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The actuel Prime future...
08-27-2014, 12:33 AM
Post: #41
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-26-2014 04:17 PM)walter b Wrote:  What's the 'education market' according to you? Do you talk about students or students? The little or the big ones? (I love the ambiguities of that language.)

Education market = elementary school, middle school, high school, and university.

They all have students.

There is no ambiguity.

Quote:I concur that students at school (up to the age of let's say 13 IIRC) don't need a calculator at all ...

Don't stop at 13, older teenagers don't need them either. Possibly only students bound for the engineering sciences, which is a rather small percentage of students these days.

Quote:you don't want to fall back to table books, do you?)

Hey, it worked for us, didn't it?

Quote:And in science and engineering at university, well, banning calculators would be off real world - your studies shall prepare you for professional life after all.

My, my, what did those poor engineers who graduated prior to 1972 do without calculators?

Quote:Thus, there is a market for solid calculators

I'm sure some said that about slide rules back in 1972!
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08-27-2014, 08:32 AM (This post was last modified: 08-27-2014 08:35 AM by walter b.)
Post: #42
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-27-2014 12:33 AM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  Education market = elementary school, middle school, high school, and university.

They all have students.

Thanks for the definitions. Are there no pupils anymore?

(08-27-2014 12:33 AM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  
(08-26-2014 04:17 PM)walter b Wrote:  you don't want to fall back to table books, do you?)

Hey, it worked for us, didn't it?

And our ancestors used stone axes for cutting trees which worked, too Wink. Personally, I think a calculator being a better tool than a table book. YMMV.

Quote:
Quote:And in science and engineering at university, well, banning calculators would be off real world - your studies shall prepare you for professional life after all.

My, my, what did those poor engineers who graduated prior to 1972 do without calculators?

IIRC, they welcomed calculators appearing in 1972. Smile

Quote:
Quote:Thus, there is a market for solid calculators

I'm sure some said that about slide rules back in 1972!

Slide rules were replaced by better tools. Calculators may be replaced by better tools as well - but certainly not by table books. My, my, I thought being conservative in that matter but you beat me well ...

d:-)
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08-27-2014, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 08-27-2014 06:42 PM by Kevin Ouellet.)
Post: #43
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-26-2014 01:57 PM)cutterjohn Wrote:  
(08-25-2014 05:21 AM)Kevin Ouellet Wrote:  It has to do with offer and demand. Same reason why NBA Elite 11 for the Playstation 3 costs $800 on Ebay and why the NTSC version of FIFA 14 for the Playstation 2 will most likely do the same in a decade. That said, maybe offer and demand is what drives Canadian HP calc prices this high? Tongue (but again, by that logic, a TI link cable would cost over $70,000 in brick and mortar stores)

As for the $90 HP 50g price tag I saw it on Amazon last year, not in a brick and mortar store. Same for the $208 price tag in Canada (it was on Best Buy website). The American Best Buy site charged $137 for it back then.
To add what I find to be a hilarious(to me at least aside), I happened to be trawling ebay(US only) yesterday and literally found TONs of TI nSpires, nSpire Touchpads, and both with CAS for SIGNIFICANTLY less than even TI 83/4+?! (nspires started at c. $40 while 83/4s where c. $75...)

Some of those 83/4s had screen that had been to hell and back(looked like burn marks, stuck pixels but always with a caveat: you can still make out the numbers... ROFLMAO! meanwhile the nSpires looked in pretty decent shape. (Many were apparently former school property as they had the yellow plastic covers, etc.)

So I also bought an older nspire for $50(had 84+ keypad and cables, so worth the $10 over the $40 one was a touchpad as well... I just like that keyboard better, and sent an offer to one of the 84+s with a decent screen for quite a bit less, awaiting the acceptance/decline ATM. I just want to see recent TIs and what they did to their old ones as I have an 85 kicking around that was given to me. Never got around to buying/making a data cable for it. Why bother? I had a 49g...

