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» Tweet Your Calculators with the #TISelfieContest
» Back-to-School 2014: What Graphing Calculator Should I Buy?
» A Brief Reverse-Engineering Tutorial with the g3p Format
» Cemetech To Return to World Maker Faire 2014
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Tweet Your Calculators with the #TISelfieContest
Published by KermMartian on August 21, 2014 at 3:28:03 PM CST | Discuss this article (13)
Our friends at Texas Instruments have sent along information on TI's latest contest, "Express your Selfie". Tying the popular culture fad of taking selfies with the fun TI (and Cemetech) think that graphing calculators enable, the contest challenges you to take a creative selfie with your calculator or other TI technology. Entering the contest is straightforward:
Good luck to all of you in coming up with creative ways to promote math and science (and programming, please!) with TI's contest, and if you win, I hope you'll make the videoconference include our enthusiastic graphing calculator users and programmers here. You can learn more about the contest at http://tiselfie.com, and feel free to add the #cemetech hashtag to your #TISelfieContest tweets so that our bots will repeat the tweet here.
Back-to-School 2014: What Graphing Calculator Should I Buy?
Published by KermMartian on August 19, 2014 at 6:28:12 PM CST | Discuss this article (3)
Four years in a row, Cemetech has brought you Back to School guides, helping you figure out the best graphing calculator to get for school and how to use it. In 2011 and 2012, we published trios of guides, showing you which calculator to buy, how to get programs and games onto your calculator, and how to learn to program your calculator. In 2013, we held your hand through Which Graphing Calculator Should I Buy?. This year, we are starting out with a guide to selecting from the baffling array of graphing calculators now available to high school and college students. We'll help you figure out which calculator is right for elementary school, high school, or college students, whether for yourself, your child, or your students.
Texas Instruments currently leads the United States graphing calculator market, and has the most widely-recognized lines of graphing calculators. Casio and HP also offer strong options. I'll take you through five popular models of calculators that you might be interested in getting: the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, the Casio Prizm, the TI-Nspire CX, the TI-Nspire CX CAS, and the HP Prime. All five of these calculators are accepted on standardized tests like the SAT; the non-CAS calculators are allowed on the ACT. All five are powerful, modern graphing calculators, and with a few small caveats, all would be appropriate for the average student. However, even among these top contenders, the playing field is hardly level. A note: for the first time, we will not be recommending the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition and the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and TI-Nspire CX CAS would be the best TI substitutes, respectively.
TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. The quintessential calculator for high school (and some college) math and science, now updated with a high-resolution color screen and a rechargeable battery. More details>>
:: Great for programmers and hackers, but not well-supported for school: the first semi-modern, color screen graphing calculator was the Casio Prizm, now about three and a half years old. More details>>
:: The TI-Nspire CX and TI-Nspire CX CAS are the latest in TI's Nspire product line; if you have an iPad, there's also the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad. Two color screen calculators that represent half of TI's "hero product" portfolio along with the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, which means extensive support and lots of programs and activities. The TI-Nspire CX is good for high school students, the TI-Nspire CX CAS for college and some high school students. Continue reading>>
:: The HP Prime, HP's first color-screen calculator, complete with a CAS and touchscreen, a unique graphing application, and an extremely fast built-in BASIC language. Shows great promise, although news of upcoming connectivity hardware and software has been slow to arrive. Continue reading>>
The Final Verdict:
With more graphing calculator choices appearing and more options available to consumers, a better but more confusing selection now confronts students, parents, and even teachers. Continue on to the full article to read in-depth reviews of each of these five models, plus a recap simplifying which calculator you should get.
A Brief Reverse-Engineering Tutorial with the g3p Format
Published by KermMartian on August 13, 2014 at 9:13:29 PM CST | Discuss this article (7)
I recently announced that I added support for Casio Prizm pictures (.g3p files) to Cemetech's SourceCoder 3 online calculator programming IDE. The hardest part of creating that new feature was not the code that implements it in SourceCoder, but the reverse-enginering work necessary to understand how to read .g3p files and then generate new .g3p files that the Casio fx-CG10 and fx-CG20 will both accept. At the request of several Cemetech members, I have decided to write a short tutorial showing how I reverse-engineered the .g3p format, which I hope will help you with any new file or data format that you might want to try to understand. The tutorial will be roughly divided into sections explaining what you should have to successfully understand a new format, what existing information will accelerate the process, and how to actually peer into the unknown format.
Click here to read the full topic >>
Reverse-engineering the .g3p format was time-consuming but fun, and I learned about a new compression algorithm and a new checksumming technique along the way. I will shortly be releasing the full, more technical description of the different .g3p file formats. In the meantime, I hope this tutorial helped you learn a bit more about the techniques, tools, and experimentation inherent in reverse-engineering a format. As always, questions or comments in the attached topic are encouraged.
Cemetech To Return to World Maker Faire 2014
Published by KermMartian on August 12, 2014 at 3:51:01 PM CST | Discuss this article (1)
For the past two years, Cemetech has presented a strong showing at World Maker Faire in New York City. In 2012, we presented six exhibits about graphing calculator hacking and programming, including demonstrations of calculator networking, calculator internet access, calculator music players, and hardware mods. We let visitors test out games and programs on TI-84 Plus Silver Edition and Casio Prizm graphing calculators, and qazz42 and mreksm helped me spread the word about the educational value of graphing calculator programming and hacking. We reprised our exhibit at World Maker Faire 2013, where we had more calculators, more demos, more interactive displays, and qazz42, elfprince13, and geekboy1011 helping me spread the word about programming and DIY electronics with graphing calculators.
September 20 and 21, 2014, we will be returning to Flushing Meadows in New York City to participate in our third World Maker Faire. A growing contingent of Cemetech members is scheduled to join us to show off graphing calculator programming and hacking, and we have already begun planning our exhibits and demos for the Faire. If you're interested in helping us to plan what to show or even in attending (although we may not have space behind the table), feel free to weigh in in the attached topic. Planning to stop by as a Faire visitor? We hope you'll come to our table and say hello.
World Maker Faire 2012 recap
World Maker Faire 2013 recap
World Maker Faire 2014 exhibit and demo planning
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