with Excel is sufficient for 80% of what I do, and the remainder can pretty much be done in my head (nb: remember common logarithms and exponentials). Since my laptop is pretty much always within arm's reach, I just ke

  • I'm not trying to be overly critical - maybe a tad skeptical.

    This is definitely *cool*. What's the point in this, though? I'm a programmer/developer, but I've never been a hardcore "programmer" or user of calculators. As long as I can do some basic graphing and standard 4-function stuff, most calculators make me super happy.

    The first immediate con I can see of this is...usability. If I'm colourblind - I'm not going to be very thrilled about this.

    The first immediate pro I can see of this is.....help me out h

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642)

      Sure, this is cool, but why do I want to pay $130 for a color model when I can get a standard monochrome one for $50ish?

      In the desperate attempt at making complicated things simpler, if you graph y=2x+3 and y=3x+1 you'll probably get one line in red, the other in green, and the calculator will probably highlight the intersection in blinking yellow.

      Basically nothing that helps the kids understand, but "they're trying to do SOMETHING" and so thats just great.

      Oh, and the games will be better on the color one.

    • Unless you have a pretty high resolution screen(which, given present economies of scale, is probably substantially more expensive than a color one), color is a perfectly good way to distinguish multiple lines, data points from one run vs. those of another, and so on and so forth. If you have high resolution, you can get away with crosshatching and using different symbols and things; but that just turns into pixel soup on a lower resolution device.

      As for usability, I'm assuming that, if only because the A
      • As for usability, I'm assuming that, if only because the ADA could otherwise torpedo their chance of being purchased by a single public school district, they'll have a "don't use red/green for important distinctions" mode available at least optionally, if not by default.

        ADA doesn't cover colorblindness. It's not deemed to be a sufficient impairment. Sufficient enough to cut you out of a lot of jobs apparantly, but not sufficient that you need protection.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      The first immediate con I can see of this is...usability. If I'm colourblind - I'm not going to be very thrilled about this.

      Color blind people see colors. "Colorblindness" is actually a misnomer. The most common is red-green color blindness; my dad has that. They have color receptors, but not of all three primaries. So this calculator would still be useful to a color blind person.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Red-Green Color blind here.

        Purple doesn't exist and is a conspiracy against the colorblind. My daughter loves to pick out my shirts and I have at least four "blue shirts" that girls tell are lovely shades of purple.

        Brown is just a different shade of green.

    • The first immediate con I can see of this is...usability. If I'm colourblind - I'm not going to be very thrilled about this.

      I'm colorblind. VERY few of us have issues that people with normal vision imagine us to have. Granted there are times when it can be annoying, but for most applications, it just isn't a big deal. The advantage of a color display is that you can often program it to display colors which we can see, or perform a lot of other tweaks.

      Basic rule of thumb to anyone out there and wants to m

  • DRM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:06PM (#33886910) Homepage
    So how much DRM and anti-modification features did they manage to pack into this device for $129.99?
  • by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:07PM (#33886914)

    They've made a killing over the last 12 years selling hardware that is essentially minor improvements to their existing calculators. The differences between my TI-89 and the current TI-89s are minor, even with 12 years between them. Combine that with how TI-centric some math textbooks tend to be, and they've got the market locked down pretty tight.

    Although, having colors would make it easier to differentiate plots when doing several at one time.

    • by zalas (682627) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:12PM (#33887002) Homepage

      Casio already had a color calculator way back when I was in high school. The curriculum still revolved around the use of the TI-83, though, so people with anything else were pretty much on their own.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bhtooefr (649901)

        Here's what I'd suggest for Casio.

        Cleanroom the TI-83+ firmware. Basically, make a TI-83+-compatible calculator. TI-83+ is the minimum standard for the curriculum, and the TI-84+ respects that, so...

        Now, add your own differentiating features on top of that, while maintaining full backwards compatibility with TI-83+ button press sequences.

    • by allanw (842185)

      Did you know TI's educational division only accounted for 4% of their 2007 revenue?