Back to our topic:
Pretty much no truly high end calcs are available in the stores near me, Target, Wallymart, Sears, WorstBuy, etc. Didn't check at ucenter as I didn't think that they'd carry calcs, and haven't been to a uni book store in a long time. (Went last time specifically to buy my 49g, but since then it's just less frustrating(and cheaper) to buy online... (OK I did check for 50gs at WorstBuy/et. al. but at the time they had ZERO HP calcs on shelves, just TI 8Xs and nspires and casios and maybe some cheap sharps... I think that one of the office supply b&ms had ti-89 Ti though, also ridiculously priced...)

That is nothing. At Staples in Quebec City area, during the spring of 2008, you could get a TI-Nspire Clickpad with the 84+SE keypad included for $159.99, yet the actual TI-84+SE calculator costed $176.86. The next year, the Nspire increased to $169.99, but just the fact you could get a TI-Nspire with 84+SE emulation for cheaper than the 84+SE hardware itself for two years straight was definitively one sign that at one point or another, in certain areas of the world, the Nspire was a commercial failure.

Even in the last two years Staples discounts the Nspire CX to $149.99 during Spring and early Summer, which is even cheaper than their TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition ($159.99)

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08-27-2014, 07:25 PM
Post: #44
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-13-2014 10:20 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  The future probably belongs to smart phones. I'm not a fan of those, but tomorrow I turn 64, so I'm a fossil. I think calculators will soon follow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON, maybe here we belong, mostly, to the JURASSIC PARK Smile
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08-27-2014, 11:07 PM
Post: #45
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-27-2014 07:25 PM)aurelio Wrote:  
(08-13-2014 10:20 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  The future probably belongs to smart phones. I'm not a fan of those, but tomorrow I turn 64, so I'm a fossil. I think calculators will soon follow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON, maybe here we belong, mostly, to the JURASSIC PARK Smile

Thanks Aurelio.

Yeah, I'm feeling more and more like a triceratops every day!
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08-28-2014, 06:29 AM
Post: #46
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-27-2014 11:07 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  
(08-27-2014 07:25 PM)aurelio Wrote:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON, maybe here we belong, mostly, to the JURASSIC PARK Smile

Thanks Aurelio.

Yeah, I'm feeling more and more like a triceratops every day!
...it's the same kind I choosed for my self, looking to the size Smile
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05-13-2015, 04:42 PM (This post was last modified: 05-13-2015 04:53 PM by Kevin Ouellet.)
Post: #47
RE: The actuel Prime future...
Another evidence of inflated Canadian HP prices:

[Image: hpprimepricingcanada.png]

In US Dollars this gives the following:

TI-84 Plus: $117.16
TI-84+CSE: $125.53
TI-89 Titanium: $149.79
TI-Nspire CX: $141.42
TI-Nspire CX CAS: $117.99 (most likely a promotion)
Casio FX-9750GII: $48.57
Casio FX-9860GII: $74.47
Casio FX-9860GII-S: $69.45
HP Prime: $163.19


The worst part is that it's hardware revision A. (NW280AA)
Although at least it's better than the $207.99 HP 50g back when the dollar was worth $0.95 USD (meaning the calc was still more than twice as much its $89.99 US MSRP). The HP Prime Canadian MSRP should normally range from $169.99 to $179.99 depending of the store.

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05-13-2015, 09:13 PM (This post was last modified: 05-13-2015 09:13 PM by iconmaster.)
Post: #48
RE: The actuel Prime future...
We will continue to use graphing calculators for a long time in the future. It's a matter of security in education.

We need this technology to do fast calculations that would be repetitive to do by hand. While this is done by professionals using computer software, we don't want people using their laptops of phones in a classroom setting. While educators want calculators to remove repetitive math, they don't want these devices to be too powerful. If you use a calculator to effortlessly calculate what you are currently learning how to do manually, you are not learning at all. Educators cannot verify the power of a student's laptop or phone; the versatility of these devices allow people to use software of any mathematical power level. We still need calculators, the low-power devices they are, for learning and for testing.

