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.