  • It's more expensive and less versatile than an iPod touch, or hell, even my old Zaurus from a decade ago.

    The only reason that TI does so well, is that schoolteachers are pretty much trained in on it and refuse to use newer technology. A kid should be able to use whatever device he or she wants, as long as it has the requisite functionality.

    Imagine, if when you took your driving tests, they only allowed VW Beetles. Now, you have to buy a Beetle to pass your driving test. Sure, there is a "market" for Camr

    • By the way, I should have added my caveat here: Casio's new calc will fail at least in the USA and Canada, because schools generally require kids to use what the teacher uses, e.g. a TI Calc.

      • Not necessarily a bad thing, you only have so much time in a class and it helps when everyone is on the same page. Teaching the math and how to use the graphing calculator with a different set of instructions for each vendor/model could make a confusing subject even more confusing for the students.
        • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:40PM (#33887408) Journal
          I have an Algebra book but it irritates me because it's centered on the use of a graphing calculator. It teaches Algebra... but it IMMEDIATELY begins a discussion of graphic calculators, and not as an add-on device. I'm going to write an arithmetic book that teaches the use of a Soroban; but this will be teaching math, and then it will step out to "so here's how to do addition on a Japanese Abacus... and here's how it relates to pen-and-paper columnar addition... and think about this, it makes it simple in your head." I don't want to teach people that math == device; math is a method, device is a tool.
      • by PCM2 (4486)

        Casio's new calc will fail at least in the USA and Canada, because schools generally require kids to use what the teacher uses

        At my school, that would be ... a brain.

        Seriously, calculators were optional. If you wanted to use one and you wanted help from the instructors, you needed to buy a TI because that was typically all they knew. If you wanted to learn how to use an HP or something else on your own, you could do that, and if it helped you get through the problems faster, that was also fine.

        Except for tests, that is. In the calculus classes and above, calculators were not allowed on tests.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737)

      That and a device like an iPod Touch isn't recognized as a calculator, so like many laptops and the TI-92, it is barred in many tests were the standard calculator form factor is permitted.

      • by iONiUM (530420)

        Which is absolute bullshit. Devices like the one in the TFA are.. kind of atrocious. I mean, look at it. It's more buttons than screen, and it looks like 1990. Why don't they just make an app for iPod touch, or a new android device, or any other of the numerous better choices, as well as schools being more lenient on the devices which can be used?

        Or maybe it's because then teachers would have to actually figure out how some stuff works, instead of just reading from a prepared paper about how the TI-xx model

        • by Microlith (54737)

          Which is absolute bullshit.

          But nontheless thems are the rules. They've gotten pickier these days, some tests don't allow calculators with CAS software.

          Why don't they just make an app for iPod touch, or a new android device, or any other of the numerous better choices, as well as schools being more lenient on the devices which can be used?

          Because all of them are more expensive than what these cost.

          Or maybe it's because then teachers would have to actually figure out how some stuff works, instead of just read

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by space_jake (687452)
          While an app for a modern handheld device sounds like a great idea, it'll never fly because these have to be used during standardized testing. Text your friend (or an online service) for the solution.
          • by nschubach (922175)

            Not that it matters, but there are at least a couple scientific calculators on the Android market.

      • Why isn't it recognized as a calculator? It's surely not because it can't "calculate." This is an example of the standardized test manufacturers creating an artificial market for TI calculators. Again, it feeds into the classroom expectation that all students drive a VW Beetle, I mean a TI calc.

        Perhaps the best place to start, is to give each student the choice to use ANY little computing gadget they wish to enhance their calculation speed. Or, to ban calculators altogether in standardized tests. But,

        • by Microlith (54737)

          Why isn't it recognized as a calculator? It's surely not because it can't "calculate." This is an example of the standardized test manufacturers creating an artificial market for TI calculators.

          Most of those tests will permit this Casio calculator, most scientific calculators, all the way down to four function calculators if you really, really need it.