This is why you see HP move from the 50g to the Prime. The 50g was an attempt at a professional tool. While it was a good calculator, it had no place in the market. It was too powerful, in a way. It had no place in education, and no place in a professional world dominated by software. The Prime is targeted to educators and students; its feature-set reflects this. The Prime has things like quiz modes, network polls, and classroom wireless.

Over in TI's world, you see the same thing with the TI-NSpire. Ever since the thing has come out, there has been a war between people uploading custom software to it and TI making changes to disallow this. This is due to the fact that the market for these things. They have to be completely secure; else people like us here could make it too powerful. Because of this, new calculators have no support for custom software. The NSpire, the Prime, and other new calculators are locked down, reflecting the trend towards education.

I guess this thing came as a bit of a shock to me. I always loved writing custom calculator software, but the problem is the calculator world is not a place for me anymore. It is a place for institutions to create education standards in. It is not my place to disrupt this.

It is the end of a calculator era, really. An era for which many of us now do not belong.
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05-14-2015, 05:17 AM
Post: #49
RE: The actuel Prime future...
On the other hand, the HP Prime programming capabilities are extremely powerful compared to the TI-Nspire Basic language and perhaps even Lua in some cases. While you might not be able to do a NES emulator on the HP Prime, you can still make HP PPL games that looks as good, if not better, than SNES/GBA games. And the 3D is quite powerful, as demonstrated by the 3D Graphing app.

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05-14-2015, 06:08 AM
Post: #50
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(05-13-2015 09:13 PM)iconmaster Wrote:  We will continue to use graphing calculators for a long time in the future. It's a matter of security in education.
... The NSpire, the Prime, and other new calculators are locked down, reflecting the trend towards education.

I guess this thing came as a bit of a shock to me. I always loved writing custom calculator software, but the problem is the calculator world is not a place for me anymore. It is a place for institutions to create education standards in. It is not my place to disrupt this.

It is the end of a calculator era, really. An era for which many of us now do not belong.

This however raises the question : who control the education standards?
If the calcs remain locked, then it's TI, Casio and HP. Of course they take care of a few curriculum (the US mainly and a few inputs from other countries so that these countries governements believe they can change things).
It's a bad thing. We should fight against that, it's our freedom, we should control what we have paid for and not let other people decide what should be in a calc and what should not be. I'm not in a position to do anything for the HP Prime, but I made an attempt with Khicas on the TI Nspire, so that people buying a non-CAS nspire can run a CAS in their calculator.
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05-14-2015, 06:55 PM
Post: #51
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(05-14-2015 06:08 AM)parisse Wrote:  This however raises the question : who control the education standards?
If the calcs remain locked, then it's TI, Casio and HP. Of course they take care of a few curriculum (the US mainly and a few inputs from other countries so that these countries governements believe they can change things).

The market controls the standards. And that market is the educators, not people like I. I mean, the College Board deals with calculators only to regulate what features may or may not be usable on tests, for instance.

(05-14-2015 06:08 AM)parisse Wrote:  It's a bad thing. We should fight against that, it's our freedom, we should control what we have paid for and not let other people decide what should be in a calc and what should not be. I'm not in a position to do anything for the HP Prime, but I made an attempt with Khicas on the TI Nspire, so that people buying a non-CAS nspire can run a CAS in their calculator.

The vast majority of people who will buy (or enforce the buying of) calculators these days are people who do not want you to be able to install Khicas. Using Khicas could be considered cheating if someone expected you to have a non-CAS NSpire, so TI wants you to not exist.

Sure, it's your freedom to modify the device. But no matter how much you try to exercise this freedom, calculators will only become less free in the future.
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05-14-2015, 07:11 PM
Post: #52
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-17-2014 03:21 PM)John P Wrote:  I was recently thinking about the future of calculators and concluded the the HP Prime was the last calculator I bought unless the HP makes some super dooper miracle calculator without bags etc but I doubt it. I decided to wait for the next iteration of the Microsoft Surface 3 Pro and if I like it I will buy it or some other fast laptop or ultra portable based on Brodwell. I will buy Mathematica 10 home license and use it. It is a waist of time to try figure out all the idiosyncracis of the HP Prime and as a calculator cell phone should be enough. The price of Mathematica home license is about twice the price of the HP Prime though for a long run I think it is worth it. I am through wit HP and I think for good.

