Imagine being a high school or college kid taking advanced Algebra and not having a Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator. When I was a kid I didn’t have even the old fashioned, Ti83 Calculator, let alone a Ti84 ; much less the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition Calculator. Today, the fancy Ti83 Calculator and Ti84 Calculators are probably something that all, but the nerdiest of high school students would agree they could do without. In fact, these expensive, Ti Geeky Calculators are the one thing that both parents and non-nerd students wish had never been invented. Parents are understandably upset when they learn that the old Ti83 Calculator they purchased for the older kid is no longer sufficient or expensive enough to learn algebra these days. They will have to invest another $120 dollars to get the very latest Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition; and anticipate spending $150 by the time the very latest, Ti Inspire comes out for the next kid. In return, their teenage children become very upset and stressed when they realize they have to learn how to use an expensive tech-gadget that is no where near as cool or advanced as their cell phone or MP3 player. A few years ago, when my daughter said, “Mom, Dad; I need a Texas Instruments Ti83 Graphing Calculator for school”, I knew by the sounds of it that it would be neither cheap, nor much fun to learn how to use. For some reason, today’s computers are not advanced enough to perform intense, mathematical graphical equations on a monotone, 3″ screen, but that’s besides the point.
What is the Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator?
While it’s true that even a low-end computer can run circles around the latest Ti83/Ti84/Inspire Calculators and display the results in beautiful, full color on your 24″ wide screen monitor, they just don’t have the geek-appeal to make them useful for advanced math these days. The Ti84 is the Pocket Protector for the geeks of the 21st century. The public school system, in its infinite wisdom, decided to make it mandatory for all students to own these modern-day pocket protectors, to prevent modern-day nerds from getting beat up in school every day. Now, virtually every teenage child is required to carry these 70’s-ish-looking tech gadgets in their back-packs to school with them every day. The geniuses at Texas Instruments designed them to be just large enough so they won’t fit in your shirt pocket like the old fashioned pocket protectors. As a result, the only way to know who the real nerds are is to find the kids that who actually know how to use their calculators. Of course, they are way too valuable to beat-up because they are the only ones who can teach the rest of the kids in school how to use them. Now onto the specifics:
Ti 84 Silver Edition Specifications
The Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator is equipped with a z80 15MHz Processor, 1.5MB of Flash ROM and 128KB of user accessible RAM . The Display is a 16×8, 96×64 Pixel Monochrome Screen. Surprisingly, the Ti 84 is equipped with a USB Port; 1970’s meet the 21st century! These Ti Calculators are built for math programming and include Ti Basic and Assembly Programming Languages. Also, they are equipped to handle numerous math applications, including App4Math, a popular upgrade that allows students to input problems as they are from text books. The Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator is approved for use on SAT and ACT tests.
The Bottom Line for the Ti 84
Like it or not, the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition Calculator or fancier more expensive versions, are a requirement for students these days. The Ti 84 has been around since 2004, with various upgrades and improvements along the way, including the Silver and Plus Editions. The Ti 84 is the very latest calculator in the series. There is now a newer calculator out called, the Ti Inspire. The Ti Inspire has many new tools, but falls short of the Ti 84 in many respects, according to some users. What these calculators do for learning math is not up for debate. If you have kids, whether they like math or not, they will be using expensive Ti Calculators. The key is to find them used or at greatly discounted prices, because more than likely, this is not a gadget that most parents are going to find on their kid’s Christmas wish lists anytime soon.