Home » Science and Technology » Gadgets and Gizmos

Graphical Calculators: What's So Great About Them?

Aug 17, 2007
Technology such as the Graphical Calculators covered in this article are rapidly changing our world in many ways and becoming more affordable for the average person. Its worth mentioning however that better technology is actually properly defined as simply a better way of doing something we already do with whatever process we have at hand. Rather than thinking of better technology in terms of computers, hi tech gadgets and such, for example anytime we find a way to get to work 5mins faster than before we have found a better technology to improve our lives in some respect.

Graphing calculators are an extremely useful tool for students, scientists, engineers and mathematicians. They are basically handheld computers, much more powerful than normal calculators and capable of performing complicated algebraic functions. With a larger graphical interface, they are best known for their ability to show graphical representations of mathematical equations, and hence their name.

The Japanese company Casio first introduced graphing calculators in 1985 when they released their fx-7000G. Casio still makes graphing calculators today, but the market is now dominated by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Texas Instruments (TI). Casio has since focused their marketing on the grade school and junior high school applications of graphing calculators, where HP and TI now control the high school, college, and professional markets.

Since most graphing calculators are allowed on standardized tests such as the SAT, they are a valuable tool for students. Some of the more modern models have a QWERTY keyboard setup and have thus been declared to be 'computers' and not calculators. These models are not allowed for use on the SAT, and are therefore not very popular amongst students.

**Running Commentary** - Its interesting to note at this point that Graphical Calculators are going to range in price quite a bit and you really need to first identify your needs and wants and when you go shopping make sure you don't overspend for features you want but don't really need. As technology so quickly becomes obsolete 1. many of the features will become obsolete 2. later models will be cheaper if not superseded by a later model with newer features and 3. are you going to actually have time to read the whole manual and understand how all the features work ? (I know I never figure out all the features of any new gadget or gizmo I buy)

The two most popular non-QWERTY style models today are the TI-89 Titanium Edition, and the HP-49G+. They are both generally as powerful as the QWERTY models, such as the TI-92 and the Voyage 2000, but are much smaller and more convenient. Their prices are nearly the same in most stores and generally fall in the $140-160 USD range.

Personally, I am a long time user of TI model calculators and would recommend the TI-89 over the HP. The TI is capable of better resolution on its screen, and seems a little more user friendly. The TI is often thought to be marketed more for students and other non-professionals, and for their needs it is more than enough.

The HP does have an SD expansion card upgrade available that can allow users a virtually unlimited amount of memory, but I don't see a need for more than the 2.7 MB the TI-89 Titanium comes with. When I was in college I was able to put all the programs and even games I wanted on my TI-89 with space left to spare. Plus, the HP has suffered from a series of manufacturing defects, which though they have since corrected, still has me a little uneasy about their products.

When buying a calculator, it's a good idea to research what your needs are exactly. Maybe you're going to need a lot of memory and the HP-49G+ is better for your needs. If you don't plan on using it for tests and don't care about size, you might want to consider a QWERTY layout. Is there a specific model your instructor recommends? Are there specific models you aren't allowed to use?

Whatever your needs may be and whether you are a student or a professional, graphing calculators can be a valuable asset to help you better understand the complex world that is graphical mathematics.

To wrap up our article about Graphical Calculators I wish you luck in putting your new technology to use in your home/work life. In the last 20 years I have seen so many examples of new technology come and go I cant help feeling excited about what I'm going to see in the next 20 years. Although many people seem to feel a sense of foreboding about new things changing their lives in a negative way I must confess that I don't have this fear at all (at the ripe old age of 40 anyway). I understand that new and changing technology is not only inevitable but in fact is opening up more opportunities for us all than ever before in our history and we should only feel threatened if we choose to cling to the past and somehow expect the rest of the world around us to do the same.
About the Author
Mr James has owned The Cartridge Specialists (Melbourne) since 2004 selling ink, toner, fax rolls etc & regularly writes articles about his industry
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 324
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources