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s/o Foerster's Precalculus. Ti-89?


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I do wish I had purchased the TI-89 DS is using with Calculus prior to him starting Foerster's Pre-Calc book. The learning curve is steep with the TI-89 and DS would have not been so 'pushed' to learn the calculator at the start of Calculus. Of course the TI-89 is not necessary for Calc let alone Pre-Calc but since DS is headed into Engineering I thought it would be best to take the plunge with it now rather than later.

 

 

Blue Hen, could you tell me what is better about the TI-89? (Did your son have a TI-84 for pre-calc?) I've noticed a lot of calculus classes requiring the TI-89, but the tests (SAT, AP) don't allow it???

 

What can the TI-89 do, that the TI-84 couldn't that makes it worth the upgrade?

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The Ti-89 has many more advanced engineering features than the 84, but, and maybe this is just me, I wouldn't go out and get one to replace the 84. We bought one because I was working with ds so much on math and physics and chem and grading co-op labs etc, that we were fighting over who got the calculator. It didn't make sense to me to buy another 84, so I got the 89.

 

What I like about the 89 is that it is very fast. It graphs in a fraction of the time the 84 plus graphs. It has a lot of nice features, but it also has a harder to read screen. The font is much finer. And, it is not easy to use alongside and 84. For example if you are working with a student on something that has downloaded applications, the same apps will not work on both calculators.

 

Particularly, this was a real problem for the Foerster Pre-calc book that Blue Hen mentions. Since they didn't have an 89 at that time, she wouldn't be aware of this issue. This pre-calc program comes with links to download programs for the 84 series. You would not be able to do those with the 89. Certainly it would work for other problems, but not if you want to use Foerster's downloadable content. Which, by the way, is quite nice.

 

Another reason I would hold off on buying an 89 is that different colleges want different calculators. With the incredibly swift advance of technology, I would hold off. TI has been marketing their new Inspire series pretty feverishly. I would not be surprised to see it take the place of the 84s and 89s in the long run.

 

My son is doing Chalkdust Calculus this year and has never needed or wanted to use the 89. It is taught by Dana Mosely using the 84, with closeups of the keystrokes. That is another reason to wait, if you think you'll be using CD. I did buy the dummies guide for the 89...it is much more help than the manuals from TI. Between the two books I can figure out pretty much anything I want to do with it. (which admittedly isn't much this year since ds pretty much is running his own show now, thank you God)

 

Anyway, hope this helps you out Jean!

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