An Open Letter to My TI Friends

The good folks at Texas Instruments, at long last, have released an app for their popular Nspire product.  For geeky math folks like me, this was met with “I want to play.  I want to play.  I want to play!!!!”.  That is, until I visited the app store and found our that the app costs $29.99.  {insert sad face}

NspireSo…download, or don’t download?  I have been a sucker for all things TI for some time now, and the TI folks were kind enough to host me for their Fast Track program a few years back, where I received training on the Navigator system.  I’ve done many training sessions at my school for staff on graphing calculators, spoke at the T^3 conference one year, and wrote a grant last year for a class lab of Nspire CX’s.  When it has come to TI products in my school district…I’m all in!

HeartsBut despite out long relationship together, Texas Instruments, I’m thinking it may be time for us to break up.  It’s not you…it’s me.  See, I don’t see a future in this relationship, and I don’t know who you are anymore.  Remember last year when I bought all those glossy, snazzy Nspire-CX’s?  That was fun, and we have done some great lessons together.  But now I see you making the TI-84 color with new bells and whistles, and I can’t help but feel a little twinge of jealousy.  I don’t know what product I’m supposed to tell my students to buy anymore.  Some days you are Nspire, some days you are 84, and now this new app which a student could never possibly use on an SAT or AP exam….I just don’t know.

And your Nspire software?  I told all of my friends about how great you were, and bought a whole bunch of you in my grant last year.  But let’s face it, you take up way too much memory in my computer, and run way too slow at times.  And while the tns files are cool, and your new app plays them, I get tired of waiting for you sometimes.  Oh, and that free software offer on your website?  The one where I get free software if I buy the app?  I can’t help but feel a little hurt that you forgot about us who have purchased your software {sigh}…

Desmos PiSee, the thing is…I’m seeing someone else.  Her name is Desmos, and she is really cool.  I’ve told all my teacher friends about her, and they agree that she is really fast and reliable.  And while she doesn’t have all of your features, she is working on it.  We’re growing a nice relationship together.  She even makes me Pi when I need it.  And she is free!  (Note: OK, maybe this isn’t the best line for a break-up letter….but the Desmos calculator is free…check it out!)

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the T^3 conference next month, and I hope we can talk about our relationship.  But I don’t know if I see a future between us.

I hope we can still be friends.