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Casio Prizm: Why TI Calc Coders Should Abandon the Nspire CX
Published by KermMartian on March 6, 2011 at 12:22:21 AM CST | Discuss this article (366)
For the past thirteen years of my life, I have been a dedicated, vehement member of the TI calculator coding community. I first started writing TI-BASIC on a school TI-82 in sixth grade, and got my very own TI-83 for Christmas in seventh grade. I developed my TI-BASIC skills, released hundreds of programs, then began to teach myself z80 ASM as I started high school. I have maintained a hobbyist website and community centered around programming TI's calculators for well over a decade, now going strong with over 1,700 members. It should be a shock for a pillar of the TI programming community to therefore endorse a calculator from the Enemy, the nefarious Casio, one of the two perennial underdogs in the world of graphing calculators. I believe that tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of students have been introduced to programming and technical fields by experimenting with their calculators and learning to program with these tools, and I believe TI is no longer fulfilling its social responsibility to fill this niche.
Several months ago, Casio released their new calculator, the Prizm, the first graphing calculator in over a decade to include a color LCD. It sports 16MB of Flash memory, ample RAM, and the aforementioned 384x216 pixel LCD. TI's first entry into the graphing calculator space in over five years had been the TI-Nspire, an "aircraft-carrier sized" device crippled by no programming ability and a feature set pandering to standardized tests, not to students. Fast-forward to late February 2011, when TI announced a color LCD refresh of the Nspire line, to be known as the TI-Nspire CX. Like many of my programming compatriots, I was excited. Perhaps TI had seen the light of their responsibility to inspire students to become mathematicians, computer scientists, and electrical engineers. Sadly, the Nspire CX follows the steady decline of TI's graphing calculators started with the first Nspire. If you're a TI calculator enthusiast, you should ignore the Nspire CX and get a Casio Prizm and thus support Casio's attitude towards its users; read on for more.
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