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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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children of dune - leto 1
The universe is not annoying me today, which I find faintly unsatisfactory; not having something to complain about bothers me.

Beta Process

I'm also practicing the use of semicolons in the place of dashes, because dashes drive eleveninches nuts, and I have to admit, as a teaching device, all caps red STOP THAT is wildly, wildly successful conditioning. You wouldn't think so? But seriously. When a beta does that five or six times in the same fic, then you can almost *see* the way her hands are thrown up? You try to write with dashes later.

All Cap Red STOP THAT blinking in your head and then you twitch. I have no clue how she's doing that.


So I need a calculator. I don't know--how much. I need a calculator recommendation.

Looking over the difference between a BA/BS and a MA/MS, a couple of things jumped out at me. One, eventaully I will have to take Precal through Cal III (I really kind fo want to die thinking about it), but yeah. I need one for chemistry anyway, because frankly, while I can do it all longhand, I don't see the point of doing it unless he really wants the work for some reason.

So. Since I haven't had to use one in a while, what am I looking for in a calculator? One that doesn't cost the same as my laptop. Recommendations?

In closing--I have this strange desire to write up how I am faintly annoyed by the fact that while I completely understand the difference between repetition and selection structures, I do not know why it makes sense. Seriously. It's annoying, mostly because I think the way I'm categorizing in my head is going to seriously screw me later.

I am thinking of the vending machine and the Reese's Peanut Butter cups. It's never too early for chocolate, right?

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Well, I managed to get all the way through Calc IV, where it gets to be fun rather than brain-hurty (differential equations!), and I have no real aptitude for math, so I have the utmost confidence in you. (All were pretty much at ACC, too--they have some great instructors.)

As to a calcuator, I'd just wander up to Fry's and look at what's available. (My calc classes were a very long time ago and we had nothing that would calculate differentials then.) I'd mainly set a budget and find the one that does everything you need within that budget. Though I do recommend either solar or one with an A/C adapter, as I used to have nightmares about my batteries running out during tests.

Chocolate is always good. But I was a very bad girl during Dragon*Con and must eat fruit now.


Huh. And i'ts not a bad price, either.

(cons totally do not count. they *don't*.*g*)

My kids are using the TI-83 plus (what Pflugerville PISD uses) and recommend it or the various new shiny upgraded models which are the same thing just faster, more memory etc.

*makes note* So far, the prices aren't insane, either. *comforted*

I've had a TI-83 since eigth grade (Algebra through Calculus III) and it's done everything I've ever asked of it (except to help me commit seppuku during a few final exams).

It was about 80 bucks when I got it, but I would think the price has gone down since, with the arrival of the TI-89. Don't get the TI-89, it takes all semester to learn how to use it and it usually only does stuff that your teacher will want you to do by hand. Most professors I know twitch when they hear its name. It does have some nifty graphing capabilities, but Mathematica is usually licensed to schools for the students' free use and is easier to see on the computer screen.

Doh. bramble_rose's comment tipped me off: you want the TI-83 PLUS. I forgot that there was an ealier version.

I had a TI-85 in high school for math (calc and whatnot) and it served me well. My personal recommendation, though, is to ask a professor; the department head probably knows what the preferred calculator is, and it would stink if things were hard in class simply because your buttons were in a different place from the teacher's. Good luck!!

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sfhjshsdfh You don't have to stop using dashes completely...


Also, that thing we were talking about with the Ancients etc last night?

What if everyone was taught it was magic? Not science?

...I think I need to do a snippet to see if it makes sense, though. Hmm.

A TI-83 is generally a good bet (it was, seriously, my high school mascot - we had a giant guy in a calculator suit at the pep rallies). I eventually got a TI-89, because I was taking classes past single-variable calculus and it has a lot more calc capabilities. But an_kayoh is right, it does take longer to learn, especially if you haven't used an 83 first. And if you're not going past regular calculus, you'll have to do most of what the 89 can do by hand.

Ask the math department. Some colleges have a "departmental standard" calculator that is either required or at least strongly recommended (for example, if your prof does some stuff on the calculator in class, it is really nice to know that if you push *those* exact buttons on your calculator, you will be able to do that). And tell them you're stopping with Calc III, just in case that makes a difference.

The TI-83 Plus is a good one, though. (I have not needed a calculator beyond the one in Windows for two years; however, my father acquires every new TI model as it comes out, and I do like that one.)

I have always loved RPN, IMO that really make things easier in scientific calculators, because you don't have to input brackets. But then I've always used these (because my father preferred HP calculators as well) and could never get used to the regular kind which seemed clunky and cumbersome.

I've used a TI-86 (hm. or maybe an 83? god, it was like FOUR YEARS AGO) and I remember it being reasonably easy to use and affordable enough for a high schooler.

OTOH, my school rented out an HP - possibly the 50g, or the 48gll, looking at their website - and they were actually REALLY COOL, once you rewrote your brain to deal with Reverse Polish Notation. That's .. going to be more expensive, though.

A beta? You wouldn't, by any chance, have more of The Rain Gods to post soonish. Would you? Please? Pretty please with Rodney on top?

I took my TI-86 from algebra through my calculus for engineers sequence, and at age 6, it finally died. But I was brutal to it--lost the cover the first month I had it.

It's very similar in ease-of-use and button/command arrangement to the 83, but it solves equations. Not as fancily as the 89, but still. I used that sucker to double check most of my written out work on tests--and caught a bunch of my mistakes. I loved it, may it rest in peace.

I read your bolded title-y bit as "Beta Princess" at first. It was sort of interesting.

because dashes drive eleveninches nuts

Huh, she has never mentioned that.

I love e's beta comments on things. They are fucking hysterical.

Hee. I actually was just in a conversation at work about how I'm obviously a geek because I have multiple "real" calculators at home.

No, seriously, each one is better for a different class! Okay, fine, I really only had three that I liked for school, and I haven't really used any of them in the last couple of years so I don't remember exactly.. One was good because of it's graphing and matrix solving functionality, so that I didn't have to do any actual calculations. One was good because of the functions that did not need use of the 2nd or 3rd key, so that I could work with expressions rapidly. And one was good because it had a large number of built-in constants, so I could work with formulas quickly.

If you have a school bookstore, they may be able to give you the best advice about what your classmates prefer. Whether or not you actually need a graphing calculator might depend on your program; I don't think I used my graphing calculator in a single one of my math courses (which was a significant part of my courseload). I'd almost recommend getting a cheapish scientific calculator now, paying attention to what you love and hate about it, and watching your classmates to see what they have. You don't want to put off getting one for too long, because you'll want to be familiar with it especially come exam time, but you also don't want to spend money on the wrong one.

Um, I might be a little numbers focused, so you may not find that your calculator is as important. But just don't assume that math = big calculator and make sure that yours is in a configuration that works best for you.

Things I remember looking for:

1. The placement of the π button, the cos-1, sin-1, and tan-1 buttons, the 1/x button, the n! button, the log, ln, 10x and ex buttons, and the √ button.

2. How complicated it was to switch to various formats, such as using degrees vs rads or using base 10 vs base 16.

3. Having multiple memory buttons, so that I could store various answers and put them into various formulas as I went along.

4. Having multiple built in constants so that I could use 15 digits of gravity or speed of light or whatever.

5. Having an "in process" (or whatever it's called) display to show me the whole function that I've been entering. (Yes, one of my scientific calculators does this.)

I really like my TI-84 plus, but I never really used it for integrating/differentiating, because my teacher wanted it all written out anyway.

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