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I was talking to a coworker, and I noticed the calculator on his desk. It was a Texas Instrument job, (TI-86, I think), with a big screen for multiple lines and graphing. I mentioned, “Cool calculator,” and he told me some about it.

I said I have an older, but similar version from my computer science major days in college. “I still keep it with me, in my backpack,” I said.

When I got back to my desk, I picked up my backpack and pulled out my TI-36X SOLAR. I took it back to my coworker’s desk and showed him.

We compared the two intruments, and talked about mathmatical concepts that I haven’t thought about in 15 years or more. Concepts and terms that I only recognize by name, now, but that I used to use on a fairly regular basis.

I started my college career with computer science. I learned various computer languages, (Basic, FORTRAN, COBOL, C+, Binary, hexidecimal, etc.), studied calculus and logic, and was generally solidly in the mathematcal realm of college.

And then, two years into my major, I decided to switch to English. And that decision is a whole ‘nother discussion.

But I kept my calculator. For the first few months out of mathematics, I would play around with the various functions on it, just for fun. Eventually, though, I lost all skill with it. Now it’s in my backpack for use as a basic calculator — I only use the main functions of the gray and blue buttons.

I kind of miss mathemtatics, at times.


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4 Responses to Calculators

  1. brogrit says:


  2. Cantankerous says:

    What the hell does that calculator do?

  3. Bullgrit says:

    I have only the vaguest of memories of what most of the buttons on that calculator does.

  4. Knowssomegrit says:

    I ended up with a TI-91 graphics calculator in college (cost around $100-150), and it worked well for a number of years until it just died. I bought the same model calculator you have a few years ago for $20. The look is different (mine is more grey than black), but the layout and functions are the same.

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