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Benjamin Oakes

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Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Filtering for the month August, 2010. Clear

Basic: TI-83

by Ben

I recently decided I should send my aging TI-83 graphing calculator out to pasture. I haven’t really used the thing since my freshman year of college, and if I am going to do any serious amount of math, I have much better looking (and faster) solutions on my iPhone and even my ancient Zire 31. I’m a little surprised Texas Instruments hasn’t brought out anything significantly better — a TI-83 feels out of place in 2010. I guess that’s what you get for stifling competition; they’ve basically owned the graphing calculator market for quite some time. (Seems a little like Windows XP to me.)

Before selling it on Amazon, I thought it would be best to save some of the TI-83 Basic programs I had written back at the turn of the millenium. Some of my first programming experience came from writing dinky programs on the thing (which wasn’t ever that easy — keep in mind that it has a severely limiting 16 x 7 display). After figuring out what I was doing (a little) I even wrote a hangman program (pictured above). It’s littered with ugly things like single letter variables and goto statements. I don’t even know if it’s possible to make functions… I think they have to be other programs, a la Matlab — which is part of the reason that I say “Matlab is a great graphing calculator”.

At any rate, I typed up what I thought would be worth saving for “historical purposes” and even uploaded it to my snippets repository on GitHub. Take it as my gift to the TI-83 hacker community. :P

Update: …and within less than an hour, it sold on Amazon. The Internet still blows my mind sometimes.