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Why do calculator manufactures like to reinvent the wheel?
03-11-2014, 11:45 AM
Post: #15
RE: Why do calculator manufactures like to reinvent the wheel?
Quote:I suppose it's getting harder to tell but HP hardware was always better than mass market junk, which is what RPi and Beagle arguably are.
When more than a couple million people buy "junk" and get used to it - and that's before sub-50$ smartphones sell at dozen million, if not hundred million, volume, as this previously untapped market segment has excellent forecasts - manufacturers of other device families may want to notice and plan ahead, because something is definitely going on.
Even if we know that calculator manufacturers have enough lobbying power and teacher following to keep exam regulations silly, features low and prices high for a longer period of time.

Quote:I hear you on the fact that calculator hardware is no longer state of the art and is expensive compared to other portable devices, but we don't need that kind of power nor the power consumption that comes with it
Using newer components doesn't necessarily raise power consumption, thanks to increased power efficiency offered by newer chip technology. indicates that the Cortex-A5 has lower dynamic power per MHz (and that's using a 65 nm process of years back, whereas nowadays' leading edge for smartphones and tablets is 28 or 22 nm), and each MHz gets more work done on a Cortex-A5 than on an ARM926, thanks to expanded instruction set and better micro-architecture.

As for throwing more hardware at the problem because there's not enough time to work on optimization... while philosophically unsatisfying, it's the way the real world, with insufficient time to market and counter-productive management decisions (I can't imagine the crazy XML bloat used by the Nspire not being made on purpose), works.
As a hobbyist, I used to spend lots of time reverse-engineering and optimizing stuff so as to get more stuff done on limited hardware resources (mainly the TI-68k series), and I still do to a lower extent. Few professional software developers can do that.

The fact that a calculator is supposed to be used as a calculator, does not mean its feature set shouldn't be expanded to whatever purpose users see fit (no, not just games), or just for fun / "just because we can".
I once used my TI-89T as a USB keyboard + mouse for the real-world, day job purposes of performing initial setup of an embedded ARM board which only had a female mini-A USB plug, before we bought a male mini-A / female A cable (which came in only weeks later).
Even though there are better and cheaper alternatives (though few have a full keyboard, a screen and a battery), the Nspire can run Linux (and the Prime would if people were more interested in it / had more time to work on it), and can therefore be used for real-world non-teaching purposes.
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RE: Why do calculator manufactures like to reinvent the wheel? - debrouxl - 03-11-2014 11:45 AM

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