          Or, to ban calculators altogether in standardized tests.

          This, and a paring down of permitted calculator capabilities has been the norm.

          This is an *actual* mon

          • by nschubach (922175)

            But is there really a problem here?

            Besides TI charging exorbitant rates on calculators that are "approved" for use in school? (Some teachers ask you to bring calculators now.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jollespm (641870)
          It isn't allowed because it has potential to do things other than being a calculator during a test. One could load an entire text book, take photos of tests and email questions, surf the web, and any other number of activities that would be construed as cheating. It's much easier to require a real calculator, no matter how overpriced or limited they are.
        • Or, to ban calculators altogether in standardized tests.

          I actually support the use of THINKING TOOLS in math tests, and a calculator is a non-thought tool. Allowing the use of a calculator rots the brain, because you punch in numbers and hit enter and it does the work for you. 2x + 3(2y + 3x) + y = ? ... calculator does 2 + (3*3) and 1 + (3*2) for you, with the excuse that "students already know how to add." This is an idiotic argument; students already know how to speak German too, but after 5 years speaking English only they suddenly can't form one damn se

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          Why isn't it recognized as a calculator? It's surely not because it can't "calculate."

          The point of approved calculators for standardized testing to eliminate devices that can do things beyond the kind of assistance the test allows for, particularly things that might facilitate cheating, or which produce noise which might be distracting. See the SAT [collegeboard.com] rules, for instance.

          This is an example of the standardized test manufacturers creating an artificial market for TI calculators.

          Well, except that nothing restric

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

        That and a device like an iPod Touch isn't recognized as a calculator, so like many laptops and the TI-92, it is barred in many tests were the standard calculator form factor is permitted.

        Oooh, somebody make an iPod case that looks like a cheap-plastic boxy graphing calculator case. Fake buttons FTW.

    • The only reason that TI does so well, is that schoolteachers are pretty much trained in on it and refuse to use newer technology.

      And the simple fact that even an old TI-83 is plenty for a student to use. Buying new calculators because of "oooh shiny!" is a pointless expense and does nothing to help teach kids math.

    • A kid should be able to use whatever device he or she wants, as long as it has the requisite functionality.

      that sounds great, but you won't know whether a given substitute covers all the needs until the kid finds out 3 months into class that he can't follow along an assignment because his calculator doesn't have a function to take the tangle of an obtuse rectoid.

      the only way to do it would be to give an exhaustive list required functions and features...most of which you wouldnt' be able to find if a given model had without spending a half hour with the owners manual. In the real world, you solve this proble

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deag (250823)

      Can we just get a car analogy option for moderating?

    • by Nethead (1563)

      I took my driving test in a VW bug, you insensitive clod! In the snow!

      Really, I did. February 1977 in a red '67 bug, Yakima, WA.

    • by alta (1263)

      The problem is there was never a standard for graphing/finance calculators. The only standard that existed was that, when a formula is input correctly (and completely different on each one) they should all have the same correct answer.

      In a car, the break and gas peddals are always in the same place, same with the instrument cluster, steering wheel, parking break, etc. I can get in any car, start it up and drive around.

      As for a calculator, I can graph a polynomial with a TI 83, but I'd have to get the manu

      • Please? "Break" is what happens when you accelerate a manual to 90 in 5th and then engage reverse and drop the clutch. Loss of way follows, certainly, but not in a good way. "Brake" is the thing next to the accelerator. You did it twice, so it wasn't an accidental typo.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:31PM (#33887278) Journal
      The fact that graphing calculators of quite modest specs and build still cost so much is a gooey blob of saliva in the face of idealist theories of competition.

      However, the fact that graphing calculators are still of quite modest specs isn't.

      The market for calculators is, basically, tests. They might also be used for homework and the occasional foray into programming; but they are basically purchased for tests. In a testing environment, wifi and 16GB of internal storage are not, shall we say, of much use in maintaining a fair testing environment.

