R.I.P., TI-30X IIS

Well, I’ve officially declared my old TI-30X IIS as living impaired. It is gone, awaiting the Great Calculator Resurrection (which will never happen, in the event you were curious–calculator religions are notorious for being completely false).

You were a good calculator, TI-30X IIS. I first met you when the Society of Actuaries approved you for their exams. Before you, in my math teaching days, I was into the TI-81 and TI-85–almost-but-not-quite required instruments in those days of teaching high school calculus. Your screen wasn’t as flashy as theirs and not a single plotted curve graced your display, but you were easy to read, and your history of previous entries plus your ANS button made working with you a breeze and actually made calculating the results of recursive formulas a little fun.

Before I was a teacher, there were the muscular-feeling little HP “Reverse Polish” calculators I enjoyed in my youth. In my inexperience they felt almost counter-culture and arcane and provided a sense of enlightened subversiveness. But you were a welcome return to infix notation: tried and true, warm and comfortable.

You saw me through some rough exams, to be sure! And in these last years, you helped one of my boys put the tedium of arithmetic he has mastered behind him so he could focus on deeper matters of symbolic manipulation. It was satisfying to see you serving again, little buddy.

But, entropy increases, doesn’t it? So here you are… non-functional. The recessed RESET button in your back couldn’t save you this time. You’ll be missed, TI-30X IIS. And if we take you apart and figure out a way to use your solar power strip for something useful–or at least entertaining–we’ll think of you fondly. Farewell.

6 thoughts on “R.I.P., TI-30X IIS

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Take heart, Mr. Smith. :D Calculator-based religions may be false, but perhaps there is hope in Frisbeetarianism: “The philosophy that when you die, your soul goes up on a roof and gets stuck.” (George Carlin) ;) I could think of worse fates for calculators, such as what probably happened to my first and in some important ways my best-ever calculator (also TI).

  2. Brian L

    I’m thinking I do not understand at all how you can go back from RPN to standard calculators without a stack…I do understand the missing of a tried and true though.

  3. Teresa Fischer

    One of my early jobs was giving breaks to full-time workers at Foleys in Pasadena, Texas. One of them was the man who sold calculators….TIs. The Reverse Polish System made absolutely no sense to me and whenever a man…..always a man……would come to buy a calculator on my shift, I’d smile graciously and hand him a calculator, hoping that he would know what he was looking at. So nice to hear that I could actually buy one now and understand what it is saying! :)

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