I bought Mathematica 10 last fall. It's really amazing to have all this calculating power in a relatively sensible environment. They really thought of just about everything. Another major benefit is the ability to tap into Wolfram Alpha's enormous database of facts and figures. Want to know the relation between McDonald's stock price, the average rainfall in the Midwest, and the price of pork? This kind of thing would have entailed at least a half hour to perhaps a couple days' research to accomplish, but once you learn Mathematica you can have the answer in just a moment.

I do enjoy BASIC handhelds and HP RPN calculators as a sort of fun tool, but there really is no comparison to Mathematica for pure number crunching and ease of use. I wish HP would realize this and create something similar - 64GB of onboard facts and figures is doable and cheap in an SD card these days. Let me ask it questions in English like I can with Alpha and they'd have a product that would sell like hotcakes.
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05-14-2015, 07:18 PM
Post: #53
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(05-14-2015 06:55 PM)iconmaster Wrote:  The market controls the standards. And that market is the educators, not people like I. I mean, the College Board deals with calculators only to regulate what features may or may not be usable on tests, for instance.

The market isn't educators. It's government bureaucrats, who decide which textbooks become the new standard, and it's the textbook publishers who push the TI calculators. It's a really cozy business arrangement that stretches from your local school board right up to the Department of Education, and you can bet that the academic publishers are invested in TI and vice versa. If you look at the past Secretaries of the US Department of Education you'll find a bunch of former employees of academic publishers, consortiums of banks offering student loans, and so on.

The free market does not exist when you have a half dozen layers of governments, many of which are headed by former employees of the companies that constitute the marketers of all things educational, controlling the choices. Milton Friedman had a lot to say about this.
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05-14-2015, 07:57 PM
Post: #54
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(05-14-2015 06:55 PM)iconmaster Wrote:  The market controls the standards. And that market is the educators, not people like I. I mean, the College Board deals with calculators only to regulate what features may or may not be usable on tests, for instance.
Perhaps you miss part of my point, which was that each country should have control on what they put in their curriculum. With the current trends in calculators (test mode), only a few country (if not only one) have some control over calculators companies. Moreover this is controled from above, there is no more room for innovation from the bottom.

Quote:The vast majority of people who will buy (or enforce the buying of) calculators these days are people who do not want you to be able to install Khicas. Using Khicas could be considered cheating if someone expected you to have a non-CAS NSpire, so TI wants you to not exist.
Of course TI does not want my program to exist, I did not write it for them :-) I wrote it for people who can afford a non-CAS calc but not a CAS calc. The price difference in France is about 40 euros (non-CAS 129 euros, CAS 169 euros).

Quote:Sure, it's your freedom to modify the device. But no matter how much you try to exercise this freedom, calculators will only become less free in the future.
If everybody resigns on freedom and equality, then this will certainly happen. But why should we resign?
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05-15-2015, 04:47 PM (This post was last modified: 05-15-2015 04:49 PM by Manolo Sobrino.)
Post: #55
RE: The actuel Prime future...
Companies sell products for profit. The market for non-educational devices is small to nonexistent and it's more or less covered already.

And most of the people buying calculators do it because they are required to do so and couldn't care less.

The point I don't like here is expecting that companies do what is good for the product. Too naïve, most of them don't do that. They do what they perceive is good for sales, that's how the world works. Believing that they do care is just a product of successful public relations/advertisement and your expected mindset as a consumerist sheep.

Frequently your interests stand in the way of theirs. The funny thing is that they still might expect you to play along and buy their stuff, so in an indeterminate future you might have the product you are paying for right now but not getting really... Yeah, right, so much for asymmetric brand loyalty.

But people can do something about it, and that has to do with the other underlying assumption: that only those companies can make stuff. That's not true, we have free software made by folks that do care and because of it just wouldn't conform. That's a very good thing, not only it's healthy for your freedom, it's good for the competitiveness of all parts involved. A big "Thank you, Bernard" is due here.