      Even if you make the "If the test is good, flashcards won't help you, and neither will notes stored on a calculator/iPod/whatever" argument(which is arguably a lot truer at higher levels), that still doesn't address the issue of network connected devices.

      Imagine the following: iPod touch/iPhone with camera, internet connection, some sort of web conferencing software. Pay 29.95 at the paypal portal and, for the duration of the test if you get stuck on a problem, take a picture of it, and a suitably educated person in India solves it and sends back an image of the solution. Win/win(sort of). The cheater can get past even "mere facts won't save you" questions, and someone in a lower cost of living country makes comparatively good money solving easy problems in their area of expertise. The test, of course, becomes useless.

      Intentionally limited devices for pedagogical purposes are eminently sensible. It's just that it should be pretty simple to stamp out a TI-83(or 89, the hardware doesn't exactly differ wildly) for absolute peanuts, not $100 a pop.
      • The fact that graphing calculators of quite modest specs and build still cost so much is a gooey blob of saliva in the face of idealist theories of competition.

        Gee, Wally. You don't suppose artificial market manipulation by the educational establishment might have anything to do with it?

        The whole problem with the calculator product sector is that competition is explicitly disallowed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hatta (162192)

        Intentionally limited devices for pedagogical purposes are eminently sensible. It's just that it should be pretty simple to stamp out a TI-83(or 89, the hardware doesn't exactly differ wildly) for absolute peanuts, not $100 a pop.

        So where are the cheap chinese clones?

    • It's more expensive and less versatile than an iPod touch

      Well, except that the MSRP of this is less than that of the least expensive model of iPod touch, which makes the "more expensive" part hard to comprehend.

  • by MmmmAqua (613624) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:09PM (#33886952)
    But it will probably result in a color-screen nSpire sooner than we might otherwise have seen one. Which is A Good Thing (tm) - some of the graphing uses of my nSpire would be much nicer with color to distinguish the plots.
  • will be on the Android/iPhone/whatever. It won't be a dedicated device imo. Especially as these color screens (if non e-ink) need to be charged daily/weekly instead of yearly.

    And yes, I know about TI's being more desirable for school for perceived lack of cheating. But many users are past school where that is necessary. Although many math teachers I know are switching to open book tests because they figure if they ask indepth questions, you'd have to know the material and not merely regurgitate it to pa

  • HP-41cx (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spectre (1685) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:22PM (#33887152)

    This story makes me miss my Hewlett Packard calculator, an HP-41cx (with accessories of a mag card reader and a printer). When I studied engineering, there were two broad groupings of calculator recommended, especially when you got to classes on circuit theory: Some Texas Instruments grouping I don't remember, and the HP-41 series. Literally the recommendation was use one or the other, or you will likely fail this class due to lack of computation speed on exams.

    Hewlett Packard seems to have become irrelevant in the marketplace. Very sad, long live RPN!

    That left just Texas Instruments for the serious calculators that aren't full-on computers.

    Sure, Casio had "scientific calculators", but they just weren't quite up to the demands back in the eighties (yes, I'm old).

    It's nice to see this market getting another player, although in my mind "color graphing" is a gimmick, not a real feature!

    • but they just weren't quite up to the demands back in the eighties (yes, I'm old).

      I lusted after the HP-55 an adult friend had but when the HP-25 came out I bought that with my own money, then sold it to buy an HP-29C.
      Then when the replacement for that came out, I was despondent: I remember wondering, when will it end?!?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I have four. I don't ever want to be without one.

      After I got my first HP-41c, everyone on our engineering team ended up buying one. We loved those things and had all the add-ons, including the timer module, printer and mag card reader.

      Then one fine day the boss came in with new Sharp calculators for us all. He insisted we all standardize on a single model, so he could grab anyone's calculator and use it anytime he wanted. We pitched the HP, but were overruled. We had to keep our HP's hidden. Jerk.

      The

  • Lame. (Score:4, Funny)

    by QuantumPion (805098) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:23PM (#33887170)

    No wireless. Less space than a TI. Lame.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:28PM (#33887252) Journal

    Somehow I doubt that Casio officially unveiled it with a forum post.

