Texas Instruments has just released a prototype for its latest addition to the TI series of graphing calculators. The TI-97 will be available in stores on September 7, and comes equipped with more bells and whistles than the company could fit in the 978-page instruction manual. For a comprehensive description of the calculator’s capabilities, users must reference the 3-volume instructional VHS which runs about 11.5 hours long, and is also available in Beta-max format.
A few features of the TI-97 include 4-D and 5-D graphing abilities; full-color touch screen; biometric user identification; light up keypad; padded leather carrying case with key, combination lock, and security alarm; military database; world clock; day-planner; GPS tracking-device; and the snake game.
The prototype has been greeted with enthusiasm from retailers and techies alike.
“This graphing utility is truly revolutionary,” says TI sales-rep Travis Carson. “It’s like ice cream, You’ve got your basic vanilla – that’s the TI-83 – then add chocolate sauce and you’ve got you TI-83 plus, and if you add some chopped nuts on top of that then it’s your TI-84. But the TI-97 is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s like Dippin’ Dots, but it still has all of your favorite toppings: chocolate sauce, nuts, rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream, maraschino cherries – the whole bit.”
Math enthusiast Billy-Bob Bush of Waterbuffalo, Texas has already pre-ordered his TI-97. “My mom bought me the TI-89 for my eleventh birthday,” says Billy-Bob. “But I wasn’t allowed to use it on the SATs – which ain’t really a big deal ‘cause, you know, I already got a 2390 on my SATs. I was jus’ takin’ ‘em again for fun – and it ain’t got all the cuttin’-edge features that the TI-97’s got. That’s why it crashed when I tried to test Einstein’s Theory of Relativity on it. But this TI-97,” he adds with a braces-clad smile, “is so powerful you could practically create a nuculer missile with it.”
Sanjay Banjigadish, 47, designed the TI-97. “There were many drawbacks to the TI-89,” says Banjigadish. “It was too slow. It couldn’t graph in 5-D. Plus, it didn’t have the snake game.”
When asked how the TI-97 can graph in 5-D, Banjigadish gave no comment.
I suppose we’ll have to wait until the calculator is released to the public on September 7 to find out.