Author Topic: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?  (Read 30029 times)

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Offline mikehill2003

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TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« on: March 16, 2011, 01:55:20 pm »
Greetings fellow calculator enthusiasts,

I have a TI-89T for programming and an HP-50g for math, and am considering purchasing a TI-Nspire CAS+ (for $50) for general math. Since you guys are quite knowledgeable about this kind of thing, and some members have a CAS+, I was hoping you could answer a few questions of mine.

What are the differences between the old CAS+ OS and the newer ones on the CAS Touchpad?

Since I am not concerned with always updating the OS on my 89T and 50g, I dont think I will care about being stuck on an old OS on the CAS+. Am I wrong?

Is the hardware any different from the non-prototype CAS Nspires?

The reasons I am considering "upgrading" from my TI-89T are its lack of mathprint, tiny screen (even when compared to the *crappy* screen of the HP-50g), and general slowness compared to the 50g. Will I be disappointed with the CAS+'s "improvements" over the TI-89T?

Thanks for reading ;D

Offline willrandship

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 04:14:14 pm »
Yes, it has some serious bugs. The calc will sometimes fail to turn on the screen, making you think the batteries are dead while they're draining away.

Also, the hardware is roughly the same, to my knowledge, besides the fact that the CAS+ has diff. OSes, and only one at that.

Math functions are the same.

I recommend against it, but you can if you're willing to live with those.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 04:14:29 pm by willrandship »

Offline critor

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 04:15:32 pm »
The old Nspire CAS+ prototype OS 1.0 can't open documents created by more recent production TI-Nspire OSes.
The TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype OS 1.0 can't exchange data through USB with production TI-Nspire.

And nobody has been able up to now to update the TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype OS 1.0...


If it's a money problem, you can find TI-Nspire CAS ClickPads allmost as cheap as TI-Nspire CAS+.
You'll be able to do much more on them...
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 04:16:19 pm by critor »
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Offline willrandship

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 04:22:35 pm »
allso, if MP is all you're after, it pains me to say this (the MP oses have many programming-related bugs), but an 84+ with the latest OS has mathprint. 83+s don't though, unless you hack the OS (I think someone did it, but it causes problems)

Offline mikehill2003

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 04:35:09 pm »
Yes, it has some serious bugs. The calc will sometimes fail to turn on the screen, making you think the batteries are dead while they're draining away.
The old Nspire CAS+ prototype OS 1.0 can't open documents created by more recent production TI-Nspire OSes.
The TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype OS 1.0 can't exchange data through USB with production TI-Nspire.

If it's a money problem, you can find TI-Nspire CAS ClickPads allmost as cheap as TI-Nspire CAS+.
You'll be able to do much more on them...

Wow! Thanks for the prompt reply, I guess the extra $20 for a CAS Clickpad is really worth it then. Any suggestions on where to get one besides ebay and amazon?

allso, if MP is all you're after, it pains me to say this (the MP oses have many programming-related bugs), but an 84+ with the latest OS has mathprint. 83+s don't though, unless you hack the OS (I think someone did it, but it causes problems)

The 84+ is still around and being updated? Pardon my lack of current knowledge on TI's calculator lineup, but is this because of the 84+ keypad for the regular nspire? I don't really understand why they would keep such an outdated calculator around for so long and still update the OS.

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 12:46:17 am »
Hi and welcome on the forums. In any case I also recommend against the CAS+, since it cannot be updated through regular means.

The 84+ is still being produced because it's the most popular of all TI calcs. Lots of people get it for high school since most manuals are written for it there and there are much more games being released. Otherwise its hardware is indeed outdated.