    And if we did have to link to a forum post (for some unknown reason) instead of something more official, this would have been better anyway [casiocalc.org]...

    Official website: http://www.casioeducation.com/prizm [casioeducation.com]
    edu.casio.com: http://edu.casio.com/products/cg_series/fxcg10_20 [casio.com]
    Manual download: http://edu.casio.com/products/cg_series/data/fxcg10_20_E.pdf [casio.com]

    Models: fx-CG 10*/20
    * North America only

    Some of the new features:
    - High-resolution color display (384*216 pixels with 2^16 colors)
    - USB 2.0 support
    - 16 MB flash memory
    - Picture Plot functionality

  • Those of us fortunate to own one (as opposed to merely borrowing one from the school) often go our first introduction to programming through the TIs. I personally started a collection of digital art on mine which I then used a cable to offload to PC, where it wasn't as impressive, but that foreshadowed how I would spend the next few years in calc labs - making cool 3D objects instead of doing my homework. No, students don't *need* anything this fancy. But if it encourages kids to start coding on their ow
  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @03:37PM (#33887376) Homepage Journal
    You know what I would personally like to see? I would love to see some kind of touch screen tablet computing pad (something like the iPad, or Galaxy tablet, or whatever) that had a mathematics and scientific data centric focus. It would be sweet to see a product like that hit the market. I would want it to come preloaded with a good data and simulation language (something like Matlab/Simulink or Scilab/XCOS). I would want it to come preloaded with some handy mathematical functions typically found in TI calculators (matrix operations, statistics plotting, solving of symbolic integrals and derivatives). Hell, if it had WiFi access even better. For bonus points add on an uber unit conversion program with a very clean simple interface.

    I don't know, maybe something like this already exists, but if it does I haven't heard about it. If any 'dotters know of one, I would love to see a link. I would happily fork over some cash for a small computing platform like this that I could carry around in my back pocket (I don't want to have to find a way to strap another satchel to my body when riding my motorcycle). Finally, making it truly rugged and badass and able to survive getting dropped in water and sand would be great. Why won't a company develop an engineer/scientist specific tablet that could be used in a multitude of environments. It would be the ultimate geek multi-tool!
  • How can it be a serious calculator without RPN? Any idea if it will be programmable enough to implement RPN? Maybe with an alternate boot ROM?

  • Handheld calculators have consistently disappointed me. Those that graph do so poorly. Those with complex functions make them all but impossible to use. Apart from statistics, there is not the slightest whiff of anything resembling a special function of any kind, and anything more advanced that acosh is basically nonexistant. Is it too much to ask for a bessel function to be built in somewhere?

    Some machines have matrix support, but it's generally shockingly poor sometimes restricted to 3x3 matrices and generally lacking anything above an inversion operation--if that. A lot waste resources on pie chart/spreadsheet software which is wasted on business and accounting students who are just going to end up using excel anyway; The addition of image support on some recent models simply adds insult to injury on this front.

    I could go on for hours, but I'll just add the one item that bothers me the most.

    Complex Numbers.

    It's 2010. People have mp3 players with more computing power that the Cray-1. Is it too much to ask that scientific calculators support complex numbers natively? There are still some models with over 500 functions and no complex number support! Even those models which do generally make i all but inaccessible; necessitating at best a second function shift and at worst a mode change to input or sometimes even view this most elementary of entities. Is it really so much to ask--in the 21st century--that when I input sqrt(-1) into my calculator that I get something other than MATH ERROR. There's no math error or even a maths error. There's a calculator error for having put in a square root function without considering complex numbers!!

    Going back to the main story: Curved keyboard designs are appalling and Casio need to get with the program and make a better "=/ANS" button make their bracket buttons larger a la Sharp and TI. In conclusion I'd like to buy at least one calculator before I die that was a substantial improvement on the one I purchased in 1997.

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