Thursday, June 28, 2007

Goodbye, old friend.

My beloved TI-85 calculator, which I got as a high school graduation present from my parents some 14 years ago, needs to be put down. The keypad no longer works - or rather, it's fritzy, sometimes certain buttons work, and sometimes certain buttons don't.

So for the couple of weeks, I've had to be pretty creative with even simple math. Like, I needed to multipy something by eight. But that day my multiply and 8 buttons were both dead. So I had to divide by 2^(-3) instead. That kind of thing.

At first I thought, I should get it fixed! That seems like a straightforward connection problem! Maybe I could even fix it myself if I could get in there with a little soldering iron or who knows what!

But then I thought, let's be practical. I have $X left to expend by the end of this week from one of my pretty flexible accounts, and that would easily cover the costs of a shiny new TI-89 TITANIUM. That seemed more sensible. So that is what I did.

But, I love my old calculator. We've been through so much together - good times (Honors Calc II my freshman year in college) and bad times (Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations during grad school), and everything in between. It saw me through 4 years of college, 6 years of grad school, and 4 years as an asst prof, and I'm having a hard time letting go.

My wedding dress is probably still sitting in a folded up pile at the back of my little sister's closet in her old room at my parents' house. But a calculator is getting me all misty.

When I opened the TITANIUM package last night to start playing with the new calculator (which immediately repulsed me with its fancy features I'll never use and its oh-so-smart way of telling me sin(pi/4) is the square root of two over two - my old calculator would just tell me it was 0.707... and then leave it to me to figure out what that was, if it was important to me) I felt like a cheating spouse.

I'm sorry, TI-85, I really am. You're just not working for me any more, and I need to move on.


Anonymous said...

Did it show a blink? I got about a container of those, a batch went stale.

Bye now.

Matthew Jones said...

Calculators were banned in my maths classes at University, so I have only limited sympathy...