|Re: Preferred TI calculator???|
Message #17 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 29 Jan 2006, 11:49 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Namir
I started with TI calculators at school when I was 16. The only caculator I had ever seen before was the HP 35 (see my Memories). HPs were simply unaffordable back then so I went for an SR-51A. At that time my teacher just had an SR-50 while my classmates were still using logarithm tables and slide rules in the math and physics classes.
Still at school, I switched to my very first programmable, an SR-56, giving my SR-51A to my sister. I added the PC-100A printer (the one that could connect to three different calculators, namely the SR 52, the SR 56 and the TI58/59 series.) This combo was seriously tweaked as my programming workbench but nothing is left from that era.
Later at University, when I had just seperated from my girl friend, I had left some spare money originally saved for a vacation for two. I spent it on a TI-59 (kind of revenge: my former girl friend's new lover just had an SR-52!).
The TI-59 was my main computing device in the first few years at university. I wrote some software for it and even made one listing appear in the German computer magazine "Chip". When the HP 41 appeared it was too late: I soon switched to a "Home Computer" (EACA Video Genie, TRS-80 clone) in 1980 or 81. This made my interest in calculators fade and it was the starting point for my current profession - I'm a professional programmer for over 20 years now.
From time to time I picked up some interesting machines just to play around a little: Casio PB-700, TI CC-40, TI-74 Basicalc, TI-95 Procalc, Sharp PC-1261. I still like them all. My first genuine HP was the HP 200lx, my "brain substitute" for several years, until replaced by a Psion netBook.
Some time ago, eBay provided a chance to get back to all my old calculators which had either failed or were sold or given away since long.
Now I own a bunch of HPs (11C, 12C, 15C, 16C, 25(C), 28S, 33S, 35, 41C/V/X, 42S, 45, 48G, 49G+, 97, 200lx, 720), Casios, Sharps, an Epson HX-20, a TRS-80 Model 100, and, of course, many TIs. I still don't really use any of these but I love to play around with them, solving more or less complicated problems mentioned in this forum. (Thanks to Valentin and other contributors who have helpd to awaken my mathematical brain which had slept for so long!)
I have the following working TIs in my collection (in numerical order):
TI-25 (early LCD)
TI-30 (original red LED)
TI-30 (original red LED) transplanted in TI-45 case
TI-36 Solar (LCD)
CC-40 with peripherals (Quick-Disk, RS-232, plotter, 80 column printer) and modules (Pascal, Math)
SR-50 (first scientific LED, no parentheses)
SR-51A (early LED, statistics, still no parentheses)
SR-51 II (2nd generation LED)
SR-52 (first programmable) with PC-100 (the original TI printer & security cradle!)
TI-57 (3rd generation LED)
TI-57 II (LCD)
TI-59 with PC-100C and additional statistics module
TI-66 (LCD), made by Toshiba
TI-74 (S & Basicalc) with peripherals (PC-Interface, small printer) and some modules (math, statistics, finance, Deutsche Bank Leben)
TI-81 (first graphics)
TI-95 Procalc, sharing the peripherals with the TI-74, and some modules (8k RAM, Math, Statistics)
CBL & CBR, Calculator Based Ranger and Calculator Based Laboratory with some probes for connection to the graphics calculators.
Many of the LED machines have such a bad keyboard that I barely use them. The older machines (50, 51, 52, 56) are better then the later models (30/57/58/59).
From the next generation, I like the TI-95, the last keystroke programmable from TI, and the Basic programmables. Playing around with the old peripherals is pure fun.
On the more modern side, I like the TI-92 Plus. This machine is solid like a brick, has a QUERTY keyboard and a huge display. I mainly use its connection to the CBL and/or CBR. The latter are educational devices, not serious lab equipment, but they provide a well designed link between the calculators and the "real world". You can have the CBL collect temperature and lighting data during 24 hours and have the calculator graph the results the next day. CBL can be operated on external power which saves on batteries.
CBL and CBR work well with most of the other graphics machines (except 81, rexstricted on 85). Software is available for free, mostly written in TI user code (sometimes referred to as "TI-BASIC" which it isn't.)
The Voyage 200 has the same operating system as the TI-92 Plus but more memory in a smaller footprint. I don't like the keys which are a little too tiny. While the TI-89 has the same CAS and is even more pocketable, its keyboard layout isn't very well suited to the vast functionality.
From the non-CAS graphics I prefer the 85/86 series for which production and development has sadly stopped, in favour of the less capable 81/82/83/84 line. The latter have only one-letter variable names and a less capable programming model while the former have long variable names and a more complete programming dialect. I like the 85/86 menu system better then both the systems in the simpler series and the CAS machines.