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Pt 2112-1-1

I Heart Robotics has a great open letter to TI

Dear TI,

If you are not too busy, perhaps you could develop a new calculator for professional engineers, one that is not limited based on the demands of the College Board and the SAT.

Perhaps you find someone at TI that could develop a calculator with a modern display, or even one that could compete with MATLAB.

TI please understand that some of us use our calculators to do work instead of just take tests. Hassling hobbyists, who are actually innovating, just reminds us how little effort you have put into improving your calculator products for engineers.

How about wireless support, an SD card slot, data logging or if you don’t have any hardware people around maybe you could provide some updates to ME*Pro and EE*Pro. You don’t even have to do the programming, you can just upload the code somewhere with an open source license and we will take care of it.

If you are not interested in improving on the TI-89 Titanium, let us know so we can get started with an OSHW calculator design.

Thanks,
I<3R

Please RT @TXInstruments on the Twitters and mention this on their Facebook page.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


Related

Comments

  1. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

    1. johngineer says:

      I agree that a lot of the stuff could be done on an Android tablet, but there are certain unique physical features which I value in a dedicated calculator:

      I like the tough, impact-resistant plastic shell. I like that the batteries last, literally, years. I like that I can just flip over the sliding cover and throw it in my bag.

      “Are hardware buttons really important?”

      Yes. If you’ve ever tried to use a smartphone with even a residue of oil or solder resin on your fingers, you can appreciate why dedicated mechanical button hardware is important.

      1. Red says:

        There already are people who have given up on TI and gone for open source hardware. Apparently one person decided to make their own calculator called the UberGraphX*. Looks like it has Wifi, USB (potential data logging?), and the desired SD card.

        *http://www.uberspire.com/?page_id=53

      2. Anonymous says:

        I was going to post the same feeling. 

        accidentally knock a “tablet” from a table or have it rustle around in a bag for a while, be exposed to the elements and be in real working conditions. some things are just not up to the task.

    2. johngineer says:

      I agree that a lot of the stuff could be done on an Android tablet, but there are certain unique physical features which I value in a dedicated calculator:

      I like the tough, impact-resistant plastic shell. I like that the batteries last, literally, years. I like that I can just flip over the sliding cover and throw it in my bag.

      “Are hardware buttons really important?”

      Yes. If you’ve ever tried to use a smartphone with even a residue of oil or solder resin on your fingers, you can appreciate why dedicated mechanical button hardware is important.

  2. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  3. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  4. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  5. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  6. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  7. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  8. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  9. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  10. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  11. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  12. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  13. I don’t know: do we really need it? Why not just port GNU Octave to an android tablet and have done with this dedicated calculator business? There are a lot of smaller tablets out or in the works that are ideally sized for this service; and it has the advantage that users are learning something they can use on their desktops or laptops just as readily.

    Are hardware buttons really important? Seems like the calculator should be one of the first devices to succumb to convergence, not one of the last.

    That said, I still have and still use a TI-36 for some tasks! So maybe there is something to the dedicated hardware after all.

  14. johngineer says:

    @TI: How about an electronic paper display, so you can use the calculator in direct sunlight?

  15. fboness says:

    I gave up on Texas Instruments after the SR-10. I have been using HP calculators since the HP-45.

  16. fboness says:

    I gave up on Texas Instruments after the SR-10. I have been using HP calculators since the HP-45.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I use my HP 50G for the great buttons, or for more complex things my computer with Sage (and my IBM Model M keyboard of course ;-).

    I’d like a bit better screen on the 50G, but really, if I need that sort of power and capability I just use my laptop or desktop.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I never understood why people use TI , Casio and HP are much better some even have SD slots and *gasp* 3D!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I never understood why people use TI , Casio and HP are much better some even have SD slots and *gasp* 3D!

  20. VRAndy says:

    At first I thought the parting shot in that letter was mostly an empty threat. 
    But then I remembered how primitive, yet mysteriously high-priced scientific calculators are.

    I’ll bet it could be duplicated with off-the-shelf componants and still match TI’s price point.

  21. How about a device with both an e-ink screen and keyboard? Like, real keys with e-ink underneath a sealed membrane, like this phone:

    http://www.gadgetfolder.com/samsung-zeal-phone-with-dual-hinge-e-ink-keyboard.html/samsung-zeal-phone-dual-hinge-e-ink-keyboard-2
    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/36688/samsung-zeal-e-ink-phone

    Keeps it sunlight readable and allows for a reconfigurable modal keyboard

  22. How about a device with both an e-ink screen and keyboard? Like, real keys with e-ink underneath a sealed membrane, like this phone:

    http://www.gadgetfolder.com/samsung-zeal-phone-with-dual-hinge-e-ink-keyboard.html/samsung-zeal-phone-dual-hinge-e-ink-keyboard-2
    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/36688/samsung-zeal-e-ink-phone

    Keeps it sunlight readable and allows for a reconfigurable modal keyboard

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