If people are willing to get the calculator they want their only hope is to do it themselves. And they can, you don't need to own a big factory.

I don't know if the graphing calculator concept by itself makes sense any more. We are not in the 90s, people have computers in their pockets and there are better computational environments to do it. We should be thinking about more interesting devices sharing the virtues of calculators: portable, dependable, solid haptic interface, no need to worry about running out of batteries, good numerical libraries and the capability to write code on it. A modular approach makes sense. You have a skeleton and there it goes a keyboard module, a low power cpu, a beefier one, I/O modules, screen ones... All in a kit DIY way. I can see many applications for such devices, calculators being one of them.

Education is a big broken problem almost everywhere, I don't think you can fix it with calculators (beyond simple scientific ones, I even doubt they are a good idea for students), let those companies have it. If you offer a solid general purpose alternative, it will find its way to a sound education, maybe not to school.
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05-15-2015, 07:05 PM (This post was last modified: 05-15-2015 07:10 PM by parisse.)
Post: #56
RE: The actuel Prime future...
I also believe it is important to teach students not to be passive knowledge consumers, but to be active learners. Being active does not mean play with some applet someone else has designed to focus on one aspect of maths in the way the applet designer thought about it and you can't change. It really means learn how to be independant and this implies a real freedom for students to program the device. If they choose to stick with the user language, that's fine, but they should also have the freedom to program it at full speed. That was the magic of the hp48g family with user RPL and system RPL. That's what ndless enables on the TI nspire. Unfortunately education institutions and the calc companies have decided to push the test mode "feature" in more and more countries (e.g. France in 2018), and this is against this freedom: you won't see SDK like the system RPL SDK on the 48.
One might think, it's not important, since everyone can program freely on a computer. But I think it misses one important point : many good programmers learned programming on calcs. I thought it was not true anymore, but from a topic on tiplanet forum I discovered it seems to be still true, perhaps because the calc is always available at school, perhaps because the learning curve is much smaller before you can really master the thing and show something to your classmates than on a PC. Now they won't anymore, even in the user language, because memory will be erased each time they enter test mode (the only motivation to program will now probably be cheating).
The short-minded educators and businessmens won this round, computer science and engineers lost it. Is the battle really over?
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06-10-2015, 09:55 PM
Post: #57
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(05-15-2015 04:47 PM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  Companies sell products for profit. The market for non-educational devices is small to nonexistent and it's more or less covered already.

And most of the people buying calculators do it because they are required to do so and couldn't care less.

This much is true, I believe. Your average student views a calculator as a simple necessity only because it has been called for by their teacher. The actual requirements of a school / standardized test calculator seem to be pretty minimal aside from a flashing light on the outside.

(05-15-2015 04:47 PM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  The point I don't like here is expecting that companies do what is good for the product. Too naïve, most of them don't do that. They do what they perceive is good for sales, that's how the world works.

But people can do something about it, and that has to do with the other underlying assumption: that only those companies can make stuff.

This much obvious now: The next really great RPL / RPN calculator will not be made by a giant multibillion dollar company with tens of thousands of employees. In many sectors the drive for the largest market and profit margin has left the consumer with many choices, but very little in the way of satisfactory products. Smaller companies don't have to have the *highest* profit margin or the *largest* segment of the market in order to prosper - they just need a sustainable business.
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06-11-2015, 07:50 AM
Post: #58
RE: The actuel Prime future...
Quote:Being active does not mean play with some applet someone else has designed to focus on one aspect of maths in the way the applet designer thought about it and you can't change.

I share your thoughts and second this statement. BUT. I have the feeling, that when it comes to prime's firmware and its updates the HP employes are most enthusiastic about features that stick into that role. App concept and many other small aspects force users/students to identify the task, know the app to launch.
Even Tim is extremely enthusiastic if test users like to PLAY with a module and somehow assumes that understanding and knowledge will magically result.... Learning through playing seems to be the modern concept of education. The future will show if it works.

Quote:The short-minded educators and businessmens won this round, computer science and engineers lost it. Is the battle really over?

According to the prime? Yes, I have the feeling.
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06-11-2015, 07:45 PM
Post: #59
RE: The actuel Prime future...
Having been a user of hand-held calculators for a very long time, I foresee that we are coming to a tipping point, driven in large part by the educational market. There is an overarching requirement in that market for fairness within the resources available for use by students, particularly in the 'testing' aspect of education. If "fairness" is the stated goal, what then lies behind it? I submit that the integrity of the testing system--and therefore the existence of the testing business--is being protected.

That translates into a simple rule: any device used in a test must be set to a state of known functionality. In short, wiped and restored to permit only some known functions that can be verified by the inclusion of some 'signal' in the firmware (e.g. a LED).

No student would want their iPhone or Android wiped--restoration is time-consuming and risky--and putting a personal item into a known state would be problematic. This means that there will continue to be a need for a high-end calculator like the Prime.

As many students will want to go beyond the classroom instruction and explore the capabilities of the Prime, or even extend its capabilities by creating their own programs as I did back in the day, there will naturally be many more functions than as permitted in testing.

The market that has been shrinking is the "first job after school" market. Engineers and scientists used slide rules long after graduation because the methodology was the same, but as the computer came on the scene, slide rules disappeared from the workplace. The same progression happened with calculators, but more slowly due to the convergence of calculator and computer power for most purposes.

The hp12C continues strong in finance--at least in the 'first-job' market--because NPV calculations are pretty much the same as they were forty years ago and a real 12C is iconic.

In order to move the Prime into new markets--e.g. the electronic hobbyist--there needs to be a better interface with the physical world so that instrumentation and control can be implemented by the Prime. The data steam interface is a start, but to succeed, it must be open source and manage output as well as input. Ideally, there should be a partner organization that is like the 'old-HP' with an engineering expertise as opposed to the 'PC d'jour' and 'sell more printer cartridges' marketing that is all that HPQ can offer today.
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06-17-2015, 08:46 AM
Post: #60
RE: The actuel Prime future...
(08-13-2014 09:33 PM)jebem Wrote:  Same scenario in Portugal and Spain.
Year after year we see less and less calculators on shops for people to buy.
HP was the first brand to go away, at least two years ago, and now we see the same happening with Texas, and only Casio is resisting the trend and can be seen in the shops here and there.

This is a sad scenario indeed for us die hard guys from the glorious days of portable computing.

Apparently what people wants these days are pocket smartphones, many sporting more processing power than many 90's super workstations, where anyone can install hundreds of applications including calculator programs (some of them really nice and powerful - algebraic, RPN, CAS, make your choice or better than that, install all of them!).

So who cares about classic calculators these days?

The education market stills consumes calculators at specific countries around the world, as long as it complies to very rigid specifications to be accepted by the official establishment.
But even at basic school computers did take over calculators some years ago.
Most of the students are native Internet users - they expect any device to be connected - that's it.
It is a matter of time until the establishment/teachers stops forcing the use of dedicated devices such as a calculator as a tool in education.

I grew up at school in the 70's using calculators because computers were rare and only available at large enterprises.
I'm a small collector in electronic devices, that's why I'm interested in them.
Otherwise I use a computer for any kind of calculations since the 80's, and never miss a calculator.

On a more positive note, the HP-PRIME is easy to acquire - just browse the usual Internet portals, starting by eBay.
That's how I got mine.

Hi Jebem,

Unless something changed very recently, the Prime is available in ECI stores in Spain. You can also buy it online through several webstores in Spain (Solocalculadores, Calculatorstore, etc.). Actually, the number of HP calculators sold in brick-and-mortar stores in Spain has actually increased these last few years.

Since the Portuguese ministry of education is not allowing CAS calculators in exams, there is no push on the Prime so far by any education partner in Portugal. It can be found on some online retailers by the way: Worten being one of them.

In general we do see a move to retail and pure education specialists. I personally think this is a good move. Working with these specialists ensures a dedication that (big) retailers simply cannot offer. And we have to admit: until the HP Prime is as big as TI-84+, we need that dedication for Prime to be succesful! Smile

http://www.hp-prime.com
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