Sunday, June 26, 2011

Texas Instruments TI-nspire CX Short Review

In early June, the TI-nspire CX calculator finally hit the stores.  I bought mine at a local Office Depot in West Covina for about $160.  The CX is the third installment of the TI-nspire series.  The CX, I feel, is what TI should have released the first time.

The CX boasts a color screen.  You are able to edit certain text (in the Notes Application), graphs, and cells in 15 colors.  The color screen has a better contrast to their black and white nspire counterparts.  The best part is that I can read the screen anywhere at any angle instead of having to tilt my calculator to certain degrees.  

The CX has a much better keyboard than the Touchpad.  I won't go into how much dislike users have for the original Clickpad here, but the alphabetic keys on the bottom of the Touchpad were atrocious.  The keys were hard to press, put a lot of pressure on the finger, and the keys put a strain on my hands after typing on it for several minutes.  Thankfully, TI corrected this problem and on the CX the alphabetic keys on the bottom of the unit have a more tactile feel to them.  The keys are easy to press.

Although, what is up with the trigonometric functions not being on the keyboard?  Same for π and θ.

The CX also has 100 MB of memory - which is a lot for a calculator.  It may not be the biggest, because an HP 50g calculator can have up to 4 GB(?) on it with the use of an SD card, but that is a ton of memory for a calculator noneoftheless.

The CX package comes with the Student Software.  The Software can be used to emulate the nspire CX and also act as the link between the calculator and the computer.

Overall, I enjoy using the nspire CX and can not wait to get my hands on the CAS version.

TI nspire webpage

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Favorite Number

Even though I am a fan of numbers in general, my favorite number is π. π is the famous irrational constant used in measuring the area and circumference in circles, plays an important role in trigonometry, and the Gamma of 1/2 is the square root of π. Every March 14 is designated π Day, celebrated around the world, particularly in mathematical circles, schools, and universities. It also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein, Billy Crystal, Les Brown, Quincy Jones, and yours truly (Eddie - the writer on this blog).

Going by memory, the first 15 digits of π is 3.14159 26535 89793.

So, what is your favorite number?

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