Sunday, March 10, 2013

Calculators Aren't Just For Doing Math

sho minamimoto holding calculator

It's 11:00 am, you're sitting in class factoring binomials for the nth time and your grumbling stomach reminds you of the feast to be had as soon as the hour's up. The unbearable hunger and soul-deadening boredom from repeatedly solving the same types of problems is enough to slow time to a pace not fit for a snail. You decide to pull out a phone/game boy to pass the time, but don't get further than the second stage before the tyrannical teacher's gaze fixates on the contraband. If you're lucky, you'll get a warning. If you're being instructed by Hitler, then you may be without the device for the rest of the day or even year.

There are solutions! Many of our schools supplied us with TI-83 calculators, or maybe none at all. These saw a lot of mediocre homebrew titles, and even some great ones like Portal: Prelude, but the graphics left a lot to be desired. Luckily for the youngsters of today, there exist machines like the TI-Nspire CX which are more or less pocket computers. There are dozens of games available that actually resemble something someone would want to play. If that wasn't enough, they can also be used as an expensive game boy color emulator. No longer do students need to hide the textbook OVER the comic, for the textbook and comic are now one in the same.

Okay... bad analogy, but the idea's the same. Just try not to break into dance after beating the Elite Four with your lvl 100 Pikachu or they may grow suspicious.


Interesting... I may be failing math for the next few weeks. :)

Oh yeah, and I promise I'll start posting more soon.

I hated Algebra so i learned to draw on my TI-83, got pretty good at it. The kid who sat behind me learned how to program, so I drew graphics and title screens for his games. We had a rogue-like dungeon crawler and a Snake-esque game. Good times

Wow, I remember splicing together wires for my Ti-82 2.5mm plug so it could interface with a serial port on my computer. I didn't play that much in class, but Drug Wars and Tetris definitely seemed to be the games of choice at my school.

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