“Does anybody have a calculator?” The response was overwhelming. Suddenly, there was a kaleidoscope of calculators raised in the air in the grade 7 class that I am teaching in my practicum. I was about to smile and let the students know that I wanted them to do the calculation, when I saw it. The Casio fx-991MS. I wasn’t about to let the students have all the fun. I walked over, plucked it out of air, and cleared the screen. I was going to perform the calculation and give a play-by-play breakdown of the action as I pressed buttons.
My enthusiasm for the Casio fx-991MS is ridiculous. I used it extensively during my undergrad as a physics and math major. Everyone had their TI-89s, I had my Casio. During that time of late nights and spontaneous calculations I had become quite attached. That’s probably why I have photographed it so many times.
Well, I lost it. After much deliberation, the sales staff actually walked away from me in Staples, I replaced it with the fx-991ES Plus C. I figured I’d try out something new. The ES was shiny and more expensive. It’s good, even very good, but I miss the MS. It was amazing. There are three reasons for this: its weight, you can feel the goodness inside; the stored physical constants, these are the goodness inside; and the engineering mode and entry. I really liked the last one. It is similar to scientific notation; however the appropriate metric prefix can be entered and is displayed with the number. Simple, but fun.
Anyway, when I was done playing with the student’s calculator it was hard to hand it back. I simply said, “thank you,” wondering if she knew how great her calculator really is.