Using graphing calculators, navigating algebra, and battling dysentery

One of my children's favorites among the stories I frequently tell them is how different technology was back in the day, at least in my opinion. Digital cameras were extremely uncommon, and computers were the size of a file cabinet.

The dependable graphing calculator is still in use. the original Texas Instruments, which includes our TI-84 CE. Today's models are sleeker and have color screens, which my old model lacked, but I don't remember them being as button-heavy.

In my generation, not long after the Game Boy was invented, there was a game called Snake. moving that pixelated blob around the gray screen for endless hours

So when I gave my eighth-grader her first graphing calculator, I immediately set it to perform an action other than math. It's exactly the kind of responsible parenting I've grown accustomed to exhibiting.

I hadn't used a graphing calculator or worked with its math in about thirty years. I didn't know how to add games. Nevertheless, I shouldn't have been shocked by how shockingly simple it ended up being.

After having an immediate reaction to the TI-84's mini-USB port (really, it's 2023; time for USB-C), a quick search produced the results we needed.