Offline z80man

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2011, 03:24:09 am »
I really wouldn't recommended using a prototype CAS+ for general math. It's really only good if you're into hacking and stuff. But if you don't mind having a Casio calc I would highly recommend the Prizm. It offers many great features and a color screen for $130 from stores. (you could probably find a better deal on ebay) and I know you wanted a calc for general math, but we all know that at some point you are going to want put some games on there. And the Prizm has the advantage of being more open to development than the nspire. (especially the prototypes) :P)

List of stuff I need to do before September:
1. Finish the Emulator of the Casio Prizm (in active development)
2. Finish the the SH3 asm IDE/assembler/linker program (in active development)
3. Create a partial Java virtual machine  for the Prizm (not started)
4. Create Axe for the Prizm with an Axe legacy mode (in planning phase)
5. Develop a large set of C and asm libraries for the Prizm (some progress)
6. Create an emulator of the 83+ for the Prizm (not started)
7. Create a well polished game that showcases the ability of the Casio Prizm (not started)

Offline Lionel Debroux

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2011, 03:32:09 am »
Yes, stay away from CAS+ prototypes.
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Offline mikehill2003

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2011, 01:33:27 pm »
Thanks for the warnings! I would get a Prizm, but I don't really care for the color screen (battery life is more important to me). Also, even though I don't use it very often, the CAS on my TI-89T and HP-50g is really nice. I would hate to buy a new calculator without CAS. ( I also have a  Casio fx-9750GA+. Nice calc, but I rarely use it.)

Unfortunately, as someone who enjoys taking things apart to learn how they work, I am still somewhat interested in the CAS+. Does anyone know if the OS is encrypted (on the NAND Flash)? Has anyone tried to directly dump the OS from it?

« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 01:38:47 pm by mikehill2003 »

Offline Lionel Debroux

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2011, 01:41:10 pm »
Yes, significant work for trying to understand and reflash the CAS+ prototypes is currently underway, in another section of this forum and on the French-speaking TI-Bank forum. See, for example, http://ourl.ca/9688 :)
The prospect of reflashing CAS+ prototypes with the OS of commercial CAS models seems bleak, though.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 01:41:25 pm by Lionel Debroux »
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Offline z80man

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2011, 02:16:28 pm »
Actually the Prizm does have a very long battery life. I've had my Prizm since Christmas now and I use it for at least one hour everyday. In that time I have not changed the batteries once.

List of stuff I need to do before September:
1. Finish the Emulator of the Casio Prizm (in active development)
2. Finish the the SH3 asm IDE/assembler/linker program (in active development)
3. Create a partial Java virtual machine  for the Prizm (not started)
4. Create Axe for the Prizm with an Axe legacy mode (in planning phase)
5. Develop a large set of C and asm libraries for the Prizm (some progress)
6. Create an emulator of the 83+ for the Prizm (not started)
7. Create a well polished game that showcases the ability of the Casio Prizm (not started)

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 02:22:45 pm »
Yeah, the TI-Nspire battery life, especially on older OSes, is worse than on the Prizm. Unfortunately, the Prizm lacks a CAS, though (unless the TI/Casio community creates one)

Offline mikehill2003

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 02:59:57 pm »
Yes, significant work for trying to understand and reflash the CAS+ prototypes is currently underway, in another section of this forum and on the French-speaking TI-Bank forum. See, for example, http://ourl.ca/9688 :)
The prospect of reflashing CAS+ prototypes with the OS of commercial CAS models seems bleak, though.

Yeah, based on the info from that thread replacing the CAS+ OS with one signed with the production keys would be difficult. In my post I meant something a little more direct then the RS-232 USB Comm. I was referring to the NAND Flash-ROM.


Its been quite a while since I had to solder onto SMT stuff.

Actually the Prizm does have a very long battery life. I've had my Prizm since Christmas now and I use it for at least one hour everyday. In that time I have not changed the batteries once.

Impressive. Is there a C compiler for it or is it ASM only?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 03:02:35 pm by mikehill2003 »

Offline Lionel Debroux

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 03:03:58 pm »
There's a C compiler for the Prizm :)
http://ourl.ca/9205
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: TI Nspire CAS+ ---- Is it worth it?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2011, 03:11:25 pm »
Keep in mind the calc is not super documented yet, though, so so far the most that can be done is stuff like this:



Note, this runs 3 times smoother on a real calc than in the screenshot.

This writes directly to the LCD. Once people can write to a buffer then update everything on the LCD at once, it will most likely be much faster.