Friday, February 13, 2009

New Software Could Finally Replace Your Old Graphing Calculator From High School

While I'm happy that my TI-82 graphic calculator still functions, I would be lying if I didn't admit that it's decidedly unsexy aesthetic didn't make me want to hide it from my students out of embarrassment. It's an old Volvo wagon in a world of sleek crossover SUVs.

I can't remember exactly when I bought it, but I estimate that it's nearly the same age as some of my incoming high school freshmen. I don't know if that makes me old, or just says a lot about the quality of the calculator. I'll comfort myself by assuming the latter.

In any case, a new program called SpeedCrunch is a powerful but easy-to-use calculator that incorporates a lot of what made your old standby so handy (plus much more). Lifehacker has a thorough rundown of its features.

I don't know if I'd ever dump my trusty TI-82, but since I won't be packing it on any vacations, this kind of program might be a great portable solution.

If you're just looking to write equations instead, check out my earlier post on the awesome LaTeX Equation Editor.

Try it out and share your thoughts in the comments--or suggest alternatives that you recommend.